HISTORY HOTELS OF AMERICA OFFER
SEASONAL PACKAGES: KEEPING THE
JOY IN HOLIDAY TRAVEL
Still considering a getaway this holiday season? Then look no further than Historic Hotels of America™ for inspiration and savings on terrific packages guaranteed to brighten your spirits. From Christmas to New Years, these hotels offer a few more reasons to celebrate during the season of giving.
Book a fantastic shopping getaway from New York City to Seattle. Kick off the New Year in Boston or Baltimore, there is guaranteed to be something for everyone this holiday season at each of our over 220 Historic Hotels of America. For more information on these and other Historic Hotels, or to book your next stay please visit www.historichotels.org or call 1-800-678-8946.
HOLIDAY SHOPPING PACKAGES
Ambassador East Hotel
Enjoy your holiday shopping by booking a stay at Ambassador East Hotel and paying a visit to The 900 Shops. Your deluxe room or suite is the perfect retreat after a day of retail therapy at The 900 Shops, located at 900 North Michigan Avenue, featuring seven levels of upscale stores and restaurants including Gucci, MaxMara, Montblanc, Mark Shale, J. Crew, Williams-Sonoma, and more. Your overnight shopping package includes a $50 gift certificate to The 900 Shops, a fabulous welcome gift bag filled with goodies from participating stores and restaurants, a travel mug (which may be brought to Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge at The 900 Shops and filled with delicious complimentary hot chocolate), and a signature gift with $100 shopping purchase from The 900 Shops. Weekday rates from $139 per night, weekend rates from $159 per night. For reservations, please visit www.theambassadoreasthotel.com.
Historic Admiral Fell Inn
Guests who book the Harbor Magic’s Historic Admiral Fell Inn’s “The Best of Baltimore for the Holidays” will truly be in for a for a magical getaway - and with the hotel’s Buy one Night Get a Second Night Free Offer, the holidays are more affordable than ever. From December 1, 2008 through February 28, 2009, guests are invited to enjoy an extra night for free. “The Best of Baltimore for the Holidays” package includes overnight accommodations and the exclusive Harbor Magic Passport with hundreds of dollars worth of special offers and discounts at retail shops, restaurants and more throughout the city; a Best of Baltimore gift bag, and a special version of Harbor Magic’s exclusive guide to the Best of Baltimore giving guests the insider tip’s on the best ways to experience the holidays in Baltimore. Rates start at $169 per night, taxes not included. For information on this and other Harbor Magic holiday packages, please visit www.harbormagic.com/AdmiralFell/admiral_fell_default.asp.
The Sherry-Netherland Hotel
New York, New York
Celebrate the holidays and New York’s pre-war elegance with a weekend at The Sherry by booking The Snowflake Special. Stay in a sanctuary with impeccable service and enjoy the lights and windows of Fifth Avenue, New York’s most exclusive neighborhood right outside the Sherry-Netherlands front door, and get some holiday shopping done as well. You will receive a Baccarat Snowflake ornament as a holiday gift to remember your visit, and part of the proceeds will directly benefit Unicef. With rates starting at $759, The Snowflake Special is available December 1 – 30, 2008 and must be booked directly with hotel. www.sherrynetherland.com.
The Beaufort Inn
Beaufort, South Carolina
This year enjoy holiday shopping in Beaufort’s unique boutiques then relax for two-nights in a suite and breakfast prepared daily when you book the “Beaufort Holiday Package.” Be sure to take a break from holiday shopping to enjoy a bottle of wine in your suite, a carriage tour through decorated downtown, or holiday cookies and cocoa served by the evening fire. Take a piece of your Beaufort holiday home with a special edition Beaufort Inn ornament. This holiday package is available from December 1-25, 2008 for $555 excluding taxes. For more information or to book this package please visit, www.beaufortinn.com.
The Mayflower Park Hotel
The Mayflower Park Hotel’s “Seattle Holiday Shopper’s Package” is perfect for those guests who want to catch the holiday spirit and launch those shopping expeditions. The Shopper’s Package offers guests the best location in town for indoor (warm and dry) access to over 80 boutique shops at the Westlake Center. The fabulous Pacific Place, Nordstrom, and Macy’s are steps away not to mention all the many wonderful attractions that are also in the heart of Seattle. Come Christmas time, the hotel is in the center of all of the festive holiday happenings, including street-corner carolers, old-fashioned carousel rides, a giant Christmas tree in Westlake Park, horse-drawn carriages, and Santaland at Macy’s. Weekend rates for the “Seattle Holiday Shopper’s Package” start at $169 for a classic guestroom; deluxe rooms at $189 and suites start at $209 and include complimentary valet parking--a $30 per night savings. This offer is available December 1 through December 30, 2008, and can be booked by calling 800-426-5100 0r email email@example.com. Rates are based on a space available and do not include tax.
