You Haven’t Seen a Real New Year Until You’ve Spent Hogmanay in Edinburgh

edinburgh-new-years-eveEdinburgh New Year” by Debs, licenced under CC BY 2.0

Edinburgh is probably one of the best places on earth to spend New Year’s Eve. It is known for its partying, lights, lavish food and fantastic entertainment so it’s no wonder that people come from all over the world to spend Christmas and New Year in Edinburgh. It’s a chance not to be missed and if it is something you have thought of but not got around to doing, get booking and see what’s available. We have put together a list of five of the hotels that we would recommend to help narrow your search.

1 – Tigerlily Hotel, Edinburgh

The Tigerlily is a boutique hotel, right in the heart of the city and directly in the centre of all the action. The boutique hotel offers exceptional deals most of the year and you can also buy gift vouchers for your friends and family so that they can have a great night in a lovely setting. The fine dining is incredible and the bars are excellently stocked.

2 – Norton House Hotel, Edinburgh

The Norton House Hotel is a stunning hotel set in beautiful surroundings. They offer heritage breaks and are ideally placed to offer the most exciting of Hogmanay nights in their luxury surroundings and grounds. They are even putting on a grand ball!

3 – G&V Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Formally known as The Missoni Hotel, the G&V Royal Mile Hotel is a luxurious five star hotel that can bring a touch of luxury to your New Year city break. The entire hotel is warm and stylish and offers fantastic views of the city. Be sure to check out their award winning restaurant, Cucina.

4 – The Dunstane, Edinburgh

The Dunstane Hotel has your perfect Christmas and New Year all wrapped up. When you book direct with Dunstane, you get free Wi-Fi, free late checkout and they guarantee you the best rates. Also, you get a discount voucher for their restaurant and free parking. Not a bad deal! Book early to secure your table for a Hogmanay dining experience in the delicious Skerries restaurant.

5 – Parliament House Hotel, Edinburgh

Hogmanay packages are offered at the Parliament House Hotel and you can get a 3 night stay with full Scottish breakfast for just £189 per room per night. This offer is available on 29th December and you are only a stone’s throw away from the famous street party.

Spending New Year’s Eve at a great hotel is a fun and relaxing experience. It takes all the stress and hard work out of holding a Hogmanay celebration and means you can chill out and enjoy the occasion. If you haven’t gone away at this time of year before, make this New Year the first time.

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Top Five Action and Adventure Hotels in the UK

If you are looking for family adventure for your vacation, or just adventure as a couple or with your buddies, there are quite a few areas around the United Kingdom where you can have a fantastic adventure. If you have younger children or active teenagers, you will be in great shape if you chose an adventure holiday because it contains everything you could need for a memorable trip. We have put together our top five hotels with plenty of things to do.

Auchrannie Resort, ArranAuchrannie Resort” by Tom O’Malley, licenced under CC BY 2.0

1 – The Grove, Hertfordshire

Welcome to luxury, it’s as simple as that. The Grove has everything you could dream of and is close enough to some of the local attractions that you can take a trip and be back for tea. The golf and spa resort has a Victorian feel and is steeped in tradition, but with a contemporary feel.

2 – Sands Resort, Cornwall

The Sands Resort is right on the beach and has everything Cornwall has to offer. The beauty of the south-west coast brings stunning views, water sports, adventure trips and plenty more. The resort has a very modern feel with multi-coloured furniture and accents. The bright and airy appearance is luxurious and fun for the family.

3 – Auchrannie Resort, Arran

Arran is stunning, it has character, beauty and some of the most-rugged coastlines you will see in the United Kingdom. Auchranie is a resort with a difference as the whole island becomes your adventure playground. There is also an excellent spa for soothing any sore muscles afterwards.

4 – Peebles Hydro, Peebles Borders

The Peebles Hydro Resort is an attractive Borders area resort that has plenty to do. You can go mountain biking in the nearby Glentress hills or enjoy a leisurely game of tennis on the on-site courts. Use of the spa is included in the price of your stay so you can even teach the kids to swim!

5 – Crieff Hydro, Perthshire

The Crieff Hydro is central to many places in the Scottish Highlands. It is accessible to Edinburgh for a day trip, so you can use Crieff Hydro as your base while you see as much of Scotland as possible. The Crieff resort has a full 18 hole golf course, segways, tree top adventure course and pony trekking just to name a few of the available options.

All of the above are hotels that we feel are exciting enough for an adventurous vacation. Take a look and see what is on offer to suit your holiday choices.

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Five Eggs-eptionally Good Places to Hold Your Hen Night

Ok, so we apologize for the egg puns, but it was unavoidable under the circumstances. We will be eggs-tremely careful not to do it again… Our awful puns aren’t completely unrelated though as we have some recommendations for five of the best places to hold you hen night or weekend. Many brides-to-be often prefer an entire weekend, and it is not uncommon for them to take trips to other cities. Here are some of the ideas we came up with.

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1 – Blythswood Square Hotel, Glasgow

The Blythswood Square Hotel is ideal for a posh hen weekend getaway as it has all the fitness and spa treatments you might expect for the perfect girly weekend. Hen weekends are about relaxing, pampering and a little partying to see the bride off on her merry way to marriage. The Blythswood has an indoor pool, sauna, steam rooms, beauty salon, manicure facilities and Jacuzzi.

2 – The Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness

If you are planning to have your wedding at the Kingsmills Hotel, you will be well placed to have your hen night there too and enjoy the facilities the hotel has to offer. It’s the perfect hotel to unwind and has a beauty and hair salon, leisure club and fine dining. There is also a spa offering relaxing treatments, so make the most of those while you are there.

3 – The Dunstane, Edinburgh

If you want boutique style with Victorian class, The Dunstane is the perfect place for you and your hen party. The Dunstane is a great celebration venue and the hotel caters for large parties of people with exquisite menus and excellent fine dining.

4 – The Royal Garden Hotel, London

Nestled in the middle of Kensington Road and a stone’s throw from the Royal Albert Hall and Kensington Palace Gardens, the Royal Garden Hotel has class, style and panache. Ideal for your hen weekend and perfect for traveling into the centre of London, the Royal Garden Hotel has everything you could need.

5 – Cameron House, Loch Lomond

On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, you can experience a once in a lifetime break for your hen weekend by coming to the Cameron House Hotel. The Carrick spa and leisure club is perfect for spending relaxing moments with your hen friends and celebrating your last days of single life.

Wherever you choose for your hen weekend or party night, make sure they can provide you with all the catering and beverages you need as an all-inclusive price to avoid any nasty surprises on the night. Finally, have fun!

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Have a September Weekend Away

September is like a transition month for many people because it is the end of summer and the start of autumn. The good thing about September is that the weather often remains warm and sultry during the day and yet nice and cool at night. During September, you often find that you can get excellent deals on getaway weekends simply because it’s when the schools all start back, and couples have already been on their summer vacations. Many people choose September for that reason, and it’s a great time to have a couple’s weekend staycation. Here are our favourite four reaching from London to Scotland.

couple-holding-hands

 

Hand Holding” by Vincent Diamante, licenced under CC BY-SA 2.0

1 – Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington

Starting off in London, if you fancy a great weekend getaway, try the Royal Garden Hotel. You can enjoy the most-exquisite meal in the famous Min Jiang restaurant or watch the city go by from ten floors up as the lights go on, and the sky darkens. The rooms are luxurious and comfortable, so take a look at that one.

2 – Signature Living Hotel, Liverpool

If you fancy a couples weekend with a little nightlife and clubbing right on your doorstep, then stay at this terrific Liverpool hotel, bang in the heart of the Matthew Street scene. You can also try your shopping muscle at the billion pound shopping centre, right there in the heart of the city. Give the new Signature Living Hotel a try next time you are in town for a couple’s weekend.

3 – Great John Street, Manchester

If you are into a cultural weekend with your significant other, you could do a lot worse than to treat yourselves to a weekend in Manchester. Right up the street from the People’s History Museum and the John Rylands Library, as well as the Vertical Chill Ice Wall, you have everything right at your fingertips when staying at the Great John Street Hotel. You will be served a delicious breakfast and enjoy contemporary surroundings with a great traditional twist.

