Πέμπτη, 31 Ιουλίου 2014

Best Western Brings First Turkish Hamam to Cambodia

Best Western International is inviting guests to relax and unwind in a new spa, which has opened as part of the BEST WESTERN River Palace Hotel in Phnom Penh.
The new wellness facility features a range of amenities to soothe body and soul, including hot and cold jacuzzis, a steam bath, fitness center and the only Turkish hamam (Turkish bath or hammam) in Cambodia.
Dating back thousands of years, the Turkish hamam is an integral part of Middle Eastern and North African culture, offering a serene cleansing experience. Best Western is now inviting guests in Phnom Penh to experience this age-old tradition, which is the perfect way to relax after a busy day exploring this bustling, exciting city.
The traditionally-styled hamam is set in a room adorned with elegant pearl and ivory colored tiles. A large archway leads to a central steam bath, topped with a domed ceiling. This provides the perfect setting for a series of detoxifying and purifying treatments that ease aches and pains and revive the senses.
Guests have a variety of options to revitalize their bodies, including traditional Asian massages, full-body treatments, scrubs, facials, waxing and water therapies.
Glenn de Souza, Best Western International’s Vice President of International Operations for Asia & Middle East said, “Our stunning new spa at the BEST WESTERN River Palace Hotel in Phnom Penh takes this mantra to a whole new level, offering serene treatments away from the hustle and bustle of the city streets.
“And with the first ever Turkish hamam in Cambodia, I am delighted to be able to offer our guests such a unique and memorable experience,” Mr. de Souza added.
BEST WESTERN River Palace Hotel is located on the banks of the Tonle Sap River, in the heart of the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh.

A new B2B event - Madhya Pradesh Travel Mart

'Madhya Pradesh Tourism' announces the launch of 'Madhya Pradesh Travel Mart’, Central India’s biggest travel event in Bhopal from the 17 – 19 October 2014.
MPTM-logoMadhya Pradesh, India's second largest state by area, with over 75 million inhabitants and located in the geographical heartland of India is home to some of India's biggest tourist attractions. From UNESCO World Heritage sites and cultural pursuits to the land of the Jungle Book, Madhya Pradesh offers discerning tourists a fascinating range of touristic experiences.
The Inaugural edition of ‘Madhya Pradesh Travel Mart’, is set on a B2B platform with 100 registered Buyers and Media from over 10 countries exploring business opportunities for discerning travel and tourism products, will make the event one of the most sought after travel events in the country.
The event hopes to enlist the support of major travel – trade and hospitality association in India such as ‘Association of Domestic Tour Operators Association of India (ADTOI), Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI), Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI), Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Association of India (FHRAI), etc

SkyTeam launches Go Round Asia and Southwest Pacific Pass

SkyTeam has launched its new Go Round Asia and Southwest Pacific Pass, providing customers with a flexible way to explore 26 countries.
skyteamThe latest in SkyTeam’s series of regional travel passes, the Go Round Asia and Southwest Pacific pass has been designed as a ‘mini-Round the World’ ticket that offers cost savings on flights operated by SkyTeam members serving these regions.
Customers wishing to purchase a Go Round Asia and Southwest Pacific Pass can choose from a minimum of three to a maximum of 11 flights for travel in Economy or Business Class. Fares are calculated within three mileage bands of 13,000, 17,000 and 21,000 miles and travel must begin and end in the same country and at least one stop must be in Australia or New Zealand.
Unlike SkyTeam’s other regional travel passes, the Go Round Asia and Southwest Pacific pass can be purchased without an intercontinental round-trip or Round the World ticket and is valid for travel originating within the region. Plus, travelers can buy a pass three days in advance of their travel dates.
Countries included:
Asia – Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines , Russian Federation East of the Urals,Singapore, South-Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam; Southwest Pacific – Australia, Guam, New Zealand.
Other SkyTeam Go Passes include:
Go Round the World, Go Africa, Go Greater China, Go Europe, Go Mexico, Go Russia and Go USA and Canada.

New Element hotel to open in New York

Starwood Hotels & Resorts announced plans to open an Element brand property adjecent to Aloft Syracuse Inner Harbor.
Element Syracuse Inner Harbor will open in early 2018 as part of a massive waterfront redevelopment project along the former Barge Canal. The hotel will be located adjacent to Aloft Syracuse Inner Harbor, which is set to open in 2015.
The hotel will be a short walk to Destiny USA Center, a major shopping and entertainment destination with more than 1.3 million square feet of outlets, restaurants and retail stores. Guests will enjoy easy access to nearby attractions including Armory Square – a historic and refurbished area of the city containing shops and restaurants, the Everson Museum of Art, the Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology and Washington Square Park. The hotel will be just over one mile from downtown Syracuse, approximately two miles from both Syracuse University and SUNY Upstate Medical University, and close to the offices of Lockheed Martin and AXA Financial.
Element Syracuse Inner Harbor will boast 123 stylish, sustainable rooms and suites featuring a fluid design of modular furniture, swiveling flat-screen televisions, large desks with open shelving and custom-designed closets. Rooms will also offer fully equipped kitchens and the signature Heavenly® Bed, and spa-inspired bathrooms will feature an invigorating rain shower and dual-flush toilet. Other brand signatures will include a state-of-the-art, 24-hour fitness center, outdoor pool, and 750 square-foot meeting room with modular furnishings, a flexible layout and state-of-the-art technology that can be customized to meet any business or social needs. Guests can stay on the move with Element’s complimentary bikes to borrow and enjoy fun and free extras including complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, the signature RISE breakfast, RELAX evening reception, and salon bar carts stocked with premium wines and beers, soft drinks and snacks, available after hours.
“Element is gaining traction throughout North America due to the enthusiastic response of travelers to the brand’s successful positioning and emphasis on clean, sustainable living,” said Allison Reid, Senior Vice President of North America Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. “Equipped with everything guests need for a life in balance, Element Syracuse Inner Harbor will offer an entirely fresh perspective on the extended stay experience.”
Element is the first major hotel brand to mandate that all properties pursue the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for high-performance buildings. It’s recognized as an industry leader in the eco-space, and offers travelers a fresh, reimagined interpretation of the extended stay hotel experience.

