Questions and Answers for January 2020 on Newstalk

Michelle with Ivan Yates


Newstalk Questions and Answers 15th January 2020

listen to the podcast here

Hi Michelle,

Long time listener to your slot on NewsTalk, love it. Once pulled onto the side of a road driving home from work to book a great deal to Madeira! Anyway, my mam has been under the weather over the Christmas period & I’d love to send her away for some Winter sun. Thinking the Canarias. Would you be able to recommend an island & a hotel? Mam is 70 who likes low-key low density apart-hotels, on the flat so she can go out walking, close to shops & beach preferably!

Many thanks in advance! Ciaran

The Canary Islands are perfect for winter sun and for fiat and mum I would strongly recommend fuerteventura. Check out the official website here

The main Canary Islands are Lanzarote,Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura and they all have carnival at the end of February which is well worth catching if your mum is there a little earlier.

The windiest islands are Lanzarote and Fuerteventura but also quieter in the resorts than the larger islands so I think Ciaran’s mum would like the sandy beaches of Fuerteventura. Tenerife has black sand and Lanarote a kind of red sand making it almost lunar in landscape. The lovely thing about staying Corralejo is that its a short ferry ride over to Lanzarote so you can visit two islands for the price of one. Corralejo isn’t very built up and there are a good mix of reasonable and luxurious properties also.

The packages I have are from


Departing 04th Feb – 7 Nights

3* Oasis Dunas Apartments S/C from €377 pp                     €570 sole occ

4* Elba Carlota Beach Resort B&B from €560 pp                 €760 sole occ



Departing 31st January – 7 Nights

2* Costa Volcan Apartments S/C from €535 pp                   €767 sole occ

4* Vik San Antonio Hotel HB from €812 pp                           €1020 sole occ

Question 2

Could you suggest a week end break in Ireland for 1 person. I like walking, reading, nice food, in a nice relaxing locality? Mary

I spent a short trip in Kileavy castle last summer when I went up north to climb Slieve Donard and it’s a perfect location from Dublin – only an hour up the road. Slieve Gullion runs behind the hotel and there is super farm to fork dinning and a gorgeous spa with outdoor hot tub.

Prices for a weekend package – see please see below;

For dinner, bed and breakfast for 2, in a superior guest room it would be £220 midweek  and £250 weekends. For single occupancy it would be £175 weekday and £205 weekend, in a superior guest room.


We are also running a ‘Winter Warmer’ special, with superior rooms starting at £220 on weekends in January and February, this includes a six course evening meal, and complimentary bottle of house wine.

Irelands Blue Book has lovely properties:

Hunter’s Hotel Co Wicklow

Ireland’s oldest coaching inn, now in the 5th generation of the same family, with a long-standing tradition of friendliness, hospitality and good food. Its picturesque gardens along the banks of the river Vartry provide a delightful setting for a delicious afternoon tea or pre-lunch drink.

The hotel is an ideal base from which to visit Mount Usher Gardens, Powerscourt, Russborough, Killruddery, Glendalough and the other attractions of County Wicklow, “The Garden of Ireland”.

There are fifteen 18-hole golf courses within half an hour’s drive, most notably Druid’s Glen and the European. Horse riding and hill walking can be arranged for guests.

Hunter’s Hotel have single rooms

B&B Rates from €75-€95 per person

 Cashell House Hotel

I’d also look at the blue book and I’ve stayed as a solo Traveller at Cashell House in Connemara and it’s not far from Roundstone and Maam’s Cross in Galway.

Cashel House re-opens on March 11th for the season.

Bed & Breakfast from €75-€95 per person sharing

Question 3

I love your slot every week with Ivan which I listen to when I’m driving to work!
I have 11 year old triplets and we would love to go to Italy or Greece in late may/early June. One of my children has a physical disability and he uses a walker/wheelchair.  We find it hard to find places that are accessible and not too much walking for him…
My kids (2 boys and a girl) are v interested in history, love good quality food and love swimming pools so we are looking for somewhere where we cd do some age appropriate cultural things but also have a nice resort/accommodation with pools etc.  They are not your typical 11 year olds in that they don’t like fast food etc and love to eat what we eat! They’ve done projects on Italy in school and would really like to go and my husband and I got engaged in Italy and I lived in Florence for a year after I left school as I’m an opera singer!!
So, I was wondering if you could help us find a suitable, accessible holiday for a week/10 days that would give us everything we want!!

