We decided to take the family - that's mum and dad, 10 year-old William and 6 year-old
Jessica, for a break in sun. After having a bit of a look round, we came to the
conclusion that the Canary Islands would suit us down to the ground. A flight time
of 4 hours, and a year-round warm temperature seemed ideal - so that's where we
started looking. The holiday we plumped for in the end was the
Hotel Orquidea, in Bahia Feliz
on the island of Gran Canaria.. The Orquidea is a four star hotel, and is available
through Thomson Holidays. We decided to book a package holiday as we didn't want
the hassle of sorting out flights, transfers, and accommodation. We just wanted to
get the holiday, and not have to worry about anything else. Further more, it was
decided to book an "all inclusive" holiday, so when the children started puttering
about being hungry , wanting an ice cream, needing a coke - you know what it's like
- we could just say "no problems, go and help yourself".
The view from our room at the Hotel Orquidea
The Hotel Orquidea
We'd never been on a package holiday with the nippers, let alone an all inclusive,
so didn't know what to expect. It turned out that everything was a good (or better)
than we could have hoped for. We paid extra with Thomson for an upgraded room
- this gave the children their own beds, without the need to make up beds from
the bed-settee thingy; we also wanted a bit more room. The hotel bedroom was much
bigger than we expected; much more like an apartment, rather than a hotel room -
we even had our own bedroom.
Food is available from 7:30am - 10am for breakfast, 12noon - 3pm for lunch, and 6 - 9:30pm for dinner.
Drinks, snacks and ice-cream are also served all day (well, it's self service, so the kids
and you can just help yourselves). All the meals are served in a cafeteria style dinning room,
and all meals are served as a buffet. The food served is very nice, and more than met our expectations.
Although, obviously, it depends on your expectations as to whether you'll like what's on offer;
if Lobster Thermidore is what you are expecting, you may want to stay somewhere else.
Think tuna steaks, lamb cutlets, pork chops, roast cod, pasta, rice, vegetables,
salad, cold meats - that type of thing.
There are three pools within the hotel grounds. A paddling pool with small water
slides, a larger pool where all manor of inflatables are allowed, and another pool
which won't allow you to dump your inflatable in. The kids loved the pools; although
if you want to get some swimming in, you'll need to try swimming before about 10am,
or after 5pm - as anytime during the day, the pools are heaving with youngsters.
The grounds of the hotel go directly onto the beach, so you can always amble down
for a swim in the sea.
Thomson provide a full range of entertainment on their holidays. I've written more
about Thomson Entertainment,
as I think it probably deserves its own entry!
Conclusion the Hotel Orquidea definitely lived up to our expectations,
it's a very family oriented hotel. If you've got children to take away,
this is could be the place for you. If, however, you haven't got children
in your holiday party, you may want to give the Hotel Orquidea a miss.
If the thought of a villa holiday sounds good - but you've got children in tow, have a look at villa resorts which combine the advantages of having your own villa with the advantages of a resort's facilities.
Find a selection of holiday cottage in Beccles, Suffolk. The cottages of Riverside House, Butterfield House, Northgate Bakery, Honeysuckle Cottage and Burnt Hill House all have a video showing their location in Beccles.
Try a villa holiday in Europe and the Mediterranean during March, April and May. James Villas Spring Holidays is the place to look - and if you get in early enough you could get a bargain in the James Villa Holidays Half Price Sale.
Located next to the beach and surrounded by the Lagoa dos Salgados Lagoon and nature reserve, Vidamar Algarve Resort is a villa resort with holiday villas sleeping between 4 and 8 people. All villas at Vidamar Algarve Resort have their own pool.
A fabulous day out, the Falkirk Wheel links the Union Canal with the Forth and Clyde Canal. You have a variety of attractions at the Falkirk Wheel, including an Archimedes Screw, hire a cycle, paddle boats, or just a nice walk.
See the sights from the top of the Nevis Range in Scotland. Take a gondola up the mountain, and get some views from the Sgurr Finnisg-aig view point. You can always cycle down too - or take the cable car back down again.
How about a family holiday in the sun? The Balearic Islands make a lovely location for a holiday. We were recently fortunate enough to spend a few days at the all-inclusive resort of Marina Parc on Menorca. Close to the beach at Arenal d'en Castell, Marina Parc also comes with its own water park.