Top 5 overseas countries for U.S. residents

U.S. Department of Commerce, National Travel and Tourism Office announced details of U.S. resident outbound market for 2013.
The U.S. resident outbound market totaled 61.9 million in 2013, up two percent from 2012. Travel to overseas regions (29.0 million) increased two percent, to Canada (12.0 million) up one percent and travel to Mexico (20.9 million), the largest outbound market, was up three percent.
The top five overseas destination countries visited by U.S. residents in 2013 were: the United Kingdom (2.6 million), France (2.0 million), Italy (1.8 million), Jamaica (1.8 million) and Germany (1.7 million). Six of the top 10 overseas destinations visited by U.S. travelers posted increases in 2013.
I’ve wanted to go to Aruba since I first heard the Beach Boys’ Kokomo as a child. I finally made it there a few years ago and it totally lived up to my expectations. Aruba’s seen a share of bad press in the recent years – through no fault of their own – but I found the island to be charming, friendly, safe and absolutely beautiful. Aruba quickly jumped on to my top 10 best places to vacation list.
Here are 5 things to do on your trip to Aruba:
1. Jeep Tours. This is how I saw the island during my visit and I found it a fun, yet bumpy, way to see different parts of this island. We visited the north side of the island with the crashing waves, rock formations and Natural Bridge. Since we were on a jeep tour, we really go to go off road and explore the off-beaten path to the rocky shoreline. After visiting the natural beauty, we stopped at the Aruba Ostrich Farm and then drove along the island’s back roads where we took in the views and famous landmarks: the Bushiribana Ruins of Gold, Alto Vista Chapel and the California Lighthouse. At the end of our tour, we stopped at a local beach to enjoy some down time before heading back to our ship. While it was a whirlwind excursion, I loved that we got to see the resort and wild side of the diverse island.
2. The Famous Sites. Aruba’s known for some famous landmarks: the Natural Bridge, Alto Vista Chapel, and the California Lighthouse. The Natural Bridge was a formation of coral limestone stretching almost 23 feet. Sadly it collapsed in 2005, but today you can still see the remains and other amazing rock formations caused by the crashing waves. Alto Vista Chapel is on the remains of the first Catholic Church in Aruba that was built in 1750 by a Spanish missionary. Services are still held there today. Named for a ship – the S.S. California – that wrecked in 1891 on those shores, it sits on the northwest corner of Aruba. Though you can’t climb the lighthouse, you can eat at the restaurant right next to it: La Trattoria el Faro Blanco. The best way to take these sites in is on a tour – booked locally or through your cruise ship.
3. Beaches. Aruba’s a diverse island and that’s reflected in the type of beaches you’ll find. Aruba frowns upon nude beaches, but you’ll find topless beaches including The Renaissance Island and De Palm island. Most of the beaches are on the West Side of the island including uber popular Eagle Beach. Easily accessible by public transportation, it’s the widest beach on the island and offers shaded picnic areas, hut and motorized water sports. Also, during the year, you’ll find turtle nests there and can watch – safely from a distance – as the hatchlings head to the Atlantic Ocean.
4. Kitesurfing and Windsurfing. Not found in most Caribbean ports, Aruba offers kite surfing because of the year-round trade winds the island experiences. You’ll find world famous instructors on the island eager to teach you and help you try out this new experience. Want to watch? In June/July, the island hosts the Hi-Winds Amateur World Challenge windsurfing and kitesurfing tournament. You’ll see professionals from all over the world.
5. If you’re a certified scuba diver, Aruba’s got some amazing places to explore – both for beginners and experts. The largest wreck in the Caribbean – the Antilla – is over 400 feet long. The Pedernales Wreck – another casualty of World War II – is a great site for beginners where you’ll find groupers, angelfish and unique coral formations. Overall, there are over 20 dive sites on the island.
What’s your favorite thing to do on Aruba? Have you tried any of these experiences before?

The post 5 Things to do in Aruba appeared first on Cruise Radio.

