Travelwise

About Luxury Holidays Direct

Realising the Dream


To adapt a familiar proverb, ‘One man’s dream holiday is another man’s holiday nightmare’! Each of us has our own perception of what makes a perfect holiday - and no one can impose their opinion upon someone else. Recognising how important choice is in finding the holiday that’s ‘just right’, we offer a huge range of hotels in an impressive portfolio of destinations worldwide. Together they provide the widest possible choice, whether your idea of the perfect holiday venue is a prestigious luxury resort hotel with every stateof-the-art amenity at your fingertips, or an exclusive escapist hideaway, stylish maybe but simple and suffused with local charm, tranquility and privacy.
The descriptions we give are designed to give you a helpful overview of each destination and hotel. More detailed information is shown on our website – and, of course, our knowledgeable consultants are always on hand to assist and guide you. Above all we want you to feel able to make a genuinely informed choice in finding that personal ‘dream holiday’.

Safety First


Up-to-date advice on various aspects of security in your intended destination can be obtained from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website (www.fco.gov.uk) or by telephone on 0845 850 2829.

Weather or Not


A major factor in the success of most holidays is, quite simply, the weather. In an age of ‘global warming’, however, any data that appears on individual countries website cannot always be a guarantee of specific climate conditions at any time. Nowadays even ‘dry’ seasons in the tropics can produce unexpected spells of wet weather – though, thankfully, these are normally short-lived! We do strongly recommend that you try to adopt as philosophical approach as possible when the sky is not blue or the sea not calm. Not always easy, of course, since even ‘Paradise’ can start to look less beautiful when the weather is unfriendly and any problems may begin to seem much more frustrating.

Extreme weather: Extreme weather conditions can occur anywhere and at any time - although in some parts of the world the risk may be greater at certain periods of the year. For example, between July and October in the Caribbean there is an increased chance of tropical storms and even severe hurricanes. At such times local authorities, hotels, authorities and our representatives/agents are well prepared and have contingency plans in place. We, too, monitor the development of severe weather and, wherever possible, we will keep you informed. Normally, however, severely adverse conditions are the exception rather than the rule – and the hundreds of thousands of travellers who visit these regions during the ‘low’ season can expect to enjoy good weather.

Passports and Visas


Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of valid passports, visas and any other required documents for entry to the countries you will be visiting. We recommend that all Passports are valid for at least 6 months and are machine readable and have at least a few blank pages. Below are two chargeable visa service to assist, so please visit: www.visacentral.co.uk; www.ctmstravel.com; or other such services of your choice.
IMPORTANT VISA for INDIA - Introduction of Biometrics, Appointment for physical submission of application for Visa, Passport, OCI and Consular Services 

Healthwise


At the time of going to press there is no mandatory vaccination/inoculation requirement when travelling directly from the UK to countries featured in this brochure. However, certain vaccinations/inoculations are recommended for many destinations. Please check with your doctor or local health clinic for up-to-date information, or you can visit the following sites for further advice and information: www. nathnac.org; www.fco.gov.uk
Malaria is a serious hazard in many tropical destinations and it is vital that if you are travelling to such regions you seek professional medical advice on appropriate types of antimalaria treatment.

If a member of your party is pregnant, they should check with their doctor that it is safe to travel. If they are more than 28 weeks pregnant by the return date, they must obtain a medical certificate prior to departure confirming that they are ‘fit to fly’.

While the hotels featured in our brochure undertake to meet fully the required local standards governing health and safety, it should be remembered that in many remote and/ or undeveloped locations general in-resort standards may not always fully match those here at home. We do therefore recommend that you always exercise due care to protect your family and yourself throughout your holiday. It is always a sensible precaution while sightseeing or exploring to avoid food or drink where you do not feel reasonably confident of the hygiene standards involved in its preparation! Another wise safeguard is to drink only bottled water (sealed when purchased).

Treat the tropical sun with respect - especially during the middle of the day and at all times for a few days after your arrival. This is a time when you should also take things slowly as your systems begin to adapt to your new surroundings. Be prepared, too, for unwelcome insects, especially during the evenings in the tropics, when it is best to cover arms and legs and to ensure that you use a good quality insect repellent. From time to time in some destinations, you may encounter the odd cockroach. These creatures are endemic to the tropics and the instinctive suspicion that their presence is somehow a reflection on hotel hygiene is - though understandable - usually misguided. Hotels in affected areas normally conduct regular checks and treatments. Birds, too, can sometimes be uninvited visitors at meal-times in openair dining areas - in spite of the preventative measures taken by hotels, who try to discourage guests from feeding them. Observe, too, hotel warnings about sea conditions - whether these relate to currents, sea-urchins or even temporary pollution, their message should always be heeded.

