We are extremely happy to announce that Worldwide Holidays has recently won the TTA Member of the Year award 2011 at the recent Strength & Vision conference held by the TTA in Barcelona. The award recognises Worldwide Holidays as a TTA member that has demonstrated great strength and vision not only this year, but for many years. Since founding the company in 1996 we have taken pride in ensuring our clients receive the absolute best customer service and protection for their exciting holiday experience. The Travel Trust Association (TTA) offers us the ability to ensure the best consumer protection system the market has to offer. We maintain our excellent relationship with the TTA to offer with 100 percent financial protection.
Our award recognises our innovative ideas, quality of service, and first class customer service. Our passionate staff are always on hand to offer our clients the holiday experience of a lifetime. The award presented by TTA managing director Gary Lewis read:-
Since joining our network in 1996 their business has truly gone from strength to strength.
Through all their marketing they demonstrate an absolute passion for travel – from their use of publishing staff journals which provide reports on their own personal travel experiences, through to their inclusion of climate care into their business, highlighting their support of responsible travel.
The business was founded by their Managing Director, Helen Baillie, after visiting the vibrant, historical country of Cuba and realised it was deserving of a holiday company that understood what made it unique. Since then, Helen says: “Her business has built us a very loyal client base, who value our expertise and personal knowledge.”
Their innovative use of blogging, facebook and mobile apps also demonstrates their vision in harnessing new trends and technologies.
At Worldwide Holidays we look forward to sharing our strength and vision into 2012 where we plan to share our passion in our specialist destinations to provide our clients with the absolute best holiday experience. I would like to thank all our clients who have booked with us over the years and have helped us to achieve this fantastic award. We couldn’t have done it without you!
Award winners – Fiona Urquhart and Helen Baillie of Worldwide Holidays
I have just come back from the most amazing private villa in Marrakech – just 20 minutes from the airport which is only 3 hours from London, this idyllic location offers the perfect retreat.
To celebrate special birthdays, family events, friends or family special holidays this is the perfect place. With the warm climate this villa is set in the north of the city, where the King’s Mother has a villa! Quiet and secluded and the ultimate service to make your stay utterly perfect.
With 7 beautiful bedrooms in the main villa this is a group destination. There is also a smaller separate villa which sleeps 2-4 persons - perfect for honeymoons. The day starts with relaxed breakfast on the terrace where the days spas treatments can be planned (all included) ‘shall I have my massage round the pool or in the spa, and before for after the Hamman?’ One the days difficult decisions!
Then one can either, relax by the pool, go to the gym, play pad tennis before a delicious lunch served on the terrace – afternoons can offer be relaxing or even a trip in the city with the guide for some shopping or play golf nearby. Maria, the lovely housekeeper, took my children has a camel ride in the afternoon, which they loved.
If you have longer than a few days you may like to do an excursion to the Atlas Mountains or Essaouira on the coast, only 2 hours away. Essaouira is a trendy city with a huge beach and almost a mini Marrakech medina town and a morrish port to explore. This city is famous for the artists who have flocked to this area – I also lovely the excellent fish restaurants and many activities available on the beach in the sand dunes such as quad biking.
All with the thought of returning to pure luxury and of the villa and superb dinner and an evening of music in the berbe tent around the pool or cosy round the fires to try the shisha pipes!
Really a special place I would really recommend for a special escape with family & friends. Read more about the Villa Ezzahra.
Just returned form my fantastic trip in Marrakesh, Morocco what a fantastic destination just over 3 hours away and a completely different climate and culture.
In a warm temperate climate, we explored the old city within the Medina walls and also the new city, which is well worth a visit. We found the mornings quiet and great time to explore and streets get busier and busier through the late morning and into the evening
Having one of our expert guides for a city tour really helped to explain the history and culture which made sense of the city
Although I dressed with consideration for the Muslim culture you could see many tourists don’t and apart from the interesting street banter from the street sellers, which is all very good natured, we didn’t get hassled.
I visited many amazing Riads, A riad being a traditional house set around a courtyard, which is an old design that keeps the inner part of the house cool and quiet, even the roof terraces are a quiet place to relax.
There are so many special Riads within the medina wall, too many to list but some of my favorite include Angsna Si Said, La Sultana, Les Jardins de la Medina, Riad Kniza and the amazing La Arabe which is not only walking distance to the main square but has the most beautiful Spa and Hamann. A treatment at a Hamann is an absolute must when you visit Marrakesh- a weekly event to all locals, as not only a cleansing session but local ‘gossip’ session- many arranged marriages are ‘born’ here!
You will not only feel completely relaxed and cleansed but totally invigorated.