Windstar Cruises Launches New Cruisetours, Including a Four-Day Myanmar Experience

Seattle, July 30, 2014 – Windstar is launching its first-ever series of Cruisetours, premiering in Asia and Arabia. For those wanting to extend their cruise vacation with a land experience, the Cruisetour collection allows guests to experience the wonders of the Far East without the stress of planning the travel. Starting at $5,299 Cruisetours include: the cost of the cruise, flights to the Cruisetour city, accommodations in a luxury hotel, excursions with an expert guide in each new city, select meals, and transfers.
Guests who book by August 29, 2014 will receive up to a $1,000 airfare credit per person, free hotel and transfers on arrival, a complimentary exclusive Private Event on the voyage crafted solely for Windstar guests, and savings of up to 50% of the cruise fare.
“We’ve applied our philosophy of exploring hidden harbors and secluded coves to our land experiences, handpicking the best excursions to taste the local culture,” said Hans Birkholz, Windstar Cruises’ chief executive officer. “Our Cruisetours take care of all the logistics, so our guests can truly relax and enjoy the destination at hand in exclusive Windstar style, both on land and at sea.”

Singapore, the Malay Peninsula, & Myanmar Cruisetour
  • Cruisetour Experience: Travel to a world long closed to western eyes to enjoy the mystical beauty of Myanmar on this 4-day journey. Guests will visit Yangon and Bangan to explore one of the world’s most revered UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Bagan Archaeological Zone. Highlights include a trip to Phwar Saw Village where locals welcome participants into their homes and share cooking secrets, using the market’s fresh ingredients.
  • Cruise: Singapore & the Malay Peninsula, 10-day round trip voyage from Singapore
  • Hotels: 5-Star Sule Shangri-La and 5-star Bagan Lodge
  • Special Tip: For a limited time receive a FREE hot air balloon ride in Bagan.
Southeast Asia Unveiled & Angkor Wat Cruisetour
  • Cruisetour Experience: Journey to the ancient temples in Cambodia on this 3-day excursion. Guests will start in Siem Ream, with visits to Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Tonle Sap Lake, and Les Artisans d’Angkor. Highlights include a traditional Cambodian feast with a cultural dance performance and a guided tour on board a small shaded vessel moving between floating homes and small fish farms.  
  • Cruise: Southeast Asia Unveiled, a 10-day voyage from Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Hotels: Le Meridien Angkor in Siem Reap and Caravelle Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City
  • Special tip: The Angkor Wat Cruistour can be booked either pre- or post- cruise.
Wonders of Civilization Cruisetour
  • Cruisetour Experience: Explore the ancient city of Cairo on this 5-day excursion. Guests will leave the ship in Luxor before traveling to Cairo to tour the ancient Pyramids of Giza and the mysterious Sphinx. Local highlights include a tour of the Solar Boat, the ritual vessel believed to provide transport for the Pharoah’s soul to the afterlife, as well as a camel ride through the desert.
  • Cruise: Wonders of Arabia, a 6-day voyage from Athens to Safaga 
  • Hotels: Hilton Luxor, and 5-Star Mena House Hotel in Giza
  • Special tip: Join Windstar CEO Hans Birkholz as he hosts this Wonders of Arabia voyage.
To learn more about Windstar’s Cruisetours, contact a travel professional, visit the website or call Windstar Cruises at800-258-7245.

Outrigger Mauritius Launches 'Endless Sunshine' Promotion

The Outrigger Mauritius Resort and Spa has launched an "Endless Sunshine" promotion that gives up to 45% off best rates. The promotion is valid for stays until 30 September 2014 and requires a minimum two-night stay. The promotion includes daily breakfast for two.
Outrigger Mauritius Resort and Spa

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The special limited-period rates are EUR149 for a Deluxe Seaview King, EUR199 for a Deluxe Family Seaview Room, EUR179 for a Beach Front Club Room, EUR229 for a Beachfront Junior Suite, and EUR349 for a Beachfront Senior Suite. Rates include 15% tax.
Club and Suite bookings also enjoy the complimentary access to resort's Club and Club benefits.
The Outrigger Mauritius Resort and Spa opened in April this year and offers 181 beautifully appointed rooms, suites and villas in an immaculate 10-hectare absolute beachfront setting in the peaceful Bel Ombre nature reserve at the south of the island.
The property is already known for its high quality Creole Mauritian dishes, seafood and a selection of specialist choices such as Japanese, Indian, European and home-made desserts and pastries.
A large choice of water sport instruction is available for beginners to advanced levels.
To book the Endless Sunshine promotion, or for more information, email resa.mauritius@outrigger-mu.com


London City Airport has been recognised for its increasing commitment to reducing its carbon footprint by the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme.
The independent initiative, which is run in association with ACI Europe, has awarded Level 2 Reduction to the London gateway, reflecting its success in reducing carbon emissions per passenger in 2013.
It was also recognised its approved, detailed carbon management plan, setting out how the airport will continue to reduce carbon emissions going forward.
Declan Collier, CEO of London City Airport, explains: "LCY recognises that it has a duty to its neighbours and to the environment as a whole.
“Since achieving Level 1 accreditation Mapping in March 2013 we have been working hard to put in place steps to further reduce our carbon emissions and we are delighted to have been recognised for this work.
“We will continue to drive this programme forward and fully intend to achieve Level 3 status.”
The Airport Carbon Accreditation has four levels: the first is Mapping, the second is Reduction, the third is Optimisation, and the fourth is Neutrality.
London City is the fifth airport in the UK to achieve Level 2 accreditation, alongside Heathrow, Stansted, Manchester and Farnborough.