Very Important: It is your responsibility to ensure that all members of your party are fit to travel and meet all health requirements for the destination(s) you will be visiting. Please also allow plenty of time to obtain vaccinations etc. We cannot take any responsibility for costs, delays, or cancellations resulting from your failure to meet these health requirements. We recommend that you seek advice from your doctor/or local health centre. Alternatively you can contact the Medical Advisory Service for Travellers Abroad (MASTA) on telephone number 0870 606 2782 or visit their website www.mastatravelhealth.com

Holiday Insurance


We require that all of our customers hold adequate travel insurance from the time of booking. When making a booking you will be asked for details of your insurance scheme so that this can be entered into our records. NB: You will require additional cover should you intend to participate in any hazardous activity such as scuba diving. You will require to enquire with your insurers for a Special cover if your holiday is costing more than £5,000 per person.

Flying Long-Haul


Scheduled airlines normally provide the most comfortable and reliable means of air travel - though only the most dedicated ‘aficionado’ of flying would see a long-haul flight as an especially pleasurable feature of a holiday. The option of upgrading to a Premium Economy, Business or First Class cabin does, however, offer the means to make your flights more enjoyable (see pages 6 - 7). Whichever cabin you choose there are also personal steps you can take to mitigate unwanted side-effects from prolonged periods of flying. These can include exercises, the avoiding of alcohol and drinking plenty of water thus preventing dehydration and the possible risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). It is further advised that you avoid scuba diving at least 24 hours prior to flying. Many airline ‘in flight’ magazines, videos and leaflets give further advice about this.

An increasing number of airlines operate ‘codeshare’ flights with partner carriers (e.g., from Paris on Air Mauritius/Air France services, and in the USA, British Airways/American Airlines. If this factor might affect your choice of flight then you should check with us at the time of booking.

Today’s airline security constraints mean that great care should be taken in the way you pack your luggage. Hand baggage should be kept to a minimum. In Economy Class this is generally one small bag weighing no more than 5kgs - your travel documents will give specific information for the flights you have booked. There are currently restrictions on the carriage of liquids and you are advised to check before purchasing liquids at airports when transiting en route. Keep your belongings with you at all times, and never agree to carry items for other people. Passports, on the other hand, should be kept with you and NOT packed in luggage being checked-in for carriage in the aircraft hold.

Flight delays can and do occur from time to time and in such circumstances the provision of meals and/or hotel accommodation remains at the discretion of the airline. Please also bear in mind that if long flight delays result in lost holiday time it is not possible to claim for unused hotel accommodation as the hotels do ‘protect’ rooms for delayed arrivals and do not re-sell them. Equally, non EU airlines are under no obligation to offer compensation relating to flight delays. Where appropriate, such claims should always be made to your travel insurance company.

Neither we nor our overseas agents have direct control over seat allocation by the airlines, even when the latter have confirmed pre-requested seating. It can happen that such requests are not available at check-in. To reduce the risk of disappointment we advise to check in on-line when possible otherwise do check-in as early as possible.

Flight Itineraries


Some flights featured in this brochure are ‘direct’, i.e., with no change of aircraft necessary en-route, although stops en-route to refuel or to pick up passengers may sometimes be made. We do not publish details here as flight schedules are subject to change within the validity of this brochure. We will gladly supply information current at the time of enquiry. When traveling with some airlines – such as Air France, Emirates, Etihad, Qatar, Oman Air – flights from the UK will be via that carrier’s home base, where a change of aircraft will usually be made. In such cases this will be shown as two separate flight numbers on your Confirmation Invoice.

Air Tickets & Baggage


Scheduled airlines normally operate a strict policy requiring that your flight ticket be issued in the same name as your passport. It is very important that the name you give to us at the time of booking is the same as that shown on your passport (even if this is your maiden name and you have since married), as this will be used for all official documentation. Should we need to re-issue tickets because names have been supplied incorrectly, this will incur an amendment rebooking fee.

