bridge

  • News from the Bridge Room on the Venetian Riviera

    Host report by Andy & Chris Simmons

    For our holiday on the Venetian Riviera we returned to the Hotel Principe Palace in Lido Di Jesolo. This ‘platinum grade’ hotel is located in the heart of Lido Di Jesolo with lots of bars, shops and restaurants close by. It has a well-appointed rooftop terrace where guests could relax during the day, and extensive indoor and outdoor ground floor lounges that included grand piano recitals. Rooms were comfortable, fully equipped and regularly serviced. For dinner we were encouraged to select from a range of specially prepared Italian cuisine and there was always an extensive salad bar and lots of dessert options. Service was truly magnificent and gave the impression that this is a family run hotel where the guests come first. One of our guests was very soon overheard to say “this is a great hotel and I never say that of anywhere”.

    During the entire holiday we were blessed with warm, calm and sunny weather – perfect for sightseeing. A bus and then ferry ride took us into the remarkable city of Venice. Everyone came on the inclusive guided tour and this was a good introduction. There is so much culture and history in Venice that most guests returned for subsequent visits. Nearby islands also have unique charm and character and many took advantage of the regular ferry services to visit them too. Among these was Murano that is famed for its glass making studios.

    A large number of guests took advantage of the trip to Lake Garda and Verona. Sirmione del Garda is an attractive town on a picturesque peninsula on the south of the lake. Here guests would find the best ice cream in Italy (arguable the world). The trip also stopped at Verona. This is a city with artistic heritage and has a well preserved ancient amphitheatre that still stages grand open air productions like Verdi’s classic opera Aida.

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  • News From The Bridge Room In Jersey

    Host report by Barry Watts

    We could be in the South of France! St Brelade’s Bay is a crescent of the softest sand and shallow sea sheltered in the arms of rugged rocks and cliffs characteristic of the Channel islands. The sun shone for us virtually the whole week warming the sand and sea. Swimming and water sports continued as though it was high Summer. Most of the Summer holiday makers had gone so we could enjoy relatively clear beaches and walk into any of the beach restaurants to enjoy the excellent seafood.

    The St Brelades Bay Hotel, we were told, is the most popular hotel on the Island. After 24 hours we knew why. The hotel was full. Its staff were excellent and were tireless and cheerful in meeting our every need. The Hotel, its rooms, the gardens and its wonderful position on the bay make it a beautiful place to stay. Most of all, the restaurant was outstanding. The restaurant rooms and the terrace facing the Bay were busy all day as guests and private parties enjoyed long lunches drifting into lavish teas, creating a charming mix of British and continental tastes.

    The good weather drew everyone out to explore Jersey. The Island offers great walks and numerous interesting sites to visit. Especially popular were the War Tunnels, excavated by forced labour for the Germans during the 5 year occupation of the second world war and now preserved as a fascinating history museum of the occupation.

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  • News from the Bridge Room in Majorca

    Host Report by Frances Keene & Liz Farrar

    It was our first opportunity to host a First for Bridge Holiday and the first visit to the Hotel Bella Playa which came with a few challenges! As both hosts, director and scorer’s luggage had disappeared into the ether, we soldiered on for two days before our cases arrived in dribs and drabs. However the Hotel Bella Playa and the Manager were exceptionally helpful during our hours of need providing us with bathrobes and toiletries. This was an indication of how obliging they were to us and our guests during our two week stay including assisting with flight problems caused by firstly the French Air Traffic Control strike followed by freak storms in England. Continue reading
  • News from the Bridge Room in Cyprus

    Host Report by Jacky Baker


    Our holiday in Cyprus in the superb Athena Royal Beach Hotel lived up to all expectations. We have been coming here for a few years now and always get a very warm welcome from the staff, who cannot do enough for you. Good weather, great hotel, good food and good company - what more could you want!

    The hotel is situated on a level promenade which runs all the way into Paphos harbour, and there is also a regular, inexpensive bus service which stops just outside our hotel.

    The guests also enjoyed the many additional activities on offer, including putting, crazy golf, aqua aerobics, cycling, table tennis and of course our programme of bowling, which consisted of seven free sessions over the fortnight.

    There were several excursions available and we had one, exclusive to our group, which took in many of the principal sights of the island.

    Our thanks to Pauline Durie, the other member of our team on this occasion, who was a cheerful presence in the bridge room and extremely helpful , and once again to the hotel. We look forward to returning next year. Continue reading
  • News from the Bridge Room in Malta

    Host Report by Chris & Andy Simmons

    Malta is an island between Sicily and North Africa in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea. For our first visit we were blessed with lovely sunny weather so guests were able to enjoy the many good value trips to explore the culture and heritage of this special place. Buses were plentiful and extremely cheap so guests could easily go off on their own ventures. Geared up for British tourists the hotel was exceptionally friendly towards our group. Rooms were comfortable and well equipped and staff made a special effort to keep the bridge room serviced with refreshments.

    There was lots of choice on offer for meals where guests could book into Brazilian, Italian or Asian specialty restaurants to get something a bit different although the main buffet was magnificent in itself. A nice touch was that on two evenings the hotel gave First For Bridge guests exclusive access to two of these restaurants and opened them early so we could enjoy the experience and still get to bridge on time afterwards. The lobby bar area was popular for post competition discussions and socialising. Late all-inclusive drinks were available including cocktails like the much loved “After 8” or the “db Special”. For the active there were interesting walks to nearby sites like Popeye Village that was created for the film starring Robin Williams, and The Red Tower with magnificent views of Gozo and Comino. Continue reading

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