Airbus cancels Skymark order

Written by  Jonny Williamson
Airbus has announced that it has terminated a $2.2bn order for six A380 aircraft from Skymark Airlines.
Though the aircraft manufacturer hasn’t gone in to details regarding the termination, it’s been reported that the low-cost Japanese carrier has struggled to raise sufficient capital to cover payment installments.
At a briefing held in Tokyo, Skymark’s president and CEO, Shinichi Nishikubo, noted that increased competition within the region combined with the knock-on effect of a weaker local currency had taken their toll on business.
Amid suggestions that Skymark wanted to pull out of the 2011 deal, the CEO went on to claim that Airbus had demanded the carrier merge with a larger airline as a condition of the cancellation.
Airbus has denied making such demands on Skymark’s operational structure, noting in a statement that it is “reserving all its rights and remedies.”
It’s been reported that two of the six aircraft have already been assembled and were due for delivery before the end of 2014. Airbus is now seeking an alternative customer for the superjumbos. 
In June, Emirates cancelled 70 A350 aircraft which were first ordered in 2007 when the total list price stood at $16bn, however they are currently listed at a collective $22bn.
Source: Aviation Media

Task force to tackle risks in conflict zones

Official aviation bodies will put together a task force to address the risks to civil aviation in conflict zones following the destruction of flight MH17 in Ukraine.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Airports Council International (ACI) and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) met to review the issues and what should be done following the incident.
"As a first step, [member] states have been reminded by ICAO of their responsibilities to address any potential risks to civil aviation in their airspace," ICAO said in a statement.
The bodies will 'immediately' establish a senior task force to address civil aviation and national security, and how information can be collected and disseminated. These findings will be submitted to the ICAO Council for action.
The industry has also called for fail-safe channels for threat information to be disseminated, and for international laws governing the design, manufacture and deployment of modern anti-aircraft weaponry.
The Association of European Airlines (AEA) in particular had called for an international debate about airline security following the destruction of flight MH17.
"The downing of Malaysian Airlines' flight MH17, which was flying in approved international airspace, triggers questions about how risk assessments are made", said the AEA's CEO, Athar Husain Khan.
"Together with the International Air Transport Association and our member airlines we ask for an international debate about airspace security guidance, preferably organised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)."
The Malaysian Ailrines 777 was hit by a ground-to-air misile three hours into its flight as it travelled over a field near the town of Shakhtersk, Ukraine, on its way from Amsterdam Schiphol to Kuala Lumpur International. All 295 people on board were killed.
There were also concerns that the recent Air Algerie flight, which was lost from radars on Thursday 24 July and crashed in southern Mali, was also hit by a misile. 
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had issued a notice to airmen (NOTAM) not to fly below 24,000 feet when in Mali's airspace due to insurgent activity. However, it is also thought the plane could have come into trouble when it hit a sandstorm. The black box, which should give evidence as to what happened, has been recovered. 
Similarly, flights to Tel Aviv airport were banned recently after a rocket landed just one mile from the airport. 

Jet2.com announces biggest ever flying programme

Jet2.com has raised its seat capacity to 250,000 next summer thanks to an additional aircraft and four new routes.
Summer 2015 will see the British low-cost airline introduce two new city break destinations, Prague and Rome; as well as two new popular tourist hot spots, Gran Canaria and Zante.

All flying from Belfast International Airport, Rome will become the only direct service available from Northern Ireland. Plus additional frequency will be added to its Malaga service.

In total, more than 70 flights a week will operate to 16 sun and city destinations, with a third aircraft being based at the airport to support the expansion.

CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, Steve Heapy, commented: “Since our first flight took off [in 2004], we’ve not only increased capacity but we have also grown our destinations.

“These developments really demonstrate our ongoing commitment to providing our passengers with unrivalled choice and flexibility when it comes to planning their next break.”

Jonathan Bell MLA, said: “The investment of an additional aircraft is great news for Northern Ireland as it not creates new jobs [an estimated 86], but it also enhances the region’s accessibility.”

Flybe spreads its wings with five new routes

Regional airline, Flybe has strengthened UK connectivity with an enhanced schedule and two additional European destinations.
Flybe’s winter schedule includes brand new services between Birmingham and Berlin Tegel (five-times weekly) and from East Midlands to Aberdeen (weekdays).

The airline’s daily services between Exeter and Newcastle also returns from October 26, together with two winter ski routes to Geneva from Cardiff and Inverness due to start on December 20.

Flybe’s chief commercial officer, Paul Simmons, said: “Our commitment to connectivity, for both business and leisure passengers across the UK regions and Europe, continues.

“[Berlin Tegel] is a key destination in Germany for both business and leisure travellers being a key transport hub, but also the commercial centre for a wide range of industrial sectors including world-leading companies in high tech and engineering.”

In total, Flybe’s 2014-15 winter programme features more than 100 routes offering 2,809 flights a week, 16 brand new routes and a further 11 that include returning seasonal routes or being extended for the first time through winter.

Turkish to launch direct flights to San Francisco

Turkish Airlines plans to begin offering a non-stop service between Istanbul and the high-tech hub next spring.
Initially operating a five-times weekly service from April 13, the flag carrier looks to increase service to daily on May 11.

