Where will your travel adventures take you in 2019? At Coco Bay we are always on the look out for the next destination that will entice us to book a trip and we love to hear about the latest travel trends. While catching up with our friends at BushBaby Travel (specialists in worldwide, family friendly travel) we were keen to hear where people are booking their holidays for this year and we can now officially confirm these top trending, long haul travel destinations for 2019:
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!
Seafolly bikinis, really can be a girl’s best friend on the beach! Wear a bikini, who me? Surely there aren’t many of us over the age of 40 who like to hear that sort of question?! But there it was, out there, put directly to me by Belinda Robinson, Coco Bay Co-Founder. Would I try on and review some Seafolly bikinis? To explain, at the beginning of the summer I had agreed to take some rather fabulous Coco Bay swimsuits on holiday with me to wear and review for this site. For the first time in a long while I wore amazing swimwear from designers such as Seafolly and Baku, great holiday, job done – or so I thought! See – Ordinary Girl in Extraordinary Swimwear. But Seafolly bikinis?! I’m way out of my comfort zone! Unfortunately, Belinda was so convincing that I was left thinking, what have I got to lose? It’s only a bikini. With some trepidation I received 3 beautifully wrapped Seafolly bikinis from Coco Bay the very next day. At this stage I must say the one thing I am totally converted to is online shopping for swimwear, so in my own time and space with a trusted full length mirror I set about the task in hand. First on was Seafolly’s Summer Mint Garden Bustier Bandeau with Ruched Side bikini pants – one word fab-u-lous! The top was under-wired, with wide side straps which gave great support. The pants gave enough coverage without making me look or feel frumpy, whilst cleverly hiding any bulgy bits. All in all I was off to a good start. Next one, another from Seafolly, the Bella Rose in Chartreuse Halter Tie Top with the Tie Side Pant. The first noticeable thing is the colours in this bikini range are absolutely beautiful, perfect with a tan. The halter top had wide straps with a pretty tie at the front, and a generous amount to tie behind the neck, which made a great look from behind! Similarly the wide loop side tie pants, could be altered to fit but were long enough to provide an additional feature at the sides, very nice! Last but by no means least, I tried on the Mod Club bikini with a Bustier Bandeau top. This has a softly moulded bikini top with an optional halter tie which provided great support. Style wise the solid black pants with Zig Zaging at the side provide a great balance to the top. The monochrome Zig Zag is very on trend this season and Seafolly have been clever with this design, it felt classy rather than slavishly fashionable! Coco Bay’s Seafolly bikinis are all mix and match, so you can create your own look – there really is something for everyone, whatever your shape or size. No one is more surprised than I am, but Yes I Am a Bikini Convert! Shop for Seafolly Bikinis
A Swimwear Review A chance meeting in a local playground with the lovely Belinda Robinson (co-founder of Coco Bay) and a passing comment about the hassle of packing for a family holiday abroad, has, quite bizarrely led me to write a swimsuit review! I was moaning about the amount of things that you have to pack when you holiday with young children. I’m usually left with a small corner of the suitcase to stick a couple of well-worn swimsuits, a sarong and flip flops! Like many women my family’s needs are a priority and l give little thought to my own beach look and try to avoid thinking about my beach body! What a surprise then when a parcel arrived from Coco Bay the following day containing 3 amazing swimsuits from their S/S 2014 collections. Rather excitedly I spotted they were by leading international swimwear designers Seafolly and Baku, brands I’d heard of but never dreamt of wearing! A short note explained that the swimwear would love to take up a corner of my suitcase in return for an honest review. Who could refuse? So that’s how for the first time an Ordinary Girl got to wear Extraordinary Swimwear. To set the scene, I’m in my 40s and a size 10 – so not huge – but fairly short, a bit round in the middle without much of a bust. For these reasons I avoid bikinis and favour a swimsuit or Maillot, as I now know to call them! So, best foot forward and the family and I find ourselves on the beautiful island of Majorca during half term. Stepping out pool side on Day 1 (always a tricky one) I chose Seafolly’s Summer Garden Soft Cup Maillot in Black. The double layers of the swimsuit gave me more confidence than I had ever experienced before. I could adjust the halter tie top and back to fit my shape, they also looked really pretty from the back. The front was ruched to the left and right and appeared to disguise my lumpy middle bits! The top was underwired, slightly padded and had great little push up bits to add more shape if required – they were also removable, but I didn’t! Day 2 and time for Baku’s Casablanca Tie Front Maillot in Marine. Such a pretty colour and a slight lustre or sheen to the finish – wished I had a better tan! The sides were gathered which created a very subtle ruched effect, which was really slimming. It had an inner bra support with removable cups, over a triangular bra with adjustable straps – this gave extra support and also meant I could adjust it to suit my shape. It was great to swim in and mess around with the kids in the water. Day 3 and swimsuit number 3 – Seafolly’s Goddess Boy Leg Maillot in Indigo. I have to admit to being a bit worried about this one, hence leaving it till last! It had a halter top and super flattering ruched bra top and ruched panel down the front. Really surprisingly the boy leg or short style bottoms worked well, and rather than shortening my legs just added a different dimension to what is actually quite a sexy swimming costume. The difference I found with Seafolly and Baku’s Maillots over my usual high street buys was the structure and cut. They really are cleverly designed (disguising even my wobbly bra bulge bits!) But they were still super comfortable and I’m told last a lifetime. Designer swimwear comes with a slightly higher price tag, which was something that had previously put me off. But now, do I think it’s worth it – honestly? Well, yes I do!