4 – Parliament House, Edinburgh

Right in the cultural heart of one of the most-exciting cities in the UK, Parliament House Hotel is ready to welcome guests for any reason, albeit business, pleasure or celebration. For your couple’s weekend, why not consider the Parliament House Hotel? Its central location has so much to offer and the restaurant serves us a great selection of food.

Kick the autumn off with someone special and treat yourself to a weekend break in September. It is the perfect way to recharge the batteries after a hectic summer and get ready for a fun-filled autumn.

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Taking a Ryder Cup Break

With the start of the Ryder Cup on the horizon, thousands of golfers around the United Kingdom are planning to head to Scotland for the weekend. They are taking time from work, and the exodus is likely to start sometime the weekend before the tournament begins. This year, the Ryder Cup returns to its home at Gleneagles and therefore it holds greater meaning on a sentimental basis for many golfers. We have put together the top four hotels we feel are perfect for enjoying your Ryder Cup experience in 2014, so take a look and get booking so that you are not disappointed when the tournament starts.

Golf-course-Scotland

 

Golf” by easylocum, licenced under CC BY 2.0

 

1 – Mar Hall

Mar Hall is a luxury golf hotel with spa resort, set in the most beautiful and tranquil of surroundings. The 240 acres of woodland are close enough to Glasgow for a little shopping but also close enough to the river Clyde and the golf course to take in some of the beauty and play a round of golf.

2 – Crieff Hydro

If you want modern mixed with traditional the Crieff Hydro is the place for you. During the Ryder Cup, you can spend time watching in the lounge or your room and when you are not watching you can play your own round. The golf and spa resort has everything a family could want but if it’s just you and your spouse, then the world is your oyster.

3 – Old Course, St. Andrews

You can’t play golf in Scotland without visiting the home of the game itself and home of the R&A. The old course at St. Andrews is a course that is shrouded in history, and loved by the entire golfing community, from the youngest amateur to the oldest pros. Stay and play on the old course and enjoy that feeling of blending the modern with the historic.

4 – Gleneagles

Well, clearly you won’t get a game on the Gleneagles courses during the Ryder Cup week but you can stay in the area and play one of the local courses. The Ryder Cup does for golf what Wimbledon does for tennis, and the golfers will be out in their droves, so book early if you want to get a game and room.

Enjoy Scotland and the Ryder Cup week and watch as Europe try to defend the Cup with all their team spirit and skilful play.

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A Cottage by the Sea

August is a great month. The weather is—sometimes—ideal, it is peak holiday season and to cap it all there’s a Bank Holiday. What more could you want from a month? Oh, ok, how about a break? A great way to experience life outdoors is by renting a holiday cottage or lodge. There is no better way to see the countryside, take the family on an adventurous vacation and learn new outdoor skills like rowing or fishing.

anstruther-harbour

Anstruther” by Neil Williamson, licenced under CC BY-SA 2.0

Seaside breaks in Scotland

Scotland has to have some of the best scenery anywhere in the United Kingdom, and there’s so much to do up here that you might need more than a few days to appreciate everything. If you want to enjoy the charm of a small fishing village, the best place to stay is Silverdyke Caravan Park in Anstruther. You get some stunning views of the Isle of May and the Firth of Forth, and it’s perfect to wake up to.

If a loch is more your thing, take the family for a relaxing break at Dornie Lodges. The modern style houses specially designed for self-catering give you the chance to live life to the fullest on the open waters.

If you have never heard of the Isle of Islay, you should definitely make a point of visiting it. Spending some time on the island will offer you the chance to smell the fresh salt sea air of the North Sea while walking on the historic site. Stay in the cosy Islay Cottages for a chance to experience true island life. Sadly, you can’t take your pet on this trip, so if you usually vacation with you dog, keep this in mind.

If you are a fan of golf but want to ensure there’s enough for the whole family to enjoy, you can head to St. Andrews and relax at the Elderburn Lodges. These two bedroom and three bedroom homes are luxurious, yet still remain traditional in their design. Have a great time on the August Bank Holiday and book early to avoid being disappointed.

