Tropical Inspo: Why You Have to Visit Fiji

There are almost endless reason why you have to visit Fiji. With its exotic ambiance and endless opportunities to relax, do sports, or simply socialize with some of the nicest people on the planet, Fiji is a must-see for every adventurer. From the very moment you are greeted with “Bula”, your trip will be filled with memorable sights, people, and events. If you’re looking for your next vacation destination, here are a couple of reasons why it should be Fiji.

You’d get to taste some delicious food

If you love trying out new types of food, then you will love Fiji. There are two main cuisines ‒ the indigenous Fijian and the Fijian Indian, (mainly focused on seafood, rice, chili, and spices). If you prefer to prepare your own food, there are produce markets in every main town filled with only the freshest and most delicious food. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to attend the Lovo Night at your hotel and see how they prepare food in an underground oven. Finally, don’t forget to try kava ‒ a traditional drink made from a natural herbal ground root. It might not taste that great, but it’s more about the tradition than the taste.

It offers a great working environment

If you consider yourself to be a busy digital nomad and you love working while traveling, then this is definitely one of the destinations you should visit. The calming nature, the friendly people, and the hammocks on gorgeous beaches create a perfectly peaceful atmosphere for work. When it’s time for a break, bask in the sun with a refreshing drink and let your mind and your body relax and recharge.

Whether you’re into diving and surfing, sunbathing or playing golf, there is something for everybody in Fiji. If you’re an adventurous type, you can try firewalking, or you can go on a journey up the stunning Sigatoka Valley. Visit villages and spend some time getting to know the Fijian culture and enjoying their customs (including lots of singing and dancing)!

It’s the best place to unwind

In case you’ve just finished high school and are looking for a way to celebrate and have some fun after all the studying, consider signing up for amazing Fiji schoolies. They are safe and include plenty of  interesting and educational activities. You’d be surrounded with lots of young people who want to have some fun, meet new friends, and enjoy some time away just like you.

It’s very romantic

We all know the struggle of finding the perfect romantic destination for the next vacation with our significant other. There is no way you can go wrong with Fiji! You’ll enjoy long walks on the gorgeous beaches, buy each other presents (like the lovely earrings and necklaces made of South Sea pearls), or spend a day together relaxing in one of the numerous tropical spas.

You’d be in the company of the happiest people in the world

Studies have shown that Fijians are amongst the happiest people on the planet. If you’ve been feeling a bit down lately or are simply searching for a new perspective in life, this is the place to be. Moreover, Fijians are known for their love of kids. Don’t hesitate to take your youngest family members with you and let them enjoy this experience as well. The happiness is guaranteed to rub off on you, and the only sadness you will feel is when its time to go home.

Apart from all the adventure, finger-licking food, fantastic nature, and amazing people, Fiji is a true paradise that simply has it all. If it’s not on your bucket list already, it should be. Visiting Fiji would is an experience guaranteed to cherish for the rest of your life.

Planning A Trip To Perth

Planning A Trip to Perth

Image Source. Licensed under Creative Commons.

Perth is one of the most unique Australian cities. It’s situated on the west coast miles away from everywhere else and it has developed its own customs and traditions over time. If you’ve got plans to travel to Perth, here are some tips that will help you get the best out of your trip.

Pack for the heat

The temperature in Perth is warm pretty much all year. In the summer (December through to February), it can often stay above 30 degrees with minimal rainfall. As a result, when travelling to Perth, you should pack for the heat – this means light clothing and sun lotion. You’ll also want to check out the beaches of Perth, so remember to bring some beachwear.

Rent a car

Perth is very spread out and you’ll find it difficult to get around by foot. Whilst you can use public transport, this can be pricey. As a result, it’s worth hiring a car for the trip. You can book this online so that there’s a rental car waiting for you at Perth airport. Renting a car could also allow you to journey out into the outback and beyond if you’re up for a wild road trip.

Take your hiking boots

On the outskirts of Perth, you’ll find a number of scenic hiking trails – the most iconic being the Bibbulmun track. For this reason, it’s worth taking your hiking boots so that you explore these routes. There are guided tours of the Bibbulmun track and guided day-trips that can take you along the most scenic stretches. Alternatively, you may prefer to tackle it on your own (there’s plenty of accommodation along the trail for stopping at when you need some rest).

