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2011 Summer holiday hotspots according to Great Hotels of the World

In a bid no doubt to build awareness for its members, Great Hotels of the World has revealed its holiday hotspot predictions for Summer 2011 based on searches made on their site. 1. Tenerife, Spain The Canary Island of Tenerife is a firm favourite with holiday makers and continues to be one of the most searched-for destinations on the site and with good reason too. Year-round good weather and great value for money makes it an ideal holiday location for couples and families. Searches for Tenerife are up by over 20% in the first three months of 2011 in comparison to the same period last year. Where to stay: Gran Hotel Bahia del Duque Resort, Tenerife, Spain 2. Marrakech, Morocco Marrakech is fast becoming a must-see city. Still enjoying increased popularity from last year’s Sex & the City 2 movie, it is now a popular city break destination. With low-cost carriers now offering flights and just a few hours from Europe, this strikingly different, fascinating city makes an ideal holiday hotspot and features highly in the most-searched for cities. Where to stay: La Sultana, Marrakech, Morocco 3. The Algarve, Portugal Climbing in to the top ten most searched for destinations in 2011, the Algarve continues to be an affordable yet exciting holiday destination. Stretching across the entire southern coastline of Portugal, the Algarve boasts some of Europe’s most attractive and cleanest beaches, many leisure attractions, beautiful landscapes and year-round sunshine. Where to stay: Vale d’Oliveiras Quinta Resort & Spa, Algarve, Portugal 4. The Costa Blanca, Spain With frequent and affordable flights and convenient transport links to nearby resorts such as Alicante, Calpe and Benidorm, the Costa Blanca has all the ingredients for the ideal Spanish beach getaway. Searches for the region on the Great Hotels website have always been high and are up 10% in 2011 in comparison to 2010 – with a great variety of hotels and offers available, this trend is forecast to continue. Where to stay: AR Diamante Beach SPA Hotel & Convention Centre, Calpe, Spain 5. Greek Islands The Greek Islands are an old favourite amongst sun seekers and after a brief downturn in recent years they are firmly back on the map as a holiday hotspot for 2011. Crete, Mykonos, Rhodes and Santorini in particular are popular searches on the Great Hotels website as well as island hopping itineraries thanks to the frequent and convenient ferry connections. Where to stay: Cavo Tagoo, Mykonos, Greece 6. Antalya, Turkey Until recently a large number of tourists flocked to the south-western resorts of Turkey, however more and more people are now venturing East to resorts including Antalya. With palm tree-lined streets, parks, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, a beautiful marina and a wide variety of stunning accommodation, Antalya has it all and is sure to be a holiday hotspot this summer season. Where to stay: Gloria Serenity Resort, Belek, Antalya, Turkey 7. Buzios, Brazil Searches for the stunning Brazilian beach resort of Buzios have risen by over 20% in the first three months of 2011 in comparison to the same period last year. A few hours’ drive east of Rio, this formerly quiet fishing village has emerged as a chic and lively yet relaxed seaside resort and for the moment can still be considered as one of Brazil’s hidden gems. Where to stay: Casas Brancas Boutique Hotel & Spa, Buzios, Brazil 8. Florence, Italy The traditionally popular city break destination of Florence is still featuring high on searches for summer 2011. Full of charm and character, the cultural gem of Tuscany appeals to those who are less interested in beaches and partying and has so much to offer with stunning architecture, galleries, museums, art and shopping. Where to stay: Monsignor della Casa Country Resort, Tuscany, Italy 9. Sri Lanka Sri Lanka’s varied offerings make it an ideal destination that’s fast becoming a popular holiday hotspot and is on many travellers’ to-do lists. With beautiful unspoilt beaches, tea plantations, lush vegetation, a plethora of wildlife and a great variety of accommodation to suit all budgets, the Indian Ocean island offers excellent value for money and something a different than the usual beach break. Where to stay: Saman Villas, Bentota, Sri Lanka 10. Iceland Despite the famous volcano ash cloud disaster, Iceland is now becoming a popular holiday destination as tourists flock to see the landscape’s post-eruption transformation as well as the eruption site itself. The area now also has a museum and visitor centre. What a difference 12 months makes… Where to stay: Hotel Ranga, Sudurlandsvegur, Iceland

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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