Monthly Archives: June 2015

Great lengths – swim in the lap of luxury

It s a heatwave! And oh, what we d give to drop everything and slip into a sparkling outdoor pool. If you re daydreaming of doing gentle strokes on the terrace of a knock-out hotel, this list will wet your appetite.

Find your infinity-edged nirvana in our edit of the week s sales, starting from just 79 a night, with last-minute July availability onwards.

Moddershall Oaks, Staffordshire

Great Lengths – Swim In The Lap Of Luxury

Moddershall Oaks

Make the most of this glorious sunshine with a drive to Moddershall Oaks Country Spa Retreat a family-run, boutique bolthole in the Staffordshire countryside. The hotel hasn t stopped upping its game since it was awarded the full five bubbles by the Good Spa Guide; it s recently added an outdoor spa courtyard with a 25-square-metre heated vitality pool, kelo sauna and log fire. View offer >>1

Therasia Resort Sea & Spa, Aeolian Islands

Great Lengths – Swim In The Lap Of Luxury

Therasia Resort Sea & Spa

Escape to the slumbering Italian isle of Vulcano to swim in this panoramic infinity pool one of two at Therasia Resort Sea & Spa. Romantic views of the azure sea and the other six Aeolian Islands make the place a bather s dream. View offer >>2

Likya Gardens, Turkey

Great Lengths – Swim In The Lap Of Luxury

Likya Gardens

As if the ice-white, cerise and violet-accented suites at this intimate coastal retreat aren t romantic enough; each one has access to its own private 10-metre plunge pool.

Perfect for serene seclusion, Likya Gardens is one of the places to stay on the exclusive Lycian Coast. View offer >>3

Gale South Beach & Kaskades Suites, Miami

Great Lengths – Swim In The Lap Of Luxury

Gale South Beach & Kaskades Suites

Be sure to bask in the beach breezes while taking in stunning views of the city from the rooftop terrace at Gale South Beach & Kaskades Suites, Miami. Its pool is sweet symmetry; a sharp, black-edge design lined by hot-white loungers and unfurling towards the ocean. This is a solarium to be seen at. View offer >>4

The Plettenberg, South Africa

Great Lengths – Swim In The Lap Of Luxury

The Plettenberg

What better way to experience the drama of South Africa s Plettenberg Bay than from an elevated pool?

Set on a grassy headland offering up heart-stopping ocean views, this is what the horizon edge was made for. Bring binoculars and you might just glimpse some of the Cape s amazing marine life. View offer >>5

An Lam Villas Ninh Van Bay, Vietnam

Great Lengths – Swim In The Lap Of Luxury

An Lam Villas Ninh Van Bay

The mirror surface of the water at An Lam Villas Ninh Van Bay lends this luxe hideaway an almost mystical quality. Feel at one with your surroundings here at this all-villa Vietnamese sanctuary, where you ll have your own private plunge pool. View offer >>6

Lily Beach Resort & Spa, Maldives

Great Lengths – Swim In The Lap Of Luxury

Lily Beach Resort & Spa

The Maldives: does it get any more heavenly than this?

The ultimate in languorous holidaying, this Indian Ocean archipelago continues to resist unsustainable development. Instead, each of the island resorts offers space, ridiculous amounts of unspoilt beauty and total tranquillity. Float away to seventh heaven in the two freshwater pools at Lily Beach Resort & Spa on Huvahendhoo Island; you only live once View offer >>7

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Top 10 tennis schools in the UK

Top 10 Tennis Schools In The UK

Anyone for tennis? After all, nothing says summer like the lush grass courts of SW19 and the sound of balls flying over the net. If Wimbledon inspires you to pick up your own racket, there are some terrific places for you to hone your skills.

Here are our top-seeded tennis schools around the country.

Sutton Tennis Academy, London1
If you fancy trying out facilities fit for a pro, look no further than the fantastic Sutton Tennis Academy. Strength-and-conditioning gym? Sure.

Physiotherapy clinic? Yep. There are also dance studios that will soon have you twirling around.

So whether you re recovering from an injury or aiming for Novak-Djokovic-level fitness, it s well worth checking out.

Maidstone Tennis Academy, Kent2
Over 15 years, this academy has helped 1000s of juniors and adults to achieve their tennis goals. Some of their spectacular successes include national champions and Junior Wimbledon players. You can follow in their footsteps with some fun match play or join in one of the regular tournaments.

The Cardio Tennis sessions will soon get the blood pumping away and your heart rate up too.

Ben Saunders Tennis, Liverpool3
Andy Murray s former coach, Ben Saunders, heads up this fab centre. From tots tennis sessions to private classes for adults, there s something for everyone here. You could take part in the Rusty Racket sessions for beginners and improvers the outdoor courts are floodlit so you can play well into the balmy summer night.

This is the perfect blend of fitness and fun.

KMP Tennis Academy, London4
Wannabe Nadals will love KMP s Spanish Drill training sessions. Here you zigzag backwards and forwards (plus side to side) through V shapes; they help you practise shots and build your fitness. How much will your recovery time improve?

And even if you re not quite at championship level (yet), then there s a terrific range of other programmes that you can join in the meantime.

North Oxford Lawn Tennis Club, Oxford5
Competitive types will thrill to the opportunities this club offers to annihilate their opponents. There are 17 different teams that range from virtual beginners to county-level players. For the ultimate rivalry, sign up for a Sunday-morning family session and you can even take on your relatives.

Jonathan Markson Tennis, London6
From single player to family weeks, you re sure to find the right programme here.

