Home & Away with Robert Walshe A new survey has revealed that Dublin and Belfast were the top choices for vacation goers in Ireland during the first half of 2012.The survey carried out by Hotels. com showed that Dublin is the most popular destination for overseas travelers, while Belfast takes second place. The Northern Irish city profited from a particularly busy first six months of the year with the opening of the new Titanic Exhibition Centre in April and a large scale campaign by Tourism Ireland helping to boost visitor numbers. Cultural hot spot Galway is in third place while Cork is fourth on the chart of home-grown destinations.
Holiday Hotspot – Kempinski – Seychelles www.kempinski.com
children of slaves in the colonial period. Its here that you enjoy fantastic views of the western coastline & bird watching. A visit to Mahe is not complete without a trip to the Takamaka Bay rum distillery, situated at La Plaine St. Andre, an old colonial homestead on the south east coast. The Trois Freres Distillery itself was built and developed by brothers Richard and Bernard d’Offay in 2002. Since then, the Takamaka Bay family of products has grown to include white rum, & coco rum. www.takamaka.sc The mountainous interior of the main island is largely covered with dense forest, whilst the coastline has beautiful white powdered beaches, lovely coves and great beaches. Beau Vallon is the most popular here with 2km of golden, palm-fringed sand, a mountain backdrop and shallow sparkling waters. The stunning natural beauty and relaxed flair of those tropical islands has drawn in many artists over the years. Mahé has a vibrant art scene, and is home to a number of well-known painters including Michael Adams awarded an MBE by Queen Elisabeth in 2001 for his services to arts. Most of these artists have their own art galleries, where they welcome guests to view their island-inspired works. Nearby in beautiful Baie Lazare on the southwest coast, Kempinskis newly
The islands of the Seychelles as you have read in recent weeks are a blissfully isolated honeymoon haven with luxurious hideaways and excellent diving. Mahe is the largest island home to 80.000 people and Victoria is one of the world’s smallest capital cities. It’s a pleasant provincial place with a colourful local market, simple souvenir stores and a handful of bars and restaurants. First established as the seat of British colonial government, it retains remnants of the UK including the roundabout clock tower, modelled on Little Ben in London’s Victoria. There’s enough to merit a few hours’ exploration here including the Botanical Gardens, the National Museum of History and the Victoria Natural History Museum. “Mission Lodge” originally providing shelter as well Lobby helles Resort as education to the n Kempinski Seyc
n Kempinski Seyc
n Kempinski Seyc
opened Seychelles Resort sits in splendid isolation down a private drive off the main road. The 150 rooms and suites all face the ocean, though perhaps more dramatic still are the granite cliffs and lush vegetation backing the resort, placing Kempinski Seychelles Resort in a picture-perfect setting. The enticement begins on arrival in the open-air reception area where the view inspires you to grab a cocktail, kick back & relax before you have even unpacked your bags. With a variety of cuisines available in its open-air restaurants, Café Lazare named after the renowned French explorer Picaut is the resort’s all-day dining venue and my favourite. The buffet breakfast here is a triumph and the nightly themed buffet dinners served by hotel employees as international as the food, highlight the flavour variations each evening. The Spa provides a secluded sanctuary within lush gardens with an extensive menu of treatments and services offering natural therapies and modern techniques. Each treatment is customized according to your
body’s desired outcome, incorporating the wisdom of nature to soothe, relax and pamper your skin. The herbal treatments detoxify and nurture your body to leave you rejuvenated, refreshed and relaxed. For parents who want to get some “ us “ time entertainment in the kids’ club is on offer all day while adults can choose from the wide range of fun watersports such as scuba diving, snorkeling and kayaking. The new Seychelles hotel by Kempinski also boasts one of the largest ballrooms in the region, with seated capacity for up to 200 guests and stunning views that stretch over the lagoon. Kempinski Seychelles Resort is very peaceful, design is excellent and service top notch The “stay seven pay six night offer includes breakfast buffet at Café Lazare with prices from 192.EUROS. www.kempinski. com Emirates Airline oper-