Flown by B777-300ER, the aircraft will be configured in a two-class layout with a total seat capacity of 337.

The airport’s director, John Martin, commented: “This service to Istanbul adds a whole new level of choice for passengers travelling to Europe, Africa, the Middle East and India.”

Turkish Airlines also recently announced its intention to commence the first non-stop service from Istanbul to Boston Logon next May.

CEO of Turkish Airlines, Temel Kotil, said: “Our hope is that these new flights will not only make travel more convenient between Boston and Istanbul, but that they will also facilitate economic and cultural opportunities for both cities.”

Boston and San Francisco will become the airline’s seventh and eighth US gateway respectively, following Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Washington. 

IRVING, TX—FelCor Lodging Trust Incorporated unwound joint ventures that owned 10 non-strategic hotels. The company now own five of those hotels outright, which it plans to begin marketing in early September, while its joint venture partner owns the other five.

The hotels retained by FelCor include Embassy Suites properties in Austin, Chicago, Raleigh and two in San Antonio; altogether, they comprise 1,224 rooms. The five hotels retained by FelCor’s joint venture partner, comprising 1,215 rooms, include Embassy Suites hotels in Atlanta, San Rafael, Parsippany and two in Kansas City.
In addition, FelCor received its joint ventures partner’s 10% interest in the DoubleTree Suites Hotel, located in downtown Austin, and now owns the hotel outright.

"We are positioning FelCor to deliver sustainable growth by assembling a high-quality and diverse portfolio. We continue progressing with our portfolio-positioning plan this year, and by the end of the third quarter, we expect to have either sold or begun marketing 19 of the 21 non-strategic hotels. In addition, we will use proceeds from future and pending asset sales to repay debt and complete our balance sheet restructuring plan," stated Richard A. Smith, president and CEO.

Hilton Worldwide Poised to Roll Out Digital Check-in, Room Selection

MCLEAN, VA—Hilton Worldwide revealed that by the end of 2014 digital check-in and room selection will be available throughout its more than 4,000 properties worldwide for Hilton HHonors members.
According to the company, through the use of mobile devices, tablets and computers, guests will have control over their entire stay with the ability to check-in and choose their exact room from digital floor plans. They will also be able to customize their stay by purchasing upgrades and making special requests for items to be delivered to their room.
As part of its digital strategy, Hilton has made a commitment to enable all of its hotel rooms worldwide with technology that will allow guests to use their smartphones as keys.
"For nearly a century, our guests have counted on us to consistently deliver exceptional experiences around the world, and in today's digitally connected culture, that means providing them with more choice and control over their hotel stay through technology," stated Christopher Nassetta, president and CEO, Hllton Worldwide. 

Heritage Hotels to Build in Old Town Albuquerque

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Plans have been finalized for a new multimillion-dollar hotel in Old Town here, according to Heritage Hotels and Resorts, Inc.
The 118-room project will break ground by late fall with completion set for spring 2016.  
The property will be built adjacent Hotel Albuquerque and will share Hotel Albuquerque’s pool, ballrooms and chapel. The hotel will have five levels with guestrooms designed to extend outdoors onto terraces showcasing views toward the Sandia Mountains and downtown skyline.
“We’re creating a hotel where guests will experience the true culture of New Mexico in a way that has never been done before,” stated Jim Long, CEO, Heritage Hotels & Resorts. “We are blending ancient building techniques from New Mexico Native Americans with modern amenities and designs from the best designers in the world to create a new hotel that will redefine and advance the architectural building style in our state."
Global design firm Gensler drew inspiration from the Anasazi people and the indigenous ruins of Chaco Canyon. “The design creates an unprecedented architectural aesthetic for New Mexico and the greater Southwest region,” stated Adam Gumowski, design director at Gensler. “Heritage Hotels and Resorts presented a captivating conceptual vision as a catalyst for the design team.  The result is a one-of-a-kind property that embraces the spirituality, sensibility and legacy of the indigenous ruins of Chaco Canyon, while simultaneously striving for a contemporary sophistication.” 
Specific designs that have been incorporated from the Native American cultures include building the hotel in solar alignment. The hotel will be constructed so the property’s solar orientation can make the most of heat in the winter and coolness in summer. Guestrooms will be deeply recessed to allow for solar gain in winter but protect from the sun in summer. The hotel’s five floors will be built in traditional stacked pueblo style with the façade stepped back at the upper floors.
Local landscape architect Mimi Burns of Dekker Perich Sabatini has designed a landscape reflecting the randomness of raindrops touching the earth. She also will design gardens and open areas.
Interiors of the hotel will done by Santa Fe-based designer Kris Lajeskie. The color palette for the project will be the natural wool colors used by the master weavers of the Navajo reservation.  
Other plans include a signature restaurant featuring modern Native American cuisine, a spa, a rooftop restaurant and a rooftop wedding chapel. 
Hotel Albuquerque will be the owner of the new hotel and will be managed by Heritage Hotels and Resorts.

