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Nov 2016: Jersey in the Spring – by the Glenton Product Team

In April this year, Margaret and Lindsey from our product team jetted off to Jersey. Exploring the island and meeting the teams behind our favourite hotels. Jersey is one of GLENTON’s most popular destinations and we send hundreds of passengers every year by air and by coach. Our product team feel it is important where ever possible to experience a destination first hand, so we can advise our clients to the best of our ability. Here is a short synopsis of how they got on:

Saturday
We flew from Glasgow Airport with Easyjet on a short flight of 1hr and 25 minutes to St Helier Airport in Jersey. Once we collected our luggage we were met by the transfer company Waverley in the famous yellow coaches. Our driver was very chatty and told us all about Jersey and her life on the island. We stayed at the stylish Best Western Royal Hotel in St Helier. The hotel is part of the family owned and run Morvan hotel group and occupies an enviable corner position on David Place. The outside of the hotel is very grand, with white pillars and potted plants – there are a few steps into the hotel. Once inside the decor is modern but traditional, there is stair and lift access to the bedrooms. The hotel has a cosy bar with dark woods, tartan carpets and stained glass. The bar is also open to the public, giving you the chance to mingle with the locals and hear the many stories of island life and the famous line we heard from most people ‘I came for a holiday but never went back home’!

The bar serves everything from snacks to evening meals. The hotel also has free wireless internet access throughout. Bedrooms are modern and comfortable with flat screen TVs, hairdryer, ironing board and tea & coffee making facilities. The hotel is a short walk from the centre of town and your route is filled with shops, cafes and restaurants and the lovely park Millennium Park which is an ideal place to sit and relax, if the weather permits.

After dropping off our bags we took a short stroll to get our bearings, before heading to the GLENTON favourite he Norfolk Hotel. GLENTON has been working with the Norfolk Hotel since 2008, Daniel and his team pull out all the stops to ensure that our Glentoneers feel right at home.

The Norfolk Hotel is situated on La Colomberie only a few minutes from St Helier’s main shopping street which boasts most high street names and many unique individual shops. On arrival we were welcomed by Daniel in the light and airy hotel reception. Daniel was swift to show us around the hotel and bedrooms, taking us to the comfortable bar area where there is regular entertainment. We were treated ourselves to a drink from the outdoor cafe sitting at the sheltered pool in the sunshine.

In the evening we were spoilt for choice of restaurants to suit every taste & budget. We opted for a Portuguese restaurant just across the hotel and went back to the bar for a night cap.

Sunday
After a great night’s sleep in the comfortable bedrooms we went for breakfast which is served in the hotel restaurant and offers an excellent choice of a continental breakfast served buffet style or a full English breakfast with waiter service. We opted to do a full day island tour as Jersey still keeps traditional shopping hours on a Sunday so the town is very quiet and it seemed an ideal opportunity to tour round the island on a beautiful sunny spring day. The island tour is also provided by Waverley coaches and they picked us up from our hotel to start the tour. The friendly guide provided a commentary from the moment we boarded the bus and had many entertaining stories, information and anecdotes to tell us about the island and places that we visited along the way. We stopped en route for morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea as well as many stops for photos of the breathtaking scenery and pretty villages.

On Sunday night we tried another lovely Thai restaurant just near to the Norfolk hotel.

Monday
After breakfast and a short stroll into St Helier we met up with Arthur Lamy our blue badge guide for his guided walking tour “A taste of St Helier”. This tour was featured in our Jersey Active holidays for 2016. Lasting approx 2.5 hours this is a gentle and informative way to learn of Jersey’s history whilst exploring the centre of St Helier with its Town Hall, Fish Market and Victorian Central Market among many of the buildings of interest. After a quick lunch back at the bar in the Best Western Royal it was time to visit one of our most popular hotels. Owned and run by the Smale family the Westhill Country hotel is set in five acres of beautifully landscaped gardens on the outskirts of Saint Helier approximately 1.5 miles from the centre. As the hotel provides a complimentary shuttle bus to St Helier several times a day you have the best of both worlds far enough away from the hustle and bustle, yet only five minutes drive from the town centre. After an extensive tour of the hotel’s many public areas we were shown an example of each of the room types that we offer our customers. Time for cup of coffee and a sit down in the relaxing bar which overlooks the beautifully landscaped gardens and pool.

We head back to the Best Western for a quick change before our welcome dinner hosted by Visit Jersey for the delegates attending the Destination Jersey workshop the following day. We were picked up by Tantivy blue coaches another of the islands coach tour companies and transferred to the stunning La Corbiere restaurant which overlooks the Corbiere Lighthouse. This was an ideal opportunity for visit Jersey to showcase the best of the islands produce including the first Jersey Royal potatoes of the season, local seafood and wine from La Mare wine estate and a fantastic view of the setting sun behind the lighthouse. It was a fabulous evening.

Tuesday
Destination Jersey – a full day workshop hosted by Visit Jersey in the beautiful Raddison Blu hotel . This event gives all the suppliers involved in all aspects of tourism in Jersey a chance to showcase their products and what the island has to offer from Sea Kayaking to the Jersey war tunnels – there really is something for everyone. After busy day of “speed dating” with hoteliers, tour operators, visitor attractions and transport providers just enough time to go back to the Best Western Royal to get dressed for a farewell dinner hosted by Jersey Hospitality Association in the beautiful surroundings of La Mare Wine Estate. This popular Jersey attraction is a working estate that offers Tours & Tastings whilst making wines, spirits, preserves, and more from both traditional and modern Jersey recipes. Whilst there you can enjoy the gardens, vineyards and orchards, playgrounds, Vineyard Bistro, Jersey gift shop, cooperage display and so much more.

Wednesday
A chance to do some last minute shopping and pick up some local specialities including the famous Jersey Black butter and fudge before visiting our other featured hotels from the Morvan hotel group. The Monterey is only a short walk from the Best Western Royal and features on-site luxury indoor swimming pool facilities, including steam room, spa bath and mini gym which are provided free of charge to our guests. A large outdoor swimming pool is also available for fine days. The hotel is directly on the island’s bus route network if you do not want to walk the 10-15 mins to the centre of St Helier. Another short stroll took us to the Norfolk Lodge where we were welcomed by Nathan, the director of sales, who gave us a tour of the hotel including all the different types of rooms that we offer and also the restaurant, bar & indoor swimming pool. Just one more stop at the Fort d’Auvergne Hotel which bordered by the sea and sandy beach on two sides and occupies what is one of the best maritime positions in Jersey’s capital. Nathan kindly gave us a lift there and back as the hotel is probably a 20-25 min walk to the centre of St Helier however there is bus service from outside the hotel. Just time to go back to the Best Western to change and take a stroll into town to pick another restaurant for dinner. We opted for Italian and enjoyed a lovely meal and then a few drinks before an early night for our flight home the following morning.

Thursday After breakfast we were whisked back to the airport by Waverley coaches for our early morning flight to Glasgow. Before visiting the duty free shop we had a last chance buy some Jersey Royals and left our money in the honesty box, many of which can be see all over the island. Our flight was right on time and were home in Glasgow in time for lunch!

Click here for details of our holidays to Jersey

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