Saturday, August 01, 2015
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Manathai

Thailand -  the new choice for a family vacation.


This newly refurbished resort is the perfect choice for those wanting quality value for money and a relaxing break in Thailand.Transfer time is hour and a half taking you away from the hustle and bustle of Phuket to the shores of the Andaman Sea. On arrival it is hard to tell where the exterior and interior of the hotel begin and end.



The open plan foyer and reception area blend seamlessly with the exterior and present a commanding vista over the property and out to sea.Check in was fast and efficient,while you are given a traditional Thai water ceremony your bags are being whisked around to your room.

The rooms themselves are all new with a mixture of contemporary western furniture and some interesting Thai pieces of art.Staying in a junior suite provided a separate living room with a dinning area ,a large bedroom, an ensuite shower ,wc and dressing area with large wardrobes with a built in safe.The bedroom had a  comfortable  king size double bed and cable TV.The living area also hascable Tv plenty of seating ,dining area, minibar with free water and a couple of nice touches of  spare flip flops and an umbrella to shade you from the sun or occasional cloud burst.The ensuite area had everything you would expect in a five star resort ,robes  soft towels (beach and bath) complimentary soaps,shampoo etc hairdryer and a rechargeable torch. For those who cannot do without their technology there is a free and fast wifi system throughout the resort.



Open your french windows onto your garden terrace  to sit outside in cane furniture and admire the newly planted gardens that run the length of the resort down to the pool area.The pool area is impressive surrounded with loungers and parasols. Dedicated swimmers can do lengths for the more relaxed holiday makers just splash about and cool off.


Themaximum depth is 1.4 m and it is an infinity pool ,so the water goes right up to the edge making it an ideal place to relax and watch the sunset.There is a jacuzzi area in the pool with strong bubbles, to ease away the tension after a long day's sunbathing . Toddlers are catter have their own paddling pool only 60cm deep ideal for splashing about in.The pool area is also home to some of the free activities that the resort provides:early morning jogging,introduction to Muay Thai free use of kayaks and bodyboards.If that sounds a little arduous it also has a pool side bar serving cocktails and nonalcoholic refreshing drinks. Between the pool and the beach is a grove of trees providing shade and the perfect place to relax,either on a sunlounger or rocking gently in your hammock listening to the waves lapping on the beach. A great place to catch up on reading, the resort has a small free library incase you forgot to pack a book or kindle.It is also another fine place to watch spectacular sunsets.



The beach itself is golden sand and deserted, turn right and you can wander alone with your  thoughts or romantic companion for  miles.Turn left and a few minutes walk brings you to beach massage parlours, bars and a few beach shack restaurants the choice is yours peace and quiet or something more lively. Which ever way you choose you will be next to the warm blue gentle waters of the Andaman Sea looking out over unspoilt views.



When its time to eat the resort provides three options.Colours an indoor air conditioned restaurant, Pad Thai an open air restaurant or room service. Colours is where everyone has breakfast.The options are epicurean delight and allow you to have different choices each day Asian and european food are offered so you can everything from,cerealstoast,ham cheese freshly made omelets,fruit yogurt,cakes  various Asian food. Colours is open all day for lunch and ala carte evening meals. If you are going al carte I would definitely recommend the the duck duo. lobster thermidor and crepes. Pad thai setup along the shore line is the ideal place for a romantic dinning in a beach setting. The chefs prepare the food in woks nearby and the sizzling food just fills your nostrils.If had one complaint about the food It would be that it is too tempting and too tasty and I put on an extra couple of pounds, although that's my own fault as there is a gym for guests to use. Now I know why it is next to the restaurant. If you ever wondered how they make the food so tasty they offer Thai cooking classes at the bamboo hut by the beach for an additional payment.


It was great fun selecting a menu then preparing it under the direction of the  hotel chef. I even got to wear a chefs hat to give me more confidence.
Other activities include fruit carving and towel folding there is also a children's center to occupy the little ones while you get some quality time together.The resort is in a peaceful area but if you want to go down town they provide a shuttle bus twice a day it takes about 15 minutes.



The most important thing about where you stay are the staff they can make or break a holiday fortunately all the staff I have met during my stay were extremely friendly and well trained. From serving staff making sure I had enough tea and coffee, cleaning ladies who worked around my schedule,activity staff encouraging guests to join in without being pushy  all the way up to the executive chef who seemed to have time for everyone.

Overall impression great place for couples and famllies with some children, who want to spend quality time together in magnificant surroundings and enjoy the finer things in life.


To Visit Web Site Click here.


WHY DO FAMILIES NEED P.E.S.T.S?

