looking after number one

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looking after number one
DESTINATIONS — CARIBBEAN
Also in
Destinations
LATIN
AMERICA
CARIBBEAN
PAGE 55
Clients can have a
fabulous time in the West
Indies, even if they aren’t
loved up, writes Jo Cooke
LOOKING AFTER NUMBER ONE
T
he ‘c’ in Caribbean could quite easily stand for couples.
Advertising campaigns have done an excellent job
of selling the region as the world’s top destination for
romance.
In truth, there are few backdrops on the globe more suitable
for lovers than this. Couples resorts thrive and keep duos joined
at the hip from dawn until dusk, with champagne breakfasts,
sunset catamaran cruises and candlelit dinners. But there’s no
need for singles and groups of friends to miss out
on the sublime
shores, natural beauty, top-notch hotels and resorts the region
offers. You just have to pick and choose where you send them
so they don’t get queasy at the sight of canoodling couples.
l Smooth Operators
The simplest way to ensure an escape to the West Indies is
tailor-made for those who are travelling alone is to
book clients on a
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DESTINATIONS — CARIBBEAN
Legends Beach Resort
Atlantis Paradise Island
dolphin encounter
trip with a specialist operator.
Solos Holidays and Just You both
feature a selection of Caribbean
islands and they don’t charge a
single supplement for having your
own room.
The Dominican Republic, Cuba
and Barbados are the destinations
offered by Solos Holidays, with
an in-resort tour leader on hand
to organise social gatherings and
excursions for those who want to
share the moment with others,
and advice and information for
those who would rather keep
themselves to themselves.
“The Caribbean is generally
presented as a couples and
family destination, but it is also
one of the best destinations
for singles,” says Andy Fairburn,
sales and marketing manager at
Solos Holidays. “It offers plenty
of variety and wonderful travel
experiences for the solo traveller.
And, if you want to party, there
are infinite opportunities too.”
Just You offers an actionpacked nine-night trip to Saint
Lucia and a 16-night tour of Cuba
for singles. “We have recently
introduced Saint Lucia to our
Just You Escape holidays,” says
Kalpa Patel, Just You brand
Archery at the
BodyHoliday
TWE_041214_045-048.indd 46-47
l Independence Days
If clients prefer to go it alone,
rather than being part of a group,
direct them to an island that has
small-scale hotels nestling around
bustling seaside resorts. With bars,
beaches, shops, restaurants and
nightlife on their doorstep they
can find company whenever the
mood takes them. Rodney Bay in
Saint Lucia is a prime example.
Here, the friendly, family-run
Bay Gardens Beach Resort,
used by Just You, is footsteps
from the town’s amenities. In
Barbados meanwhile, Holetown
and St Lawrence Gap encourage
holidaymakers to mix and mingle
with each other, and locals. In St
Lawrence Gap, Time Out Hotel,
featured by Solos
Holidays, is at the
heart of the action,
while in fabulous
Holetown, The
Fairmont Royal
Pavilion, sold
by operators
including
Hayes & Jarvis,
will delight
those seeking
exclusivity and
luxury living.
Bay Gardens Beach
Resort, Saint Lucia
It’s also close to an upscale retail
mall and rustic-chic Chattel House
Shopping Village.
Negril in Jamaica is also ideal for
singles. At the plentiful, laid-back
beach bars and music spots, it’s
easy to strike up a conversation
with like-minded, independent folk
from across the globe. Legends
Beach Resort, sold through
Cosmos, is an ideal property to
suggest. It has both beachfront
and garden rooms, and the bar
and restaurant area that edges the
sand has the feel of a social club.
The Bahamian capital, Nassau,
is another tropical spot that works
well for solos. The country’s capital
is easy to explore on foot with
good shopping, sightseeing, bars
and restaurants and the possibility
to take day trips by ferry to the
islands. Atlantis Paradise Island
resort, sold through operators
such as Caribtours, makes a
good base as it attracts all ages
and types of traveller and has
amenities including shopping mall,
water park, beach and a dolphin
encounter facility.
