El Llorenç Parc de la Mar in Palma

New year, new hotels…


My inbox is full of exciting new hotel openings, from simple and rustic to sexy and smart. These are just three that have recently caught my eye…


El Llorenç Parc de la Mar, Palma, Mallorca

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A modern Moorish bedroom at El Llorenç Parc de la Mar

This place is promising to add something new to the island’s hotel scene when it opens (currently slated for June). The style is sleek and contemporary, but with nods to Mallorca’s Moorish past. Think Balinese day beds, a rooftop bar, the largest infinity pool in Palma and a stunning spa with treatment rooms and thermal swimming pool. It’s in the oldest neighbourhood in Palma and a mere totter from all the sights, bars and restaurants. I can feel a girls weekend coming on…

  • El Llorenç Parc de la Mar is due to open in June 2019. Double rooms start at around £212 per night. Visit www.elllorenc.com


Ikos Aria, Kos


A not-too-shabby bedroom view at Ikos Aria


A section of Kefalos beach is reserved for Ikos Aria guests

I generally hate all-inclusive hotels, but the five star Ikos Aria, the latest from the successful Ikos group, could tempt me. Their Dine Around concept (which applies at all their hotels) is genius and means that rather than feeling stuck like a prisoner in the hotel night after night, you can sample other restaurants all over the island.  Or, if you fancy staying put there are eight onsite eateries. You can choose from rooms or bungalow suites scattered through the gardens or by the sea. Branded drinks are included – just catch your waiter’s eye by the pool or on the beach and they will magically appear! Activities galore, both on land and in water, will keep every family member happy and there’s  a free kids club for 4-12 year olds (créche at extra charge from 4 months old) . Plus there’s a teens club – although I have never found one yet where my two are happy to hang out.

  • Ikos Aria is available to book now for stays from 15th May 2019. The hotel is offering 20% off for stays on 15th-27th October 2019 when booked before 28th February 2019 with rates starting from £145 (€164) per night, based on 2 people sharing a room. Visit www.ikos-aria.comIt’s worth searching for opening deals, too – eg. www.goingluxury.com who are offering five nights all inclusive, including flights from £649 per person.


Karpaha Sands, Sri Lanka

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Step straight from your tent on to the beach at Karpaha Sands

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The inviting looking pool at Karpatha Sands

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This unspoilt beach stretches for miles

The tiny Indian Ocean island of Sri Lanka is definitely having ‘a moment’.  It has a special place in my heart as Mr Gallivant and I got engaged on a cruise heading there, and bought the ‘Star Sapphire’ stone for my engagement ring on the island. I digress… The east coast is the place to go for amazing, unspoilt beaches (and if you like those, read my piece about Zanzibar here). I’m loving the look of this simple luxury tented hotel, which opened late last year –  the only one on a 12km stretch of golden sand. There are just 17 double and family tents, with open air showers, an infinity pool, a spa serving up Ayurvedic treatments and a restaurant serving up fish that you’ll see pulled from the sea by the local fisherman.

  • Rates at Karpaha Sands start at a bargain £89 per night for a double room, including breakfast, and from £138 per night for a room sleeping four. There are reductions for children under the age of 12 and under 3s go free. Visit www.karpahasands.com



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