For more than 30 years, P.E.S.T.S. (Parents of Ealing Self Help Training Scheme) has been a place where parents and carers of children with a disability or additional need aged 0-5 years and living in the borough of Ealing, can come together regularly in a friendly and nurturing setting.



WHAT DOES P.E.S.T.S. DO?

P.E.S.T.S. believes that all children regardless of their disability should be valued and supported. They should be cared for within our society and be allowed to enjoy life to their full potential.

They run two play and support sessions per week, where children can enjoy carefully structured activities according to their need/stage of development. Many of the children who attend P.E.S.T.S. have autism, behavioural difficulties and complex medical needs.

At the same time, parents are offered advice, support, information and training opportunities, whilst meeting others going through similar problems and challenges. We also offer regular trips, outings and parties for disabled children, their siblings, parents and extended family and provide door to door transport to the play sessions and other events for families in need.

WHY DO FAMILIES NEED P.E.S.T.S?

P.E.S.T.S. has been a real source of help to families of children with a disabled child, especially in the first few years of their life. Families who attend P.E.S.T.S. are often just coming to terms with the realisation that their child has a disability and are often overwhelmed by the rounds of form filling and appointments that follow.

Once a family realises their child is disabled, they are often left with an overriding sense of fear, confusion and grief. To find a place where all of this is understood by people who are feeling the same makes families feel less isolated and more hopeful at the beginning of the difficult journey that will be their child’s life.

The Outreach Worker works with families to provide information and advice including emotional and practical support. They provide a dedicated out of hours outreach telephone service for parents and carers facing difficult situations, a crisis or recent diagnosis. This is a vital lifeline for many, who are at a loss when faced with life changing news.

Support

* Play/Activity sessions every Tuesday and Friday mornings 10.30-12.30 in term time, for babies and children 0-5 years.

* Activities led by experienced and qualified play leader.

* Multi-cultural assistant play-leaders and volunteers to help and offer language support.

* Talks and information for parents/carers from specialist health visitors, therapists and other speakers.

* Door to Door transport to and from sessions, if required.

* Toy Library with specialist equipment opens every other week.

Activities

* Holiday sessions and outings for the whole family.

* Parent/carer only evenings - meet others having the same experiences.

Volunteers

* Opportunities to learn more about working with disabled children .

Training

* Opportunities for parents and volunteers.

* Training sessions for communication, child protection, behaviour, first aid etc.

A Typical P.E.S.T.S. Session

10.30am
People arrive and we chat and share news. There are activities set up for nursery aged children, such as painting, gluing etc. There are lots of toys for babies as well as toys for toddlers. Sometimes we have a visiting speaker or therapist come to work with us at this time.

11.00am
Coffee and tea for the grown-ups in the small room. Fruit and juice for the children.

11.15am
Food and drinks are cleared away. Your child may go into the garden if it is not wet. You will need to keep an eye on them as they play on the big slide etc. If it is cold they need to wear a coat and suitable shoes. You can borrow Wellington boots from P.E.S.T.S.. If you stay in the big playroom please remove children's shoes when they are in the ball pool.

12.10pm
We clear up and sit together for a circle time. Please encourage your child to join in the circle. If they are not willing at first just stay for a few minutes and then take them to the small room - gradually encourage them to stay longer. This is good practice for the nursery school. We sing all sorts of songs and nursery rhymes, read stories from the big books or play musical instruments. You can talk and share all these things with your children when you go home. There are notices for the adults about upcoming events.

12.30pm
HOME TIME ! SEE YOU NEXT WEEK !

We have visited these sessions and can confirm that they are relaxed and friendly. The volunteers get a real sense of purpose and face many different scenarios with
a smile and patience.

Trips out include the very popular Heathrow Gym where the children can play on a variety of equipment in a safe environment. The Christmas party is also well attended and of course Santa turns up.

For more information please contact:

P.E.S.T.S. Office, Heller House Annexe, 124 Norwood Road, Southall, Middlesex, UB2 4DX.

Telephone/Fax: 020 8571 9954

www.pests-ealing.org.uk


WHAT HELP DOES P.E.S.T.S. NEED?



(Statement provided by organisation)

Whilst P.E.S.T.S. is part funded by Ealing Council, we have to rely on fundraising and donations to maintain the charity.

As the council is reducing the amount of funding it gives to local charities, we need to rely on the generosity of our community more and more in order to be able to maintain our current support for disabled children and their families.

Each pound we raise goes directly towards running our play sessions, providing fun opportunities and events for children and towards training for parents, in for example, sign language or intensive interaction for children with autism.

By raising funds with a cake stall, or a sponsored silence, you would know that your support would be making a real difference in the lives of local disabled children and their families.