HOLIDAY TRADITIONS NEW AND OLD
Le Pavillon Hote
New Orleans, Louisiana
Be kind to your wallet this holiday season and book your New Orleans getaway to the Le Pavillon Hotel, located just steps away from the historic French Quarter. Guests who book the “Big Easy Holiday Package” will receive deluxe accommodations, complimentary parking, and complimentary breakfast for up to two adults for each day of your stay. So come join us at “the belle of New Orleans" for an experience like no other. Rates from $149 to $249 per night and can be booked by visiting www.lepavillon.com.
Fairmont Copley Plaza
The Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston’s Grand Hotel, will be ringing in 2009 in elegant style. Whether guests take part in First Night Boston festivities or create their own evening of revelry, an overnight stay at the Fairmont Copley Plaza will help to make this New Year a memorable one. The hotel will be offering a “Fairmont First Night Package,” which includes accommodations in an elegant double room and two First Night Boston buttons that provide access to all of the entertainment and activities taking place in the city as a part of the New Year’s celebration. This package is available on December 31, 2009, and Fairmont Room rates start at $289.
The Red Lion Inn
December’s “O Christmas Tree” special at The Red Lion Inn will get travelers in the holiday spirit as they view The Berkshire Museum’s annual Festival of Trees. The 2008 exhibition's theme, “Going Green,” fuels this package and offers two tickets to the exhibit, a holiday ornament, breakfast for two from the Inn’s sustainable menu featuring only local ingredients, and overnight accommodations. Priced from $185 a night including taxes and gratuities. This package is available Sunday-Thursday during December 2008 (blackout dates apply). For those who would like to combine a getaway with holiday shopping, the Prime Outlets in nearby Lee offer designer and brand-name shopping at outlet prices. For more information or to make reservations, visit www.redlioninn.com or call (413) 298-1690.
This Christmas, it is all “Mistletoe and Magic” at the Monmouth Plantation. This joyous package offers two-nights in luxurious, deluxe accommodations, dinner for two (one-night) at the Chef's Table, red wine and chocolates in-room upon check-in, and a special gift to mark your stay—a Monmouth mug and cocoa gift package. No need to rush out, take your time and enjoy a late check-out time of 1:00 PM. Priced at $700, and based on double occupancy, Mistletoe and Magic is inclusive of tax and gratuity and can be booked by calling 1.800.828.4531 or at www.monmouthplantation.com.
Grove Park InnResort And Spa
Asheville, North Carolina
Cozy-up at the Grove Park Inn for a holiday filled with old-fashioned fun and revelry when you book the “Grove Park Christmas.” This very special Christmas package includes everything from a decorated tree in your room to a festive Christmas dinner in the Grand Ballroom. No Asheville Christmas would be complete without live holiday music, decorations, and of course, the famous National Gingerbread House Competition on display. Guests will also enjoy a visit from Santa as well as the Inn’s Yule Log ceremony. A Grove Park Inn Christmas includes three-nights accommodations, breakfast daily, your choice of the Blue Ridge dining room's lavish buffet or in-room dining, Christmas Day grand buffet, decorated table-top Christmas tree, and additional nights at a great rate. This package starts at: $999 and is available from December 23 through 26, 2008 only. For more information, please visit www.groveparkinn.com.
Boar's Head Inn
Trees will be trimmed and halls will be decked at the Boar’s Head Inn this holiday season with special treats prepared for all your holiday festivities. Christmas events will run all through the season, including the very popular Christmas dinner in the AAA Four-Diamond award-winning Old Mill Room. Better yet, book the “Ring in the Year” package and come see it for yourself. This packages includes dinner and breakfast for two in the Old Mill Room, tickets to the Pavilion Celebration, and of course your New Years Eve’s accommodations. Rates start at $589 per room and are based on double occupancy. For more information, please visit www.boarsheadinn.com.
THIRD INDIA SAFARI LODGE
PASHAN GARH CLOSE TO BOTH TIGERS AND KHAJURAHO TREASURES
Pashan Garh, opening this week, will be the third lodge in the Taj Safaris' tiger circuit - a joint venture between andBEYOND (formerly CC Africa) and Taj Resorts Hotels and Palaces. In addition to amazing wildlife, luxurious cottages and scrumptious local food, guests of Pashan Garh will be offered the unique opportunity to combine a safari with visits to the bustling city of Khajuraho, home to 1,000-year-old temples. Just 25 miles from Pashan Garh, the Khajuraho temples were designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1986 and are famous for their intricately carved sandstone erotic sculptures based on the Kama Sutra.