Your air ticket specifies your Free Baggage Allowance (normally 20kgs in Economy Class, 30kgs in Business Class and 40kgs in First Class). Special items such as golf clubs, wheelchairs, surfboards and pushchairs can be carried - but please check with your airline(s) prior to travel as each may have a different policy and may apply excess baggage charges for certain items. Furthermore, our resort representatives/ agents may have to make alternative vehicle arrangements for carrying any large items and a supplementary charge may apply for this. Please ensure, therefore, that you advise us in advance of travel if you are intending to travel with any especially bulky luggage items.

Accommodation Descriptions


The hotel descriptions in this brochure are approved by each hotel prior to Publication. Please remember that any photograph of a specific room type may not be exactly representative of all rooms in that category. A ‘sea-facing’ or ‘sea-view’ room may not necessarily be directly beside the sea but instead may offer a side view of the water in the distance, or one partially obscured by foliage, which can grow very quickly in tropical climates.

The listing of facilities shown in our hotel descriptions does not necessarily mean that they are all included in the price of your holiday. For example, bedroom facilities may include a minibar but it is usual for a charge to be made for any items consumed even if you are on ‘All Inclusive’ facilities. Similarly some hotels charge for the use of a safe, or for the hire of DVDs/Videos, or for the use of some TV channels. Charges may also apply to some of the hotels’ general facilities such as spa treatments, golf green fees, the hire of tennis rackets or the use of certain watersports (especially if motorised). You must settle charges for such items directly in resort.

Occasionally a specific facility may be withdrawn by a hotel during the validity of the brochure. Once we are made aware of this we will advise all affected clients in advance of travel. It is also possible that on occasions of inclement weather or unusual tides, hotel amenities may be temporarily curtailed or suspended without notice. This is normally for the safety and well-being of guests. At other times sheer demand can create pressure upon certain facilities (especially where these are free of charge to guests) and it may not always be possible to enjoy these amenities immediately or without a time restriction. The use of the terms ‘free’, ‘complimentary’ or ‘unlimited’ is not intended to imply instant or 24-hour availability of the amenity concerned. In many cases, too, there are age or experience restrictions on certain facilities and the providers of these reserve the right to refuse access. This is especially true of diving - where facilities may be available only to those holding internationally recognised qualifications/certificates. Many hotels sub-contract to an independent local operator for sporting facilities offered at or near the hotel. Guests may be asked to sign an indemnity form before being allowed to use these facilities. It is your personal duty of care to ensure that your personal travel insurance has adequate cover for any activity.

Brochure Accuracy


We have taken all reasonable care to ensure that the descriptions and opinions contained in this brochure are as accurate as possible at the time of printing (December 2012). Facilities, services, schedules, owners, operators and even laws can change during the validity of a brochure, however, and we undertake to do our best to advise you of any significant changes that may have occurred by the time of your booking (or prior to departure if your booking has already been made). Please note that we cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of any descriptions or information published in any third party brochure or promotional literature.

Accommodation Costs


Unless otherwise stated, all prices that we publish are Per Person based on sharing a twin or double room. Prices for hotel single rooms are normally higher than those based on twin/double rooms and this is usually reflected as a supplement. Most often this is because hotels tend to allocate single travellers a twin room for sole use. Even in the few cases where hotels do have dedicated single rooms, however, the associated costs in running and maintaining these rooms is greater than it would be for half a twin room. Conversely, where the standard twin/double room is large enough to accommodate a third or fourth person, the price for these additional persons is usually reduced. It should be noted however, that in most cases (especially in North America), this assumes that the third and/or fourth person will use existing bedding, e.g., the two double, queensize or kingsize beds already in the room. Where guests prefer not to share beds, extra bed/s (rollaway/sofa beds) may be available at an extra charge, though small and less than occupying a separate room. Infant cots (cribs) can usually be provided for a small additional cost.

Children


All children who are not already included on a valid British passport will need to hold their own passport and cannot be added to their parents’ passports. Minors travelling without their parents (e.g., with other family members or friends) may need to carry documentation giving the legal consent of their absent parents. Please check the Foreign Office link to your destination country’s website for more details.

For infants under 2 years at time of travel we charge a nominal sum for air travel, the level of which will depend upon the airline and class of travel. Please note that if an infant occupies an airline seat then a higher child price will apply. Some hotels may charge a nominal fee for a cot, which will be payable locally.

