Hi – Mel here, Friendship Travel’s overseas manager.  I haven’t blogged for a while, although I have had a busy enough winter, but over Easter and the start of the season it really has been all go for Friendship Travel.

A fun singles weekend was spent at Donnington Valley Hotel & Spa  for our Easter dinner dance in Berkshire.  I had a lovely group of guests, some of whom took themselves off to the Spa for pampering and relaxation, while others enjoyed walking into the nearby town.  We also had a lively Ten Pin Bowling session, with some guests looking like pros, while others (like me) only just about got the ball going in the right direction!

We’ve been holding singles weekends at the Donnington Valley Hotel & Spa for several years

Evenings were very social with drinks in the bar, a quiz night and of course a disco.  We danced the night away on the second evening, which in the heels some of us ladies were wearing was a great achievement!

We finished off with a quiz on the last night which was very close, only half a point in it for the winning team.  So to sum it up, it was a fun weekend, with excellent company, plenty to eat and drink, and not forgetting yummy chocolate eggs!

On Easter Monday I waved everyone off, and headed for Friendship Travel’s HQ in Belfast to catch up with Colum and the office girls and to find out what singles holidays are most popular this summer, how manic the office is when the phone continually rings, and what sort of queries the girls deal with on a daily basis.  We also planned all our overseas Hosting needs for the summer, prepared all the pre-season stationary, uniform and staff travel requirements.  The office girls will be out and about in some resorts this summer too, starting in Turkey, so keep an eye out!

I was also lucky enough  to have a sneak preview of the Winter 2012/13 brochure, which is having some final touches made to it, and I spotted a couple of exciting new destinations…… but my lips are sealed!!

Unfortunately it rained most of the time while I was in Northern Ireland, but it didn’t stop me from shopping (nothing does) and Colum treated us all to dinner and a night out in Belfast City.  Although my visit coincided with the anniversary of the Titanic and the opening of the museum in Belfast, I didn’t have time to go, so I’ll have to save that for my next visit.

I’m now back in Turkey, as we have lots to prepare, our first guests arrive at the Hotel Era in just three weeks’ time!  It will be a busy season for us here because we now have four Friendship Travel holiday bases in Bodrum and Oludeniz, including the small and friendly Forever Hotel, shown here.

A view of the restaurant area at the Forever Hotel in Oludeniz-Ovacik

It’s time to finalise our excursion programme, visit the hotels to see how their preparations are coming on, start organising the first transfers for 7th May and completing various admin tasks.  I’m not sure how winter passed so quickly, but it’s definitely summer now, and the team in Turkey is looking forward to welcoming our guests old and new!

Oh, and in case you’re wondering …… the sun is shining in Turkey already!!