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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Ten Top Tips for Staying At the Sani Beach Club Resort, Halkidiki

I've always been a bit snooty about resort holidays, and I never though I would be that kind of traveller who would return to the same place year after year. But that was before I discovered Sani, a luxury resort that sprawls along an idyllic and unspoilt stretch of Greek coastline.

This is not a resort for those seeking banging clubs and cheap pitchers of frothing lager. It is calm, elegant and refined, with those touches of luxury that make you feel pampered, yet with such a warmth and friendliness you feel like part of the family.

I have had the joy of staying there for the fourth time with my son, and can earnestly say that if you are even toying with the idea of staying there, don't hestitate. Book it now!

1.As soon as you arrive, arrange your evening dining. The Olympos restaurant in the Club is excellent, with an astonishing array of both buffet and freshly cooked international delicacies, but don't forget that there are fifteen or so other restaurants in the Dine Around programme, where you can use your meal allowance. It is only a ten minute walk along the beach to the marina where there is a large selection of restaurants with Greek, Asian and fine dining cuisine. However they get booked up very quickly so arrange your choices as soon as you arrive. We particularly love Tomate and Ergon.

2.The Worldwide Kid's Club is a brilliant facility for those parents wishing for a few hours of peace and quiet. Drop the little ducks off and you can have a very satisfying frappe on the Adults Only beach with a good book. Again, this fills up very quickly so email them and reserve your place as soon as you have booked your holiday. Activities include cookery, arts and watersports (which my 8 year old loved).

3.There are free morning and sunset cruises available, sailing from the marina on the resort's own beautiful boat. However the availability is shared between all four of the hotels so ask guest relations to reserve you a place as soon as you arrive.

4. The club spa is free for guests and has excellent facililities. The usual luxury treatments are available at international prices, but the spa itself is free, with two saunas, a cold plunge and the one of the loveliest marble hamam steam baths I have seen. Tootle on down after brekkie with your swimsuit and the lovely girls there will not only provide you with a bathrobe and slippers but also a pot of chamomile tea if you ask nicely.

5.There are daily minibus trips to local attractions, and these are very reasonably priced at around 10 euros a head. We visited the Petrolonas caves, accompanied by a very knowledgeable local geologist, and there was plenty of time for a coffee and a wander round a seaside town on the way back in time for a swim and a siesta.

6.Grab a bottle of water and a map of the walking tours from the guys on the Guest Relations desk and head off to explore. The cliff-top walk from the Club takes you through pine forests and wild flowers and along the most stunning of coastlines; you never go to close to the edge but I wouldn't take kids or people with vertigo. The other walk starts from the bar on Bousolas Beach (jump in the complementary minibus over to the Beach Hotel if you don't want to walk). Suitable for kids, the trail passes through bird-filled forests and ecologically important water meadows, but is never far from the shoreline so you can take a dip if you get too hot. And there are wild tortoises!

7.Pack your best white frock and get ready to party! Wednesday night is the White Nights Beach Party, (also on Bousolas). Kids are welcome and can dance until late to the house DJ (so hopefully you will get a lie-in Thursday).

8.The Garden Arena hosts a number of different musical evenings, some aimed at kids; the Blues Brothers Night was great, with professional singers and dancers. When you order your drink ask your waitress for a blanket if you are feeling the chill and they will happily bring you one.

9.The Blue Dream Taverna is part of the campsite along the beach towards the marina from the Club. Turn right when you reach the beach bar and follow the signs; they cook excellent and very cheap mezze and traditional dishes. The campsite supermarket is also very well stocked and sells reasonably priced snacks and beach toys. And ouzo :)

10.Yes, the daily mineral water in the room is free! The lovely guys at the main gate will also give you a bottle while you are waiting for the minibus; if there isn't any on the table just ask and they will sort you one out. There is also a loo at the main gate if you need one while you are there, but the door isn't marked.

 Lia and her team at Guest Relations made our holiday one to remember. Nothing was too much trouble and we were made to feel so welcome!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

We are delighted to have sent a shipment of children's ponchos to the
Refugee Solidarity Movement Thessaloniki.

They are ensuring food security & basic supplies for refugees in Thessaloniki, in Idomeni, the village on the Greece-Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia border which is a major transit point for refugees.

If you would like to make a donation or help in anyway please contact them on the number below..