I was lucky enough to eat at Marrakeshs’ best restaurant Dar Yacout which is a beautiful setting and fantastic food- a set menu including traditional Tagine dishes
Morocco has so much more to offer than just Marrakesh, the Atlas mountains are known for trekking and walking, I also visited Essaouira, 2 hours to the west on the Atlantic coast, huge wide long beach with many kite surfers, wind surfers, dune buggy and camel riding activities on offer, with a mini Marrakesh-like city set in the old medina walls, there is a Morrish fort to explore and I found this area to be a fantastic location for another few days, so much to see and do including visiting where the argon oil is made. This is great to escape to when Marrakesh gets too hot or for more of an active time especially with children (Sofitel has a children’s club), fabulous hotels here incl Heure Bleue, Riad Mumtazmahal, this is a new Riad which is newly created in the traditional opulent style and the more modern Sofitel hotel which offers the benefits of a larger hotel with a big swimming pool and spa but still sympathetic to the Moroccan style.
Essaouira is famous for its Fish, Seafood, beach and Argon oil.
A few hours north an ultimate relaxation, near to Casablanca on a lagoon by 2 headlands is La Sultana Oualidia which is a very special kind of retreat, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels in the World group, this hotel offers a perfect romantic retreat, with its sandbanks, oyster beds and salt water marshes in the lagoon it offers calm waters joining the 45meter infinity pool, a perfect romantic break or Honeymoon destination.
I didn’t manage to visit Fez on this trip, but Moreno our Senior specialist with 8 years experience selling Morocco, knows this area, I’m excited he’s brought this destination to us and look forward to sharing it with our clients.
This September I will be following up with another cycle challenge following last years Irish Charity Cycle challenge. This year I will be taking part in the Cahors Challenge with my team mates cycling 500 miles in relay from St Malo to Cahors in the Midi region of south western France. Over £3,600 was raised last year for charity and I hope we can beat that record this year. 100% of our teams’ sponsorship will go to worthy causes and is divided up as follows:
25% will be donated to the Arthritis Research Campaign (arc), one of the UK’s leading arthritis research organisations. Jacqui’s father recently died after suffering with crippling rheumatoid and arthritis and Lupus for many years and Jacqui would like for some of our sponsorship to go towards helping to find a cure for these degenerative diseases.
25% will be donated to Friends of Forest Holme, which is an independent charity dedicated to raising funds for Forest Holme hospice and specialist palliative care unit in Poole. One of our dear friends is suffering with terminal cancer and Forest Holme have provided her with amazing care at this difficult time.
Your support is greatly appreciated and we have set up a Just Giving account for sponsorship. We start our 2011 challenge on 29th September under the historic walls of the maritime city of St Malo. We will cycle from Brittany into Normandy and head south over the Loire to spend the first night in Saumur. Then, following river valleys that climb into the foothills of the Massif Central, we will spend the second night on the outskirts of the city of Limoges. We will ride south towards the headwaters of the Dordogne on day three and the Challenge finish line is the 14th century medieval bridge over the river Lot at Cahors.
To sponsor my team please visit our Just Giving account at http://www.justgiving.com/2011CahorsChallenge.
Lonely Planet have put together a great article on the top 10 volcanic experiences in Ecuador. At number 1 they list Quito a city which is ideally situated for exploring the highlights of Ecuador, the city is currently located by an active volcano. Taking the tram up to 4000 meters you can be sure to spot some fascinating views.
Number 2 – Cotopaxi
Located in the Andes, the Cotopaxi volcano rises to a height of 19,347 feet above sea level. The Cotopaxi, which means “neck of the moon”, is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. With the last recorded eruption occurring as far back as 1904 the mountains are now very popular with climbers. Climbing the mountain takes about 6-7 hours and an incredible view can be enjoyed for those who manage to get to the top.
Number 3 – Salvador island’s lava fields
This location takes you to the Galapagos Salvador Island where you can find age-old lava crusted into shallow pools, caves and geological swirls. Stunning creatures like the lightfoot crabs populate the pools adding vibrant colour to the landscape.
Number 4 – Hot springs at Baños
Thermal pools in the jungle, Baños is the perfectly location to visit bathhouses to soothe in the most fresh health giving materials.
Number 5 - Quilotoa crater lake
Explore a bottomless crater as you look down from the watch tower or walk around the crater which is 6 hours walk in total. Canoe’s can be hired to explore the mouth of the volcano.
Our specialist for Madagascar, Moreno Intranova who has recently returned from a fantastic trip to Northern Madagascar has been featured in the first Madagascar Tourist Board newsletter. The newsletter included an extract from Moreno’s Worldwide Holidays team journal which said:
“I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Madagascar. They told me it was unique. It was just that! I found it most rewarding, interesting and the people were very friendly. My highlights were definitely meeting the lemurs, the beaches of Nosy Be Islands and also meeting the local people in their villages and learning more about their culture and way of life.”