Thank you so much Julia

I went to the Italian Travel specialists Topflight to help Julia because organising a trip with a wheelchair is a real challenge. This resort in Peschiera on Lake Garda is really wonderful for families and I’m choosing it for anyone wanting to travel with families to this region.

Audio from Topflight Sharon Gibson

Price for 4* Bella Italia would be:

Sample price

6th June 2020

€3445 – Family of 5 staying in a 2 bedroom bungalow

Based on travelling from Dublin

Includes flights, transfers, accommodation for 7 nights, taxes and Topflight’s in resort service.


Price quoted above is reflective of Topflight’s current January sale which is now on with discounts on Italy, Austria summer, ski, cruise & stay holidays.


Spain is in general more wheelchair accessible and I will look into other options for her


Question 4

Hi Michelle,
Happy new Year.
It’s my wife’s 40th birthday in June this year. I was looking for some ideas for a budget 3 night break away in Europe or possibly USA – New York or Boston. Ideally we would travel in September/October and could travel on a Thursday, however if there are some good deals I would be willing to consider.

I would appreciate if you could recommend some ideas as I’m at a standstill!
Thank you in advance. RB


I got in touch with Ciara at platinum travel who really knows the United States and looks after bespoke packages

All offers are based on 3 nights so that you get full value of your time there. The two USA options are slightly over budget but the 2 Europeans are under budget. On all 4 options you will be spoiled for choice on sightseeing, wonderful restaurants, beautiful historic sites and with the lovely weather in all 4 destinations, you will get plenty of time to relax and watch the world go by.



17 Sep 2020 – 20 Sep 2020 (3 nights)

Direct flights from Dublin 3 nights stay in 4* Hilton Back Bay Hotel

FREE – Boston Old Town Trolley Tour included

10kilo hand luggage Airport taxes 24/7 emergency number throughout your stay






17 SEP – 20 SEP 2020 (3 NIGHTS) Direct flights from Dublin

3 nights stay in 3* Capitol Skyline Hotel

FREE – Capitol Site Bike & Roll Tour included


Hand luggage Airport taxes 24/7 emergency number throughout your stay Eur695pp



17 Sep – 20 Sep 2020 (3 nights) Direct flights from Dublin

3 nights stay in 5* Hotel Real Palacio Breakfast each morning

FREE – Classic Lisbon City Tour

10 kilo hand luggage Airport taxes 24/7 emergency number throughout your stay




17 – 20 Sep 2020

Direct flights from Dublin 3 nights stay in 4* Leonardo Royal Hotel

Breakfast each morning FREE – Berlin Hop on hop off bus tour

10 kilo hand luggage, Airport taxes 24/7 emergency number throughout your stay

Please note all flights, hotels, tours are subject to availability at time of booking.

for all the above offers contact

or telephone

+353 1853 5000


Question 5

I am booking a city break for the end of March and would like to go to Rome. Have you any tips about where to stay or the does and don’ts.


Do try stay near the Spanish steps area or piazza Navonna

Via Veneto area is really lovely and close to the Spanish

Universo 4* and Rome Garden 3* Leon’s Place 4*or Marsela Royal 4* recommended by Sandra at Topflight –

Avoid queues – do the hop on hop off bustour which skips the queues with the bus ticket and gains entry to the colusseum, vatican and sistine chapel –

Rome is amazing for food you will pick up really inexpensive meals In trattorias family run restaurants


If there’s no price on fish in restaurants watch out as it is priced by weight!

Watch the traffic it moves fast and drivers are crazy

Don’t be surprised if you get your bump pinched on public transport

Don’t hang out around termini station



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