Half-term escape: the One&Only Royal Mirage in Dubai

‘Whether flying fish or snails, have a go’

First holiday memory?

Going to Pontins in Prestatyn Sands, North Wales, with my parents. We weren’t a wealthy family so it was a simple caravan holiday – cheap and cheerful.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

Abersoch, on the Llyn Peninsula, again in North Wales. It’s not far from where I live. It’s got beach huts on the front and its own microclimate. It’s a lovely little community where you can get away from it all.

Best holiday?

Barbados, with my wife and boys. We’ve got a house in Westmoreland, near the west coast. It’s fantastic – really laid back, beautiful weather and beaches. You can really let your hair down.

What have you learnt from your travels?

Wherever you go, embrace the local culture, especially when it comes to food. Whether it’s flying fish in Barbados or snails in France, my advice would be to have a go.

Ideal travelling companion?

My wife. I’m hopeless with passports, money and organising everything, but she looks after me. We especially love Antibes in the South of France. Every year, we check into the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc for three days without the kids.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

I see myself as an undiscovered adrenalin junkie. I wasn’t allowed to do those kinds of things when I played football professionally. Now I’m retired, I’m starting to get into it. I’ve tried watersports in Barbados and jumped off 40ft cliffs near Exeter. I’m looking forward to trying more in the future.

Holiday reading?

I don’t, not while I’m away. My wife reads magazines, so I’ll have a cheeky glance at those. I’d rather be going for walks with my boys.

Where has seduced you?

The Cliff in Barbados. I think it’s one of the best restaurants in the world and the setting is amazing. It’s raised up above the sea and you can spot stingrays swimming in the floodlit water at night. There are torches all along the beach too.

Worst travel experience?

I go away every year to Marbella for four days with the lads. The last couple of times, my bag hasn’t arrived. It’s never good when you’re having to borrow someone else’s clothes that are too small while on holiday.

Best hotel?

I went to the Burj Al Arab in Dubai with my wife for our honeymoon. It was amazing, but perhaps a little over the top, because of the butler service. Eden Roc in Antibes is great because it’s relaxed and the staff really look after you. The Sensatori Resort in Tenerife is also a good place to go with the kids.

Favourite city?

Milan. I took my wife there recently for a shopping trip. It’s perfect because you can just sit outside at cafés and people-watch.

Where next?

Dubai in February for half-term. We haven’t booked it yet, but we like the One&Only Royal Mirage, so we’ll probably end up there.

Football pundit Robbie Savage is an ambassador for Kitbag.com, which has its own sports store and runs online stores for clubs such as Manchester United and Chelsea FC.