ates a Dublin to Dubai daily service departing at lunchtime. Dubai to Seychelles is a double daily service departing at 2.05hrs or 8.25hrs.and was the 52nd route launched by Emirates. Current prices start from €765 (Economy Class) inclusive of taxes or €2586 Business Class Fare. Passenger flying First Class can enjoy a very generous baggage allowance of 50kg, In Business Class, its 40kg and in Economy, a healthy 30 kg. The airline’s chauffeur-drive service is available to both First and Business Class passengers across the island of Ireland. All of Emirates’ customers can enjoy in-flight telephones, SMS and email and children’s activity packs. Highly trained cabin crews from across the globe, including Irish nationals are on hand to serve gourmet chef prepared meals. www.emirates. com For all travel related
information to the truly wonderful Seychelles visit www. seychelles.travel
Weekly Best Buy
To celebrate the opening of the Tullamore D.E.W. Visitor Centre last month, the 4-star Bridge House Hotel in Tullamore, Co. Offaly is offering a special ‘Grand Opening’ offer of two nights B&B in one of the hotel’s luxurious bedrooms, a four course dinner on the evening of your choice, a tour of the new Tullamore D.E.W. Visitor Centre and a whiskey tasting for just €125 per person sharing midweek or €149 per person sharing at weekends. Located less than 90 minutes from Dublin, Galway and Limerick, the renowned Bridge House Hotel in has 70 luxurious guest rooms including Bridal, Executive and Presidential Suites, many with Jacuzzi and balconies. www.bridgehouse.com
Home and Away Extra The number of holidaymakers who took a cruise last year exceeded 20 million for the first time. The figure – 20.6 million – represents an increase of 1.9 million, or nearly 10 per cent, on the previous year. It includes 1.7 million British holidaymakers, up slightly from 1.62 million in 2010, around 4.5 million from the rest of Europe, 11.5 million North Americans, and 2.9 million from the rest of the world. Bookings stalled following the Costa Concordia disaster in Jan-
uary, but have returned to normal levels, according to travel agents. A recent survey by the website Travelzoo suggested that 96 per cent of people considering booking a cruise had not been put off by the tragedy, although 20 per cent said they would avoid a voyage with Costa Cruises Robert Walshe is a freelance contributor / broadcaster and Travel Editor for River Media newspaper titles across the island of Ireland. www.robertwalshe.com
with Kathleen Murray
Is your dog a threat to visitors? Everyone should love their dog. Why have one if you don’t? Loving your dog is not enough though if someone other than family or friends come calling. Your dog may know your family and your friends and be friendly towards them but that does not mean it will be friendly towards everyone it meets. Lots of people have mentioned over the years about how they went to someone’s house and they were a bit apprehensive about the dog’s approach towards them. The family replied by saying “Don’t worry he won’t touch you”. That is the biggest myth
of all time. The dog may indeed do more than touch you, he may decide to take a piece out of you. This is not the fault of the dog, this is the fault of the owner. An owner needs to know their dog. They need to have seen it’s response in many different situations and the owner needs to have complete control over the dog at all times. A dog should not be left outside unsupervised in case of an accident with a passer by or a delivery person. People selling tickets are often targets. Postmen, district Nurses, Ambulance people,
Gardai, Canvassers at Election times are all easy prey for a loose dog with a protective or territorial attitude. What makes a dog bite one person and not another? What makes one dog bite, and another not bite? Dogs have different personalities just like we do and they react to different personalities just like we do. We like some people, others we don’t. Our choice. Dogs are the same. The only difference is that dogs don’t know about our laws on assault or maiming someone. If we didn’t have the law to live by then it wouldn’t be safe to step out of the house.
It would be a free-for-all. We would behave like our other animal friends, just act on instinct. That’s why the law is there… to protect us from each other. Unfortunately for our dogs they can’t read so they don’t know about our laws. It’s up to us to protect them from acting on instinct and to prevent them from being in a position where they could damage someone. If two people came into the house to visit, one was confident and the other was scared, the dog would have a different reaction to both of them. Scared people often react aggressively with
dogs which can cause a dog to react aggressively back again, even if it had no intention of doing anything in the first place. Scared dogs and confident dogs behave differently with people also. Every situation needs to be looked at separately. In the
meantime don’t leave your dog on it’s own to make up it’s own mind and don’t leave it in the same room as someone who is not comfortable with it being there. A little bit of understanding and respect all round helps to prevent ill feeling or worse.