South Africa's Zimbali resort extends over 700 hectares and offers a rare combination of lush forest, soft-sand beaches and an 18-hole golf course on the lovely KwaZulu-Natal's Dolphin Coast, along the Indian Ocean.
"Zimbali" is the Zulu word for "valley of flowers" and this goes some way to describing the blossoming environment.
The Algarve, on Portugal's south coast, has long been a favourite of Britons chasing the sun. It always delivers those sunny days, even out of season and is particularly lovely in April, when spring flowers are in full bloom, the crowds have thinned and temperatures hover around a pleasant 20° to 25°C. And it's only a four-hour flight from the UK.
As a zig-zag of lightning split the sky, the omens did not look good. Zeus, king of the gods, must have got out on the wrong side of bed. His home, Mount Olympus, the tallest mountain in Greece, lay across the water, visible on a clearer day. But by the time we had finished our breakfast at Ikos Oceania resort, the storm clouds had passed us by, leaving normal duty to be resumed by the pool.
Early morning in Ho Chi Minh City - or Saigon as the locals call it - and the traffic is jaw-dropping. A sea of mopeds running more than 10 rows deep along the stretch of road. A bike buzzes past laden with a family of four carrying a huge basket of kitchen utensils and a rolled-up carpet. Another has a fridge strapped to the rider's back and another bouquets of flowers.