Luxury Treat At Thorpe Park Hotel

I have had the delight of visiting Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa before but it had been quite a few years ago. The quality was top notch then and today, its consistency in style and treatment is still as wonderful, if not better! Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa is in Colton, Leeds, just off the A1 so it is conveniently located, with Leeds and York being in reasoable driving idstance for day trips. It is a beautiful hotel, stylish, modern, impeccable service with lots of reasons to stay. In fact, Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa are nominated in the World Luxury Spa Awards and after experiencing the spa to its full potential, I can easily see why. For my little pre-birthday treat, myself and my best friend Janine decided to take full advantage of what Thorpe Park Hotel has to offer!

The Hotel & Where To Relax

Before or after your spa day, you can have a cup of tea, afternoon tea, light lunch or a quick coffee break in one of their lovely sitting areas. Overlook the pool with an afternoon tea, or perhaps have a light lunch in this outdoor inspired courtyard sitting area, it's so lovely and airy in there! Lunches are available, and it would also make a brilliant place to bring a work colleague or have a quiet meeting, as the environment is incredibly chilled out whilst still keeping a chic vibe!




The Treatments

There is a huge list of treatments up in the spa. Check in to the spa is easy, you're given a lovely robe and slippers, and a wrist band that gives you access to your locker. We headed up for a taster session; we both opted for neck, shoulder and back massage, the treatment was 25 minutes long. You can pick and choose, and the list is endless, including beauty treatments which I was highly impressed with, and would definitely try out second time around! A pedicure would be heavenly!

The relaxation lounge can be taken full advantage of before and after your treatments, with hot herbal teas on tap and little snacks as well as magazines and lounges, chairs which are perfect for stretching out on, or even a nap, which is definitely what we felt like doing. The lady who did my massage was lovely, worked on the areas of my shoulders that were incredibly tight and knotty, and the environment was lovely and quiet, with a choice of two beautiful oils - I picked the fitness oil, perfect for tired muscles. I then retreated to this quiet corner with a herbal tea and chats with my best friend; it was an easy, relaxing experience.










The Pool Area

I've always been in love with the pool here. It has a beautiful Grecian feel, with tiles and ornaments, it is relaxing, clean and easy to get around. There is a pool, jacuzzi, steam room and sauna, including a lot of little areas to relax, nap or even work. It would have been a brilliant place for me to set up office for the afternoon. The sauna is a great way to start out to relax those muscles and a good way to end your spa trip too. The steam room is lovely, very hot and definitely clears your head and sinuses. The jacuzzi is very warm but not too overpowering with the bubbles - a great place to have a good girly chat! The details of the pool area are exactly what I love in a spa, miminal but classic.





You can easily spend a full afternoon alternating from pool to jacuzzi and then another stint in the steam room, all with a glass of prosecco or coffee - whatever takes your fancy, drinks are on tap! Saunas and steam rooms are renowned for being good for aching msucles and good for your circulation. Thorpe Park Spa is such a relaxing environment for seasoned spa goers or people who like to take things a little slower paced. There's no pressure, and the changing rooms have good facilities, with little areas to redo your hair and make up (a must after a spa trip), and good amenities.

This was a lovely day, and would be a wonderful treat for someone's birthday, to allow them to step out of their busy lives, and enjoy a little bit of luxury! I know it was truly a relaxing experience to remember, you could even kick it up a notch with an evening meal and overnight stay, where the pool facilites are complimentary.

If you would like to vote for Thorpe Park Spa in this year's award, then you can click here and support them!

Click here to explore what Thorpe Park has to offer!
Follow Thorpe Park Hotel on Instagram here.

*My experience was kindly provided complimentary by Thorpe Park but all opinions are my own

Ultimate Corfu Guide

After a very succesful trip to Athens, using my Marco Polo Guide last year, I thought it was time to see how helpful their Corfu guide would be to a first timer in the city! Needless to say, this little pocketsize bible would be perfect for the ultimate travel companion if you're heading to this luscious island anytime soon!



Corfu is definitely a dream destination for anytime of year, although during autumn, winter, it does tend to close up for the year, and reopen in the spring time. Flights can be a little cheaper before June/July for a spring getaway and I think it's definitely worth seeing it when it's not completely overtaken by tourists!



Transport

Getting around Corfu has its benefits, it's usually very easy, although hiring a car can be the most beneficial way of seeing the island at your own leisure. Be sure to consult maps for parking arrangements before you go but you should be able to pick your car up at the airport and get exploring! Bicycles and motorscooters can also be rented because it's a very convenient way to get around! If you prefer to take the bus, be sure to make sure you know the times, by asking, as they can change often, but it is a cheap and cheerful way to get around from old town to the beach. Of course you can also take luxury to the next level and hire a yacht to sail around in, indulging in good food and of course, beautiful sunsets.

Hotels 

If you're looking for luxury then Corfu is the palce to be. There are beautiful hotels in the area, and some of the popular ones are the incredible:

  • Corfu Palace Hotel 5*****
  • Corfu Imperial Grecotel Exclusive Resort 5*****
  • Marbella Corfu 5*****
You could also look at hiring a villa, there are plenty of beautiful villas to rent in Corfu which is ideal if you're with friends or a bigger group, you can enjoy a private pool and places to cook outdoors, and enjoy the sunshine. Grab a drink and then go off to explore! 





