International Spotlight: Let’s Talk Holidays for Summer Deals 2015

Ok, so we figured that with it being cold right now you are probably dreaming of warmer climes already and planning your summer holidays. It’s time for our international spotlight and this time we are going to focus on a few places that many people would not even think of. It gives you the chance to choose something less touristy and off the beaten track.

For unmissable deals on European holiday destinations this summer head over to Here you can sign up for travel tips, get the best special offers and network with fellow travellers and adventurers. Below we’ve handpicked some of our favourite luxury hotels, all of which can be booked through TalkHoliday.

Villa - Esterno Piscina

The best of Italy

While others are dreaming of Disneyland and Florida, or the Bahamas, or even Machu Pichu, why not just go for something a little more tailored closer to home? Something a little more off-the-cuff and something deeply cultural is often a good option. Italy is a highly cultural and fascinating country with a deep-rooted history. On the coast of Puglia lies Borgo Engazia – a place where you can experience luxury in its purest form. Lay back and enjoy a therapeutic massage in their Vair spa or stroll the private beach near the golf course, all under the beautifully warm Italian sun.


Southern France

Southern France has the best of all worlds – a balmy Mediterranean climate, gorgeous food, exquisite wine and fabulous scenery. The south of France has a distinct culture and an art, architecture and history all of its own. If you have only been to Paris or the north of France, then you are missing out. If you stay in Cannes you can opt for the Hotel Canberra where you can feel the luxury seeping into every corner of your vacation.


Feeling Hungary?

Odds are you might be. Probably not the first choice for many but Budapest has been in the spotlight recently, with the opening last year, of the movie named after the city—The Grand Hotel Budapest. Speaking of hotels, you might want to check out Hotel Boscolo in Budapest. Budapest is a city that, because of its positioning, has a very varied architecture. As one ambles around the city, the architectural influences become obvious and range from Ottoman style, Roman and many others, right up to contemporary masterpieces. It truly is a feast for the eyes, so if Hungary hasn’t previously been on your ‘to visit’ list, why not consider it for this year’s holiday?


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Creating a Better Flying Team for US Visitors


G-FBEF” by Mark Harkin, licenced  under CC BY 2.0

For visitors heading to Scotland from the USA, getting to the Highlands can be an adventure in itself. Until recently it could be difficult to get direct flights, and so a visit to Northern Scotland would often involve numerous transfers or a long drive from one of the major airports.

Thankfully this situation is now a thing of the past. Aer Lingus and Flybe have teamed up to offer American passengers direct flights to Inverness from the United States, with a changeover at Dublin airport. This is a fantastic venture, as it effectively opens up the joys of the Scottish Highlands to American travellers.


Loch Ness from Fort Augustus Scotland” by Dave Conner, licenced under CC BY 2.0

 Gateway to the Highlands

What this teaming up also means is that business and corporate passengers, as well as holiday passengers can fly from places like Dublin over to Inverness in Scotland. Think about the convenience of hopping a plane from Dublin on Friday afternoon, spending a weekend staying at The Kingsmills Hotel and enjoying the Cairngorms, and then flying back Sunday night ready for work on Monday morning. Sounds idyllic and can be just as effective cost-wise, too.

If you are doing a tour of the Highlands, you can also choose The Rowantree Hotel in Aviemore, Scotland. It is not far from Inverness, but if you intend to wander about it’s a great base to choose for spreading out further. Otherwise, there is also the Nairn Golf View Hotel and Spa, up in Nairn. Nairn sits on the northern coast a few miles north east of Inverness where you can also play the links course if you are a golfing fan.


Cheers! Dublin Style” by Zach Dischner, licenced under CC BY 2.0

It Cuts Both Ways

We discussed the option of flying from Dublin to Inverness, but, think about it…what if you live in Inverness and want to spend the weekend in Dublin? Done! It does work both ways and you can spend a weekend enjoying the Dublin pubs, the Irish food and the hospitality of the people. The Morgan Hotel offers a quirky and chic boutique experience in the heart of Dublin’s trendy nightlife whereas the Trinity City Hotel offers an altogether grander affair in a traditional Georgian building near the world famous Trinity College.

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Beating the Winter Blues with a Scottish Hotel Getaway

Some may say that January and February are the dullest months of the year. The Christmas rush is over, the promise of spring is far away on the horizon and we are smack bang in the middle of winter. It doesn’t paint a very optimistic picture, so what do you do to make those months a little more exciting? Well, at Best UK Hotels we have been hunting for options to inject a bit of fun into your winter.

Kingsmill Hotel

Highland Savings

During January, many hotels will offer extra savings and discounts meaning you can usually get some extremely competitive deals on hotels that you might otherwise not even consider. How about, for example, a trip to Inverness and The Kingsmills Hotel? This lovely, welcoming hotel is set right in the heart of all the best places in Inverness giving you the chance to experience Highland life and spend some of that Christmas money in the January sales. Check out their latest deal here.


A Cottage by the Sea

Islay Cottages offer you the experience of bracing North Sea breezes and beautifully stunning landscapes, as well as a relaxing self-catering experience. With a warm, cosy fire, you may want to make the most of a winter break and spend a week or a weekend up there. Thankfully they are currently offering 10% off bookings so get in touch for more details.