Corinthia Hotel London Joins Virtuoso

Following excellent collaboration between Corinthia Hotel London and Virtuoso® member agencies since the hotel’s opening in 2011, Corinthia London has joined the Virtuoso Hotels and Resorts Program.
This promises increased and strategic visibility and marketing opportunities for Corinthia London in North America as well as in the rapidly growing Australian and South American markets.
Virtuoso’s member travel agencies generate over US $12.5 billion annually in travel sales, making the group the most powerful luxury travel network. Virtuoso comprises 341 agencies, with more than 8,900 elite travel specialists in 20 countries in North and South America, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand, as well as over 1,700 of the world’s best travel providers and premier destinations.
Virtuoso’s relationships with the finest travel companies provide the network’s affluent clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access. In addition to daily English breakfast and an upgrade subject to availability, guests will also receive a generous £85 hotel credit, which can be used in The Northall Restaurant, The Northall Bar, Massimo Restaurant and Oyster Bar, Bassoon, The Lobby Lounge and ESPA Life at Corinthia.
Corinthia London is in good company on the Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts program, which to date consists of more than 1,000 hotel properties in 90 countries.
Matthew Dixon, General Manager of Corinthia London, said, “The Corinthia Team and I are extremely happy to announce that Corinthia London is now a Virtuoso partner, as this was one of our pre-opening goals. This acceptance into the program is a reflection of both our fantastic product and the great service we deliver, as well as the overwhelming support we have received from Virtuoso member agencies since the hotel opened three years ago.”
For more information on Corinthia Hotel London, visit corinthia.com/hotels/london/

New Orleans is ready to host premier American jazz festival

Free and open to the public, the premier American jazz festival dedicated to the life, legacy, and music of New Orleans' native son, Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong will take place August 1-3 at the Louisiana State Museum's Old U.S. Mint.
The 14th annual Satchmo SummerFest presented by Chevron and produced by French Quarter Festivals, Inc. (FQFI), brings performances from New Orleans' most talented musicians, with a focus on traditional and contemporary jazz and brass bands.
Festival dining at "Red Bean Alley" provides refreshing options from over a dozen local restaurants; choices range from classics like Antoine's Baked Alaska to vegetarian-fare like Ninja Restaurant's Seaweed and Cucumber Salad to Louis' favorite dish, Red Beans and Rice by Praline Connection. Three full days of fascinating Satchmo Seminars about New Orleans music and Louis Armstrong are scheduled inside the air-conditioned Louisiana State Museum's Old U.S. Mint.
Satchmo SummerFest 2014 brings a dozen artist debuts: Dirty Dozen Brass Band plays Friday, August 1st from 6:30-7:45pm. Other debuts include: The Smoking Time Jazz Club, Shotgun Jazz Band, Joe Lastie's New Orleans Sounds, Mario Abney and the Abney Effect, Brass-A-Holics, Capital Focus Jazz Band, Debbie Davis and the Mesmerizers, The Norbert Slama Quartet, Mahogany Brass Band, The Ella & Louie Tribute Band, and The Calvin Johnson Quintet.
Returning festival favorites include: Kermit Ruffins, Kid Merv, Glen David Andrews, John Boutte, Don Vappie & The Creole Jazz Serenaders, Shannon Powell & his Traditional All-Stars, Connie Jones and Tim Laughlin, New Orleans Moonshiners, Leroy Jones and New Orleans' Finest, PresHall Brass, Charmaine Neville, Wycliffe Gordon, James Andrews, Lars Edegran's Ragtime Orchestra, Treme Brass Band, Yoshio Toyama & the Dixie Saints, Jeremy Davenport, Louis Ford and His New Orleans Flairs, and many more.
Between musical sets, dancers of all levels can enjoy free dance lessons from New Orleans' best dance teachers at the Cornet Chop Suey Stage each day of the festival. Dance lessons are free and open to the public and are taught and sponsored by NOLA Jitterbugs and Dancing Man 504.
Throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday, children and parents can relax in air-conditioning on the second floor of the Louisiana State Museum's Old U.S. Mint and enjoy an array of educational, entertaining family activities, movies, and exhibits. Pops' Playhouse for Kids features a variety of activities that teach the next generation about New Orleans traditions. Children make crafts like second line umbrellas and homemade instruments, and Junior Zulus host a Zulu Coconut decorating station. New this year is the Satchmo Book Nook sponsored by the New Orleans Public Library and Learning from Louis, an interactive presentation by author and schoolteacher Mick Carlon.
While inside, visitors can also enjoy the Louisiana State Museum's exhibits, including the wonderful new exhibition highlighting its world-renown Jazz Collection, Keeping Time Extraordinary Images from Louisiana's Musical Past. A selection of key music related photographs will be on view as well as instruments played by such luminaries as Louis Armstrong, Fats Domino, and Sidney Bechet. On July 30th, the Friends of the Cabildo and Louisiana Museum Foundation will host an opening reception (free and open to the public) in in the Mint's 3rd floor performance hall. Many representatives of Louisiana's musical families will be in attendance.   Entertainment will be provided by Joe Krown Trio with Walter "Wolfman" Washington and Russell Batiste, Jr.
The exhibits and children's area are free and open to the public during Festival weekend.

