Arena Travel Blog

  • Menorca - A World Record!

    Our claim to the world record for the longest running licensed overseas bridge event has never been refuted! Autumn 2016 will be 45 consecutive years at the Hotel S’Algar at that time of year but equally as impressive, we have also been visiting in May for 17 years. Incredibly, Andrew Kambites has been the bridge director on all the May holidays and returns this year. Bob & Jacky have not been directing/hosting quite as long but are catching up! This very special location has always remained a firm favourite with First for Bridge guests with many coming back year after year to enjoy the tranquility and wonderful ocean front pool and terraces – including the good company of Andrew, Bob & Jacky! Continue reading
  • News from our bridge holiday to Cyprus

    paphos pics

    Host report by Barry & Maggie Watts

    We all left home on a very wet and very gray day. Arriving in Paphos was a complete joy. The sun shone and temperatures rose every day. Breakfast by the pool and looking for shade in December! Swimming in the sea with water at air temperature; bliss. The Athena Beach is a friendly 4 star hotel that that provides everything guests could want. The rooms are spacious and luxurious and the public rooms are well designed for relaxation and entertainment. The food in the three wonderful restaurants was excellent and two weeks wasn’t long enough to sample everything on offer. Continue reading
  • News from our bridge holiday to Bristol

    Report by Bob & Jacky Baker

    A happy group of players saw in the New Year with four days of bridge at the Mercure Hotel in Bristol. The winners of the two principal events were: Pip Duncan & Donne Hoong New Year's Eve Pairs: Donne Hoong and Pip Duncan Joyce & Robert Jones, Ann McMahon & Richard Tyler New Year's Day Teams: Ann McMahon & Richard Tyler, Robert & Joyce Jones Bill Bethell, Eddie Richart, Tony & Patricia Craddock A special mention to Eddie Richart, Tony & Patricia Craddock who registered the highest score in the New Year's Day Teams competition (an impressive +100 IMPs over 24 boards) but were ineligible for the prize as their teammate was Bill Bethell from the First for Bridge Team (thanks, Bill, for your support over the four days). The following slam hand from the Teams evening was interesting: bristol puzzle Most pairs reached a straightforward small slam in spades, although those ending up in 6 managed to get home despite the nasty trump split. One player ended up in 6NT played by North, which on a non-club lead presented no problems - declarer can set up a second diamond trick to add to six spades, three hearts and the club ace. A club lead from East looks dangerous, but in fact declarer can get home, after a club to the king and ace, by cashing six spades and three hearts ending up in hand. East has had to reduce to three cards, almost certainly Kx and ♣Q. Declarer, who holds AQ and ♣J, now throws him in with a club and the diamond lead at trick twelve gives declarer the slam. Note that the (very) unlikely lead of ♣Q does not beat the contract as West can be end played to open up the hearts, giving declarer four tricks in the suit.
  • News from Madeira

    Host Report

    By Judy Sanis First for Bridge welcomed over 100 guests to the Pestana Bay Hotel in Madeira. We had the most beautiful weather and guests sat outside for breakfast and dinner and sunbathed by the pool. Madeira is a truly spectacular island and everyone appreciated the trips organised by Atlantic Travel or made their way on local buses. We had a courtesy bus which ran regularly to Funchal where it was possible to enjoy the old town or take a flat stroll along by the sea.All the staff in the Pestana Bay were very welcoming and helpful and we also thank Rita, our travel rep. for her help and thoughtfulness in planning our trips around the island. We all found time to play bridge although most guests only chose to join us in the evenings. We had a range of competitions organised by Andrew, our bridge director, and his seminars were well supported. Continue reading
  • News from Menorca

    Host report from Menorca

    By Bob & Jacky Baker S’Algar remains as picturesque and peaceful as ever and we were fortunate to enjoy beautiful clear blue skies and sunshine for much of our fortnight there. There were, as usual, many guests who were returning and they all agreed that the hotel and in particular the dining was better than ever. Continue reading

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