Plan for a ‘Sunday Session’

When it comes to hitting the local bars, forget Friday night and Saturday night – in Perth Sunday is the time for drinking (known to the locals as ‘Sunday sessions’). Many bars across the city have their own deals and events on, so it’s worth keeping this day free so that you can experience the thrills. This is also a good time to find deals on meals out as many local restaurants also like to get involved.

Visit the galleries and museums

Perth also has its fair share of museums for those looking for an education activity. Perth Cultural Centre is an area of the city that contains the biggest museums and galleries including the Western Australian Museum and the Art Gallery of Western Australia. The Perth Royal Mint is also an attraction worth visiting – here you can explore the history of Perth’s gold rush days and learn the process behind turning gold into ingots. On top of this, there’s Fremantle Prison, that you can visit via boat. Many of these attractions are low cost and some are even free to enter such as the Art Gallery of Western Australia making them great for those travelling on a tight budget.

5 Best Luxury Hotels To Stay In Sharm El Sheikh

Sharm El Sheikh

Sharm El Sheikh is a resort town popular for vibrant sunshine whole year through and wonderful coral reefs.  Situated at the southern peak of the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula, this beautiful getaway brings a lot for the tourists. Because of the place’s stunning corals and diverse marine life, it has become a favourite holiday destination amongst snorkelers and scuba divers despite all the safety issues in the region. There are a number of luxury hotels At Sharm El Sheikh that offer everything from high-end facilities to elegant guest rooms. If you have decided to explore the wonders of this beautiful resort town, here are some of the best luxury hotels for you to enjoy a perfect stay in Sharm El Sheikh.

1. Four Seasons Resort

Sharm El Sheikh

Designed as a five-pearl hotel, the luxurious Four Seasons apartments can accommodate visitors with its 136 expansive rooms. The resort is equipped with amazing swimming pool, finest dining and a captivating view of the sea. Elegant, spacious rooms are built with private outdoor terraces where you can enjoy the lovely sea sight with your family and friends. A small private beach offers exciting activities for guests including snorkelling and diving opportunities. Likewise, there are two yachts which are exclusively available to the hotel guests. Additional amenities are also offered to make your stay more comfortable and pleasing. These include a kids’ club, tennis center and a spa.

2. Royal Albatros Moderna

Sharm El Sheikh

Royal Albatros Materna is built to give you a lively and luxury experience with its 680 rooms, huge enough to cater visitors’ specific needs. The resort has direct access to fun-filled holiday engagements such as a water park, beach, drinking and dining opportunities at various international bars and restaurants. Amazing range of amenities can make every family enjoy their time here in Sharm El Sheikh giving you access to live entertainment, kids’ club, pools with cushioned beds and spa with whirlpool tubs. All the comforts of a real home can be felt because every guest room, apart from being stylish and clean, is equipped with air-conditioning unit, flat-screen LEDs and TVs and balconies with access to the lovely view of the sea.

3. Coral Sea Sensatori

Sharm El Sheikh

Catering to the needs of huge number of guests, the Coral Sea Sensatori is a luxury resort with 470 rooms that offers specifically designated zones for couples and families with kids to create sort of a separation. The resort’s atmosphere is contemporary and it brings you some sophisticated rooms along with private spaces outdoors, all with wonderful views of the sea. It offers fine dining experience with sumptuous cuisines on offer. Compared to other resorts in the area, leisure activities and pools at Coral Sea Sensatori are considered above average. One big plus is the resort’s Wi-Fi which never goes down contrary to other resorts.

4. Iberotel Palace

Sharm El Sheikh

Overlooking the El Maya Bay and situated at the south of Shem El Sheikh, the Iberotel Palace is a lovely 263-room luxury resort. The atmosphere is more soothing and classy but the resort has come up with an adult-only policy of late. Though pretty small compared to other resorts around, the rooms here are spacious and stylish. The exciting line of amenities in the resort includes an indoor pool, a huge pool with sea view, nice range of bars and four restaurants. Direct access to the waters and amazing water sports opportunities are also provided with the resort’s private beach.