Winter Luxury in Edinburgh

Late winter and early spring is a great time to visit the Scottish Capital. Come for the weekend and enjoy the buzz of the January Sales, or meander around the castle or one of the city’s many parks. The Dunstane Hotel is one of the most well-placed boutique hotels in town, with a luxurious interior and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. With rates starting from as little as £20.15pp in their Winter Sale, this is an opportunity that cannot be missed!

Alternatively, if you fancy something a little more modern-contemporary, try The Place, also in Edinburgh. This ultra-modern hotel offers a range of facilities as well as well priced single, twin and double rooms. With deals right up until the end of March, you have plenty of opportunity to head to one of Scotland’s most beautiful cities.

Go ahead, spoil yourself this January and February and shake off your winter blues.

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Interrupting the Space-Time Continuum of Day Trips

Continuum  Coronation Street Tour

The February half term holiday can sometimes be the most difficult one to accommodate into your
calendar. Not long after Christmas you might not always be able to get the time off work and to cap
that, the weather has not quite picked up enough to be spring, yet. However, at Best UK Hotels we are
constantly looking for solutions to problems you might not have even foreseen yet. Let’s see a few
brilliant ‘Continuum Attractions’ ideas for things to do with the kids next half term.

1. The Real Mary King’s Close

Picture of people from Real Mary's Kings Close

Visitors to Edinburgh can satisfy their curiosity about all things spooky by taking the tour of the Old
Town with characters from The Real Mary King’s Close. Experience what it was like to suffer death from
plague, murderous villains and some of the worst living conditions of the 1600’s. The kids will love it.
Stay at the Parliament House Hotel and see more of Edinburgh while you are here.

2. Middlethorpe Hall & Spa

Middlethorpe Hall

Image Middlethorpe Hall  by Neil T is licensed under CC BY-SA  2.0

Staying in a ‘Hall’ such as Middlethorpe gives you an authentic taste of living the rich life in the
countryside. Take the kids to see Chocolate Story at York and show them how chocolate came into
being. There are fun things to see and do at an attraction well worth a visit.

3. The Canterbury Cathedral Lodge

The Canterbury Cathedral Lodge

 Image Canterbury Cathedral Lodge  by Simon Burchell is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license., via Wikimedia Commons

Canterbury is rich with historical reference, from Chaucer to religious conflict and the home of the
Church of England. Canterbury has much to offer, and kids will enjoy the Canterbury Tales experience
and learn a little information at the same time. The beautiful Canterbury Lodge is within the grounds of
the Cathedral offering easy access to the most beautiful building around.

4. Oxford Castle

Malamaison Oxford

Image Malamaison, Entrance to the Gaol  by Bill Nicholls is licensed under CC BY-SA  2.0, via Wikimedia Commons



Stay at the Malmaison, Oxford for a decadent experience of fine living. Close to Oxford castle you can
take the kids for a trip around some of the most outstanding architecture that England has to offer.
Oxford, the city of dreaming spires, as written by Matthew Arnold, has long been an attraction not just
for its college but for its entire ethos and surroundings.
Because half term can be an especially challenging week, make sure your kids have plenty of other
activities to keep them occupied while traveling, too.

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Four Romantic Ways to Spend Valentine’s Day

A heart of red rose petals
Treating our loved ones for Valentine’s Days seems to become more of a challenge every year. It is hard
to come up with something unique and as competitive as last year, especially when you have a great
imagination, and you want to surpass your own achievements. Well, look no further because at Best UK
Hotels we have four excellent ideas for you to use, adapt or ‘borrow’ as your own for next year’s
Valentine’s Day.

1. A Spa at the Kingsmills Hotel

Lady having a massage

The Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness is one of Scotland’s top destinations for Valentine’s Day. The Kingsmills
offers a spa day with all the trimming, as well as a deliciously prepared meal at the end of it. You can
truly celebrate Valentine’s Day in style with a trip to Inverness, taking your significant other on the
shopping spree of a lifetime.

2. Dinner at The Dunstane

Oysters being prepared

Edinburgh is one of the most popular and romantic destination cities in the United Kingdom and where
better to spend a Valentine’s Day than there. Experience the beauty of the old cobbled streets, the
world class shopping and the wonders of the castle, as you stroll with your loved one along Princes
Street. The Dunstane Hotel is a short distance from the town centre and will offer you the ideal Valentine’s Day dining experience
where you can indulge yourselves in our Skerries restaurant.

3. The Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington

Kensington Palace and Hyde Park

London is the setting for this beautiful 5-star trip to the Royal Garden Hotel. Set in the stunning
surroundings of the Kensington High Road and within a moment’s walk from the Kensington Palace
Gardens you can bring your loved one for a truly memorable day or shopping and dining.

4. Perfect days and Perfect Manors

Cortes House

Perfect Manors is the ideal location of choice with a beautiful selection of areas to decide on. Head to
the Highlands of Scotland for a getaway retreat break or stay in a mansion and experience life in the
slow lane and a weekend of luxury.
Of course, you can use your own ideas, but just in case you are stuck, feel free to use ours, and enjoy
your Valentine’s Day experience, wherever you end up!

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