Laura French rounds up some of the best short-haul spots to escape to this summer.
It’s January, which means beneath the multiple hats, scarves and coats, clients are starting to think about where to escape to come summer.
And there’s no time like the present to get booking, with a host of deals on right now that could save your clients some serious buck.
We’ve found some of the best for clients wanting to go all-inclusive in Europe, from limited-time discounts to bargain-bucket rates that’ll go fast, so read on to find out where to send those after a well-earned dose of sun, sea and sand.
1. Labranda Blue Bay, Rhodes
If an action-packed, family-friendly holiday by the beach floats clients’ boats, Olympic Holidays suggests this resort in Rhodes, where a seven-night all-inclusive stay starts from £540 per person from July 14 (including flights). Three pools, a water park, tennis courts and spa are on hand to keep the brood busy, while six restaurants – including two speciality spots, buffet options and a grill house – promise plenty of variety on the dining front. Accommodation ranges from standalone bungalows dotted around the gardens to family rooms, and there’s a full schedule of entertainment spanning sports days, Greek nights and live music performances, plus an idyllic location on Ialyssos Beach on the west coast of the island.
2. Asteria Bordrum Resort, Turkey
There are more bargains to be had in Turkey. F or one of the best deals this summer, Jet2holidays recommends Asteria Bodrum Resort, set on the beachfront on the Turkish Riviera close to Gumbet – a fishing village turned lively beach resort sandwiched between mountains and ocean. Couples and families will find plenty to please here with several pools, waterslides, a wellness centre (complete with Turkish bath) and private beach hosting diving, snorkelling, canoeing and other watersports. Six bars and four restaurants (three a la carte) add to the appeal, with snacks served throughout the day and drinks available 24/7. A week’s all-inclusive with Jet2holidays costs from £719 per person including flights from Stansted on June 2.
3. Club Med La Palmyre Anlantique, France
For those wanting to splash a bit more cash while still making some decent savings, suggest Club Med’s La Palmyre Atlantique, where clients booking now can save up to £296 per person; a week starts at £1,623, flying from London on July 15. Surrounded by pine forest and fringing the Atlantic, the recently renovated spot is something of a haven for outdoorsy types with sailing, cycling, tennis, horse riding and beach bootcamps among the activities on offer, plus a golf course next door for those wanting to hit the green. Guests looking to unwind will find plenty to appeal too, including a new Zen Zone, while foodie types can satisfy seafood cravings and French fancies at the all-new art deco gourmet restaurant.
4. Ikos Dassia, Corfu
For no-holds-barred inclusions, the Ikos siblings deserve a spot on the list, and it doesn’t have mean breaking the bank. Kuoni is offering a discount of £568 per family at Corfu’s Ikos Dassia when booked by February 29, with a week in June from £6,959 per family, and all five of the brand’s resorts let the first child stay free. Included activities at Dassia range from windsurfing to mountain biking, canoeing to introductory diving, but the highlight has to be the free Mini Drive Adventure, which lets you drive round at leisure in a brand-new Mini for the day. There’s also an impressive range of food with six a la carte restaurants, and the brand’s signature Dine Out experience lets guests eat at selected local joints at no extra cost.
5. Gran Castillo Tagoro, Lanzarote
Cyplon Holidays points to this five-star, Moorish-style spot in Lanzarote for those on the hunt for a real summer bargain. “Designed for family fun, it’s located in one of the most scenic parts of the island and offers great value for money,” says Elena Ahmadian, marketing executive for the operator. A huge choice of pools plus a kids’ club, three restaurants, five bars, a full-service spa and a 5D cinema are among the draws, and there’s also an adult-only complex for couples wanting some quiet time. A week with Cyplon costs from £915 per person departing July 29, based on two adults and one child sharing and including easyJet flights and private transfers.
6. Tui Blue Grupotel, Mar de Menorca, Barearic Islands
The Balearics have their fair share of bargains – but few can beat this one, with a week’s all-inclusive in summer starting at £623 per person, including flights from Gatwick on July 3 and based on two adults sharing. Accommodation is a mix of studios and apartments, while facilities include a lively pool area, tennis courts, lounge bar, buffet restaurant and taverna serving local dishes and tapas. It’s generous on the entertainment front with a nightly programme of shows alongside a kids’ club, hangout spot for 12 to 15-year-olds and daily schedule of activities, while those wanting to burn off the calories can opt for an intense Les Mills workout and sweat off any tapas-induced guilt.
7. Gloria Golf Resort, Turkey
This sprawling spot in Belek, Antalya, has earnt itself a name among golf enthusiasts, and if you book before the end of January you can make some excellent savings on it. Travel 2 is offering a week in a Junior Suite from £1,259 per person, with flights from Gatwick and private transfers, including a discount of up to £280 per person. “It’s a brilliant choice for all ages, and guests can use the general facilities of all three sister hotels free of charge,” says Lauren Ross, product and commercial manager for Europe. A free shuttle whisks guests between them all, where facilities span a farm, water park, kids’ club, jungle play area and spa, alongside three a la carte dining venues and three golf courses, two of which are at championship level.
8. Sandos San Blas Nature Resort & Golf, Tenerife
There’s more for golfers at this five-star resort in Tenerife, set within a nature reserve close to the beach and next to world-class resort Golf del Sur – home to a 27-hole championship course, academy and driving range. Highlights at the resort itself include eight pools, a boating lake, tennis courts, kids’ club and the Magek Spa – complete with water circuit and sauna – with 331 rooms and suites housed in clay-coloured buildings designed to fit the island’s volcanic surroundings. Prestige Holidays is offering savings of up to £397 on bookings made by January 29; a week departing August 5 costs from £1,529 per adult and £799 per child, including flights and private transfers.
How to sell all-inclusive holidays
Craig Davidson, general manager of trade sales at Jet2holidays, offers his top tips:
• Encourage customers to book early to make the most of their budget. Hotels in the most popular destinations sell out fast, with prices rising as availability falls.
• If customers are not fixed on a specific destination, encourage them to be open-minded about where they holiday. If they have their heart set on Spain, consider the Costa de Almeria or Costa Brava instead of traditionally popular destinations, or consider dates outside peak holiday periods.
• Highlight that all-inclusive packages allow for better control over the purse strings and mean customers are not paying for additional extras in resort.
• Take advantage of low deposit schemes to secure a break for a low price and then spread the cost, without worrying about having to put too much spending money aside.