"Combining safari and ancient temples is a first for us, and we are thrilled to be able to show our guests these slightly naughty temples," says andBEYOND Marketing Director Nicky Fitzgerald.
Pashan Garh, meaning "stone house," is comprised of a main lodge and 12 luxurious stone cottages that are spread out along a small stream, surrounded by 190 acres of private jungle wilderness. The lodge's exterior lends its design to the traditional dry-packed stone houses of north-central India. The interiors are decked out with all the luxury one would expect from andBEYOND Design Director, Chris Browne: white marble floors, leather furniture and ebony and chocolate highlights. Coffee or Masala tea is discreetly delivered to each suite each morning using unobtrusive butler hatches.
About Panna National Park
Home to the elusive tiger, Panna National Park also affords guests the chance to see leopard, wolf, hyena, jackal, sloth bear, nilgai, sambar, chital, wild boar and Indian crocodile. Panna National Park is the most important protected area in the north-central highlands of India, as it links the eastern and western populations of wild animals through the Vindhya ranges.
About Taj Safaris
Created in a joint venture between andBEYOND (formerly CC Africa) and Taj Resorts Hotels and Palaces, Taj Safaris will have a total of four wilderness lodges by mid-2009. Existing lodges include Mahua Kothi neighboring the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, featuring 12 huts constructed in the local Madhya Pradesh style. And, adjacent Pench Tiger Reserve, Baghvan comprises 12 suites with rooftop terraces for outdoor sleeping under starry Indian skies. Banjaar Tola, opening this February 2009, will consist of 12 tented suites near Kanha National Park.
For more information, please visit www.tajsafaris.com.
RENOWNED TUSCAN SPA INVITES GUESTS
TO EXPERIENCE THE TRUE MEDITERRANEAN
LIFESTYLE IN A UNIQUE 2009 PACKAGE OFFERING
Terme di Saturnia Spa & Golf Resort offers guests the perfect balance between work, relaxation and enjoying the pleasures of life with its Mediterranean Package
Surrounded by picturesque and natural, untamed scenery at the foot of the medieval Tuscan village of Saturnia, Terme di Saturnia Spa & Golf Resort offers guests a unique and enlightening travel experience with programs, cuisine and a daily mantra geared toward the promotion of a fulfilling and healthy lifestyle. Through the resort’s Mediterranean Lifestyle Package, with 2009 rates starting at just €3,300 or $4,528* for double-occupancy for a four-night stay, guests will experience a true taste of this unique lifestyle.
Finding the perfect balance of work and leisure, food and friends is the goal with an age-old idea of the Mediterranean way of life, promoting physical activity and taking the time to enjoy the small pleasures of life. The Mediterranean lifestyle is centered on three different elements; balance, activity and diet, and Terme di Saturnia Spa & Golf Resort has created customized programs to help guests strike the ideal balance between each of these elements, resulting in total relaxation and well-being. With this unique package guests will enjoy several of Terme di Saturnia’s signature spa treatments, delicious cuisine, tours of the surrounding Tuscan towns, morning hikes and much more.
Mediterranean Lifestyle Package Includes:
- Four nights accommodation in a junior suite for two
- Breakfast featuring local products served daily
- One Specific Face Treatment, Full Body Massage, Four-Hand Massage Shower per person
- Complimentary use of thermal pools, Roman Bath, reserved deckchair in the pool’s park, tennis court, golf-driving range, bikes, gym equipment
- Afternoon tour to surrounding towns in Tuscan Maremma
- Guided morning hikes
- One complimentary bottle of wine served with dinner
- One complimentary dinner at the resort’s Tuscan restaurant All’Acquacotta
- Welcome gift
- Airport transfers
Terme di Saturnia Spa & Golf Resort features 140 guestrooms, including 71 junior suites, three suites and two Grand Suites, state-of-the-art spa with 48 treatment rooms, two restaurants, an Aldo Coppola Hair Salon, a conference center with meeting room for up to 250 people, six outdoor pools and an indoor pool, a replica of a traditional Roman bath house, fitness center, tennis court, practice green, Cruciani Luxury Cashmere, Spa Boutique, Spa Cafe and an art gallery. In addition, the resort opened a championship golf course in spring 2008, designed by renowned architect Ronald Fream, that allows golfers to take in the spectacular Tuscan setting.