Packing Tips for a Holiday We love the month of May … spring has already sprung, the sun shines (or threatens to) and summer is just a small hop away. But the best thing about the darling month of May is … 2 bank holidays. This gives us all a perfectly blissful opportunity to grab a small bag and head off to for a long weekend. We all know that traveling light isn’t easy, especially on a beach holiday. We’ve picked up a few top tips from stylists and fashion consultants over the years that we thought we’d share with you! Colour code your clothes and stick to one or two colour palettes and choose items of clothing that are multi-functional. Then when you’re ready to pack just start Rollin, Rollin, Rollin … your clothes. This will negate creasing and give you more room for the stuff you want to take. “Say Yes” to swimwear is another top tip – bikinis, swimsuits, tankini tops and singlets are tiny. They take up very little room and can look as chic off the beach when worn under shorts or trousers. A Kaftan or cover up is another must pack item for your short trip away. The Baku Heatwave has beautiful lace sleeve detail that wouldn’t look out of place in a restaurant or bar. Dresses are hard-working and add a bit of “holiday glamour”! Pack one dress and wear it in the day with flats, flip flops and shades and by night with heels and lipstick. Check out the very versatile Seafolly Bandit Beach Dress (above) with an optional under slip which transforms it from cool beach cover-up by day to sophisticated party dress in the evening Sarongs add very little to your load and aren’t just beach cover ups – double up as a scarf to brighten a plain top or wrap over shoulders for the cooler evenings. So there you have it, a complete capsule beach wardrobe. Now, just throw in a sun hat and flip flops and you’re ready to go – on your long weekend. Coco Bay offer next day delivery and free returns on kaftans, cover ups and all beachwear.
Looking for a gorgeous villa or hotel holiday in the most sought after places in the world? Check out CV Travel who offer a hand picked selection of gorgeous villas and hotels worldwide. They stand apart from their competitors due to choice and their first hand knowledge of all their destinations and accommodation which include the Greek Islands, Italy, France, Spain, Balearics, Portugal, North Africa, Arabia, South Africa and the Caribbean. We can personally vouch for their service and accommodation as we have just come back from a wonderful week in the Villa Filoxenia on the Greek Island Paxos where we went to do our 2011 beachwear photoshoot. Their recommendation was perfect and local knowledge spot on. The london staff and local reps couldn’t have done more to help us and the villa, with its panoramic terrace over looking the sea, was absolutely stunning. To find out more about Paxos, Villa Filoxenia and CV Travel, visit www.cvtravel.co.uk. You can also call on 020 7401 1026 (Greek Islands), 020 7401 1010 (General Enquiries), 020 7401 1054 (to order a brochure).
The photoshoot is always an intimidating prospect. The week before is a whirlwind of chasing bikini samples from around the world so you actually have something to photograph, putting together a schedule and watching the long term weather forecast nervously! This year was no different , in fact probably more hectic as our bikini collections are so much bigger this season. However, as we arrived on the island of Paxos all the stress disserpated. I have always loved Greece but this island was something special. Being a little off the beaten track (no main airport), it has stayed totally unspoilt and has this real peace. As we stepped in to our beautiful Villa Filoxenia which was to be our office for the week, we were then in total heaven. A very big thanks to CV Travel for letting us stay in Villa Filoxenia and organising all our travel plans so efficiently. We felt extremely spoilt staying in this stunning villa and I would certainly recommend this villa and island as a perfect holiday destination. A spacious villa with an amazing panoramic terrace looking over the Ionian sea, it was definitely time to remind ourselves that we were actually there to do some work! Bikinis needed to be shot and locations to be found. Not a problem in Paxos as we were spoilt for choice. Our first location was Anti Paxos which was just like being in paradise – turquoise sea, white sands, so tempting to just put out a towel and sleep for a week listening to the lapping sea! However, time was against us as we had been told by helpful locals that a storm was coming in – panic! They were indeed right we woke the next day to torrential rain, lightening and tropical winds. Not a chance of a photo being taken so we decided to settle in, watch the storm rage from our gorgeous terrace and wait ….. Luckily we did have a day in hand and the sun decided to join us the next day so it was back to work. It is always so exciting seeing the new collections come to life and we have some very exciting swimwear and beach accessories coming in this year from our favourite brands Seafolly, Moontide, Baku, Aguaclara, Banana Moon and Freya. CV Travel offer an exceptional portfolio of hand-picked villas and hotels in sought-after locations plus expert first hand knowledge of all their destinations which include the Greek Islands, Italy, France, Spain, Balearics, Portugal, North Africa, Arabia, South Africa and the Caribbean. To find out more about Paxos, Villa Filoxenia and CV Travel, visit www.cvtravel.co.uk. You can also call on 020 7401 1026 (Greek Islands), 020 7401 1010 (General Enquiries), 020 7401 1054 (to order a brochure).
If backpacking conjures up images of flea infested hostels then think again! Luxury Back Packers offers amazing holidays World Wide and you will be taken care of every remote step of the way! Whether you want to watch polar bears in Canada, polo in Pakistan, or penguines in the Antarctic; whether you would like to learn cooking in Thailand , wine taste in California or scuba diving in the Maldives visit www.luxurybackpackers.com and you will be more than amazed by the fabulous holidays they offer.
. Bush Baby Travel was set up to offer parents wishing to visit South Africa and Mauritius, The Indian Ocean and Arabia a personalised and informed service leading to the creation of an imaginative, tailor-made holiday. Since its launch many couples, including Honeymooners have also been attracted by their high levels of service offered for competitive rates. They have visited every property so that you can be confident that you will be booking into the best hotel or safari lodge to meet your unique needs. For more information visit www.bushbabytravel.com.