Mum Helen Banno heeded some advice from her son to enter a competition – and ended up winning a trip of a lifetime to Sicily.
Helen was enjoying a meal during a short family break to Center Parcs in Sherwood Forest, Notts, when her son Richard spotted the promotion by top Italian restaurant chain Strada to win an exclusive week’s holiday to the five-star Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa.
With 16-year-old Richard refusing to take no for an answer, she agreed to enter the online promotion and was rewarded for her efforts by winning the star prize of a trip for four people to the award-winning resort.
Helen, 42, from Halesowen, West Midlands, who claimed her prize this month, said: “I don’t enter many competitions. It was my son who saw the competition and persuaded me to enter. The resort looked so beautiful and, because my husband’s father comes from Sicily, I just thought why not!
“Donnafugata was absolutely lovely. It took our breath away and we loved everything about the resort. The holiday just amazing and I wish I could go back tomorrow.”
The Donnafugata competition was held last year to coincide with the launch of Strada’s new summer menu with diners being invited to theme their entry about anything that fitted the #STRADASUMMER theme – from their favorite dish off the restaurant’s new summer menu, to a photo of a group of friends on a Strada patio, or even a humorous Strada-themed poem!
As part of the prize, Helen, her husband Tony, 46, and two children, Richard and Francesca, nine, were treated to seven nights’ luxury half-board accommodation at Donnafugata plus a variety of other activities including a visit to local winery tour, a trip to the historic town of Ragusa and free use of a private beach and the resort’s award-winning spa.
Helen added: “Everything was fantastic, from the accommodation and view we had on our balcony to the lovely food on offer, our trips to the beach and the private tour to Ragusa.
“I would love to go back to Donnafugata because you really feel that you are in paradise. The weather is amazing, the rooms are comfortable and spacious, and the staff was very friendly and polite, with nothing too much trouble. I could carry on but, in short, it was amazing!”
Opened in 2010, Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa boasts two 18-hole championship golf courses and extensive practice facilities including a 70-bay driving range and new Darren Clarke Centre of Excellence, which opened this spring. One of the two courses is a Gary Player signature layout and the second 18 holes – The Links – was designed by Franco Piras.
Located just 20 minutes from Comiso airport and set in the beautiful area of Donnafugata, a natural reserve and famous tourist destination known for the imposing castle which bears the same name, the resort also boasts a number of fantastic historical cities nearby. These include Val di Noto, the heart of Sicilian baroque; Ragusa Ibla, Modica, Noto and Scicli. All are deemed fitting of UNESCO World Heritage status.