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Geneva

Not really sure why I was looking at Geneva but after having found flight for £100 for 2 people I booked it with easyJet. It was only for 1 night, so I went about finding a hotel. I found Hotel Lake Geneva and although it was in Versoix, about 15 minutes on the train from Geneva, and the train stopped just at the back of the hotel. Because it was just for 1 night a bit more money was spent and the room with a coffee machine and a lake/mountain view was booked. Got to say – totally worth it.

View from the hotel room
View from the hotel

Lake Geneva has to be one of the most picturesque places I have ever been. The hotel is a 3 star but way better than most of the 4 stars I have stayed in. The room was spacious and modern. The view was just perfect. The shower was hot and power. Just a really nice hotel. We ordered room service, something which I have never done, it was fairly quick and the food was great. Very expensive, but everywhere and everything is expensive. 

Geneva is a lovely city, with beautiful views of the river and lake, and history and architecture to match. It is quite flat and is easy to walk about, although it has a fantastic public transport system.

geneva
Geneva

 

We went on a little tour train that cost about 10 Swiss Francs each but we definitely wouldn’t have got around to seeing some of the sights without it.

Versoix was a lot smaller and quieter than Geneva and that meant you could meander around without the crowds. 

versoix
Versoix

It is definitely worth a visit, but be prepared to spend money, and the plugs aren’t the same as the 2 pin European ones, so check for adaptors before you come. Or like us, you will be wandering around a supermarket trying to find one.

One thing you do get for free is public transport. At the airport you get 80 minutes free from the time of your ticket to get to your destination, and your hotel will then give you a ticket for free public transport (within the zone 10 area in my case) for the duration of your stay. 

boats
Lake Geneva

I would love to go back and explore the places around the lake a bit more.

Things to note –

Currency: Swiss Francs

Plugs: 3 pin Swiss plugs, some European ones will fit, but only if you have a diamond shaped plug

Cost: Expensive

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Crete

So I was only going to do a few city holidays this year. But it turned out I can’t resist laying by a pool doing nothing, so I needed to find a cheap all inclusive hotel that would be warm in June. I turned my attention to the Greek islands and found a nice looking hotel, 4*, that was under £500. So I went to Chrissi Amoudia in Crete.

Chrissi Amoudia
Pool

Most of the rooms aren’t in the main hotel, they are little villas that make the complex appear to be a small Greek village and with plants all about it make it a very pleasant place to stay. I paid a little extra (£26) and got a room with a sea room. There was a small balcony, and the room was pleasant with a small bathroom just off the room. There was a fridge but no kettle, but I had seen this on the reviews so I bought a small travel kettle, cups and my own tea and coffee. 

The food was nice in the main restaurant. Freshly made pancakes were served at breakfast and other continental hot and cold food. With help yourself drinks, the way I like it. There was a balcony area that was undercover and gave stunning views of the sea, a great way to start your morning.

View of the restaurant
View from the restaurant

By the pool was a snack bar that opened about 10, where you could help yourself to drinks. From about 11 it started serving snacks. The pizza slices were so good. We ate there rather than going up to the main restaurant at lunch as they had pizza, chips, a pasta dish, a meat dish and soup with rolls, filled rolls and a small salad bar. In the afternoon they also served cake. There was ice cream available all day too, you just helped yourself.

The pool was large, although it was quite chilly. There was never a lack of sunbeds, as they use a large grass area around the pool to put the sunbeds on. 

The beach was about 10 minutes walk down a gentle slope. It was quite gravelly sand and the sea was quite rough. But it was a beautiful blue colour and nice to paddle in. There were water sports available if that was your thing. We also spotted a train that went on a little tour, although we never ventured on.

beach
Beach

Not gonna lie, I did miss the private pool I had the year before. But this was a very pleasant hotel, and the weather was brilliant.

 

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Portugal

I decided I wanted to go to Portugal, when I was looking for all inclusive holidays they weren’t cheap and I only went for 4 nights, and paid the same as I have for a week in other places.  This was the first time I actually organised and book the holiday myself. This was the first time I spend hours and hours looking into hotels, reading reviews and looking at pictures.