5. The Royal Savoy

 Sharm El Sheikh

An exclusive wing of a luxury five-pearl Savoy complex, the Royal Savoy boasts of a key location sitting  next to Soho Square Center that provides an elegant experience  with overflowing nightlife, restaurants and fun-filled activities. A small beach and three pools are available to guests including direct access to each amenity. Sprawling with sophistication, all 36 rooms are spacious enough and are guaranteed to offer a deluxe feeling being decorated with lovely flowers. Here you can also experience some classy villas and furnished balconies overlooking the beautiful gardens and giving you access to private pools.

So, experience an amazing holiday at the Sharm El Sheik and book your stay in one of its luxury hotels! Make a top pick and you won’t regret your decision.

How to Make the Most of Your Hotel During a Work Trip

Work trips are often packed with numerous strenuous activities that happen one after the other. Usually, when you are on a work trip, the only time you can relax and get some rest is when you are already in your hotel.

 JA Resorts

If you are staying at one of the best beachfront hotels during a work trip, you can ensure you can stay productive and, more importantly, enjoy a break from your busy schedule by following the tips below:

1.    Check in early and check out late

To have a longer stay at your hotel, arrive early and leave late. If you are still booking a room, find out if you can check in earlier than the designated time. You will have a higher chance of having this request granted if you are a member of the hotel’s loyalty program.

By arriving early, you can get some rest before you start working. You will have time to refresh yourself and prepare for the day ahead.

If you are allowed to check out late, you will have some spare time to relax before your flight or your long trip back home.

 JA Resorts

2.    Know what comes with your nightly stay at the hotel

Before leaving for your work trip, make sure you know all the perks that come with staying at the hotel you’ve chosen. Find out what amenities and services are included in the daily rate and which ones come at extra fees.

By doing some research in advance, you will avoid being surprised by your bill when you check out.

3.    Take advantage of all freebies and perks

 Once you know which amenities and services come for free, make sure you use them. Enjoy their free complimentary drink upon check-in. Take advantage of the free breakfast buffet and coffee every morning, too.

If you are allowed free use of the hotel workspace or co-working space, get some work done in these areas. You will enjoy faster Wi-Fi connection and additional services including printing and secretarial assistance.

Lastly, create an itinerary of all the free, fun things you can do at the hotel such as cooling off in the swimming pool, visiting the garden or working out at the gym. If your work trip is in the UAE, don’t forget to take advantage of the wonderful spa deals in Dubai.

With an itinerary, you will be sure to enjoy all the pleasurable things your hotel has to offer.

 JA Resorts

4.    Get some work done in your hotel room

If you are more productive when you’re alone, then get your laptop out and work in your room. You will definitely be able to concentrate and be more productive in your room. If you love watching TV or listening to music while working, you will be able to do so without worrying about disturbing other people.

In case you need to get a lot of work done and you can’t spare time to go out to have lunch, dinner, or a snack, take advantage of the hotel’s room services. Aside from having a delectable meal or snack, you won’t have to eat in a rush to get back to your work.

5.    Don’t be embarrassed to ask for extras

Do you want an extra pillow, blanket, or robe? Call the front office.

 Most hotels do not advertise this, but you can enjoy certain small freebies and extras. All you have to do is ask.

You can also ask for extra shampoo, conditioner, lotion, razor, toothpaste, coffee, creamer, or sugar. Most hotels will be happy to accommodate your requests. Just make sure you ask for what you need.

6.    Use your hotel loyalty or travel credit card points

Lastly, if you are a member of a hotel loyalty program, check how many points you have. See if you have enough points to get a free room upgrade. If not, check what other perks you can have access to such as late checkout or a free drink at the bar or lounge.

 In case you have a travel credit card, see if you have sufficient points you can apply to the room. You can also use it for other services such as a hotel breakfast or to get a massage at the hotel spa. You may even be able to use your points for free laundry or dry cleaning services and avoid the task of hand-washing your clothes.

When you follow these tried-and-tested tips, you can go through your work trip productively and smoothly. You will be able to find time to get some much-needed R&R, too, even if you have a hectic schedule.

