So Christmas and New Year is over, ski trips are on….but…. lets be honest; getting up and coming home in the dark is pretty darn depressing. We all know our vitamin D levels are woefully short and no one wants to be a human mole so frankly here at bb robinson we can’t think of a better reason to start thinking about my next bit of sun - And no we don’t want to wait til the summer!! (*** stamps foot *** ) : )
It is a tricky one though….
With our bank accounts still a touch drained from the festive season and the odd ski weekend (!), plus wanting to keep our jobs (not sure the boss will sign off another 2-week-er – sigh…) where do you go that’s not a million miles away during the ‘non-season’ of March, April and May??!
Well, we’ve had our thinking caps on… get ready for the bb robinson top picks for sunny long weekends over the ‘non-season season’
n.b. (there are the places that wont have you on a plane for 5hrs….)
the obvious starting point. Souks, sun and a myriad of hotels and Riads (we love the new Mandarin Oriental that they just built) to match your mood and budget. Top bbr tip while you’re there: check out our favourite restaurants (you have to go local) Le Tobsil or Dar Yacout. Traditional, romantic and very Moroccan-chic. If you do have the luxury of a bit more time (jealous!) we also recommend a night or two at Richard Branson’s place in the Atlas Mountains: Kasbah Tamadot. Must see!
if its cool enough for Jimi Hendrix – then its good enough for us! Here you get the sea (which is the only thing lacking with Marrakech) a laid back beachy vibe with fresh fish and yoga on offer. It has been pretty off the radar but these days there are more boutique hotels than riads. Top bbr tip: Obviously at bbr we love anything that is good for the environment and just six miles south of the town (amongst dune forests, eucalyptus, juniper, tamarisk) you’ll find hotel Baoussala – the first eco-lodge in the area. For lunch: must visit is between the Port and Place Moulay Hassan – little wooden shacks serving salad, bread and fish so fresh that you wont believe – all for the lofty sum of around £5 ! That’ll do…
great for hiking. Top bbr tip: avoid the tourist traps and head to the Northern Island of Gozo – its not a place for wild partying but is beautiful and unspoilt and a short ferry ride from the main land. Ramala Beach is the dream – lobster spaghetti and crisp white wine. For those who prefer a bit more up-tempo we like Casa Ellul in Valletta on the mainland (ask for the rooftop suite) or The Xara Palance in Mdina.
our preferred picks are Polis Chrysochous (bbr tip: stay at the Anassa Hotel – just had a major re-fit) an unspoilt area in the West of Cyprus on the Akamas peninsula (there is a blue lagoon and just a short walk up the hill for the beautiful Holy Monastery of Chrysorrogiatissa) or the Almyra, very close to the Port. Zen, minimalist and great for couples. There is even a personal trainer on call should you want to keep in top bikini shape! Yes please!
feels like Portugal is having somewhat of a resurgence with several people now buying up homes there (they are providing some very nice incentives tax wise – worth checking out!) however, sticking to the brief – for tres modern; we love Hotel The Vine in Funchal – rooftop pool, and very convenient location near shops/the port/churches and museums. Great spot for couples – with a focus on wine and romance, each room has a free standing bath perfect as the sun goes down and it gets a bit chilly. Top bbr tip: for those wanting a bit more traditional we also love Belmond Reid’s Palace – on the cliffs overlooking the ocean – ask them to organise a wine tasting for you – you wont regret it! *** hic *** !
6. Gran Canaria:
keeping with the rock-star vibe (see Jimi Hendrix: Essaouria for further reference…) the likes of Bruce Springsteen has graced the Grand Hotel Residencia in Maspalomas with his presence and we can see why. Its built on an ancient palm grove on a lagoon. Five minutes to the beach, colonial and beautiful classic style. Top bbr tip: go for the upper-floor villa – best views of the dunes and mountains…. Lovely.
Of course – if you do have the luxury of a bit more time – the Middle East is the go-to – we love Ziggy Bay in Oman, but… its going to take you a bit longer to get there. Happy ‘non-season’ sun hunting!
The bb robinson team x