Of course, solitude comes at
a price, with most properties
charging a single supplement. Not
so however at the BodyHoliday in
Saint Lucia. “It’s perfect for solo
travellers,” says David Pointer,
head of product at Western &
Oriental. “Single guests can get a
double bed – so no cramped single
rooms. Plus, it has a lively social
atmosphere with lots of included
activities from tai chi, yoga, Pilates
and meditation to land and
water sports including motorised
activities, so it’s a great chance to
meet other solo travellers.
“It’s also ideal for groups of
friends who want to each have their
own room, so a group can travel
together, but pay the same price as
they would if they shared rooms.” l Fun for Friends
Beyond the couples-only
properties, all-inclusives can be a
great option for groups of friends.
They’ll blend right in at familyorientated resorts, where most
guests are looking to hang out
exclusively with their clan.
▲
46 • travelweekly.co.uk — 4 December 2014
manager. “Our tour manager
will accompany our groups and
ensure that they see the best of
Saint Lucia. Included tours are on
set days but the rest of the time
is free for customers to decide
whether they would like to take an
excursion or relax. There’s also a
farewell beachside dinner for the
group on the last evening.”
4 December 2014 — travelweekly.co.uk • 47
03/12/2014 09:30
DESTINATIONS — CARIBBEAN
Sample
product
Viceroy Anguilla
Sunset Lounge
The 1,791-room Hard Rock Hotel
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic,
sold by Funway, offers excellent
facilities and non-stop action. It
boasts a huge beach, multiple
pools and restaurants, one of the
biggest casinos in the Caribbean
and a golf course. The rooms and
balconies are a generous size and
encourage private sunset cocktail
parties with your friends.
Aruba is another location
that should be a hit with parties
of pals. The High Rise resort
area, set on the quintessentially
Caribbean Palm Beach, has plenty
of volleyball nets and beach
bars. Behind the hotels the resort
centre has a village feel and as
well as the multiplex cinema,
night market and air-conditioned
shopping malls, clients will be
spoilt for choice by the selection
of courtyard restaurants, live
entertainment and nightclubs.
Thomson sells the all-inclusive
Riu Palace Aruba here. Those who enjoy watersports
would do well to opt for Grand
Cayman where crystal-clear seas
will wow snorkellers and divers.
Sunshine Suites, sold by Kuoni, is
across the road from the lengthy
and pristine Seven Mile Beach, as
well as being close to local bars
and restaurants and close to the
inviting capital George Town. The
accommodations are ideal for
friends with deluxe suites featuring
two queen beds and one-bedroom
suites sleeping three.
For the style-conscious with
cash to splash, suggest the villas
at Viceroy Anguilla, sold by ITC
Classics. With up to five bedrooms
and five and a half bathrooms,
there is plenty of room to spread
out, and with a private pool
they’ll get plenty of quality time
together. The resort also has
tennis courts, a swish spa and
spans two sensational beaches.
They don’t have to leave their
accommodation for nightlife
Solos Holidays offers 10 nights
in Barbados staying at the
Time Out Hotel in St Lawrence
Gap from £2,399 based on a
February 1 departure. The price
includes flights from Gatwick,
transfers and bed and breakfast
in a twin or double room for
single use and the services
of a Solos tour leader.
solosholidays.co.uk
Western & Oriental offers
seven nights’ all-inclusive at
the BodyHoliday in Saint Lucia
from £3,795. The price includes
a daily spa treatment, flights
and private transfers.
westernoriental.com
Caribtours offers seven nights’
room-only for one adult in a
Beach Tower Terrace Room
at Atlantis Paradise Island,
Bahamas, including flights
from £1,878, in September.
caribtours.co.uk
either. The swanky Sunset Lounge,
set above the ocean, plays host to
DJs and is the place to see and be
seen. TW
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