Australia is The World's Fastest Growing Cruise Market

The Cruise Lines International Association report anticipates that the Australian cruise industry will hit the 1 million passengers per annum mark by 2016.
A record-breaking year for the Australian cruise industry saw passenger numbers in 2013 hit an unprecedented 833,348 - the highest ever recorded according to a report by the Cruise Lines International Association.
The record number is equivalent to 3.6% of the entire population of Australian population taking a cruise holiday in the calendar year. This means Australia has the largest global penetration rate of any cruise source market in the world.
Cruise companies have increasingly relied on the Australian market as the cruise industry in the country has grown an average of 20% over the last 11 years and more ships are being based in the country.
sydneyWith incomparable access to South Asia and the endless beautiful islands of the South Pacific; Australia finds itself in a fantastic and unique position to offer passengers incredible cruise itineraries. Cruises to the South Pacific Islands account for 40% of the total cruises taken by Australians in 2013.
Not only is the number of Australian cruisers on the rise, so is the length of their trips with 8-14 day cruises surging in popularity. This spike now represents 57% of all cruises taken in 2013. Even longer cruises are being enjoyed by record numbers as the amount of passengers taking long-haul trips to Europe surged by 34%.
Away from the seas, river cruising has also enjoyed a strong year with the total number of passengers growing 25% from the year 2012 to 2013.
The demographics of Australian cruise holidaymakers remains roughly the same as 2012 with an even spread of passengers above and below 50 years of age - demonstrating the industry's appeal to families, young couples and retirees alike. The varied itineraries of the cruises setting sail from Australian ports are proving enduringly popular across all demographics.

ClubCorp to operate Chinese boutique hotel and private club

ClubCorp and Zhejiang Construction Real Estate Development Group have announced plans for the opening of West Lake Lu, a private club and boutique hotel in Hangzhou City.
The 170,000-square-foot development in Zhejiang Province, will be managed by Dallas-based ClubCorp and is scheduled to open in December 2014.
The hotel will feature 88 suites, 12 villas, restaurants offering Chinese and Western cuisine, banquet rooms, and a fitness centre. The private club, located on the second floor, will also feature private dining rooms and meeting facilities, a reading room, a wine and cigar room, and a board room.
The opening of Lu will increase ClubCorp's overall portfolio of owned and operated properties to 161 clubs in 25 US states, the District of Columbia, Mexico and China. It also owns an interest in and operates The Capital Club in Beijing, and manages the Paragon Club of Hefei.

World Cup Victory helps German Travel Industry

Travel interest to Germany increased by 24 per cent the day after their national team won the 2014 FIFA World Cup, according to hotel search website trivago.co.uk.
When hotel searches made by Brits on the day following the final match (Monday 14th July) were compared to searches made on the same day the previous week, travel interest to the whole of Germany had increased by 24 per cent. Interest to Berlin specifically, where the famous homecoming celebrations took place, increased by 35 per cent. Searches were for travel during the succeeding six weeks.
However, when the search period was extended to the week following the final (14th to 20th July) and this was compared to the preceding week (7th to 13th July), searches to Germany only increased by 8 per cent and searches to Berlin by just 4 per cent. This shows that although there was an initial interest in travel to Germany, this had diminished by the end of the week.
When global data was considered, only two countries showed a larger increase in searches on Monday 14th July: Ireland (49 per cent increase to Germany and 65 per cent to Berlin) and Italy (34 per cent increase to Germany and 37 per cent to Berlin). These figures had dropped significantly by the 20th July.
Some countries showed a decrease in travel interest to Germany following the final, suggesting visitors wanted to avoid the country while the celebrations were ongoing. These include Finland (down 41 per cent on Monday 14th July), Norway (down 29 per cent) and Belgium (down 22 per cent).
Although there was an increase in searches from the UK to Germany, it was not the country with the greatest travel interest. In the week leading up to the final (7th to 13th July), the majority of searches to Germany came from Denmark (26 per cent of all searches), followed by Switzerland (15 per cent), The Netherlands (15 per cent) and Austria (11 per cent).
Over half of global travel interest to Berlin, where the largest celebrations took place, came from Denmark and the rest of Germany (26 per cent of searches each).

Τετάρτη, 30 Ιουλίου 2014

Indulge And Stay Fit In The Best Wellness Facilities At Sea

While health and wellness are an important consideration for vacationers, a new survey shows Americans are reluctant to try new spa and fitness activities – 40 percent say they never try anything new, citing cost and availability as top barriers. However, staying fit on a cruise vacation has never been easier, according to Cruise Lines International Association, the world’s largest cruise organization.  Expansive cruise ship fitness centers rival those on land – with the bonus of ocean views – and world-class shipboard spas boast the latest and greatest in relaxation, beauty and wellness treatments.

“Consumers would have to visit numerous spas, fitness centers and personal care places to gain access to the same diversity of health and wellness services and facilities that are now being offered on cruise lines,” said MaryAnna Estomba Rousseau, editor in chief of Onboard Media and Onboard.com. “Cruise lines have responded to wellness trends with everything from state-of-the-art fitness centers, personal trainers and workout classes, to thermal suites and spa treatments,” Estomba said. “Some have gone even further, offering medi-spa treatments — like teeth whitening and Botox injections — giving cruise guests the opportunity to return from their vacation not only relaxed, but also looking good and happier than ever before.”

With so much variety and many indoor and outdoor facilities available at no cost, and restaurant menus including low-cal options, cruise ships are a great place to start, continue and maintain a personal fitness routine.

