The favourite haunts of our sports stars
If you want to relax with the children, then head to Zighy Bay in Oman (Sixsenses.com), says Andrew Strauss, the retiring captain of the England cricket team, in The Daily Telegraph. “Geographically it was incredible, right by the water, with huge mountains right behind you and desert around you. It was also a very special resort with the most amazing service… We spent five days in a little cosseted bubble, but it felt more like two weeks.”
Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies prefers to stay closer to home. She has a holiday home in Cornwall and “the moment I have some spare time, I take my children down”, she says in The Independent. “We go to Kynance Cove on the Lizard Peninsula. There is the most amazing little café on the beach. Even in the middle of winter, it’s just magical.”
When it comes to hotels, it’s hard to beat the Emirates Palace (Kempinski.com) in Abu Dhabi, says double Olympic champion decathlete Daley Thompson in The Daily Telegraph. It is “a different class of hotel. It’s huge and the level of luxury is so ostentatious that in the foyer there’s an ATM that dispenses gold bars. Unbelievable”.
For Olympic silver-medallist gymnast Louis Smith, relaxation means Jamaica. “My favourite spot is Montego Bay,” he tells the Daily Mail. “It’s beautiful, very chilled, there’s reggae music playing and the smell of barbecues everywhere. After a night out I tuck into delicious jerk chicken and rice.”
Former Wimbledon champion Virginia Wade can’t pick just one favourite hotel, she has three. She loves Gleneagles (Gleneagles.com) in Perthshire, Scotland. “When I was touring professionally, we did tennis clinics there every summer for years and years,” she says in The Independent. “I also stayed in an unbelievable place in Amsterdam called the Seven One Seven (717hotel.nl), which is a small boutique hotel on the banks of the Prinsengracht. I also like the Ritz-Carlton (Ritzcarlton.com) in Laguna, California, because it’s got tennis courts that look down over the beach.”
Ex-England footballer Alan Shearer fell in love with Barbados 20 years ago and has been going back every year since.
“I’ve stayed in different houses and hotels all over the island, including Sandy Lane (Sandylane.com) – which has excellent food and service. I like the attitude of the Barbadians – they’re just so relaxed, laid-back and lovely,” he tells The Daily Telegraph. “The island has some great golf courses, restaurants, beaches and fabulous weather.”
When she’s not on her bike, Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton likes to get back to nature. “I stayed in the spectacular Cradle Mountain Lodge (pictured above, see Cradlemountainlodge.com.au) in Tasmania in 2009 and was blown away,” she says in The Daily Telegraph.
“If I could design a hotel this would be it,” says Pendleton. “It‘s not hugely luxurious, but it’s set on the edge of a national park in the middle of a wilderness and is amazingly secluded. When you step outside it’s wonderful to see all the wildlife in its natural habitat. [Truly] my kind of hotel.”