It’s never too soon to think where you might travel next to seek out the sun. Here’s some inspiration. We are very lucky Viv was happy to write and send some pics of her solo retreat while she was on holiday in late August. Kudos to her.
Paradise…for me that is a week long stay at The Aqua Blue Spa and Boutique Hotel, on the island of Kos. It is the place I have favoured for the past two years for taking a solo holiday. The hotel is a relatively small, adult only experience and walking through the main entrance is literally everything I want for one week of the year. Calm, peaceful, stylish and with staff who discreetly serve you with nothing less than genuine kindness.
As a solo traveller, you can chose to feel alone or to feel free. For me it is the latter; and all your subsequent choices made on your holiday are yours, and yours alone.
Today, I choose to take one of the ‘beds’ on the hotel’s private beach; sprinkled with white washed canopies and its own waiter service, the white sand a stark contrast to the aquamarine water just a few steps away.
There are several fellow solo travellers here, but like me, they have come for the safety of solitude in reading and listening to music, perhaps lost in memories or making plans for the future.
My take on holidaying solo
Travelling on my own… well, it gives me the space to refocus and refresh my mind and soul.
I have learned a different self confidence…and therein is the gift of going solo. You really are present to yourself, mindful of your thoughts.
I have learned a different self confidence; the confidence to be alone but not lonely. Being part of a group of people on holiday, is much the same as being at home with family, or at work. You still have to consider and compromise for someone else. Alone, there is none of that and therein is the gift of going solo. You really are present to yourself, mindful of your thoughts. If you are not content in your own company, travelling alone would be frustrating and perhaps a sad experience; every day longing for the company of someone to direct your thoughts.
Before deciding to take a week away on my own, I asked the only question that I needed to ask. What do I want? Life is busy, life can create stress, fatigue, complacency. What I wanted was the time to escape the every day – and here I have found my perfect, uninterrupted retreat.
Being a solo guest, simply gives those who are here as part of a couple or small group someone to wonder about – use this curiosity to your favour. As most of the guests here are Italian, Swedish, German or French, I automatically establish my Scottish accent and warm personality with the staff to great benefit. You become a firm favourite and other guests notice this – now you can pretend whoever you want to be. A famous author, actress or heiress, it doesn’t matter but it adds a mischievous take on your holiday. Wear a wide brimmed hat and glasses when around other guests and this adds to your holiday persona of mystery.
Dining solo on a Saturday night
Never be embarrassed about eating alone. I choose to finish my day sunbathing with a cold drink by the pool, watching the other guests pack up and return to their rooms.
For me, I sit in the terrace and enjoy a meal just as the sun is beginning to dip. The food here is beautiful and not pricey. With freshly caught shrimps and fish, Greek salads and a burger to die for, the menu is delicious. Spend the time reading or listening to the babble of others, while enjoying your food.
Not for me, is the need to shower, change, do hair and makeup before eating. A luxurious bubble bath and soft bath robe can wait until I have finished eating. Bliss…
Aqua Blu is a member of The Small Luxury Hotels of the World and deservedly so. Accommodation includes breakfast with a choice of bar meals on the terrrace or at the formal, Cuveé restaurant.
Breakfast is resplendent with everything from freshly cooked omelettes to cold meats, cheeses, pastries, breads fruits and of course delicious Greek yogurts with fresh honey. You can start your day with endless refills or coffee, fruit juices, water and even chilled champagne, all served by polite waiters in crisp white uniforms. I choose to keep it simple.
The hotel boasts an outdoor pool and jacuzzi and there are well spaced out loungers and sun beds around the pool and in the gardens overlooking the beach. It never feels crowded or your privacy invaded by other guests. As mentioned before, the private beach is just 50 paces where you will find more beds and great service.
Each guest is supplied with towels carefully folded on your chosen sun lounger. The rest of the day is yours.
Rooms at Aqua Blu
The rooms here are delightful. Large contemporary open planned areas with all the comforts you need. Forget packing bulky products except your sun tan lotion; they provide the rest. Each room has a spacious balcony and depending on how much you are willing to spend, some views are a direct panoramic outlook over the water to Turkey. Others have their own pools. The loft is the exclusive area if you want your own jacuzzi and maid/ waiter. At around £4,000 per week, it might make an ideal romantic getaway or honeymoon. Room prices vary depending on when you stay, and flights from Glasgow depart on Tuesdays and Fridays in season. EasyJet provide a return flight for just over £200, but again vary depending on the season.
It can be expensive if visiting in July and August but worth every penny to relax and discover your inner self. The Spa is an additional 50 euros to use the idyllic pool, Hassan and sauna. Treatments of which I have taken up towards the end of the trip. Costing approximately 90 euros for an hour and half or pure unadulterated indulgence; your skin tingles from sun and the sweet scented oils massaged expertly into your muscles.
You leave here glowing: inwardly and out.
For more information about the hotel and special offers: