Top 10 Luxury City Breaks around the World

There’s nothing quite like the luxury of a business flight. As you lay back in the comfortable seat, taking advantage of the astronomical leg room and enjoying the sumptuous delights of the food trolleys. When you’re heading off for a city break, the temptation of a business class flight is always going to be there. Why not save up and treat yourself the next time you head abroad and sample the plethora of benefits of flying in the lap of luxury?


JohannesburgHead to this, the largest city in South Africa, and enjoy a luxury stay in the swish district of Sandton. Treat yourself to a spa afternoon, sample the amazing cuisine or enjoy one of the myriad of excursions available in the area, including Kruger National Park.


Enjoy four nights in Bangkok and absorb the lights and sounds of this incredible city. Enjoy a day tour to the floating markets of Tha Kha and Amphawa, where you can appreciate the King Rama Memorial Park in all its glory.


There’s nowhere quite like Dubai if you want to sample the luxuries within. Dine in one of the elegant world-class restaurants, or enjoy a champagne tea at the world’s tallest building – Burj Khalifa. With views over the Persian Gulf, you could enjoy the wondrous views, or just explore the most expensive city in the Middle East.

New York

New YorkEnjoy a spot of transatlantic shopping and spend a few days in the brilliant city of New York on the East Coast of the USA. With department stores aplenty, climb inside a traditional big yellow taxi and take in the sights of this bustling city.

Take the time to admire the Statue of Liberty, found on Liberty Island in the bay of New York Harbour, before enjoying one of the infamous stage shows on Broadway.

Hong Kong

Watch the sun set of the glistening Hong Kong skyline, enjoy a trip on Victoria Harbour aboard a traditional Chinese boat or sample some of the incredible cuisine that this area has on offer. Hong Kong is a breathtaking place, with some astounding hotels to stay in.


Sticking with the Far East, Singapore is an absolute must-visit. This incredibly clean city offers a plethora of activities to its visitors, including a stroll around Raffles, a luxury hotel named after Stamford Raffles – the British statesman who founded Singapore in 1819.

Invest in a night safari, where you can explore the jungle after dark, including tram rides, animal encounters and spectacular shows.

Abu Dhabi

Explore the city before taking part in a drive through the desert, absorbing the sights as you go. Visit the Palace Museum or one of the largest camel markets in the Middle East or experience a ride on the Ship of the Desert, yourself!

Whatever luxury city break you choose, it could include much more than just the local skyscrapers. With plenty of cities around the world acting as gateways to the great outdoors, you could get the best of both worlds as you disembark your business class flight. Start planning, today.

What you need to Pack for a Weekend Away

If you’re jetting off for a short break, don’t go to the hassle and expense of checking in a bag. Far better is to stick to hand luggage only. This way you can avoid baggage handling charges, spend less time at the airport (check-in online for the ultimate in time-saving), and not have to wait around at the baggage carousel at arrivals. You’ll also find it far easier to manage with a small cabin size case, making public transport transfers in particular less of a chore.

Of course, you’ll need do some effective packing in order to fit in everything that you need – especially with some low cost airlines having rules in place that you are only allowed to carry on one piece of hand luggage, meaning your handbag also has to go in your carry on case.

The fact is however that most of us do tend to over-pack. With a little careful thought it’s perfectly possible to pack for a weekend using a small suitcase or holdall. Don’t forget the following:

Travel Documents

Keep all documents together in one travel document wallet, including passports, any travel insurance policy details you’ve printed off, accommodation and flight details, maps, tickets and itineraries. If your carry on luggage has an internal or external pocket put your wallet in there for ease of access – however, be careful you keep your bag with you at all times.

travel packingPack a Capsule Wardrobe

Pack clothes that work well together and can also double up for day/night or different weather conditions. For example, adding a pair of opaque tights to denim shorts takes up less space than packing shorts and trousers. Stick to one colour pallet and pack day to night wear that can be dressed up with jewellery.

Choose Versatile Shoes

Shoes can take up a lot of space in your case so choose simple pairs that will work with different outfits. If possible stick to one day pair and one evening pair – keeping to neutral colours or those which work with your clothing colour pallet. Three pairs should be the maximum – for example, for sunshine city breaks a pair of comfortable flip flops, a pair of ballet flats and pair of heels or wedges for the evening should suffice. For men, flip flops, trainers and evening shoes.

Go Easy on the Toiletries

There’s no need to empty your bathroom cabinet for just three days away. The rules about liquids in hand luggage mean that you’re restricted as to what you can take anyway, so stick to travel mini-bottles where possible and scale back what you take. I’m sure you can live without your favourite bubble bath/fake tan/numerous hair products for a few days.