A true medical spa with a staff of 45 therapists and five medical doctors, the spa features therapies for beauty, stress management and thermal and hydrotherapy treatments based on the area’s unique thermal waters which date back to the Etruscan period. The 3,000-year-old thermal pool has been flowing continuously into the natural crater nestled at the center of the resort, containing precious minerals and salts which were found to have healing effects on aches and pains of the ancient Romans.
Daily and weekly rates include the use of the resort’s thermal pools, Roman Bath with Sauna and Steam bath, and thermal water falls. The rates also include a guided morning hike, use of the gym, not including classes, and a reserved deck chair and sun umbrella in the pool’s park. In addition, guests are also invited to take advantage of the resort’s newly-opened championship golf course. Daily 18-hole greens fees for hotel guests are €48 or $62* and € 60 or $77* for non-resort guests on weekdays and € 64 or $82* for hotel guests and € 80 or $103* for non-resort guests during weekends and holidays. The Golf Academy also offers half-hour private lessons with a golf trainer for € 30 or $39* for resort guests and € 35 or $45* for non-resort guests.
To book the Mediterranean Lifestyle Package or for more information on the resort please visit www.termedisaturnia.com or call +39 0564 600111.
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN CANADA
January – March, 2009
NIAGARA ICEWINE FESTIVAL (January 16 – 25)
The Niagara Wine Region comes alive during this celebration of Ontario's famous Icewine. With gala dinners, an outdoor full service ice bar, ornate ice sculptures, winery tours, tastings and carriage rides along Niagara's famed wine route, the Niagara Icewine Festival offers plenty for every taste.
TORONTO WINTER CITY FESTIVAL (January 30 – February 12)
A 14 day celebration of culture, creativity and cuisine, reminding Torontonians and visitors of winter delights in the city. As part of the \festivities, Toronto's finest restaurants offer unique value menu's during the Winterlicious restaurant promotion. www.toronto.ca
KINGSTON FEB FEST (February 3-8)
Over 30,000 flock to Kingston's downtown for a winter event featuring ice skating, ice carving, a friendly hockey game and fun for the whole family.
ONTARIO WINTER CARNIVAL BON SOO (February 6 – 15)
Sault Ste. Marie hosts this annual winter carnival, complete with a Winter Playground with snow sculptures, live entertainment, fireworks and even a winter "Polar Bear" swim for the thick skinned bather! www.bonsoo.on.ca
WINTERLUDE (Weekends, February 6 – 22)
Come to Ottawa, the nation's capital, for Winterlude. This celebration of winter offers a wide variety of special activities, winter parks, concerts and the opportunity to skate along the Rideau Canal – the record holder for the world's longest skating rink! www.winterlude.ca
CANADA BLOOMS (March 18 – 22, 2008)
Canada's largest indoor garden and flower show, held in Toronto, features a spectacular display of gardens and flowers along with lectures, demonstrations by gardening experts and competitions to inspire gardening enthusiasts. www.CanadaBlooms.com
BRITISH AIRWAYS’ HIGHEST EVER CUSTOMER
SCORES DEFY US INDUSTRY TREND OF
FALLING PASSENGER SATISFACTION
Despite recent trends showing that US airline industry passenger satisfaction is at its lowest level since 2001, BritishAirways’ monthly consumer research is reporting its highest customer satisfaction scores since the survey began. The findings show an ongoing trend of increasing customer satisfaction with more than 70 percent of respondents either very or extremely satisfied with their British Airways journey experience. Countering industry trends, these results represent a double-digit point growth over last year’s figures, demonstrating the airline’s success in its commitment to a more civilised travel experience.
In contrast, from an overall industry perspective, long lines at airports, lack of amenities and extra fees for everything from blankets to beverages have caused US airline customer satisfaction to fall. According to industry studies, 93 percent of frequent fliers say that aspects of air travel are either getting worse or staying the same2 with rude passengers as one of the most frequently-cited issues that causes in-flight frustration3. However, travel experts claim that civilised travel is still possible despite these apparent obstacles.
Professor Robert Bor, an aviation clinical psychologist and member of the European Association for Aviation Psychology says, “When passengers are confronted with issues like rude fellow passengers and poor customer service, they feel defeated and are unable to enjoy their flight. Issues around the cabin environment, crew/passenger relationships and lack of consideration for one another all contribute to this problem. There are airlines, however, that have made a real commitment to improving conditions both on the ground and in the air, and it has made all the difference in terms of customer satisfaction.
“Developments in customer service along with key pre-airport arrival steps can significantly help ease the stress of travel and address some potential hot buttons that can lead to uncivilised travel behaviour,” says Bor.