694 8802 987 Craig
694 5344 935 Amir

Monday, June 15, 2015

Summer hair care blog

Welcome to Sussex Trichology blog to help your hairs survive the Summer (when it arrives). I am Shuna Hammocks and I am a consultant Trichologist who specialises in all conditions of the hair and scalp.
  1. Prevention is always better than cure
From hat hair to static electricity, split ends to dry frizz, when warm weather begins, a bad hair day can last an entire season. To prevent your tresses looking dull and broken in the Autumn let’s try to limit the damage our hair receives:
If like me, you have just had your colour (moreover highlights) done in preparation for the summer period- these need protection. The sun acts like bleach and permanently lifts colour out of your hair, this causes the shaft to become more porous and often the leads to breakage and frizzy looking hair. I suggest an intensive conditioning mask is used such as Elasticizer by Philip Kingsley.
Used weekly on damp hair really reduces the porosity of the hair, gives added strength and elasticity (hence it's name) and prevents further breakage. This is a treatment we offer “in house” at Sussex Trichology and worth mentioning that apart from hair loss and scalp conditions, we also treat out of condition hair too. Please see here for a video describing more;

  1. External/environmental damage
"The environment can have some of the most damaging effects on hair in both summer and winter, however in winter it's often worse because people generally don't take as many precautions to protect their hair," says celebrity stylist Nick Chavez, owner of the Nick Chavez Beverly Hills Salon and a QVC hair care expert.

Assuming we are all having regular trims and are washing the hair daily- as we wash our skin each day, the scalp skin behaves in the same way, this is the very best habit. 
If however one insists on blow drying and possibly even using the dreaded straighteners ( you know who you are)! Then a cool setting with the hairdryer used a head distance away from the hair and ideally only used to finish off the styling process, is preferred. 
It may be obvious to most, but if the hair is split the only destiny for " Fragitalis Crinium" is the hairdressers floor:( these split ends will not heal themselves and have to be cut.

Please read here how we describe the condition as seen in a clinic environment: https://sussextrichology.co.uk/kb/damaged-out-of-condition-hair/

  1. Nutrition plays a part too 
Diet plays a large part in the strength and repair of the hair shaft from within. The following is guidance in accordance with The Institute of Trichologist's, who I both qualified with and am a member of:
Non vegetarians: 2 portions daily of an animal protein- such as 200g of chicken or 250g of salmon will each benefit the hair formation for up to 6 hours per portion. This has the added benefit of delivering just the right amount (if absorbed) of essential amino acid, to aid things such as iron absorption. A subject I will cover in another article as it’s too important to cover briefly here. 
We can obviously find proteins in other food groups such as nuts, seeds, tofu, humous, soya.... However due to the fact these do not store as effectively as first class animal proteins, need to be consumed more frequently. A handful of nuts, even those with high selenium content such as Brazil nuts, would still only benefit the structure of the hair shaft for up to 2 hours per portion- planning ahead would be the key. 

  1. Protection for the hair, just like the skin
Much like our skin, our hair needs to be protected against the elements. There is a large array of creams and sprays available, but my opinion is to apply after styling- let me expand:
Assuming we are using shampoos and conditioners that are the very best quality and viscosity for our hair type. We are trimming the hair regularly, minimising the amount we brush or comb the hair in aggressive manor. Turning down the heat of our hair dryers and irons (if not cutting out the use altogether)- the hair will thank you in return. Depending on the length of your hair, a typical damaged head of hair (for example from a hair band worn too tight, repetitively in the same location) could take between 9-12 months to grow out. 
While I appreciate a large majority of readers will have a " heat protection spray/serum" already, consider; when you apply something containing a high concentration of oil, how can it actually protect against heat of up to 270 degrees? (Typical straightener temperature).

Read here to access information on children hair loss and scalp conditions: https://sussextrichology.co.uk/kb/children-hair-loss-conditions/
  1. How shall we protect our hair with an SPF (to prevent green hair)?
Green tinged hair is caused by the hairs reaction to the copper ions in chlorine, and is most prevalent in those that have naturally blond or bleached hair. Most people associate this colour change with swimming in a chlorinated pool, and quite rightly too. Chlorinated pools often contain copper algaecides – a compound that helps prevent the growth of algae.
 There are a few things that can be done to avoid getting green hair. One is to wear a swimming cap in the pool, or use a waterproof protective hair product such as swim cap (see link below) If you already have green tinged hair, a lemon juice rinse can be quite effective.

When we hear “SPF” we think sun lotion for the face and body, poor old hair often is forgotten! This Philip Kingsley cream works just like wearing an actual swim cap and can be used a little like a serum on the ends of the hair or more throughout the length before swimming in the sea or pool. It is suitable for children too.
Competition time!
We are running a summer hair care give away and hair assessment, please click through here for your chance to win:
Thank you to http://www.girlstravelclub.co.uk/ for hosting this blog.
Shuna Hammocks MIT MRIPHH

Monday, March 23, 2015

Where do you keep yours?