Don’t Forget Plug Adaptor, Chargers and your Toothbrush

Don’t get so caught up in packing light that you forget the essentials. A plug adaptor, charger for your phone and gadgets and your toothbrush spring to mind. Also think about any medication that you need, sun protection and condoms.

It’s perfectly possible to pack for a weekend away using just a cabin-sized suitcase when you put a little thought into it. Once you’ve perfected the art of packing light you’ll reap the benefits of easier, cheaper, more convenient travel – and less washing on your return!

Destination: Caye Caulker

Whatever the origin of Caye Caulker’s name, it is still synonymous with the tranquil water, beautiful scenery and the slow pace of this famous Belize island.

Warm water, sandy beaches and a uniquely Belizean laid back culture make Caye Caulker a favorite for Belizeans and tourists alike who gravitate to the gorgeous Caribbean Sea that accentuates the island’s shore. Caye Caulker is sheltered by a barrier reef one mile to the west and lies just 21 miles from the relative hustle and bustle of Belize city to the east. Although, Caye Caulker benefits from an idyllic setting in the crystal clear Belizean water, it is famous for its truly unique island lifestyle.

Caye Caulker has the distinction of being labeled the “slow” island among the many others in Belize that subscribe to a slow, Caribbean pace of life. To say it’s laid-back is an understatement. Caye Caulker life means lazy days filled with a healthy dose of beach under the Caribbean sun and ubiquitous coconut trees. This tiny island, which measures a mere half mile wide and five miles long, offers visitors a chance to slowdown, unplug and recharge. Cars are rare on Caye Caulker’s white sand roads. Islanders prefer to travel by golf carts, bicycles and leisurely barefoot walks. Caye Caulker has avoided the rampant commercialism of other destinations in favor of its Belizean personality. Visitors won’t find a single Starbucks, McDonalds, or chain hotel.

Caye Caulker is synonymous with beautiful beaches, unbelievable water and a very laid back, friendly island lifestyle. The origin of the name Caye Caulker is subject to several theories. Some believe Caye Caulker had its start on early maps under the name of “Cay Corker.”

IMG_9068.JPGMany believe that the original Caye Caulker name of Cay Corker, came from the island’s reputation for an abundance of fresh water at La Aguada. It is believed that the island of Cay Caulker was a favorite stop for sailors to fill and then cork their water bottles. The Spanish name of the island is Cayo Hicaco, which means “the island of the cocoplum.”

Some believe the name “Caye Caulker” could be a derivation of the pronunciation of the Spanish words Cayo Hicaco. Another theory is that boats were caulked in the protected bay, La Ensenada, on the western side of the island leading to the “Caulker” name.

Instead of cookie cutter outlet malls and soulless high rise hotels, Caye Caulker has brightly painted buildings in town making a colorful backdrop for the easy going island. Caye Caulker does have plenty to offer visitors with over 30 hotels, numerous shops and a wide variety of delicious restaurants. Continue reading

Destination: Placencia

Placencia is a great slice of Belize tropical paradise located in the Southern part of Belize’s Stann Creek Region. Placencia is a very romantic and picturesque destination perfect for honeymooners, families, sun seekers and water sports enthusiasts alike. Placencia was once a quiet fishing village that has evolved into a fantastic destination for Belize travelers seeking a wonderful and casual Belize experience.

Placencia is an area on the narrow and picturesque peninsula that is located about 40 miles south of Dangriga. The Placencia Lagoon borders the Placencia peninsula on the west and separates it from the Belize mainland. While the Caribbean Sea borders Placencia to the South and East. Although the Placencia area composes the entire 17 mile peninsula, the village of Placencia is located of the southern tip of the Placencia peninsula. Placencia village is a small and very romantic place that captures the essence of Southern Belize.

Placencia village is a casual destination that exudes tranquility and relaxation that most have come to associate with an ideallic Caribbean vacation destination of years past. Although Placencia Village is small and quaint, it is also considered the hub of the Placencia Pennisula. Visitors to Placencia Village have the unique opportunity to experience Belize relaxation with all of the modern world conveniences close by.

Placencia belize
Most of the restaurants, cafes, bars, gift shops, and essential services such as banks, grocery stores, and water transportation on the peninsula are located in Placencia Village. Placencia Village offers a wide variety of Belize hotel and lodging options, from budget rooms with shared baths, to the finest Belize hotel rooms, to vacation rentals and luxury villa rentals. People who stay in Placencia Village get to experience Belize on an intimate level and truly immerse themselves in the Belizean lifestyle.

