Q Magazine - Winter 2018/19

GAIL has just returned from a fascinating trip to JAPAN , the Land of the Rising Sun. This is a truly surprising country full of quiet charm and tradition. As host country to the forthcoming 2019 RugbyWorld Cup and 2020 summer Olympics, Japan is proving one of the most sought after destinations for travellers from all over the world. TOKYO is a metropolis of contradictions with its neon lights, skyscrapers, ancient shrines, beautiful gardens and modern departmental stores to rival those in Oxford Street. KYOTO is synonymous with ancient temples, tea ceremony houses, traditional inns and centuries- old craftsmanship.The mountains everywhere afford spectacular scenery especially at this time of the year with the autumn colours in evidence. Gail also travelled by Bullet Train to Hakone National Park, home to MOUNT FUJI as well as exploring the beautifully preserved towns of TAKAYAMA and KANAZAWA . Finally a few nights in the peaceful city of MATSUMOTO , gateway to the Central Alps and Kiso Valley where Gail hiked along the NagasendoWay. Throughout the country trains run on time, there is absolutely no litter and It is hard to imagine a destinationwhere youwill meet more charming, polite, helpful or respectful people as those Gail came across in Japan. Spring and autumn are the most moderate and beautiful times of year in terms of the glorious cherryblossom (lateApril/earlyMay)andthe fiery red changing of the leaves (early November). KAREN has recently visited Crete , spending time in Chania at Domes Noruz , a delightful adult only boutique hotel set on a beach, offering amazing food with a laid back, relaxed atmosphere, near to the charming harbour old town. This was followed by a drive along the spine of Crete to Elounda , staying at Domes of Elounda , a great family hotel also offering luxurious 2-bedroom pool villas. Oman was next on Karen’s agenda, which included time on the coast staying at the adult only Al Husn Shangri-La as well as The Chedi . She also saw the newly renovated Al Bustan Palace alongwith the new Kempinski inMuscat. Then it was onwards and upwards to the breath- taking mountains, just a 2 ½ hour drive from the city - perfect for a 2-night stay. Karen’s last stop was to the impressive Anantara Al Baleed , just a 90-minute flight to Salalah and a 20 minute transfer, arriving at this delightful hotel with friendly service and impeccable attention to detail, topped off with an impressive private beach with soft white sand. This Summer SALLY has been to Ibiza and to Lake Como . In Ibiza she stayed at the exciting new resort of 7 Pines , which is going to be real asset to the island and a great resort for families, couples, multi generational celebrations etc – it really does have something for everyone. There are lots of communal areas in which to relax, whether it's by the pool, bar, restaurant or spa – enough to mean you never have to actually leave the resort, which is perfect if you just want to stay put and completely unwind. For those who like to lie on a beach - the quaint little cove of Cala Codolar is just 200 metres away, while Cala Comte – arguably one of Ibiza's best – can be reached on foot within 15 minutes. If you do feel the need to venture out - IbizaTown is just 20 minutes drive away. In Lake Como she was lucky enough to spend a few days at The Grand Hotel Tremezzo and completely fell in love with the hotel and the area! The rooms, the bar, the restaurant, the man-made beach on the shore of the lake are all absolutely brilliant, but it is the staff that make the hotel feel like a real‘home fromhome’. There are several interesting villas and wonderful gardens that are all within easy reach and Bellagio is only 10minutes by public ferry, which is walking distance from the hotel. It was a wonderful few days and Sally will certainly be going back there again! DIANA was lucky enough to spend some time in Mykonos this Summer, exploring all the wonderful Myconian collection of hotels. This is a group of 9 hotels all owned by the same family. Each property has a very different identity and are all equally interesting. The group consists of The Imperial, The Royal, Avaton, Utopia and the Villa Collection that are all located on the hillside above the golden sands of Elia Beach. The Ambassador is a short walk fromPlatis Gialos Beach, where you can take a boat across to the island of Delos , which is a complete revelation and a huge archeological site! A real must if you are in the area. Then just a short walk from Mykonos Town are Korali, Kyma, and Naia. Mykonos Town is delightful, with lots of interesting bars, shops and restaurants to explore. It is almost impossible to pick a favourite, but if you like the idea of Mykonos then do please give Diana a call and she would be delighted to talk to you about each hotel inmore detail, there is bound to be one that will suit you perfectly. EXPERIENCES Recent travel memoirs from the ladies at Quality Travel Mykonos MountFuji in thespringtime AnantaraAlBaleed,Oman View fromGrandHotelTremezzo Over the last year, JO has enjoyed some wonderful family holidays in Por- tugal, France and several parts of Spain. She also spent a week on the island of Mykonos with a large group of friends - without the children! It has already been rebooked for next year!