Our Co-Founder, Belinda Robinson, faces new holiday dilemmas and enlists the help of the experts from Simpson Travel to help
Plus a review of Simpson Travel’s Villa Hanedan. June 2018 saw team Coco Bay flying out to Turkey for their Summer photoshoot. After some help from the experts over at Simpson Travel we were keen to book Villa Hanedan in Kalkan, south western Turkey. The stunning cliff top location of the Villa with it’s incredible views over Kalkan Bay promised to provide the most wonderful photoshoot setting. Most of the Coco Bay team were new to Turkey and were all particularly excited about this trip. We’d all heard good things about Kalkan, the beautiful beaches in the area and the cosmopolitan vibe of the town.
I love my job at Coco Bay, but with a business to run, 2 teenage daughters and a needy Labrador my husband often takes the back seat!! We therefore decided that to celebrate 20 years of marriage it was time to escape for a few days and Morocco was calling. A few glasses of wine later on a dark November night we decided to be ‘spontaneous’ and booked 2 flights to Marrakesh (with our Avios!). There was no time for our sensible heads to take charge and February was the other side of Christmas after all. There would be plenty of time to justify our spontaneity!
One of the very best, but equally the most challenging parts of our jobs at Coco Bay has to be the photoshoot. Twice a year we set ourselves the challenge of transporting the entire new collections of swimwear and beachwear to a beautiful location in the name of getting some dreamy lifestyle photography and bringing the products to life. Moving the Coco Bay office out to the sunshine for a week is always pretty exciting but not without it’s challenges, of course there’s a lot at stake and time never seems to be on our side!
The week leading up to a photoshoot is always quite a strange time, our 2 directors are lost to a mad dash of collating 100’s of different samples from around the world at the same time as having to negotiate logistics of baggage allowances (it’s hard to travel light when you are transporting the majority of next years beachwear collections!) We’re also busy finalising travel plans and putting the finishing touches to the busy shoot schedule. Amongst this slight feeling of panic, you have to stop and remind yourself… soon we’ll be jetting off to a dream location and spending the week in paradise!
Coco Bay Co-Founder Belinda Robinson writes about her recent trip with Simpson Travel to Mousses Villas, Lefkada, Greece I have always loved Greece and have visited many of its islands. It’s picturesque beauty has also made a spectacular setting for a couple of our photoshoots and I was desperate to return but wasn’t quite sure where to go and what to do. The holiday tick list has significantly changed with the arrival of our son and I was a little apprehensive that it might not quite have the same appeal with a demanding 2 year old in tow!
Are you lucky enough to be travelling to the Islands of The Seychelles this year? Or perhaps you are planning your trip of a lifetime? Travel writer and Coco Bay shopper Lizzee Leedham is here to give us her low down on the very best things to do while you are there…
Lux* Maldives – Behind the Scenes at the 2015 Bikini Photoshoot Coco Bay Co-Founder, Belinda Robinson, gives us the low down on the 2015 photoshoot at Lux* Maldives. You would have thought by now that we would be well practiced at the pre-photoshoot drill but each year it seems to start earlier and take longer as the collections get bigger and the task in hand more challenging! The result – we are on our knees before we even start taking the pictures and this year even more so having also just launched a brand new website and back office system. I don’t even remember the 8 hour flight, I think I was out by the opening credits of the first film of my carefully selected line up and the next thing I knew I was being nudged by a rather grumpy air hostess to get ready for landing. In all the preparation we were so pre-occupied by samples turning up on time and schedules that we had not had much time to get excited about the venue and it wasn’t until we stepped off the flight that the wonderful reality hit home – We were in the Maldives and we were heading back to Lux* Maldives.