Different airlines and hotels apply different policies on child reductions. To ensure that you receive the best possible value, we will be glad to quote reductions individually for any children in your party. Exact reductions depend upon the airline(s)/hotel(s) and the number of children. For children aged between 2 and 11 years (and sometimes older) at time of travel and sharing a room with their parents we can normally offer significantly reduced inclusive prices. If accommodation is booked for two adults and one/two children (or an additional adult) sharing one room then an extra bed is provided - but this may not always be a fullsize single bed, but rather a rollaway folding bed (or even a camp-bed in style). Hotels will normally allow only one rollaway/extra bed in a room and will expect any second child booked to share existing bedding. Sometimes children may share a double sofa bed instead of a rollaway but not in addition to the extra bed. If these arrangements do not seem suitable we advise that you book a second room (normally adjacent or inter-connecting, subject to availability and shown on your Confirmation Invoice). NB: Cots, car seats or highchairs provided by hotels or our in-resort suppliers may not conform to British Safety Standards and should be checked before use.

Technical Hitches and Maintenance


Though the advance of technology has brought new and normally dependable standards of supply to hotels in remote locations, occasional interruptions to the supply of water and electricity can happen. In some exceptional and normally ‘one off’ cases they may be restricted at certain periods of the day in order to conserve necessary resources (details will normally be given to guests by the hotel). Properties located on mid-ocean islands can sometimes be vulnerable in this respect. Energy management in the interests of the comfort of all guests is the hotel’s priority. Please also remember that hotels do not necessarily have heating in swimming pools at cooler times of the year. If such a consideration is important for you do please enquire when booking.

To maintain the highest possible standards, hotels must carry out maintenance and repairs from time to time. Whenever we are advised in advance by a hotel of pre-planned work of this nature that may affect normal conditions (or when in some cases we are told of essential force majeure repairs being undertaken with little advance warning) we will always advise you of this on your Confirmation Invoice, or separately in writing if this has already been issued. Sometimes building work may occur on private land neighbouring a hotel (and over which the hotel has no direct control). Our local representatives/agents will normally monitor such developments and inform us accordingly so that we can keep prospective guests of the hotel fully informed. Travellers should also keep in mind that sometimes even when hotel rooms with air-conditioning have individual controls, the units may be switched off at times during the day at the discretion of hotel management, for reasons of energy conservation, especially when rooms are unoccupied.

Resolving Problems


Once you have arrived in your holiday destination, if you feel unhappy with any aspect of the arrangements that we have made on your behalf please immediately inform the hotel, relevant supplier, or our local representative/ agent so that they have the opportunity to resolve the problem on the spot. Failure to do this will not only increase the risk of the matter spoiling your holiday but may prejudice any attempted retrospective claim made after your return.

Special Requests


Provided that they are advised to us at the time of booking, we will always endeavour to obtain special requests (such as diets on flights, room locations, adjoining rooms, twin/double beds, etc.), although we cannot guarantee provision of these. These requests will be noted on your Confirmation Invoice and subsequently on correspondence or vouchers to the appropriate hotel or airline.

Whilst we can often pre-book airline seats, airlines will not usually guarantee the provision of such requests and you are therefore strongly advised to check-in early for your flight to claim these. Requests for special leg-room or emergency exit seats can only be confirmed at check-in by the airline. If any member of your party has a disability or special need of which the airline or hotel should be made aware please notify us at the time of booking.

Early Arrivals/Late Departures


Most hotels have an afternoon check-in time and a 12 noon (or earlier) check-out policy. If your flight arrives at your destination in the early morning, we recommend that you consider pre-booking and paying for your room from the previous night if you wish to enjoy the assurance of room availability as soon as you arrive. Similarly, if your return flight departs in the evening and you wish to retain your room beyond the normal check-out time please consider pre-booking an extra night or a day-room (excludes meals) at the end of your stay. Some hotels do offer a ‘departures’ room for guests to shower and change before a flight.

Meal Plans


Many hotels offer a choice of meal plans and these are indicated in the individual hotel descriptions shown in this brochure.

Room Only = Meals not included.
Breakfast = Continental/American breakfast included.
Half Board= Continental/American breakfast and table d’hote dinner included.
Full Board = Continental/American breakfast, table d’hote lunch and table d’hote dinner included.
All Inclusive = see below.

Unless otherwise indicated, where we refer to breakfast this is generally continental style. In reality though many hotels now include a self-service buffet breakfast in place of the more basic continental style, thus giving you more choice.