The hotel I stayed at was called Salgados Palm Village. I had a twin room, and I have to say it is still the nicest room I have stayed in. It had a separate living room area, and there was a little hallway between the bathroom and bedroom.

Portugal - Living room
Living Room

The balcony was the length of the the bedroom and the living room and you could access it from both rooms. The complex consisted of several blocks of rooms and as a result there was about 7 pools. Most were around the main area, but with a couple in between the buildings.

Portugal - poolside
Poolside

They weren’t really deep, this is a problem I get being so short, a deep pool means unless you are swimming, you need to stay need the edge. They were a pleasant temperature and because there was so many they were never crowded. 

There was 3 different restaurants, a main buffet one, an Italian one and a grill one. There was food available all day from at least one of these. The sauces were branded, and it was little things like this that made this hotel stand out for me. 

Portugal - Outside the restaurant
Outside the restaurant

There was a large grasses area with an outside gym and a play area.

It was about a 15-20 minute walk to the beach. The hotel did have a little train though. The beach was beautiful golden sand, but the sea being the Atlantic was chilly. But you would not fault it for the scenery and amazing sunsets.

Portugal beach
The beach
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Cyprus

So next I went to Cyprus. We had booked Tunisia but due to a horrific event we had to change 8 weeks before. So we ended up going to Cyprus. The hotel, Smartline Protaras, was pleasant but they seemed to not want to put their air conditioning on in the hotel, and it was close to 40 degrees. This made for unpleasant meal times and I pitied the poor staff who were running around to get drinks and clear tables. I wasn’t a fan of ordering your drinks after you sat down. A nice idea but as they came from the very busy bar I had eaten before I got a drink. I like to have something to eat with my food so this became frustrating for me.

There was a group of 12 of us and we were those people that got up at 6 to put our towels out. But we were not the first out there. 

Cyprus - pool bar
The Pool Bar

There were snacks during the day. They had to be ordered from the bar and I sat for a hour for a plate of chips that never came. It was a shame that they took so long as the food was amazing when it did eventually get out to you. The food at lunch and in the evenings was again very good. My nephew, who is fussy always found something he liked. 

There were a few shops and restaurants down from the hotel as you headed towards the small beach. 

Cyprus - poolside
Poolside

The beach was quite same, the sand was quite dark and I was surprised the sea wasn’t as clear and blue as I had seen in other part of the Mediterranean.

There was a bus stop just outside the hotel where you could catch a bus to the next town, you could also walk to it along a walkway adjacent to the beach. 

Smartline Protaras Hotel
The Hotel

It was pretty hot when we went, the car steering wheels were melting in the cities, and when our coach trip back to the airport had no air conditioning for a hour and a half journey it was pretty unpleasant. I did email our travel company about it but heard nothing back.

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Majorca

The first “sunny” holiday I went on was to Majorca. When we landed it was a little cloudier than I was anticipating. But not really knowing what to expect and being excited for my first All Inclusive holiday I ignored it. We stayed at Belvedere Hotel about 20 mins away from the airport. Our room was clean with a balcony where we could see the sea, see the hills, and watch the planes coming and going.

View from the balcony
View from the balcony

Within about 20 minutes of being there we decided to try out the snack bar by the pool. It was quick, efficient and with varied  choice of food that did change a bit each day. It served things like chips, burgers, hotdogs, chicken nuggets and toasties. In the afternoon there was also freshly cooked pizza from their pizza oven. It was amazing pizza. 

The food in the restaurant was nice, lots choice and there was served until quite late, which was great if like us you fancied a late evening snack.

The pool was freezing, and we stuck to the “hot tub”, they were warmer than the main pool, but far from hot.  The sea was much warmer.

Belvedere Hotel
Belvedere Hotel

The walk to the beach was down hill, and took about 10-15 minutes, and was effort on the way back. But the sea was warm, clean and inviting. The beach was beautiful and golden. It was close enough to plenty of shops if you wanted to explore. There was also a bus put on by the hotel that took you to Palma Nova, and also stopped by an aquarium. We went on this one day as it was raining, in Majorca, in August. 

Majorca Beach
Beach

I was also ill for a couple of days which didn’t make this the best first all inclusive holiday, but it was somewhere to start. The thing I learnt from this holiday was that the hotel is everything.