The Easter holidays are fast approaching and, according to recent research by the travel association ABTA, millions of British nationals are planning to travel overseas this April. In light of this, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have launched a social media campaign asking British travelers #WhereDoYouKeepYours ? to promote the value of the passport by asking Britons to keep it safe and be aware of where it is at all times.
Although most trips abroad are problem-free, tens of thousands of people still lost their passport or had it stolen last year and needed to be issued with an emergency travel document (ETD).
As a considerable amount of consular time is being taken up in handling cases of lost, stolen, damaged or invalid passports, the FCO have created six Vines (short video clips) which highlight some of the reasons that have led to people applying for an emergency travel document (ETD) abroad.
The Vines include:
  • Using your passport as a beer mat
  • Putting your passport in the washing machine
  • Placing your passport in the microwave
  • Theft of your passport
  • Using your passport as a notebook
John Heppenstall, Head of Consular Campaigns at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, said:
Passports are essential for travelling and it is important to take care of them. Although most holidaymakers do, a lot of consular time could be saved if more people treated their passport as something as valuable as their phone or wallet. We also see people travelling who are not aware that certain countries require a UK passport holder to have six months of validity left on their passport from the date of entry, and even up to two blank pages in your passport. We strongly advise people to look after their passport, keep it safe and check its validity well in advance of travel. Go to www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the exact requirements for the country you are travelling to.
Christian Muir, Head of Passport Check and Send at the Post Office said:
Taking care of your passport and ensuring it is up to date and has sufficient validity to meet the requirements of your destination country is vital to ensure you have a stress free holiday. For those looking to renew their passport for travel this spring and summer the Post Office’s Passport Check and Send Service ensures that passport applications are processed as quickly as possible as Post Office teams check the application for any errors to avoid rejection.
In 2014, 20,612 UK passports were reported as lost or stolen around the world last year and 39,053 emergency travel documents (ETDs) were also issued overseas.
The FCO’s five top tips for looking after your passport are:
  • Value your passport and look after it carefully. A damaged passport cannot be used for travel
  • Your passport is not always safer on you (e.g. lock your passport in a safe if you have access to one), unless the local law requires you to keep it with you.
  • Make two photocopies of your passport – leave one with friends or family and take the second with you, or store it online using a secure data storage site
  • Use this photocopy as alternative ID, for example when going out at night
  • Make sure your passport is valid. For certain countries your passport must be valid for 6 months after the date you travel – check the entry requirements before you go
The Vines can be viewed on FCO’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, and will soon be featured on the FCO’s Vine Channel

Further information

About FCO ‘Know Before You Go’ campaign
The FCO ‘Know Before You Go’ campaign targets a number of audiences, from gap year students to package holidaymakers; sports fans to older travellers and people visiting friends and family abroad. The campaign works with more than 400 travel industry partners to communicate its messages. For more information visit our Know Before You Go page.
If you have any enquiries for FCO consular staff before you go or while abroad you can use the FCO’s Twitter service @FCOtravel. Questions are answered 9am-6pm GMT, Monday to Friday and FCO staff aim to respond within 30 minutes. This service adds to the ways that British people travelling or living overseas can already get in touch with the FCO: by emailing our travel advice team or contacting local consular staff.
You can keep up-to-date with the latest FCO travel advice by signing up to the FCO’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Our top ten essential travel hacks everyone should know

1. Keep your shoes in hotel shower caps to stop them getting everything else dirty. Or, you know, you could use a carrier bag.

2. Take some elastic bands with you. Use them to keep your clothes rolled up in your bag, secure your flipflops together to take up less space, or make sure all your postcards and tickets don't fall out of your journal. You can also use them to make an emergency washing line, where you can poke the clothes through the holes without needing pegs.

3. Keep one of those tumble dryer laundry sheet things in your case to keep it smelling fresh. Failing that, pinch the hotel soap and put that in instead.

4. I've cut myself SO many times by putting my hand into a washbag and slicing myself open on a razor. Use a bulldog clip to prevent unnecessary blood loss.

5. Pound shop contact lense cases make great little pots for a weekend's worth of gunk. By which I mean moisturiser. Or Marmite.

6. Request a “Fragile” sticker for your luggage. No, it's not Italian for "kick me". Bags marked with this sticker are generally put on top of the rest of the pile, and end up being among the first to hit the baggage claim conveyor belt. That means you can get out of that human bingo game and to the taxi line a whole lot quicker.