P.E.S.T.S. also needs more volunteer play workers for Tuesday and Friday mornings; - anyone with an interest in supporting disabled children under 5 would be welcome to contact us to find out more about what we do.

WHAT NEXT?

If you think that you might be able to help P.E.S.T.S. and you would like to know more, or see our charity in action, we would be more than happy to arrange a visit to one of our play and support sessions, or organise a short presentation at your convenience.

11 reasons why Colorado is quintessentially cool

The launch of responsibletravel.com’s in-depth guide to authentic Colorado highlights 11 reasons why this state is a quintessentially cool travel destination.

The new travel guide, written by responsibletravel.com, the leading online site for authentic travel experiences in partnership with the Colorado Tourism Office, incorporates expert tips and podcasts from local Coloradans to allow tourists to discover the state ‘like a local’ and to connect more deeply with its people, food, culture and landscapes.

Trudi Pearce, Head of Destination Partnerships at responsibletravel.com says “The guide highlights that Colorado is not just a destination for adrenaline-seekers, but is instead somewhere where wholesome, reinvigorating holidays come naturally.

“We hope it will become a leading resource to help tourists find the best places to explore Colorado’s mountains, rivers and dunes, to walk, kayak, and go horseback riding, to discover more about its fascinating Native American history and to find the most delicious locally produced food, wine and beer”.

The guide, available here – http://www.responsibletravel.com/holidays/colorado/travel-guide - brings to life the stories of inspirational Coloradans enjoying life to the full and keen to share it with travellers. The travel guide has hundreds of reasons Colorado is a quintessentially cool holiday destination, here is responsibletravel.com’s pick of the best:

1. Coloradans – Super-fit, super-friendly and not super-obsessed with living the American dream. Just living. And hearing the stories and sharing the passion of the state’s inhabitants, high on life in an incredible landscape, is addictive.

2. Zapata Ranch - Situated on the edge of the prairies, dunes and rocky peaks of the other-worldly Great Sand Dunes National Park. Ride on the dunes, even as a beginner, and contrary to popular stereotypes most of the wranglers working this 1000 acre ranch are female, super-educated and environmentally aware.

3. Ute Indian Mountain Tribal Park – Take a hike with a Ute Indian Guide into this remote and otherwise un-navigable park, and discover ancient Puebloan cliff dwellings with Native American artefacts more beautiful than many found in museums. And all trip fees support local American Indian culture and economies.

4. Aspen Meadows Resort – Home to an annual, world-renowned Ideas Festival at The Aspen Institute, where world-changing American thinkers have come together to discuss ideas since the 1940s. Its access into the mountains via cycle and hiking paths make a true retreat for body and mind.

5. Soaring Treetops Adventures – Not just a standard tree-top zipline, this course through the San Juan Mountains in Durango is only accessible by train and has a unique, low impact system which protects the trees, allowing for eco-friendly, high-adrenaline adventures through forests and over rivers.

6. Chipeta Solar Springs Resort & Spa in Ridgway – Named after the silent and wise wife of Ute Indian leader Chief Ouray, Chipeta is a tranquil escape in the Cimmaron Range of the San Juan Mountains. Run on solar technology and with a spiritual heart it offers a place to recharge, relax and connect with Colorado.

7. Float and boat with Rondo – Swap the well-known white water rafting rapids for a more leisurely float downstream in a traditional wooden ‘dory’. Along the Colorado River from beautiful De Beque Canyon, hear stories from expert oarsman, Rondo Beucheler of Palisade River Trips, before ending in Colorado wine country. A taste of real, local life.

8. Orvis Hot Springs – Considered a sacred place by the Tabagueche Indians who once soaked here, these hot springs have retained an intimate, sleepy feel a world away from the commercialisation found at many other sites.

9. Devil’s Thumb Ranch – The full cowboy experience, but with some luxury creature comforts. Spend the day riding out through the Arapaho National Forest by day, before relaxing in a geothermically-heated pool at night. After a dinner of locally sourced Wagyu Beef and Colorado Beer.

10. Rocky Mountain National Park – The backbone of Colorado, the Rockies do, in fact, rock. The Rocky Mountain Conservancy lead talks and walks along the Big Thompson River, up to hidden waterfalls and lakes, past moose, elk and a host of other wildlife.

11. Anderson Ranch, Snowmass Village, nr Aspen – A thriving ranch which has swapped cows and livestock for the arts. Typical of Aspen’s creative, sharing ethos, local and international artists run prestigious programmes, or simply turn up to wander round the open galleries and eat their locally-sourced cafe fare.



Find more cool things to do in Colorado with responsibletravel.com’s indepth guide at http://www.responsibletravel.com/holidays/colorado/travel-guide.