British Airways has continued to invest in its customer experience and has taken several measures to ensure that its passengers have a smooth and civilised trip, including:
Online check-in at either www.ba.com or via the BA mobile phone application
Premium service training for its cabin crew and ground staff to deliver world-class levels of service both on the ground and in the air relaxing flight experience when travelling Club World business class that includes access to travel spas and lounges to unwind pre-flight and fully flat beds to maximise sleep in-flightTerminal 5, British Airways’ exclusive terminal at London Heathrow,featuring one of the world’s largest airport lounge complexes
“Amenities can help, but only go so far. Passengers can take some very important steps and precautions to help them stay calm, avoid surprises and reclaim civilised travel,” explains Bor. His tips for a more civilised travel experience include:
Take advantage of the Internet to research fares online – you may get greater savings by booking on an airline’s web site. Some carriers like British Airways even offer a “Price Promise,” where if you find the carrier’s flight cheaper on another website, it will reimburse you to match the lower fare.No two airlines are alike nor are their fees and services. Review the airline’s web site before you book so that you are aware of policies including baggage rules and fees, food service and other important booking decision information. Ensure that you give your airline your mobile number and e-mail so they can inform you of any changes to your flight plans. Be aware of your terminal surroundings and what they have to offer. London Heathrow’s Terminal 5 helps customers relax, eat, shop or work with more than 100 shops and restaurants and additional facilities.
Plan for comfort on long flights. Items like lip balm, eye drops, hand sanitizer, ear plugs, a mini toothbrush and toothpaste, a pack of tissues, an eye mask and lozenges don’t take up much room and can make you feel less stressed and more at home while you’re in the air. Be considerate to your fellow passengers and their space. If you’re travelling with children, bring something to occupy them with or check that your airline offers special kids entertainment and food services.
More information and tips on making the travel experience more civilised can be found at www.ba.com/wellbeing
EURAIL PASS SCOPE INCREASES FURTHER IN 2009
Popular Destination of Czech Republic added to Global and Select Passes
Utrecht, Netherlands, 11th November 2008 – The Eurail Group, owner of the popular Eurail Passes for European rail travel, has announced further expansions to the product range. As from 1st January 2009, the Czech Republic will be included in the Eurail Global Pass, as well as becoming a Eurail Select Pass member. In addition, Bulgaria has been added to the range of One Country Passes on offer.
The Eurail Global Pass, introduced simply as the “Eurailpass” in 1959 has seen many extensions over the years increasing from the original 13 countries to the 20 countries available today, following the inclusion of Croatia and Slovenia at the beginning of this year. The Czech Republic will therefore become the 21st member of this pass, giving customers more freedom and value for money. With direct borders to Eurail Select Pass members Germany and Austria, the number of adjoining three, four and five country combinations to choose from has increased drastically, maximizing the appeal of the already popular Select Pass.
These significant additions make Eastern European destinations, which are growing in popularity, more accessible to Eurail’s customers. The Czech Republic is a favored destination for many overseas travelers; the country receives over 6.5 million visitors annually, attracted by its rich and varied culture as well as its sporting and relaxation possibilities. Its unique landlocked position in the heart of Europe is advantageous to rail travelers. The dense railway structure, which is continuously being modernized links the capital, Prague, to many interesting cities and villages within the country, as well as having excellent international connections. The capital cities of both Vienna and Berlin can be reached in less than five hours by direct train.
Taking the train has long been the favored means for millions to explore Europe, not least because it is a reliable, efficient and scenic way to travel. Today, the green-conscious factor is playing an increasingly important role with many people choosing to take the least environmentally damaging mode of transport.
Fifty years after the first Eurail Pass was sold, Eurail is evidently still going strong, constantly improving its products to retain the customers’ interest. 2009 is, therefore, a cause for celebration for the Eurail Group, marking a successful half a decade of Eurail and European rail travel. The Eurail Group will be launching several attractive anniversary special offers globally in 2009. Details are yet to be announced, so watch this space…
The Eurail Group offers a wide range of passes from single country options to the classic Eurail Global Pass, valid, from 2009, in 21 countries. For more information about the Eurail Group, go to www.EurailGroup.com. Eurail Passes are available from authorized sales channels: ACP Rail International (www.eurail-acprail.com); Eurail www.eurail.com; Flight Centre (www.flightcentre.com); www.OctopusTravel.com; Rail Europe (North America: www.raileurope.com, rest of the world: www.raileurope.fr), and STA Travel (www.statravel.com).