  JA Resorts

AUTHOR BIO

Thomas Grundner is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for JA Resorts & Hotels. He has more than 20 years of expertise in the hospitality and leisure industry – across international markets including Germany, Egypt and Spain. Grundner oversees all sales, marketing and revenue efforts as the company continues to build on its key growth and development strategies and further cultivates its unique blend of “Heartfelt Hospitality” and “Casual Luxury.”

 

 

Affordable Luxury: 8 Ways to Experience the Best of Dubai

Dubai

Dubai is one of the seven dazzling emirates forming the United Arab Emirates. It has been ranked as one of the fastest growing cities in the world.  Also, it is one of the most sought-after destinations for travellers around the world with its endless choices of fine dining restaurants, shopping opportunities, and luxury accommodation.

Despite the luxury experiences it offers, Dubai is a diverse city offering activities, attractions and luxury leisure hotel rooms at affordable rates. Here are eight ways to experience the best of Dubai without spending a ton of cash:

1. Explore the City by Walking

There are certain areas where walking is considered the best way to explore the surroundings. These include the Dubai Marina and the traditional districts of Al Ras and Al Bastakiya.

If you’re in Dubai Marina, take the monorail to Atlantis hotel, which is located on the tip of Palm Jumeirah. In Al Ras, you can visit markets like Naif Souk, Spice Souk, Gold Souk, and Deira fish market. In Al Bastakiya, you will find traditional souks, lots of galleries, and museums.

the markest in Dubai

2. Enjoy the Sun at Stunning Public Beaches

There are private beaches in the city – you can get access to it by staying at a beach hotel or paying an entrance fee. But there are also some beaches that you can visit for free. These are well-maintained beaches with ease of access to restaurants, camel riding, shopping, water sports, and clean toilets. Others even offer free use of an outdoor gym and an excellent beach promenade.

The Beach in Dubai

3. Go Window Shopping

When it comes to luxury shopping, Dubai is one of the top destinations. The best thing about this is that even if you do not have enough space or budget for shopping, some of these malls are worth checking out without spending a penny.

At the Dubai Mall, you can check out the Dubai Aquarium without paying a fee. Get to see 33,000 marine animals swimming in the aquarium. Another mall you can visit is the Mall of the Emirates which is the home of Ski Dubai. Watching from outside this indoor ski resort and snow park is possible. If you are interested in theatre, dance, film, music, and arts, you can check out Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre.

4. Look out for Low-cost and Free Events

If you are in Dubai during the Dubai Canvas festival, you can see some of the world’s skilled artists making excellent 3D street art. Another event you should watch out for is the Dubai Food Festival where you can enjoy discounted food deals on food markets and high-end restaurants. It is highly recommended that before you visit the emirate, you must research online for happenings and events that you can go to when you’re in town.

5. Watch the Dancing Fountain

One of the experiences a visitor in Dubai should enjoy is to watch the dancing fountain show. The Dubai Fountain has a spectacular show a few times a day. You can actually watch it thrice a day because each has different shows and music. This is the best place for you to wander around the artificial lake with Burj Khalifa and skyline in the background. The show begins at 6 pm until 11 pm, with a show happening every 30 minutes.

6. Visit Museums

Dubai is also home to low-cost and free museums. Dubai Museum is one of them. This is an affordable museum that gives you a thought-provoking history lesson on how this emirate evolved from a small village to one of the biggest cities today. Other museums you can visit include the Antique Museum in Al Quoz, Women’s Museum, and the Coffee Museum. These museums offer different lessons and unique experiences.

7. Join a Guided Tour

If you want to learn more about Dubai religion and culture, a visit to the Jumeirah Mosque is a great idea. A guided tour will give you the opportunity to ask questions you have in mind. The tour often begins at 10 am from Saturday to Thursday.

8. Explore Various Cultures at the Global Village

Global Village is an outdoor shopping and entertainment area that you shouldn’t miss. It has shopping districts that represent different countries. This is where you can encounter most Emiratis and a few Westerners.

You can definitely find affordable souvenirs here. Also, you can try local cuisines from one of the snack stands inexpensively. Moreover, you can watch cultural shows, music performances and entertainment here.

Dubai may be one of the most expensive cities in the world. But with a bit of time and planning, you can enjoy luxurious experiences for free or at affordable rates.