A very long time ago, Placencia Village had the foresight to build a wonderful sidewalk through the town from the fishing docks. The 3 mile long sidewalk has become the cultural and emotional artery of Placencia Village. The sidewalk is the focus of most of Placencia Village’s activities and a unique corridor carrying locals, tourists and always a very pleasant vibe.

A dirt road runs parallel to the sidewalk and ends up on the other end of the boat docks by the gas station. Many grocery stores, restaurants and services are located on this road as well. Placencia Village features a wide variety of restaurants and dining options. Placencia Village offers everything from wonderful local seafood to casual American fare and everything in between. The only constant is a devotion to high quality and great dining experiences in Placencia Village. Continue reading

Destination: Corozal

When dreaming of Belize vacations and fantasizing of charming Belize hotels or white sand beach Belize resorts, Corozal usually doesn’t come to mind. However, this unfamiliarity shouldn’t preclude visitors from coming to this intersting area in the Northern end of Belize.

With 33,000 residents, Corozal is Belize’s 4th most populated district and offers a variety of interesting sights and diversions for Belize travelers. Due to Corozal’s close proximity to Mexico, Spanish is widely spoken, even though English is the official language. In fact, Corozal is home to many of the Mestizo and Maya descendants who fled Mexico during the Caste Wars of the mid 1800s. Corozal once known for its sugar production is now known for its designation as a free trade zone, busy transit point to Mexico and other neighboring areas and increasing tourist trade.

With just over 9,000 residents, the small town of Corozal Town is the highlight of the Corozal District. Corozal Town is situated between 2 picturesque rivers (Rio Hondo & New River) just 9 miles from Mexico’s Southern border. Corozal Town has an ideal seaside setting, with everything seemingly set upon the warm Caribbean water. Markets, parks & museums set against the gorgeous aqua marine backdrop add to the beauty and charm of Corozal Town. Heavily influenced by the Mexican culture and people to the North, Corozal Town resembles a Mexican town in its layout and feel.

corozal belize
Corozal Town features wide, tree-lined streets, a central plaza, lush parks, and of course a large church. Of interest to visitors, is that Corozal Town maintains some sense of its own history, while evolving with increasing traffic, notoriety and population. For example, just across from the town park, in the Corozal Town Hall, visitors can see a fantastic mural depicting the local history by Manuel Villamor Reyes. In addition, the remnants of a small fort from the Caste Wars near the main plaza and the noteworthy Corozal Museum are among visitor favorites. Housed in a great 19th century customs house, the museum features religious statues, Mayan crafts & artifacts, and regional antiques.

A few small Belize hotels are available in Corozal Town catering to travelers transiting the border area or visiting the nearby attractions. Corozal Town also makes a great base from which to explore other parts of the region. Corozal is a convenient hub for day trips to Chetumal, which is just over the border in Mexico. With a population of 250,000, Chetumal is the capital of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo and thought of as a prosperous middle class city. Continue reading

Destination: Cayo

In a country known for white sand beaches and warm Caribbean waters, the Cayo District is a largely undiscovered jewel of Belize. Located in the western part of the country, the Cayo District is the perfect place to experience Belize’s raw mountainous country, local Mayan history or provide an ideal gateway for travel into Guatemala. Cayo is relatively close to the famed ruins of Tikal.

The Cayo District is best known for its Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve. This beautiful reserve gets its name from the seemingly unusual thick pine forest residing in this small corner of Central America. The Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve covers 800 square km of beautiful, unspoiled mountain terrain. Beautiful flora and fauna cover the reserve, while being interwoven with wild rivers, spectacular waterfalls and dramatic caves. The lush valley between the impressive Macal and Mopan rivers is as picturesque as anywhere else in amazingly beautiful Belize.

Although the roads through Cayo District are sometimes impassible in the wet season and challenging in the dry season, the difficulty in getting to the area has kept unspoiled. However, inaccessibility helps keep this beautiful land unspoiled and natural for visitors willing to see it on horseback, by foot or kayak and canoe. Cayo District easily deserves spending anywhere from 3 to 10 days there.

cayo belizeThe must see Cayo District activities are anything having to do with the natural beauty of Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, outdoor adventures such as white water rafting, mountain biking, etc., Mayan historical sites and Cayo District towns. There is a wide range of Belize hotels and lodging. Everything from great Belize mountain lodges to quaint Belizean Inns are available. There are lodging options to suit all tastes, budgets and interests. The scenic backdrop the Cayo District makes just about any of the lodging choices irresistible. Many of the Cayo District lodging options provide transfers and ground transportation, but a rental car will offer the most flexibility and best means for exploring the area. Keep in mind, that all of the Mountain Pine Reserve roads are dirt, so a 4WD vehicle is preferable.