7. Keep taking photos of road signs, place names and restaurants. Guaranteed in a year's time you won't remember any of them, let alone the country you were in when you go back over your pics.

8. Best thing I've found for keeping earphones untangled is a bulldog clip... then you can clip it on your top when you're going through passport control etc. 

9. Stop worrying about broken glass in your suitcase; keep your holiday bottles in pound shop swimming arm bands.

10. Keep your earrings on buttons; saves you scrabbling around under the hotel bed trying to find the one you've just lost.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Hotel room essentials

It’s funny to think that when we look back on our past holidays, what often sticks out most in our minds are not the good times, but those moments when we had a holiday nightmare!

From cancelled flights to lost passports to finding that your hotel is actually a building site, there’s a host of challenges to navigate when holidaying, and more often that not it’s the simple hotel room that can contain the most problems.


How hard can it be to get a decent night’s sleep when you’re on holiday? Fairly hard apparently! What should be the basic requirements of a good mattress and clean sheets can all too often turn into a bit of a headache.

While we’ve all been survivors of that hotel bed that feels like you’re trying to sleep on a pile of coat-hangers, it’s important is to remember that you are perfectly within your rights to complain and try and resolve the situation.

You’ve paid your money, and more often than not, the hotel staff will be happy to appease your needs. And failing that, Which magazine has a handy online guide to your consumer rights when holidaying.


Sometimes prevention is the best cure. Thanks to a variety of online travel sites such as TripAdvisor, the majority of hotels and B&Bs are listed with a review section where customers get chance to rate or slate the booking in question. Definitely worth checking out before making your holiday booking!

However, you should always expect the unexpected when heading off to exotic locations and that’s why packing a few emergency items like earplugs, insect repellent and even a robust pillow can make all the difference between the holiday of a lifetime and one that you’d rather forget!


Thankfully, when we go on holiday it’s often not just the pleasures of escapism that we enjoy. It’s also the experience of being in different cultures and strange new situations that enables us to really make the return to our homes all the better!

So whether it be a particularly stressful holiday that makes you appreciate your bed a little more, or whether a luxurious hotel room has meant that you’ve come back with the urge to upgrade your own mattress to the likes of the particularly swish new Bedstar range, holidays will always give you something new to think about!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Five reasons to go to Nevada

With winter well and truly upon us, we're all dreaming of excuses to get up and away to somewhere warm. There aren't many warmer places in the world than a desert, and there certainly aren't many deserts out there as fun as the state of Nevada.

Visitors to this beautiful state may feel like they're in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by sites such as the Grand Canyon in the neighbouring Arizona, but there's actually a lot going on in Nevada – check out any one of these sites if you're looking for somewhere exciting to visit.

The Hoover Dam

If you're driving into Nevada, make sure you do so from Arizona – it will give you a chance to cross over the iconic bridge which not only takes you from one state to another but also gives you the chance to look into the depths of the Hoover Dam. Built during the Depression Era, this magnificent structure has a 3 million cubic yard volume spanning the Colorado River. Visitors can walk around the site for free to get amazing views.

Sierra Safari Zoo

Nevada's largest zoo is home to more than 200 animals with 40 different species. The ideal day out for couples, families or even just lone travellers, the zoo gives guests an insight into the wonders of the animal kingdom. Sloths, lemurs, zebras, camels and leopards are all in abundance, as well as six kinds of monkeys and eight types of wild cats.

Las Vegas

It wouldn't be a complete list without a mention of the City of Sin. Home to bright lights, huge theatre productions, roller coasters and of course, those tempting casinos, this decadent paradise is certainly worth a visit for the risk takers out there. Traditional gaming can seem a little out of fashion nowadays as online alternatives like Gaming Club take centre stage, but there really is nothing quite like a stroll past the Bellagio Fountains before placing a few chips at those blackjack tables.

The Ethel M Chocolate Factory

Who doesn't love an excuse to feel like Willy Wonka? The Ethel M Chocolate Factory is just a stone's throw away from the Las Vegas Boulevard and offers exclusive tours featuring some of the finest chocolate around. Once you're done sampling all the treats, be sure to check out the cactus garden – just make sure your souvenirs don't melt in that Nevada heat.

The Great Reno Balloon Race

If you happen to be visiting Nevada in September, make sure you check out the Great Reno Balloon Race. The annual event sees up to 100 hot air balloons taking to the sky to race and celebrate the joy of flight. The balloons set off from the University of Nevada in Reno and the best part is, this exciting race is completely free.