More information on the office of Madagascar tourism can be found at www.madagascar-tourisme.com
Moreno thoroughly enjoyed his trip to Madagascar. Whether you are after beautiful beaches, national parks or a combination of Madagascar’s highlights our Madagascar specialist can help put together the perfect itinerary for you. Our latest Madagascar brochure can be requested anytime from our website.
Yesterday the BBC reported that the jungles of northern Mullaitivu will be converted from a war-zone into a wildlife conservation for an array of animals including Sri Lankan elephants. The area which is now being turned into a park is expected to open next year according to the Sri Lankan government which is great news for the environment as de-forestation?in the area was destroying some natural habitats of Sri Lanka’s exotic wildlife and species.
Sri Lanka’s mixture of culture, history and wildlife together with the local’s natural friendliness, make it one of the most special holiday destinations in the world. From white water rafting, trekking to the relaxing treatments of Ayurveda, you can be sure to find something of interest in this unique country.
If you would like to get some more information on Sri Lanka – why not request our e-brochure? Just let us know your name, phone number and email address and we will send our Sri Lanka brochure to you via email usually within 15 minutes. Our brochure contains details about locations, hotels and facts about Sri Lanka. Should you have an questions our travel expert, Moreno will be sure to help. Moreno can be contacted at: email@example.com
We would like to wish Sam lots of luck with her studies. Sam is now studying to be a Midwife at Bournemouth University – although we are very sad to lose her, we are pleased she will still be working with us on a part time basis. Sam has so much experience and knowledge in the areas where she specialized and we are really pleased she will be able to use this while she is studying. Good luck Sam!
Sam at the Anjajavy Oasis in Madagascar
Worldwide Holidays Managing Director, Helen Baillie will soon be travelling to Barney Castle in Ireland to take part in the 2010 Irish cycle challenge for charity. Helen’s group will be cycling for the Weldmar Hospicecare Trust www.weld-hospice.org.uk an independent charity based in Dorchester and ‘Kick Asthma for Kids ‘ www.asthma.org.uk which allows children to experience in a controlled environment an outward bound holiday of a life time.
We’ll be keeping an eye on Helen’s progress as she updates us from Ireland. If you want to keep up with the groups progress check back throughout the next few days on this blog or follow us on Twitter (www.twitter.com/wwholidays) for updates!
You may also want to sponsor the team at: http://www.justgiving.com/
Here is Helen’s first update as she prepares to leave. Good luck Helen!
“Well the last spinning session before the Irish charity Ride starts – We are leaving tomorrow for the ferry to Ireland and start cycling from the Blarney Stone at 7am Thursday should arrive in Dublin some 500 miles later on Saturday!
Will update our progress….. feel free to sponsor if you haven’t already!”
Update 2 – Friday 1st October
Ireland is sooooo beautiful. Having a great time, such good team spirit & support . First day very hard 170 miles after ferry in late. Today only rain this morning – now blue sky and amazing Atlantic coastline.
Update 3 – Saturday 2nd October
Ride of my life – yesterday along the Atlantic coast to Galway 17.6 average lovely – 6.30 am start and heavy rain – what a great term our girls teams are. Dublin here we come 193 miles time…..
We are very excited to have the magnificent Tall ship the Star Clipper sailing along the coast of Costa Rica this winter – it will be an amazing relaxing way to visit Costa Rica and the neighboring countries and within Costa Rica explore national parks not accessible by road.
It was my task to go and check-out the ship, such a hard job! So, we headed of for a short cruise. I love sailing so was very excited. We set sail out of Athens port to the sounds of ‘Vangelis’ playing and the crew on deck ready to host the sails in the evening breeze, very dreamy.
The ship is very comfortable, I found the cabin spacious and loved the outside space where there are so many place to find a nice stop to sit and enjoy the fresh air. With 2 swimming pools on board and plenty of sun loungers, lots of opportunity to relax. Also there are sailing dinghies and ribs for watersports once at anchor, including waterskiing. I climbed the mast (well up to the first crows nest – that was high enough!) with the safety lines and watchful eyes of the great entertainments team – who later produced a very funny fashion show of the ships clothes in a force 8!
The ship offers a perfect holiday, cruising along beautiful coastlines – while enjoying the relaxing atmosphere through the lunch and dinner, then visiting the different national parks and places of interest each day. On the shore trips you can relax on the beach or venture further and experience more the amazing countries you visit.
I thought this would be a perfect family holiday too, plenty for everyone.
I can’t wait to go again…..