Should you decide to order items ‘a la carte’, these will usually be charged as locally payable extras and credit or partial credit may not given where the continental or buffet style breakfast is not taken. Similarly, where lunch or dinner is included, this usually means table d’hote meals (from a set menu) and very often these meals can be taken only in a designated restaurant. Where you choose to dine ‘a la carte’ or in one of the hotel’s other restaurants, it is often possible to receive a partial credit against any ‘table d’hote’ meals not taken but this and any additional costs must be arranged and paid for locally.

Where we refer to ‘All- Inclusive’ this normally means that all meals, snacks, alcoholic and soft drinks are included and very often other additional facilities – such as non-motorised watersports, land sports and tips. As with Half Board and Full Board dining plans, meals will usually be ‘table d’hote’ and restricted to specified restaurant or restaurants. Drinks will usually be limited to local beers, spirits and soft drinks plus house wines. Some hotels do include brand name drinks, however, and in some cases even Champagne. It should not be assumed that because a hotel is ‘All-Inclusive’ food or beverages mentioned are available 24 hours a day. We will be pleased to give you full details of exactly what is include for your chosen hotel or you can visit our website for full information.

Special festive Gala Meals such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve dinners may be organised by hotels from time to time. Any charge not prepaid as a supplement and shown as included on your Confirmation Invoice will be advised to you on arrival and be payable locally. Special diets of any kind (including vegetarian) cannot normally be catered for fully within the scope of a table d’hote menu and should, not be expected to compare in variety and scope with normal meals served. In such cases it may be a wise precaution to book your accommodation on a Room Only basis where this is available, allowing you to purchase locally the most appropriate dishes from the hotel’s ‘a la carte’ menu.

Hotel Classification


Throughout the world different countries, hotel associations and licensing/grading authorities establish their own star ratings for hotels and accommodation. Unfortunately these grading are not always based on the same criteria and so could be misleading if you are not aware of the basis on which they have been evaluated. Where the hotel descriptions in this brochure include the terms ‘5-Star’ or ‘Boutique’ these are based entirely on our own opinion and are intended to represent an impartial guide for you in choosing you hotel.

By ‘5-Star’ we mean Luxury hotels with guest rooms appointed to the highest standard, top-quality service, dining and general facilities.

By ‘Boutique’ we mean hotels that are generally of excellent standard and in very high demand due to their individuality. Often these are relatively small and possibly family-run hotels. It could be that the standard of accommodation is 5-Star but the general facilities are limited compared with a traditional 5-Star hotel and sometimes guest rooms may be of different size, have different views or even be of different standard.

In all cases you can be confident that the properties we have selected enjoy excellent reputations and offer what we consider to be a high quality of comfort, service, amenities and general operation.

What Your Holiday Price Includes


  • Round-trip scheduled flights as shown on your Confirmation Invoice
    (with free baggage allowance as shown on your air ticket).
  • Accommodation/meals as shown on your Confirmation Invoice.
  • Transfers between your arrival/ departure airports and hotel(s) as shown on your Confirmation Invoice.
  • The services of our appointed representatives/agents in your holiday destination where available.
  • UK International Airport Passenger Duty (Departure Tax)
    and relevant Passenger Service Charges. Not Included
  • The cost of getting to or from your UK departure/arrival airport.
  • Costs associated with obtaining visas, vaccinations or health protection for the countries to be visited.
  • Holiday Insurance.
  • Meals other than those shown on your Confirmation Invoice.
  • Cots and food for infants (normally payable direct to hotel).
  • Local hotel charges for sports facilities unless otherwise indicated in this brochure.
  • Hotel car parking fees where applicable.
  • Tips, porterage, telephone calls, laundry and other items of a personal nature.
  • Locally payable overseas airport departure taxes where applicable. Typically these are payable in local currency or US dollars and tend to range between the equivalent of £5 and £15 per person.

Data Protection Policy


In order to provide the travel arrangements you have asked us for, we need to use the information you provide, such as your name, address and any special needs/dietary requirements, etc. We will take responsibility for ensuring that proper security measures are in place to protect your information. We must pass the information on to the relevant suppliers of your travel arrangements (such as airlines, hotels, transport companies, etc.). On occasion we may also be required to provide information to security or credit checking companies, public authorities such as customs/immigration if requested by them, or as required by law. We may have to send your details to countries whose controls on data protection may not be as strong as the legal requirements in this country although we will not pass any information to any person who is not responsible for part of your travel arrangements. We may also use your details to give you information about travel-related offers, products and services that become available from us and our travel partners. Should you not wish to receive such information,please notify us accordingly.