You can even pick from a terrific selection of locations, from a summer camp in London to a session in Praia da Luz. These trips blend sightseeing with a great opportunity to brush up your skills.

Halton, Buckinghamshire7
It s difficult to say whether Halton s tranquil grounds or terrific facilities (including 16 courts and a chic bar) are its biggest selling point: they re both certainly stunning. While you re there, you could also register for a wide selection of health and fitness classes from pilates to personal training sessions.

Ealing Lawn Tennis Club, London8
Dating back to 1882, today s Ealing Lawn Tennis Club boasts mod cons of a decidedly 21st-century nature.

Do check out the all-weather astroturf court and fully accessible facilities for disabled users. In fact, they also run wheelchair tennis events and can provide specially designed chairs. It s a really friendly club with a buzzing social scene full of live entertainment and delicious food.

Bromley Tennis Centre, Kent9
Anyone can just book a court and start knocking a ball around at Bromley.

When you re ready to take it to the next level, you can have one-to-one sessions with a professional coach or hire a buddy hitter. Alternatively, you could join one of the 100+ groups or take your own coaching qualification. So what are you waiting for?

Annabel Croft Tennis Academy, London10
There s something for all the family at the Annabel Croft Tennis Academy.

You child could join the little hitters squad when they re three years old and practise with a sponge ball.

You may need to keep up with their progress, in which case look no further than the adult classes; they give a great insight into the academy s philosophy.


  1. ^ Sutton Tennis Academy, London (
  2. ^ Maidstone Tennis Academy, Kent (
  3. ^ Ben Saunders Tennis, Liverpool (
  4. ^ KMP Tennis Academy, London (
  5. ^ North Oxford Lawn Tennis Club, Oxford (
  6. ^ Jonathan Markson Tennis, London (
  7. ^ Halton, Buckinghamshire (
  8. ^ Ealing Lawn Tennis Club, London (
  9. ^ Bromley Tennis Centre, Kent (
  10. ^ Annabel Croft Tennis Academy, London (

Tunisia beach attack: Anger at tour operator’s cancellation policy for British …

The UK s biggest tour operator, Tui, which owns Thomson and First Choice, is imposing normal cancellation conditions for trips from August onwards. But German tourists booked with the same company are being offered full refunds for bookings up to mid-September.

Following Friday s massacre on the beach in the Tunisian resort of Sousse, most UK tour operators and airlines have offered a refund or the chance to switch alternative destinations to anyone booked to travel imminently to the north African nation.

The two big Discount Holidays © holiday firms, Thomson and Thomas Cook, have cancelled all departures to Tunisia this week. When operations resume, travellers booked to travel in the coming month can switch destination or cancel without the normal penalties.

Thomson says: Amendments can be made to bookings on holidays to Tunisia until 31 July.

Tunisia Beach Attack: Anger At Tour Operator's Cancellation Policy For British ...The travel group TUI put on extra flights to evacuate tourists, including this group arriving at Schiphol in Amsterdam (EPA)

Yet German holidaymakers travelling with the same company at any time in the summer can cancel. Within hours of the attack, Tui told clients of its German operation: All the guests who had planned a trip to Tunisia until 15 September may rebook for free or cancel .

Between 80,000 and 100,000 British holidaymakers are believed to have holidays booked in Tunisia in August alone. Some have contacted The Independent to express their alarm about travelling to a nation where two groups of tourists have been slain within three months.

Mick Tedman from Princes Risborough said his daughter and family have paid 2,800 for a repeat visit to Tunisia in early August: We are as saddened and sickened as all normal, sane people with what has happened As you can gather they do not wish to go back there.

The standard Thomson fee for cancellations between four and seven weeks before travel is 70 per cent.

Read more: 15 Britons confirmed dead in Tunisia terrorist attack
Man who ‘took a bullet’ for his fianc in Tunisia alive in hospital
Locals formed ‘human shield’ to protect hotel from gunman123

A spokeswoman for Thomson said: “The situation in Tunisia is fluid and under constant review. Our current priority is supporting the affected customers and their family and friends in resort at this exceptionally difficult time. TUI Germany has made the decision based on its source market needs.”

Emily from Somerset – who did not want her surname used, as she has booked a surprise trip for her four children – is due to travel on 12 August.

Her destination is Djerba, close to the Libyan border. She said Thomson had told her she would need to pay to switch to a different destination. She also questioned the latest official travel advice to Tunisia, saying: How can the Foreign Office say there is a possibility of more attacks but that it’s safe to go?

The government s official advice was revised late on Saturday night.

It warns: Further terrorist attacks in Tunisia, including in tourist resorts, are possible.

It suggested the perpetrators could be individuals who are unknown to the authorities, and whose actions are inspired by terrorist groups via social media.

But the intricately worded official advice stops short of putting Tunisia on the government s Discount Holidays © holiday blacklist – which would compel tour operators to evacuate existing tourists and not to send anyone else until the advice changes.

Sean Tipton of Abta, the travel association, said Discount Holidays © holiday companies relied upon Foreign Office advice: They are the experts in this area, and they haven t advised against travel to Tunisia.

It s an unfortunate but inescapable fact that there s a high threat of terrorism around the world, including the UK.

But that doesn t mean that business grinds to a halt.


  1. 15 Britons confirmed dead in Tunisia terrorist attack (
  2. Man who ‘took a bullet’ for his fianc in Tunisia alive in hospital (
  3. Locals formed ‘human shield’ to protect hotel from gunman (
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