For clients in need of a warm winter break, look to the Caribbean or the Canary Islands
With dark nights looming, temperatures dropping and travel restrictions eased, clients might be looking to get away from it all with a winter-sun jaunt in the coming months.
And if the idea of retreating to a warm, sunny island appeals, there are two obvious options – the Canaries or the Caribbean. We’ve pitted the two regions against each other and offered options for every area of interest, from wellness to adventure, romance to culture, to help you sell a sunny break in the coming season to clients of every kind.
Best for… wellness
The Canaries: If the stresses of the past year-and-a-half have led clients to crave a spa break in the sun, look to Lanzarote’s H10 Rubicon Palace, says Ricky Wason, head of product and purchasing at Olympic Holidays.
“This iconic five-star resort boasts a fantastic location on Playa Blanca’s seafront and offers an impressive range of treatments and facilities at its Despacio Thalasso Centre,” he says. “They include a seawater pool, aqua massage beds, water-mist booth and terrace with Balinese beds, plus a Jacuzzi, sauna and Turkish bath.”
Beyond the spa there are 13 eateries and bars, multiple pools and several kids’ clubs, making it a hit with spa-seeking families as well as couples.
Book it: Seven nights’ B&B costs from £610, including flights from Luton on December 11.
The Caribbean: For an all-out, exclusive wellness Como Parrot Cay, Turks retreat on Caribbean shores, Elegant Resorts suggests Como Parrot Cay, set on its own private island in the Turks & Caicos and offering holistic treatments from its Shambhala Retreat to its health-focused menus.
“This was one of the original wellness resorts, long before wellness became a buzzword,” says product manager Caroline Beckett. “It isn’t just a spa in a hotel – it’s an immersive wellness experience, focused on yoga, Pilates and overall wellbeing.”
Book it: A week in a Garden View Room costs from £6,250, including breakfast, transfers and flights.
Best for… active adventures
The Canaries: For an active escape, Tenerife is an excellent bet, with the soaring Mount Teide providing a challenge for the daring and trails offering adventures against Jurassic Park-esque backdrops.
Inntravel has a self-guided walking tour taking in the best of it, from cactus terraces and pine forests to wineries and villages, with the chance to summit Spain’s highest peak at the end.
Book it: Inntravel’s seven-night To the Top of Spain trip costs from £835, including B&B accommodation, some meals, luggage transfers and maps.
The Caribbean: From Nevis Peak to Saint Lucia’s infamous Pitons, the Caribbean doesn’t fall short when it comes to adventure, but for clients looking to get active in-resort, suggest the Sea Breeze Beach House in Barbados. Clients will find an impressive array of watersports here, including windsurfing headed by former Olympian O’Neal Marshall, as well as aqua aerobics, beach fitness sessions, early-morning runs and more – plus island experiences such as horse riding in the hilltops, hiking Mount Hillaby, snorkelling coral reefs, diving shipwrecks and more.
Book it: Exsus offers a week’s all-inclusive in a Classic Ocean View Room from £3,239, including flights from Heathrow and transfers in January and February 2022.
Best for… romance
The Canaries: For couples after a little peace and quiet, suggest the adult-only Secrets Bahia Real Resort & Spa, set to open in northern Fuerteventura in December and replacing the existing Gran Hotel Bahia Real.
Highlights of the newly renovated, plant-filled property include seven high-end restaurants and a spa with 17 treatment rooms, while the harbour resort of Corralejo and white sands of Corralejo Natural Dune Park are close by.
Book it: Jet2holidays offers a week’s B&B from £859, including private transfers and flights from Manchester on December 5.
The Caribbean: Also new this year is the all-inclusive O2 Beach Club & Spa, opening in Barbados in November and offering both family-friendly and adult-only accommodation, including swim-up suites.
“The resort has a host of intimate gourmet dining experiences ideal for a romantic evening out, including a restaurant with breathtaking 360-degree views,” says Patricia Affonso-Dass, group general manager of Ocean Hotels Group.
“A private bespoke dinner for two on the beach or at the exclusive Chef’s Table can also be arranged, and the Bajan Hammam Experience at the Acqua spa is well worth recommending.”
Book it: Caribtours offers a week’s all-inclusive in a Club Room from £3,319, including flights and private transfers.
Best for… culture
The Canaries: Home to traditional Canarian villages, centuries-old crafts and the unique whistling language Silbo Gomero – still taught in schools – the lesser-known island of La Gomera is something of a cultural treasure.
For those wanting to combine heritage-filled exploring with beach time, suggest a stay at the Hotel Jardin Tecina in Playa de Santiago, set on a clifftop overlooking the sea and boasting an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, spa and daily activity programme among its draws.
Book it: Tui offers a week from £621, including flights from Luton on November 23.
The Caribbean: From Carnival to the Grenada Chocolate Festival, the Caribbean is fit to bursting with cultural events to lure those after a glimpse into local life.
For one of the best, suggest Saint Lucia’s 10-day Jazz and Arts Festival, taking place in May 2022 with jazz performances, dance troupes, fashion shows and art exhibitions celebrating the island’s cultural heritage.
For a base close to the festivities, suggest The Harbor Club, located a 15-minute boat or taxi ride from Pigeon Island National Landmark, where the finale takes place.
Book it: Dnata offers seven nights’ all-inclusive in an Island View King Room from £1,912, including flights from Gatwick on February 7, 2022.
PICTURES: Winter Park Photography; Shutterstock/Salvador Aznar
La Palma update
Travel to the Canary Islands remains unaffected by the Cumbre Vieja volcano currently erupting on La Palma, according to the tourist board.
“The volcano is affecting a very specific area in the west of La Palma,” said a spokesperson. “The rest of La Palma and the other seven islands in the Canarian archipelago are functioning normally and there is no impact on tourist activity, with all airports operating normally.”