 

AUTHOR BIO

Habib Khan is a seasoned Hotelier, currently the CEO of Planet Hospitality and General Manager of Arabian Courtyard Hotel and Spa. Khan has more than 30 years of diversified international experience in the hospitality industry. He is an expert in developing, transforming, and managing hotels, with an ability to analyze and solve problems in a challenging work environment.

Best Road Trips in Australia

Those of you who are always on a lookout for adventure have surely contemplated the idea of a road trip or maybe even been on a few of those epic journeys. If you have never done it in Australia, it’s high time you considered it! There aren’t many places that offer such great diversity and you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to different road trips that you can take in Australia.

driving off into the sunset in Australia

While the choice of the route depends on many things, there are some generally popular ones that people have been taking for decades (by car or campervan). So, take a look at some of those recommended by both local guides and those who have travelled around Australia.

Sydney to Melbourne

If cities are your thing, you should definitely consider this epic Australian coastal trip from New South Wales to Victoria. Waiting for you along the way are amazing rainforests, coastal views and you can also stop and go whale watching.

Think about stopping in Kiama, a small village where you can see the marvellous Kiama blowhole and witness water shooting high up into the air. Near this charming place, you can visit the amazing Seven Mile Beach and relax. If you decide to stop in Eden, you can take a whale watching trip and enjoy some of the most spectacular scenes.

Perth to Darwin

This long trip can really turn into one great adventure! Once you leave Perth, you can stop at Shark Bay, where the marine wildlife will do its best to make it worthwhile. Your next stop could be Karijini, where we recommend you inspect your car, because your next leg is quite a lengthy one. We recommend you head for Nitmiluk, although it’s over 2500 km away, but you’ll be treated to some of the most scenic parts of the journey, passing through mountains, breathtaking coast beaches, gorges and villages. The final leg of the trip is much shorter, but equally rewarding in terms of scenery.

Brisbane to Airlie Beach 

It is one of the most popular routes, probably because of the wonderful beaches along the way. Still, before you set off, make sure you have a reliable mobile mechanic from Brisbane inspect your vehicle, so that you can focus on enjoying your trip instead of dealing with car issues.

The journey will take you through some nice beachside towns, such as Caloundra, Mooloolaba and Noosa, before you reach Hervey Bay, where you can stop for a whale-watching experience or take a detour and visit the famous Fraser Island and its amazing beaches and lakes. Next stop should be Bundaberg, where you can sample some great rum. Once rested, you can continue towards Yeppoon and Airlie Beach, where you can enjoy diving, snorkelling or take a tour of the Great Barrier Reef.

plan a road trip with your map in Australia

Sydney to Byron Bay

Since Byron Bay with its great beaches is one of the most popular destinations in Australia, many people like to take this route. Although it could be done in one day, there are so many fantastic stops that can make the journey unforgettable. Your first stop could be the Central Coast, but make sure you visit Hunter Valley on the way. It’s famous for some exquisite wine, so don’t miss an opportunity to visit one of the famous wineries.

From the Central Coast, head towards Port Macquarie and continue in the direction of your final destination, Byron Bay. Even if you don’t make a stop along the way, you’ll be rewarded with one of the most renowned places in Australia.

Of course, there are many other road trips you could take in Australia. It’s really up to you to choose the one that you can afford in terms of both your free time and money. Whichever you take, you’ll be able to have a fantastic time.

driving down the road in Australia

 

 

Dubai for Foodies: 10 Best Things to Try

Dubai is on the fast track towards gaining the recognition of being a foodie’s paradise. With thousands of restaurants and numerous cuisines to choose from, your craving for something savory or sweet (and everything in between) will be easily satisfied.

You don’t even have to wait in line at a popular restaurant or café to eat your fill; there are many restaurants that will deliver excellent meals and food products right to your doorstep.

But which dishes and fares should you put on your list of must-try foods in Dubai if you’re here on a gastronomic journey? Here is a list, from a leading food service company in the UAE, of the top 10 you should sample:

1.   Ghuzi

 Ghuzi, or khuzi, is the UAE’s national dish. It is made of roasted lamb or mutton served on top of a bed of rice with spices. A variety of vegetables and nuts are also added to the dish. In restaurants, the roasted meat is served on kebab skewers, with the other garnishes on top of the rice.