The Cayo District of Belize has a multitude of attractions to offer visitors. For those interested in the area’s flora, the Belize Botanic Gardens makes a fascinating stop with around 300 tree species and is close to DuPlooy’s Jungle Lodge. For those interested in the local fauna, try the Butterfly Breeding Center at Chaa Creek, to view the amazing blue morpho butterflies. Another great place to see the colorful butterflies of Belize is at the Green Hills Butterfly House and Botanical Collection on mile 8 of Mountain Pine Ridge Road. Often overshadowed by the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, the Chiquibul Forest Reserve represents a worthwhile excursion. This government protected area in the south has a wide array of wildlife and scenic natural beauty. In addition to the beautiful forest itself, one may see scarlet macaws, keel-billed motmots, tapirs and wild pigs. Continue reading

Destination: Stann Creek

Stann Creek awaits travelers just down the scenic Hummingbird Highway from Belize City. Stann Creek is the second largest district in Belize, measuring 986 square miles of spectacular Belize views and raw Belize nature. Stann Creek offers an opportunity to experience the natural beauty and diverse composition that makes Belize so special. This makes Stann Creek an excellent way to experience raw Belize nature and authentic Belizean culture.

The Stann Creek portion of the Belizean coast is less developed and not as frequently traveled as other parts of Belize. The Stann Creek coast and the remote reaches of the barrier reef that it offers are home to quaint Belizean fishing villages and deserted beaches. From Dangriga down to Placencia, the coastal villages and towns are unique and special in there own way. Each one is different and provides a small glimpse of authentic coastal Belize life.

stann creek belize
The people are very friendly, there are miles and miles of deserted Belize beaches, and the water provides a magnificent aqua blue back drop to your visit. In the shallow depths of that gorgeous, warm Belize water is a vibrant world of marine life that includes the endangered manatee and the fabled coral reef.

For those who want to experience the best of Belize underwater, in addition to on land will find the Stann Creek area to have an abundance of wonderment to immerse themselves. For those seeking a more tranquil Belize beach experience, Stann Creek’s postcard perfect beaches and authentic Belize small towns will not disappoint.

Stann Creek is not just limited to white sand beaches and crystal clear Caribbean water. Stann Creek has a wealth of Belize culture and natural wonderment just a few miles inland. Stann Creek is home to a large portion of the Mayan Mountains, including Victoria Peak, Maya Villages, crowd free caves and an abundance of tropical rainforest. Stann Creek is proud to have the world’s first jaguar preserve, along with a plethora of rainforest wildlife.

The people of Stann Creek are even more pleasant and beautiful then the natural beauty of the region. In Stann Creek valley before you get to the historic home of the Garifuna people, Dangriga, where the Hummingbird Highway terminates its run.

With an amazing selection of adventures and attractions, Stann Creek is a wonderful place to spend a few days of discovery, and its central location makes it an ideal base from which to explore the rest of Belize too.

Destination: Orange Walk

Orange Walk District is a wealth of Belize natural history and Mayan archaeological wonder. Orange Walk is the second of the northern districts, with this part of Belize bordering both Mexico and Guatemala. The Cayo District is to the South of Orange Walk. Orange Walk District, with a population of just under forty thousand, is the third most populated district in Belize.

Orange Walk is a living encyclopedia of Belize history with spectacular ancient cities, impressive temples such as Lamanai, and historical sites such as the Altun Ha Maya Ruin. Orange Walk acts as a standing tribute to the ancient Maya’s influence on this area of Belize. Orange Walk’s natural ecology is fantastic, with rainforests, coastal lagoons, jungles and rivers. This impressive collection of raw natural beauty means the region is home to an amazing array of animal and plant life that includes everything from the jaguar to the manatee.

Orange Walk people, also known as Orange Walkenos are a living tribute to the rich history of this area of Belize. Orange Walk is mostly Spanish speaking, as many of its residents are actually descendents of the Maya and Mestizo people, as in some other areas of Belize. A number of Mennonite people from villages such as Blue Creek and Shipyard, add a diverse dimension to the Orange Walk cultural fabric.

orange walk belize
Orange Walk has an economy primarily based on agriculture in modern times. Some of Orange Walk’s land has been developed for the production of sugar cane and has helped this crop become the largest agricultural product in Belize. As a testament to sugar cane’s significance to the area, Orange Walk hosts the only operational sugar refinery in Belize. Orange Walk is also important to Belize for its production of dairy products, citrus fruits, beef and rum production. Continue reading