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Five Good Places to spend your Christmas and New Year

Lovers of Christmas may already be looking ahead to the ‘most wonderful time of the year,’ despite it still being summer. If you are planning on going away for Christmas this year, booking early is always an advisable option because some of the best deals are available when you book well in advance. Below we have listed five places around the United Kingdom that offer special Christmas options as well as being central to some really neat celebrations.

edinburgh-in-the-snowEdinburgh Winter Dean Bridge” by Colour of Your Smile, licenced under CC BY-SA 2.0

Mind your Manors

At Perfect Manors, there are plenty of choices of where to stay at Christmas and New Year. Stretching between Aberdeen and Inverness, to beyond, the Perfect Manors hotel chain offers luxury and quality accommodation that you will love. It will make your Christmas and New Year celebrations all the more special.

Edinburgh Offers Perfection

If you are going to be in Scotland around New Year, you might like to take a break at the centrally located Parliament House Hotel in Edinburgh. Located extremely close to the world famous street party, you won’t have far to walk after you have seen in the bells. Hogmanay is one amazing celebration in Scotland, and you can experience the true spirit of an Edinburgh New Year’s Eve here.

Millennium Wonders

Hop over to Glasgow for a night or two before you leave Scotland and have a break at the Millennium Hotel. This luxury accommodation will round off your holiday season perfectly with their stunning rooms and fine dining experience all overlooking George Square.

london-christmas-shoppingLondon at night” by Pug Girl, licenced under CC BY 2.0 

Heading South

If you are coming the opposite way and heading south for the festive holidays, why not break your journey up by stopping at Manchester on the way. We suggest you treat yourself at the Hilton Deansgate for a touch of luxury. Always giving great customer service, the Hilton offers comfortable rooms and lovely food.

Gardens in Winter

Even during the winter the Kensington Palace Gardens are stunning. Right next door is the equally impressive 5-star luxury hotel, the Royal Garden Hotel. Nestled right between the Royal Albert Hall and Kensington Olympia, the Royal Garden Hotel is a great place for Christmas breaks, exhibitions and concerts in London. Come and enjoy.

 

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5 Excellent Hotel Conference Venues around the UK

There are truly some excellent venues in the UK that offer both first-class conference facilities and provide comfortable accommodation for your delegates. The convenience of having meeting facilities, catering, entertainment and accommodation in one place makes hotels the prime location for large scale conferences. In order to ascertain exactly which ones are the best, we have pulled together a short list of five hotels up and down the country to give you an idea of what they can offer when you are booking your conference venue.

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Image courtesy of University of Exeter

1 – Kingsmills Hotel

Nestled in the luscious greenery of the Scottish Highlands, right in Inverness, the Kingsmills Hotel is one of those hotels that you shouldn’t overlook when you are booking your conference. They have taken a great deal of time and effort on their facilities, and they can host a conference for up to 480 people, which is somewhat a unique feature.

2 – Crieff Hydro

Crieff Hydro offers some of the best team building experiences in Scotland. The Hydro has outdoor pursuits and exercises that help build team relationships and trust. It also has some excellent facilities for catering to conference delegates and anyone planning a conference should check out the Crieff Hydro.

3 – The Royal Garden Hotel

Set in the beautiful surroundings next to Kensington Palace Gardens, the 5* Royal Garden Hotel offers some of the best conference facilities in London. Enjoy a banquet style meeting and conference with the Mezzanine Level or the Palace Suites, to provide a cozy and intimate environment. If your conference is slightly smaller and less formal, you can choose from their executive boardrooms.

4 – Hotel Verta

For a venue that takes its business very seriously, the Hotel Verta offers easy access to and from the city. Built in Battersea, the Verta has some excellent options for conference delegates, including conference facilities for up to 200 people. Each room is also equipped with temperature controls, external electronic signage outside every room and IPTV’s.

5 – Queen’s Park Hotel

The Queen’s Park Hotel, Bayswater is in one of the most popular shopping areas of London, giving delegates plenty to do when the conference takes a break or finishes. Inside the Queen’s Park Hotel, you will find stationary, projectors, monitors and every facility you need for a successful conference.
Before booking your conference venue, get in touch with the hotel and see what special deals and offers they can give you. It is also a good idea to arrange a thorough tour of the venue in advance of the event. Most large hotels have account managers or events staff who can organize much of the legwork for you, and can talk you through the process of organising a world-class event for your delegates.