It’s safe to say that winter still has us firmly in it’s grip! Before we start looking forward to spring, how’s about seeking out some of that all-elusive winter sun. To keep your spirits high, we’ve put together a list of 5 perfect holiday destinations to escape the winter blues. Goa With palm fringed beaches and average temperatures above 32° throughout the Winter months, Goa makes an ideal destination for a winter getaway. A heavy Portuguese influence combines with traditional Indian heritage to create Goa’s exotic, vibrant culture. For years Goa’s sandy beaches have attracted hedonist tourists from across the globe. Head north if you are looking for a more fashionable vibe. We Say: “Pack items from the ever popular mix and match Seafolly ‘Goddess’ Bikini range, with next day delivery and free returns or exchanges at Coco Bay, there’s no reason not to order yourself a mix and match selection!” Shop Seafolly Goddess bikinis at Coco Bay » Marrakech Jet off with the girls for a weekend mini-break to this mystical Moroccan city. Marrakech is steeped in history and has bags of stylish riads and hotels to choose from. Experience Marrakech’s sensational colours, textures, smells and tastes. With an average daytime high of 18°C on the Winter months Marrakech makes a perfect destination at this time of year. Although don’t forget to pack a jacket as the evenings can get chilly. We Say: “You’ll be fully equipped for both intrepid exploration and easy poolside lounging by packing-up this stylish, ‘Arenal Bag’ from Pia Rossini.” Shop designer beach bags at Coco Bay » Fuerteventura A great family destination, with sandy beaches, warm weather and lots of watersports. The oldest of the Canary islands, Fuerteventura is situated off the east coast of Africa. Boasting 3,000 hours of sunshine per year and temperatures of around 20°C from November to February. Expect a dramatic, volcantic landscape where fine white sand has blown in from the Saraha forming spectacular desert like sand dunes. We Say: “This gorgeous Seafolly Girl ‘Tropica Crush Tube Bikini’ is guaranteed to make any tween or teen girl smile. It’s also on sale right now at only £26 (from £37.20) – there’s another reason to be cheerful!” Shop Girl’s swimwear & beachwear at Coco Bay » Cape Town Fancy something bit more long-haul? It’s a pleasant surprise to find you can travel further a field and still escape the dreaded jet-lag by visiting the South African city of Cape Town. Despite being in a different hemisphere, Cape Town is actually in the same time zone as the UK. You’ll find stunning scenery and wildlife, award winning vineyards, not to mention an eclectic melting-pot of some of the world’s finest foods. We Say: “The versatile and easy to wear ‘Seafolly Sun Lounger Hoodie’ by Seafolly won’t fail to give your holiday that all round feel-good factor. Available in two gorgeous colorways; Indigo and Seychelles (pictured), it’s already proving to be one of this years biggest sellers.” Shop Kaftans and Cover-ups at Coco Bay » Maldives For those looking for romance and all out luxury and a particular favourite here at Coco Bay is undoubtedly the the beautiful Maldives. Compromising of over 1000 coral islands, The Maldives are surrounded by the turquoise Indian ocean, teaming with colourful, exotic sealife. With pleasant temperatures all year round the winter months provide a more affordable option to visit this undisputed paradise. We Say: “For beach and poolside glamour we just can’t fault Banana Moon’s ‘Swamis Dreamy Halter Swimsuit’ in Chocolat, new to Coco Bay, we love the detailing and flattering contours of this statement swim-suit.” Shop stylish one-piece swimwear at Coco Bay »
Winter Sun, Discover Cuba …. First hand, from one CB team member in search of winter sun. It’s often said that Cuba is a country trapped in a time-warp, like a prince in a poor man’s coat. But behind the shabby facades and mildewed magnificence lies a Latin paradise. I had been keen to discover this hidden world of cigar-chomping, rum-swilling, salsa-dancing revolutionaries, for many years. So, I pressed pause on the day job (part of Team Coco Bay mainly dealing with marketing) and the family and I jetted off for some half term winter sun adventures. After a less than comfortable 10 hour flight we arrived in Havana late at night. Nothing quite prepared us for what this wildly exuberant city had to offer! Firstly the heat was stiffling, the humidity high, and there’s an overpowering smell of diesel in the air. The pace of life is fast and loud, live Latin music poured out from the doorways of the flaking buildings, dancing seemed to be regulatory and rum a necessary evil. The following day we woke to find crumbling grandeur and elegance. Spanish colonial buildings, broad boulevards, narrow cobbled street and spectacular 16th Century Plazas in Habana Vieja (Old Town). Holidaying with my 2 young sons, I have to mention the cars – oh the cars! Huge gas guzzling, ancient Chevrolets, Buicks and Plymouths really do throb through the streets. Taking a short walk away from the city centre we found some calm in the form of Malecon. Havana’s 8KM stretch of shabby sea front running the breadth of the city. With giant waves crashing against the ancient sea wall, we discovered where the real Habaneros enjoy their winter sun – just chilling. In Cuba you’re never far away from an idyllic beach, so as befitting tourists on a winter sun get away, we opted for Playas del Este, Havana’s pine fringed Riviera east of the city. With my A/W 14 Seafolly beach wardrobe – a Dahlia Kaftan from the Kimono Rose range, Goddess Seychelles Bikini worn with a Coyote Sun Hat and Black and Silver Slim Havaianas I was ready for whatever occasion the day may offer – beach, bar, stay late and party a little! Leaving my much loved Seafolly Havana Sun Hat for city sight seeing we jumped into a bright green 1959 Buick taxi in search of the first beach of our winter sun holiday. Playa del Este is picture postcard perfect, soft white sand, palm trees and clear aquamarine waters. That said it doesn’t have the luxuries (or even facilities) of other Caribbean resorts. Instead we found slightly tatty time worn restaurants and communist style hotels with limited offerings. But this is Cuba, a country of contradictions. We found it both frustrating and inspiring, but most of all were amazed by its beauty, history and warmth of the Cuban people. I’d definitely recommend Cuba as a destination for a winter sun holiday, just keep an open mind!