Saturday, 3 February 2018

Mauritius Images Part 2

Port Louis, Views from the Shrine ©Solange Hando

 Port Louis, the capital, has great views from the citadel or, as above from the quiet hillside shrine of Marie Reine de la Paix, closer to the peaks.

Umbrella Street in Port Louis ©Solange Hando

This is at the heart of the city, a lively shopping district near the Caudan waterfront and craft and food market. Umbrellas are for colour and shade.

Pamplemousse Garden ©Solange Hando

Close to the capital, this superb botanical garden displays 650 varieties of plants, including rare specimens, giant waterlilies, baobabs and 85 species of palms.

Lunch in Eureka ©Solange Hando

In this multicultural island, food ranges from Creole to French, Chinese, Indian and more. Look out for restored colonial mansions turned into restaurants, like this one just outside Port Louis.

The Coast North of Port Louis ©Solange Hando

Mauritius is a romantic place with honeymoon and wedding resorts but if you want to tie the knot in this little Church of Our Lady on the north coast, expect a long waiting list.

Love Flowers? Enjoy ©Solange Hando


Saturday, 20 January 2018

Images of Mauritius Part 1

Mauritius Beach, Bel Ombre ©Solange Hando

Quiet coves or long stretches of white sands, clear warm waters protected by the coral reef, Mauritius is perfect for beach lovers with superb resorts lapped by the Indian Ocean.

Black River Gorges National Park ©Solange Hando

Down in the south west, a scenic drive from some of the most popular resorts, the park offers 50 km of trails where the more adventurous can watch exotic birds, including pink pigeons and waterfalls.

Chamarel Coloured Earth ©Solange Hando

This is a top attraction in Mauritius created by lava rocks which cooled at different temperatures. It does not not erode and should you mix the colours, they will separate again within a day.  

The North Coast, Cap Malheureux ©Solange Hando

Beyond the bustling Grand Baie resort, this is the most northerly tip of the island, a quiet place with some lovely coves looking out to the islands.

The National Flower ©Solange Hando

Growing on a bush endemic to the island, it is commonly known as the 'earring', just one of many exotic flowers adding myriad colours to Mauritius.

Sunset on the Indian Ocean, Mauritius ©Solange Hando

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Images of Provence Luberon

Gordes in Luberon, Provence ©Solange Hando

At the heart of Provence, Luberon is a scenic land of fertile valleys and hill top villages framed by mountains and tumbling streams.
Several villages, including Gordes, are listed among the most beautiful in France, in a region made famous by expat Peter Mayle, author of 'A year in Provence' and its sequels. 

Shepherd's Hut, Luberon ©Solange Hando

Known as 'bories', these traditional dry stone huts are still found on mountain slopes. Once used by shepherds, now they can offer a welcome shade to walkers on a hot day.
Not far from Gordes in the Apt region, the restored Bories Village is a historic monument, an inspiring place where the local architecture is sprinkled among the holm oak trees.

Fontaine de Vaucluse in Provence ©Solange Hando

Fontaine de Vaucluse is one of the most popular spots, a must see for its spectacular scenery and the river Sorgue, emerald green, lined with tempting restaurants on stilts and a working paper mill.
You can canoe on the Sorgue  and if you follow the path up the cliff, for 15 minutes or so, you reach the source of the river. There, you might witness the largest resurgence in Europe, most impressive after the rain.

Luberon Vineyards©Solange Hando

Driving across Luberon takes you past lush vineyards where one can often visit the cellars, taste and buy from the producer.
Red, rosé and white are all available, the perfect accompaniment to the tasty food of Provence, especially rich in tomatoes, olives and melons in Cavaillon.

L'Isle sur la Sorgue ©Solange Hando

Often called 'the little Venice', l'Isle sur la Sorgue is a delightful place laced by canals and tightly hugged by the river. There are lovely buildings and attractive lanes, flower-draped bridges and old waterwheels covered in moss. 
The town is known for its art studios, galleries and most of all its antique shops for which it comes second only to Paris in the whole of France.

View from Menerbes Hilltop Village in Provence, Luberon ©Solange Hando

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Love Travel, Want to Write

Festival in Bhutan ©Solange Hando

Top Tip
Forget the destination track
The tighter the focus, the more original the feature, the easier the sale
So what can you write about?

Culture and craft
Heritage, festivals, food and wine, embroidery, woodcarving, pottery, the list is endless...
Local travel
Steam train, river trip, rickshaws, bus journey, hot air balloon, donkey riding
Family fun, water sports, golf, cycling, paragliding, cooking, painting...
Conservation, eco-lodges, bird watching, trekking, saving turtles
Local people
Visit a school, talk to monks, meet a budding actor, a poet, a chef, a guide with an unusual story

Now what do you do with all these ideas?
Choose your favourites, do the research, take lots of pictures and find suitable markets
Where do you start?
On shelves and online, bear in mind weekly mags need a lot more copy than monthlies

Check out
Women's / Men's magazines
Publications for seniors, families, young adults, outdoor fans
Special interest, sports and hobbies magazines
Food and wine
Health / Spa / Body and Mind
Travel magazines
In-flight magazines

Study your chosen market
Length, style, format, fact box
 Pitch to the editor
Keep it brief and to the point

Would you like to know more?
Will guide you step by step on the road to success

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Lux Hotel on Reunion Island in Indian Ocean

Top Reunion Beach by Lux Hotel ©Solange Hando

A short flight from Mauritius, the French island of Reunion is an upcoming destination for scenery and beaches. The main resort is St Gilles on the west coast, just 50 minutes or so from the airport.