Following are offerings from North American cruise line members of Cruise Lines International Association:

Disney Cruise Line. Senses Spa & Salon facilities include massage villas with private verandahs for couples. On cruises that call at Disney’s Castaway Cay, you can start your day with sunrise yoga and an organized morning 5k run.

Carnival Cruise Lines. In SportsSquare (on select ships) challenge yourself high above the sea on a SkyCourse ropes course. Warm up with ocean views on outdoor fitness and weight-lifting equipment or hit the jogging track. Guests in Cloud 9 Spa staterooms and suites (on select ships) receive complimentary access to spa facilities.

Cunard. At the two-deck Canyon Ranch SpaClub on Queen Mary 2, indulge in a huge variety of massages and other treatments or relax in the Aqua Therapy Centre. Try the Pilates Institute at Sea or burn off calories at dance classes. Canyon Ranch spa cuisine is a menu option.

Holland America Line. At the Greenhouse Spa & Salon, relax in a hydrotherapy pool (on select ships) or in a heated ceramic relaxation lounge. Or energize with such classes as Cardio Ki-Bo Circuit Training or Aquarobics in the pool. Book a spa suite or stateroom for special spa amenities.

Seabourn: All therapies at the line’s spas incorporate natural ingredients. Relax in water-focused relaxation areas when you’re not hitting the Technogym equipment or trying the low-impact Kinesis System. Guests in penthouse spa suites have 24-hour access to spa facilities. Everyone gets a complimentary mini-massage on deck.

Costa Cruises. The Samsara Spa includes some of the largest spa/fitness facilities at sea. In the Asian-themed spaces try an Ayurvedic massage or unwind in a thalassotherapy pool. Guests in spa suites and cabins can do a full destination spa experience including dining in a spa restaurant.

Princess Cruise Line. At the Lotus Spa, try a signature body wrap or head up to the adults-only outdoor enclave, The Sanctuary, for a massage in an open-air cabana. The exclusive Core.Balance.Strength.Fitness program puts you on a take-home wellness track. Make time for the complimentary Zumba classes on deck.

Norwegian Cruise Line. In the huge, two-deck Mandara Spa aboard the Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway check out facilities that include a first-at-sea Salt Room. Get fit with unusual options such as Flywheel Sports cycling or Nexersys, where you workout against an avatar. On Breakaway, you can also take a class created by The Rockettes.

Celebrity Cruises. At the Canyon Ranch SpaClub, relax with a signature hot stone massage or luxuriate in the thalassotherapy pool. Try Zumba in many forms including Aqua Zumba. Book an AquaClass stateroom or suite for unlimited access to spa facilities and dining in the “clean cuisine” restaurant, Blu.

Oceania Cruises. Canyon Ranch SpaClub facilities include serene, indoor and outdoor relaxation areas. Fitness classes such as yoga and cycling are complimentary. Watch calories with Canyon Ranch spa selections and get take-home advice from fitness pros.

Crystal Cruises. Well-being includes Feng Shui-inspired spas where you can indulge in such treatments as a Japanese Silk Booster Facial. Get a workout with classes such as the Tour de Spin cycling program.

MSC Cruises. On the MSC Divina, the Asian-inspired Aurea Spa offers an oasis of calm, including a menu of 21 types of massage, from Shiatsu to Thai, and a juice and tea bar. Fitness classes include the first-at-sea option of Aqua Cycling.

PromPeru nominated for World’s Leading Tourism Authority Website 2014 in the World Travel Awards 2014

PromPeru’ website, has been nominated in the category of World’s Leading Tourism Authority Website 2014 in this year’s World Travel
Awards (WTA). The WTA, often referred to as the ‘Oscars of the Travel Industry’, were established in 1993 to recognise and reward excellence in the travel industry, tourism and hospitality worldwide.

This year, Peru has also received several nominations for the regional edition, Southand Central America, including Peru’s capital, Lima being nominated as Best Vacation City, and Peru as a Top Culinary, Cultural and Historical-Cultural Heritage Destination. The South and Central America Gala Ceremony is due to be held on 9 August, 2014 in Quito, Ecuador.

With the voting process starting this month and ending on 19 October, 2014 Peru’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism (MINCETUR) and President of the Board of the Commission for the Promotion of Peru Export and Tourism (PROMPERÚ), Ms Magali Silva Velarde-Alvarez says she is proud Peru is once again a leader in the region and that the World Travel Awards will again attract international attention for Peru.

“The WTA is recognised as the measurement of quality in the tourism sector, so it is a great honour for those who win these awards as they are then positioned as reference points for all other brands. This year we are honoured to be nominated for the World’sLeading Tourism Authority Website 2014 in the World Travel Awards 2014,” said Ms Velarde-Alvarez.

Ms Velarde-Alvarez also stressed that the MINCETUR travel website available in several languages, including American-English, British-English, Portuguese, Italian, French, German and Japanese, thus, making it accessible to travellers around the world.

In recent years, Peru won first place in the category of Best Culinary Destinationwithin the South American region. Peru then went on to win the title of Best Culinary Destination of the World, defeating 11 competing countries: Australia, China, France, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Spain, Thailand and the United States.