What To Do

Old Town Corfu is particularly popular with the sightseeing tourists, who would love to capture a bit of the culture as well as soaking up the beautiful coastline. It is unbelievably quirky and beautiful in the Old Town, and you do not need a map, have a little explore on foot, like most parts of Greece, the more you see on foot the better, especially to reach those beautiful high points for Instagrammable views. Views of the sea are beautiful, but well worth it, if you're looking to soak up some Greek culture and history.

There are outdoor activities, from hiking and a scuba centre, where you can hire equipment and go scuba diving in the crystal seas. For the more low key tourist, who isn’t so hyped for energetic water sports, the island boasts many museums, such as the Andivouniotissa Museum, which is €4 entry and open Tues-Sun 8:00am until 2:45pm; and there are plenty of other choices with a multitude of different cultures to learn about; with Corfu’s rich history and ties to Italy and France. In my Marco Polo Guide, I was able to pinpoint some of the best discovery tours in the area, there are plenty of walking tours, and of course you should look at Pantokrator, and the surrounding villages, and if you're looking for a little midweek adventure, you can head to the port and take a boat trip to Albania! My Marco Polo guide suggests it's definitely a full day trip.







Other attractions includ the Byzantine Museum, British Cemetery, Archeological Museum and of course, whilst you're there, you have to soak up a little bit of the shopping scene! In the old town you can find traditional gems, clothing and things for your home, including token presents. Don't forget to take home some of the incredible Olive Oil! It's lovely to stroll around and you'll be sure to find something of interest. Marco Polo also have an extensive map of the island to refer to which is so helpful if you find yourself off the beaten track! Take advantage also of Corfu's beautiful beaches, but top up your sunscreen as the summer months are likely to get very hot, and I always forget to top up and get horribly burnt! Not fun! 

Where To Eat

You will never go hungry in Corfu. Plenty of taverns but some top picks are Avli Restaurant, Taverna Bikolis and if you want to splash out a little on a special holiday meal, then the luxurious “The Venetian Well” is surely a good place to start, but looking at my guide, it gives me in depth info of restaurant etiquette and what is good to eat and a list of Greek food dishes to try! Needless to say, I'm a huge fan of Spanokopita so I always eat endless amounts of then when in Greece! 

Generally the Greeks are outspoken, friendly, family-orientated people. Will be there to help, and most often than not can speak standard English. You'll find in Corfu that English is widely spoken due to the heavy tourism but if you fancy speaking a little Greek then you should! "Kalimera" means good day and is a nice way to introduce yourself - it's a little bit of fun trying to speak some choice Greek phrases, and Marco Polo have pages of phrases in Greek including the Greek alphabet just in case you come across something you're not sure of! It can be tricky but generally fun!
Thank you Marco Polo for this wonderful guide that will sure be of help to anyone heading to Corfu. Not only that, but they have guides for just about everywhere in the world, and here's how we are going to celebrate!!!

WIN

Head on over to my Instagram page here to find out how THREE LUCKY PEOPLE can WIN Marco Polo Guides!!!!!!

*This is a collaborative post but all thoughts and opinions are my own

East Asia Travel Tips & Ideas

East Asia is packed full of cultural highlights, wonderful food and some of the best scenery you’ll find anywhere in the world. If this is a part of the planet that you haven’t got round to exploring in much depth yet, that’s something you should aim to change as soon as possible. The sooner you get to grips with everything East Asia has to offer, the sooner you’ll fall in love with it. But before you rush off, here are some travel tips you’ll want to be aware of.


Photo Courtesy: Pixabay
Budget and Spend Carefully
A lot of the essentials in this part of the world are very affordable, so there’s no need to spend very much money. However, you will have to be very careful because tourists are often the main targets of scammers and thieves. Be sure to know some of the ways in which you can be conned. For example, agree a price with your taxi driver before you set off because that’s one way they get you. Budget everything and don’t fall into these kinds of traps.
As Well as China, Explore Macau and Hong Kong
China is the first country that comes to mind when you think of places to travel to in East Asia. However, there are a few interesting locations around China that are technically autonomous from China itself. Macau is one such example; it’s a former Portuguese colony with a fascinating cultural mix on display. The JW Marriott Hotel Macau is one of its finest hotels for first time visitors. Then there’s Hong Kong; a huge metropolis with a mythos entirely its own. Both are worth a visit.
Be Sure to Take the Weather Into Account
The weather conditions can vary wildly at different times of the year, and this is something that you should take into account before you plan your trip to East Asia. You don’t want to be caught in monsoons and storms. Research the weather in the locations you want to head to and see what the best time to visit is.
Sample the Street Food
Street food is a huge part of what East Asia can offer. As long as you make sure that you only eat the food that you see being made fresh in front of you, it’s perfectly safe to eat. There is all kinds of stuff on offer, so be sure to give it a try. Don’t stick to the fast food chains that they have all over the world.
Make the Most of What Nature Has to Offer
There are some stunning natural landscapes in East Asia, so don’t spend all your time looking around the admittedly captivating cities that this part of the world has to offer. Whether it’s Halong Bay in Vietnam or Stone Forest in China, you shouldn’t miss out on the natural side of East Asia when you visit the region.
Traveling East Asia is something you certainly won’t forget, so start making plans right away. You  I won’t regret it. However, don’t forget to make the most of the things that have been covered here because they’ll make your trip much more enjoyable and varied.