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Bordeaux for the ladies, winter sun from Shannon, New York at twixmas

 Bordeaux, France for a 50th birthday celebration

Bordeaux, France for a 50th birthday celebration

Sat, Nov 23, 2013, 01:00

We are five ladies travelling to Bordeaux to celebrate a 50th birthday party. Our destination was chosen as none of us had ever visited this area. Could you please advise on a hotel in the centre; we need to book five rooms. While we would like a nice clean, well-located hotel. it does not have to be five-star. Can you suggest things to do for a morning or full afternoon – we are travelling in early April 2014. – Kitty K


Mercure Hotels is a French group with three hotels in the city. Prices in April range from €69-€86 per room per night, breakfast extra, mercure.com.

Bordeaux is a Unesco heritage city for its preservation of classical and neoclassical buildings and is also one of the finest wine cities in France. A short break will allow you to enjoy the city with its many good restaurants and explore some of its culture and enjoy the Garonne river walks.

Most things in Bordeaux revolve around wine and food and there are a variety of wine tours on offer. You can visit city wine merchants for a tasting class or take a bus tour to the wine regions and visit some famous wine châteaux. You can book a tour with Bordeaux-tourisme.com from €33.

Also on offer are river tours, cookery classes, and visits to museums and galleries.


We are a family of five, two adults and three small children under four at time of travel. We are hoping to travel for some winter sun around the end of January. It seems the Canaries or Dubai are best options for good temperatures at that time.

We would consider those, or any other suggestions you might have. We want somewhere with good food, children’s facilities and a heated pool. And, if possible, maybe some options for the adults like yoga or golf. In terms of budget, we are hoping for good value. – BR, Limerick.

Looking first at where you live and having three children, Shannon has flights throughout the winter to Lanzarote. You could opt to go with tour operator sunway.ie and take a package that would include flights, transfers and accommodation. Prices begin from €314pps in the self-catering Oasis Apartments Resort to €687 all-inclusive in the HL Paradise Island resort in Playa Blanca.

While the weather in the Gulf will be nice at that time of the year, it is a long distance away, a seven-hour flight from Dublin or London. Hotels are mainly four- and five-star and it is an expensive holiday – if you could get a week for €1,100 each in the Gulf that would be good value. Trailfinders.ie has an office in Limerick and may have some special offers, tel: 061- 292700.

Going the opposite way to Florida may work out better value than the Gulf states. Touramerica.ie has a variety of resorts in the St Petersburg and Clearwater area in studios or hotels from €640-€700pps including flights and accommodation. You will find golf courses and check out stpeteyoga.com for open classes.

We would like to bring our grandson to New York over Christmas for his
16th birthday. We would go for three days and we could fly with Aer Lingus from December 28th-31st. We are not sure about accommodation, we want something central. We have been there many times before so know our way around. Will all the sights be open over the holiday time? – GOF, Dublin.


New York is the city that never sleeps and you will find that all the attractions will be open. They only usually close for one day at Christmas.

However, your trip will be pricey as the lowest-cost fares with Aer Lingus are from €730 each and hotels are in the range of €300-€500 per night. New Year’s Eve is a big holiday in New York and the city is busy with tourists.

Look at applecorehotels.com or priceline.com for hotels and nycgo.com for tourism information.
Send your travel queries to jscales@irishtimes.com