Ghuzi is a complete meal in itself. It is a good dish to start with if you’re a foodie on a quest to know more about the hearty, traditional side of Dubai’s food scene.

2.   Al Harees

Another must-try traditional Emirati dish, al harees is a slow-cooked one-pot dish that consists of boiled wheat with salt. Once the wheat gains a smooth, porridge-like texture, tender, tasty chunks of lamb, mutton, chicken, or veal are added and the dish is baked for another several hours. A variety of spices are also added to boost the flavor of the dish.

Al harees is another delightful, tasty, and filling offering that will help you learn more about traditional Emirati cuisine and culture.

3.   Shawarma

Shawarma is another Arabic dish that many restaurants and eateries in Dubai have perfected. If you’re hankering for this meaty wrap, you can select chicken, beef, or lamb for the main protein. Slices of pickles and tomatoes and a drizzle of garlic sauce are added for texture and flavor.

There are now some restaurants in Dubai that serve shawarma with a special fruit shake — a great deal if you’re a foodie on a budget.

4.   Mutton Achari Handi

Aside from Emirati and Arabic dishes, you won’t be disappointed by the different cuisines you can enjoy in Dubai – something that you certainly look forward to as a foodie. Start by trying a popular Pakistani dish: mutton achari handi.

This dish consists of mutton cooked with fresh green chilis and a variety of spices. What you’ll get is a bowl or plate of tender mutton with a tangy, pickled aftertaste. This is one of the most popular dishes to try in Dubai today.

5.   Bihari kebabs

Indian is the most popular cuisine in Dubai today. Bihari kebab is one of the dishes that has helped propelled this cuisine’s popularity.

These kebabs have their roots in the Indian state of Bihar. The skewered pieces of meat are infused with exotic spices, yoghurt and tenderized papaya. They melt in your mouth and make you want to order more.

6.   Koshari

If you haven’t tried any Egyptian foods before, you’re in luck; you will find one of the most popular Egyptian dishes in the world in Dubai, and it’s called koshari.

Koshari is a dish made of baked noodles or rice and drizzled with traditional Egyptian condiments, lentils, chickpeas, fried onions, and vinegar. This Egyptian comfort food is often served with feteer, a traditional Egyptian pie made from flour and sugar and topped with a variety of garnishes.

7.   Manousheh

If you’re craving for a slice of pizza with a twist, you definitely have to try manousheh. Commonly served as a breakfast dish, this Lebanese savory pastry is made from stretched dough and stuffed with flavorful toppings such as zaatar herbs, olive oil and Akkawi cheese. It is a dish you must simply enjoy for breakfast.

8.   Cheong Fun

Cheong fun is a type Chinese dimsum. Shrimp, duck, Chinese barbecued pork, and other types of meat are tightly wrapped inside rice flour wrappers and made into rolls. They are then steamed or deep-fried. These tasty bites are quite addictive and are a must-try for any foodie.

9.   Luqaimat

Once you’re ready for dessert, start with some luqaimats. These deep-fried dumplings are drizzled with date molasses, making them salty and sweet at the same time. Luqaimats are considered by many as the “official sweet of the Emirates.”

10.   Baklava

As a foodie, you may already know your way around baklavas. But you’re certainly in for a treat if you try these sweet pastries in Dubai.

This special dessert, which is made of layers of filo dough,  filled with chopped and sweetened nuts, and drizzled with sugar syrup or honey, is a favorite in Dubai. Just make sure you choose a bakery known for their best-tasting baklavas.

Dubai has so many delectable things to offer to serious foodies. If you haven’t been to this city yet, then it’s high time you do — a culinary journey to Dubai is one of the best experiences you will have in your lifetime.

 

AUTHOR BIO

Jad Asaad is the Marketing Manager at Horeca Trade LLC with more than eight years of experience in digital, online and offline marketing. He started his career in Beirut working in a creative agency and then moved to Dubai to further expand his career. He created and implemented award-winning high-impact digital and offline marketing campaigns that consistently generated revenue streams and improved performance in targeted segments.