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Winter Weddings and Why They are Cool

Most people prefer a summer wedding simply because they want to guarantee that the weather will be warm, sunny and reliable. However, this is the UK, since when was the weather a trustworthy entity? Aside from the unreliable weather, there are more reasons than you’d think as to why a wedding in the winter is cooler than a summer wedding. Ok, so by cooler we were actually making a pun, but still, it could be better to hold your wedding in the winter and here’s why…

wedding-dress-train

 

Wedding” by GU, licenced under CC BY-SA 2.0

Everything is cheaper in the Winter

The majority of people hold their weddings in the spring or summer, so businesses raise the prices and hike up the costs of everything. This can impact the total costing of your wedding by up to 50%, believe it or not. Planning your wedding for the winter will be classed as ‘low season’ and, therefore, cheaper to rent or buy a dress, cheaper to rent a venue and certainly cheaper for all-inclusive packages. Despite Christmas being a little more expensive because of that time of year, companies will want your business and will be more likely to barter on prices, too, so shop around.

Where to Hold Your Wedding

Scotland is one of the most beautiful countries and to have a wedding, no matter what time of year. Winter weddings can be even prettier with cosy fires, warm colours and possibly even some snow! Firstly, Perfect Manors Achnagairn Castle venue is breathtaking and can produce the type of wedding brides dream of.

If you want to cater for a large crowd, Mar Hall, a luxury hotel and spa resort just outside Glasgow has a variety of wedding packages and are more than used to accommodating extravagant weddings. On the east coast, Crieff Hydro is surrounded by beautiful greenery and has plenty to offer your guests during their downtime with a range of on-site activities. For something more coastal, you might consider Donald Trump’s hotel at Turnberry. With a large investment in the hotel recently, you can be rest assured that you will receive extremely professional service and support in planning your big day.

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Three things to remember when planning a family party

So, we don’t all see our entire family every day of the year. In fact, some people barely see their family members from one year to the next. For a far-flung family, special occasions such as weddings, baptisms anniversaries or significant birthdays are the perfect opportunity for a reunion. If you are already a close family, you may be looking for a venue to host a regular family shindig, maybe for Christmas or another regular celebration. Here, we have put together three important tips for you to create and enjoy the ideal family party.

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Celebration” by bfick, licenced under CC BY 2.0

1 – Location, Location
Location is important for many reasons. Firstly, the venue has to be easy to get to for everyone, not just those in cars. You also need to accommodate people who might be flying in or using public transport. Your family might be ranging in age from 2 to 102, and they all need to be able to get there. Also you need to make sure that the location you book is large enough that you are not crammed into a room like a pile of battery hens. You want room to dance, somewhere for the kids to hang out, somewhere for the young’uns to be able to run around and plenty of room for people to mill around and mingle. You also want plenty of seating.

2 – Accommodation
Think about if your family will all want to stay at the same place. If you are planning for your family party to continue into the wee hours and people are traveling from miles around to be there, they might benefit from a hotel room. There are some stunning hotels in and around Edinburgh, and one of those is the retro inspired Hotel Indigo. When you enter the Hotel Indigo, it’s like walking onto the set of Randall and Hopkirk or The Persuaders, inspired by the 1970’s and stunningly recreated with unique colour combinations and interesting decor.

If you want something extremely upmarket and close to shopping facilities, boutique hotel The Dunstane has everything you would need. Planning your party includes catering, so consider how many people will be there and what type of menu to serve. Le Monde is a modern type of hotel that appeals to all people, young and old, right in the centre of Edinburgh. If you want to hold your party further afield and make the celebration a mini break for the whole family, then the beautiful Inverness can offer a venue with a difference. The Kingsmills Hotel is a luxury hotel that makes a great base for everyone.

3 – Travel
When you plan your party, try to make sure everyone has a reasonably cheap way to get to the hotel or venue. If you have people traveling from Land’s End to John O’ Groats, they are not going to be over the moon to be paying through the nose for the party. Try to get a central location with good access to public transport and services.

Let us know if you choose to book your party at any of these locations, we’d love to see your pictures!

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