Santa in the sun? Ciara McDonnell checks out the best deals.
Fancy hitting the beach this Christmas Day? It’s still possible! Here’s our rundown of the best holidays still on offer this year.
Tenerife is an ideal destination for those of us who want to forget about Christmas and soak up some sun for a week. TUI (formerly Falcon Holidays) have a great deal departing Cork on 24th of December for seven nights staying at the Catalonia Punta Del Rey in Las Caletillas. Located minutes walk from Tenerife’s famous black sand beaches, this all-inclusive resort is good value and great for families with a wide-ranging buffet restaurant, an Italian restaurant and a slightly more upmarket A La Carte eatery as well as snack bars which offer toasted sandwiches and hot dogs throughout the day. The pool is huge and there is an adults-only terrace complete with hot tubs hidden off the side for those looking for some quiet time. Rooms are spacious and have aircon and WIFI but we’d suggest upgrading to a premium room to avail of tea and coffee making facilities, which are quite essential to a happy holiday.
TUI flies to Tenerife from Cork on 24th December, staying at the 3 star Catalonia Punta Del Rey for seven days on an all-inclusive basis from €1,119pp.
Fuertaventura offers a relaxed but ultra swish festive option with a fabulous holiday from Sunway departing Cork on the 23rd of December. Hole up at the Sheraton Fuertaventura Beach Golf & Spa Resort and bask in serious luxury for the week. This resort caters to adults and kids alike, with an excellent kids club, playground, mini golf and a shuttle bus to a nearby golf course and shopping centre. The Thalassotherapy spa is a must visit – but without children, please. The huge benefit of this resort is in the fact that it is part of the Sheraton brand, so certain standards must be upheld, particularly the worldwide reputation of their very comfortable beds. There are multiple options for food throughout the resort, but as this is quite upmarket, men are required to wear long trousers for dinner, particularly at the fancy meal on Christmas Day. For families travelling, I’d highly recommend booking Prestige Family Rooms, which not only have sea views but also have interconnecting doors so that you can check on each other to your heart’s content. If you are looking for an all singing, all dancing holiday in luxury, then this is the one for you.
Sunway flies to Fuerteventura from Cork on 23rd of December to stay at the 5 star Sheraton Fuerteventura Beach Golf & Spa Resort for seven days from €1654 pp on a B&B basis with an option to upgrade to full board if you wish.
Costa Del Sol
With a temperate climate during winter months, the Costa Del Sol is a fabulous location to spend the festivities this year. Nerja is a long-time favourite amongst Irish holidaymakers and TUI have a holiday departing Cork on 22nd of December to stay at the Hotel Nerja Club. Ideal for adults looking to get away from it all over Christmas this resort is quiet and ultra calm with a great on-site spa and a very relaxed pool area. The pool and terrace area overlooks the nearby blue flag beach, which is an easy 15-minute stroll downhill. Nerja town is a twenty-minute walk away but there are a handful of shops, bars and restaurants located minutes away from the resort.
The package on offer is half board, and meals are served buffet style in the main restaurant. They are hosting a gala dinner on Christmas Day, so bring your fancy outfit to wear to dinner after a day’s sunbathing.
TUI flies to Costa Del Sol on 22nd December, staying at the 3-star Hotel Nerja Club for seven days on a half board basis from €809pp.
Sunsearchholidays.ie have some fabulous Christmas holiday offers in the Costa Del Sol. Flying out on December 22rd, families can holiday at the 4-star Sunset Beach Club in Belamadena. The resort overlooks the beach and is minutes walk away from shops, cafes and restaurants. This self-catering holiday will suit families who need to maintain some level of normality while in holiday mode and provide an atmosphere that Santa can arrive in without hassle. There are a huge amount of activities on offer, from the 35-metre football pitch to table tennis and bowling in the on-site bowling alley. Golfers will love that the resort has its own golf desk and is located close to the exclusive golf courses of El Paraiso, and Atalaya, as well as multiple courses within a 10-minute drive. In high season Sunset Beach operates six bars and restaurants, but during less busy times of the year, this varies. Nevertheless, the food on offer is varied and kids are catered to with separate children’s menus in all outlets.
Sunsearchholidays.ie flies from Cork to Costa Del Sol on 22nd December, staying at the 4-star Sunset Beach Club in Belamadena for seven nights. This self-catering holiday costs €1519 in total for 2 adults and 2 children.
Indulge your inner royal with a visit to Sandos Papagayo Resort with Sunway this Christmas. This all-inclusive resort enjoys a super beachfront position in Lanzarote’s Playa Blanca and is a really popular resort with families. All-inclusive holidays can sometimes pose a worry if you like variety when it comes to mealtimes, but this place has it covered with a pizzeria, Mexican and Asian restaurants as well as the standard buffet offering. The package includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks as well as drinks throughout the day. We’d recommend upgrading to the Royal Elite Service, which involves a room with a guaranteed sea view, breakfast in a private restaurant, access to the Royal Elite lounge, chill out terrace, pool towels in the room, mini bar with water and soft drinks on arrival, tea and coffee service and a kettle. For the notion of a quiet breakfast alone, we think it’s worth it, but drinks and tea and coffee facilities in the room will make your life easier.
Sunway depart Cork for Lanzarote on 23rd of December to stay at the 4 star Sandos Papagayo Resort for seven nights on an all-inclusive basis from €1585pp.
The best of the rest
Skip off to Gran Canaria with Sunsearchholidays.ie and stay at the recently renovated and very fabulous Labranda Playa Bonita. Lots of resorts that are receiving revamps lately seem to be going for a clean, minimalist feel, and we applaud this move. The Labranda Playa Bonita is light, bright and super clean, with satellite televisions and in-room hairdryers (most important). Rooms are spacious and accommodate families very well. The terraces and balconies are all well appointed and are an ideal spot to take some quiet time out. Children are super welcome here and there’s an onsite playground and kids club as well as children’s pool and lots of daily and evening entertainment. This holiday is all-inclusive, and the main meals are all served in the main restaurant on site. While the choice on offer is good and varied, be aware that certain items on the menu may be subject to a supplementary charge, and while drinks are included, some alcoholic drinks do cost extra.
Sunsearchholidays.ie fly from Cork to Gran Canaria on 22nd December to stay at the four-star Labranda Playa Bonita for seven nights on an all-inclusive basis from €1199pp.
Loveholidays.ie are featuring a holiday at the Elba Estepona Gran Hotel & Thalasso Spa in Estepona on the Costa Del Sol this Christmas, and it is ideal for couples who want to make this festive season the most romantic one yet. This charming hotel overlooks the beach in the quiet town of Estepona. Guest rooms are super luxurious. The hotel has an excellent spa, which is well worth a visit, and features manicured gardens, which lead out to the quiet beach in front of the property. Even though the hotel is all-inclusive, it doesn’t have the sometimes-manic atmosphere that some of its counterparts have – this is intimate service on a luxury scale. Their food offering is fabulous and even includes a Champagne breakfast, for those who want to start the day right, but we would ensure that we have the All Inclusive Plus level, because you are going to want to try absolutely everything that is on offer here. Loveholidays.ie fly from Cork to Costa Del Sol, staying at the 5 star Elba Estepona Gran Hotel & Thalasso Spa on 22nd December for seven nights on an all-inclusive basis from €1395 pp.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved