Travel in 2013: Holidays for beach bums
Kate Simon is the Travel Correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. She was Travel Editor of The Independent on Sunday from 2005 to 2011. Kate is also the co-founder of Little Black Book Creative (www.lbbcreative.co.uk), which offers editorial services, media relations consultancy and travel-writing training.
Sunday 30 December 2012
British Airways (0844 493 0758; ba.com/srilanka) resumes flights to Sri Lanka in April, after a 15-year hiatus.
It will fly three times a week from Gatwick to the capital, Colombo, with a stop in Malé – making this an easy twin-centre option with the Maldives. There's plenty to do, from exploring Colombo to seeing the ruins of ancient cities and sacred Buddhist sites – and going in pursuit of leopards on safari. Make time to laze on the palm-fringed beaches that ring the island, too. BA offers a week at the Eden Resort & Spa on the south-west coast from £769pp, including flights and breakfast.
The southern Peloponnese becomes easier to reach from July, when easyJet (0843 104 5000; easyJet.com) launches direct flights from Gatwick to Kalamata in the south-west of the region. This is particularly welcome news for the huge Costa Navarino development, a 45-minute drive west on the Messinia coast which is currently accessed from the UK via Athens. Flights depart on Saturdays and Tuesdays from 6 July. At present, the Costa Navarino resort comprises The Romanos Resort (00 30 272 309 6000; romanoscostanavarino.com; B&B from €270), The Westin Resort (00 30 272 309 5000; westincosta navarino.com; B&B from €230), two golf courses, nature walks, kids' clubs and a diving centre, with more to come. The region has dazzling beaches and coves, as well as ancient monuments, such as Nestor's Palace and the ruins of ancient Messene.
In Jamaica, the team behind Geejam Hotel (001 888 443 3526; geejam collection.com) is busy. Music industry veterans Jon Baker and Steve Beaver, who own Jamaica's renowned boutique hotel and recording studio, are determined to turn Port Antonio on the north-east coast into the premier place to hang out in 2013. This spring, it is opening two new oceanfront hotels, Trident Castle with nine rooms from £200 per night, and Trident Hotel, with 15 one- and two-bedroom villas on a private beach, from £300 per night, a jazz lounge, and bar and grill. The Blue Lagoon Restaurant and Club is due to open here later in the year, too.
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