As you approach St Gilles, Lux greets you with the only five star resort on the island. This is located alongside the fine white sands of Hermitage, a coral-sheltered lagoon where you can watch whales in season, June to September.

Entrance to Lux Hotel ©Solange Hando

The Lux private drive leads you to a stylish reception building which feels almost like a mansion. Colonial architecture has pride of place across the site with guest rooms in whitewashed Creole villas set in seven hectares of tropical gardens.

Palm trees and casuarinas give a welcome shade while exotic flowers add a touch of colour in the greenery. It's a lovely place to stroll and watch the birds.

Deluxe Room, Lux Hotel Reunion ©Solange Hando

The 164 rooms range from superior on the ground-floor with patio to deluxe with balcony on the first floor and junior suites. Some superior rooms can be connected to accommodate families. Rooms are spacious and include all the amenities you would expect from a five star hotel, including free WiFi

Lux Pool ©Solange Hando

The swimming pool is the largest on the island, beautifully landscaped and framed by flowers and trees. Just for a change you can join a zen or yoga class in the garden or enjoy a spa ritual with in-room treatments on offer.

Poolside Traditional Stall ©Solange Hando

With its nostalgic retro-style, this is a popular place for ice-cream, dedicated to local flavours. Then besides bar and snacks, Lux  has three restaurants, most popular the open-sided Cuisine with its irresistible buffet and ocean views. For dinner at La Plage, it is best to book, especially if a conference is being hosted.

Sunset on Hermitage Beach, Reunion Island ©Solange Hando

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Tamassa Resort in Mauritius Bel Ombre

Tamassa Resort in Mauritius ©Solange Hando

This all inclusive resort is located in Bel Ombre in south west Mauritius. Stretching along the beach, it is an extensive place, vibrant around the bar area but with plenty of space to relax in peace and quiet. Top attractions are the four swimming pools set in tropical gardens close to the accommodation.

Restaurants include the vast buffet show room for breakfast and themed dinners, the Playa Beach and the casual Chef's Truck for gourmet burghers and other snacks lunch time. There is also an ice cream parlour, plus beach and in-room service.

Superior Room in Tamassa ©Solange Hando

Guest rooms are set in villas scattered across a wide area so be sure yo get your bearings right from the start. Accommodation ranges from standard to superior, beach and family rooms. 

Rooms are spacious, uncluttered and colourful, with balcony or patio. All amenities you would expect from a top resort are available, including bottled water and free WiFi. Superior rooms have excellent bathrooms with double washbasin, spacious walk-in shower, deep-soak bath tub and separate toilet.

Beach in Bel Ombre ©Solange Hando

White sands and palm trees, it's the idyllic holiday place with clear water protected by a the coral reef. Swim, snorkel, sail or take out a pedal boat, the ocean beckons if you can bear to leave your favourite pool.

Other activities include tennis, gym and giant chess. You can also hire bicycles or maybe book a tour or two to see the island's highlights. Highly recommended are the Black River Gorges and seven-coloured earth of Chamarel.

Tree of Peace ©Solange Hando

The Tamassa tree of peace is a serene place where guests can write a wish on a ribbon and hang it on the tree. On certain days there is a small singing bowl ceremony for blessings.
Next door is the spa which offers a range of personalised treatments, facials, scrub, massage, as well as yoga classes.

Also of special interest in Tamassa  is the vintage phone box near the reception where you can call home any time free of charge. Just check the initial numbers with the staff, always available and keen to help.

Sunset in Bel Ombre ©Solange Hando

Weddings, honeymoons, this is a romantic spot with superb sunsets for everyone.. Just get to the beach in good time for within minutes it will be gone

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Luxembourg Leweck Sport Hotel in the Ardennes

View of the Ardennes from Leweck Sport Hotel ©Solange Hando

The bucolic hills of the Ardennes cover the northern section of Luxembourg, all lush meadows and densely wooded slopes dotted with medieval castles.
There, in the high valley of the river Sûre, the Leweck hotel enjoys a quiet scenic location, looking across to the forlorn castle of Bourscheid .

Leweck Hotel in Luxembourg Ardennes ©Solange Hando

The Leweck has 51 well-appointed rooms ranging from standard and comfort to luxury, suites and family apartment.
Besides the bar, the gourmet restaurant and the new Cody's with its summer terrace and winter garden, there's a bright breakfast room with lovely views over the valley. 

Room at Leweck Sport Hotel ©Solange Hando

All rooms are spacious, colourful and comfortable, with minibar, safe and free WiFi. Furnishings are in quaint rustic style, with bright carpets and plenty of wood in keeping with the surroundings.
In case you wonder, the 'unmade bed' is not a work of art, just a last minute picture in a hurry.

A Place to Relax,  Leweck Hotel ©Solange Hando

In this rambling family hotel, you will find cosy corners where you can relax, meet friends or enjoy a pre-dinner drink.
Then should you feel like it, you could try the tepidarium, the in and outdoor pools and saunas, indulge yourself in the beauty farm or maybe watch a game or practise in the sports hall. 

Garden Pond ©Solange Hando

When you return to the Leweck Sport Hotel   after a day rambling in the hills or a spot of birdwatching, the garden is the perfect place to unwind among lawns, flowers and cool water features.