Travel Events. . . Mandarin Oriental Soiree
So enjoyed meeting Mandarin Oriental party hosts Greg Liddell, GM of The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, and Jonas Schuermann, GM & VP, Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong during a lovely summer media party in Bel Air.
The setting for this fun and informational event highlighting the benefits of visiting the two renowned Hong Kong hotels was a forty million dollar estate in Bel Air with a view that was stunning. The sushi appetizers were outstanding as well. Sarah Robarts and the Balantines staff charmed everyone, as usual. Visit www.mandarinoriental.com.
Travel & Leisure
Overnight stay with a view:
the Hotel Eden Roc in Ascona offers an attractive range of possibilities to discover Ticino from a number of different perspectives
Sitting right on the shores of Lake Maggiore, the Hotel Eden Roc in Ascona offers an unforgettable view over the sparkling lake and the surrounding mountain scenery. The five-star hotel shows that the region boasts a host of other striking prospects with its “Overnight stay with a view” arrangements offering guests the chance to choose how to discover the region, be it from the air, on water, through the mountains and valleys or by a more extreme approach.
Overnight stay with a view – from the air
Paragliding in Ticino is always spectacular and a tandem flight with an experienced paraglider pilot is also a possibility for adventurers with no flying experience. With prices starting at 1,265 Swiss francs (approx. 1,060 euros) per person, the “Overnight stay with a view – from the air” arrangement offers guests staying at the Hotel Eden Roc in Ascona the chance to enjoy three nights’ accommodation with resort dine around together with a tandem paraglider flight from the emblematic Mount Cimetta towering above the town to Ascona, offering an entirely different perspective of Lake Maggiore. The offer can be booked until 19 October 2014.
Overnight stay with a view – view from the water
Throughout the summer, the Hotel Eden Roc in collaboration with the Asconautica water sports school offers a wide range of water sports. So why not enjoy the view from the lake? The “Overnight stay with a view – view from the water” arrangement includes three nights’ accommodation with resort dine around and three 15-minute water sports sessions with a choice of wakeboard, water-skiing or banana boat. The offer can be booked until 27 September 2014 with prices starting at 1,140 Swiss francs per person (approx. 950 euros).
Overnight stay with a view – in the valleys around Ascona
Ticino is criss-crossed by stunning valleys scattered with picturesque villages just waiting to be explored. With the “Overnight stay with a view – in the valleys around Ascona” arrangement, guests staying at the Hotel Eden Roc in Ascona can spend an entire day on a Vespa exploring the famous Valle Verzasca, the wildly romantic Maggiatal, the mysterious Valle Osernone or the picturesque Centovalli. The offer, costing 960 Swiss francs (approx. 800 euros) per person, can be booked until 19 October and comprises three nights’ accommodation with resort dine around as well as a full-day’s Vespa rental including up to 300 kilometres petrol. The concierge will be happy to offer excursion tips for no extra charge.
Overnight stay with a view – a question of perspective (extreme)
A 007 jump or Goldeneye bungee-jump – that is the name of the ultimate adrenalin-kick. Daredevils can emulate Pierce Brosnan in the opening scene of the Bond-film Goldeneye by plunging 220 m from the top of the Verzasca dam. This is just one aspect of the “Overnight stay with a view – a question of perspective (extreme)” arrangement, which also offers guests staying at the Hotel Eden Roc the chance to enjoy a half-day canyoning tour in the Centovalli. With prices starting at 1,305 Swiss francs (approx. 1,090 euros) per person, the arrangement also includes three nights’ accommodation with resort dine around in the Hotel Eden Roc in Ascona. The offer can be booked until 27 September 2014.
For more information and bookings, visit www.edenroc.ch or call the Hotel Eden Roc on +41 (0)91 785 71 71.
ONE&ONLY ANNOUNCES THE REBIRTH OF
HAYMAN ISLAND, AUSTRALIA'S ICONIC
PRIVATE ISLAND RESORT
One&Only Hayman Island, Australia's iconic private island resort in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, will begin welcoming guests on July 1, 2014 after a major multimillion-dollar refurbishment.
The result of a collaboration between Kerzner International Development, the prominent team behind One&Only Reethi Rah in The Maldives and One&Only The Palm in Dubai, and the award-winning Australian design team at DBI Design, One&Only Hayman Island offers reimagined resort living in beautifully appointed guest rooms, suites, villas and penthouses, set amongst expansive pools, lush gardens and more than a mile of pristine white sand beaches. Almost half of the accommodation comes in the form of a suite, villa or penthouse, offering a wide variety of choices for couples, groups and families.
Unveiled for the first time, the newly designed Pool Wing has been transformed to an all-suite experience, each overlooking the iconic One&Only Hayman Pool and offering views of the Coral Sea. Pool Wing Suites provide separate living and dining areas and spacious decks, with each pool level suite offering direct swim-out access. The One&Only Hayman Wing offers generously sized guest rooms, most with ocean views, as well as a series of grand one-, two- and three-bedroom Penthouse Residences, including one created exclusively by the legendary fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg. And a spectacular collection of Kerry Hill-designed Beach Villas and the freestanding private Beach House are perfect for those guests who prefer to be directly on the beach. In their new One&Only configuration, the beach villas not only offer private pools and direct access to One&Only Hayman Beach, but are also partnered with Retreat Rooms located directly behind to accommodate larger groups, creating the perfect Australian beach holiday for families.
The One&Only Hayman Pool has been given a renewed energy with private cabanas and daybeds and offers all-day dining and relaxation at the On the Rocks restaurant and bar. The resort has also introduced the brand-new Aquazure Pool, offering a comprehensive experience for families, including cabanas and an infinity-edge pool with a zero entry for children. One&Only Hayman Island's restaurants and bars have also undergone a stylish transformation, offering chic new interiors and unique dining experiences throughout the resort.
The One&Only Spa at Hayman Island has now become the first-ever spa in Australia to use Amala products throughout its extensive menu of luxurious spa treatments. The spa also now features a Mani:Pedi: Cure studio by Bastien Gonzalez, and the new One&Only Salon for hair and beauty. Finally, a new One&Only Fitness Centre has been created on Hayman Island by the expert One&Only Fitness Team, guided by the philosophies of health and wellness professional James Duigan. One&Only Hayman Island's in-house personal training team is now qualified in the practice of Duigan's signature "Bodyism" programs and the benefits of "Clean & Lean" living. Guests visiting the resort can enjoy personalized Bodyism programs starting with thorough consultations, fitness tests and realistic goals with achievable results for the end of their stay. In addition, the Clean & Lean Lifestyle will also be reflected in all culinary destinations throughout the resort.
"One&Only Hayman Island is our first resort in the Asia Pacific region, and we are excited to introduce our One&Only style to this part of the world," said Alan Leibman, CEO of Kerzner International. "With our partners, Mulpha, we have completely redefined luxury in the Great Barrier Reef and transformed the guest experience with the hallmarks of excellence found in One&Only resorts around the world, whilst capturing the breath-taking beauty of one of the natural wonders of the world."
For more information about One&Only Resorts, please visit: www.oneandonlyresorts.com.
NEW NANTUCKET LARK HOTEL
All the elements for a mid-summer getaway await guests of 21 Broad
, a totally renovated 27-room boutique hotel a minute’s walk from the Steamship Authority village shops, and Nantucket watering holes.
This latest addition to Lark Hotels
celebrates its grand opening with “21 Days of Summer” from July 15 through Aug. 4, 2014. For 21 days, $21 gets knocked off the room rate each night; guests enjoy complimentary cocktails for two at Dune, a restaurant across the street; use of branded beach umbrellas and chairs, a free vineyard vines® beach bag to take home and a souvenir pack of 21 Broad playing cards for a game of 21 or poker.
This new boutique accommodation features luxuries such as a steam and massage room, a breakfast juice bar serving gluten free artisan pastries, and unique vitamin C showers which de-chlorinate the water for soft, silky skin. 21 Broad is Lark Hotels' seventh coastal New England boutique hotel and its second collaboration with Boston-based real estate developer, Bruce A. Percelay. It is the sister property to the chic 76 Main, also owned by Percelay, which opened in 2013 and is the only hotel on tony Main Street in the heart of Nantucket town.
Following in the footsteps of all Lark hotels, 21 Broad explodes with hip and stylish interior designs integrated seamlessly into the property’s historic foundation which dates from 1876. The interiors at 21 Broad, designed by award-winning Rachel Reider Interiors, fuse contemporary urban with seaside Nantucket. Ms. Reider has created the designs for most of the Lark Hotels collection. Textures and colors at 21 Broad blend a white-on-white palette with pops of bold color, plus mixed woods, large striking art, earth toned linens and sea grass.
Guest amenities and services at 21 Broad include spa services, a guest lounge with game table and record player, landscaped outdoor courtyard with fire pit, USB charging stations in every room, iPads and iPod docking stations with a white noise feature, 40” LED Smart TVs, in-room Keurig coffee makers and refrigerators, personalized concierge service, complimentary wireless internet, and exclusive guest discounts for online purchases.
“21 Broad has been the most iconic inn on the entire island for over a century. Our goal is to reposition it and make it the most attractive place in which to stay on Nantucket for the next century” said Percelay. About Lark Hotels
Lark Hotels are located in six coveted New England seaside locations: Kennebunkport, ME,Captain Fairfield Inn
; Nantucket, MA, 76 Main
and 21 Broad
; Newport, RI, The Attwater
; Portland, ME,Pomegranate Inn
; Portsmouth, NH, Ale House Inn
; and Narragansett, RI, The Break
. Lark Hotels embrace the locations they are in, but in playful, unexpected ways. Think “sense of place” with imagination and a touch of mischief. Each Lark Hotel invites guests to experience modern luxury in the heart of an iconic destination, to feel the pull of a nostalgic getaway while surrounded by today's amenities and to find attentive service when they want it and privacy when they don't.
For additional information on 21 Broad, please visit www.21broadhotel.com
. For information on Lark Hotels, “On a Lark Club,” and the hotel collection please visitwww.larkhotels.com
May 30, 2014 - April 6, 2015
On the foggy night of May 29, 1914, two ships collide in the St. Lawrence River. The Empress of Ireland, with 1,477 souls aboard, sinks in less than 15 minutes. An estimated 1,032 people — passengers and crew — perish.
Step aboard this once-splendid ocean liner and travel back in time to a pivotal period in Canadian history, when economic activity was booming, and when the Empress of Ireland and her sister ship, the Empress of Britain, brought hundreds of thousands of immigrants to our shores.
Experience the atmosphere of celebration following the ship’s from the docks of the City of Québec, the confused encounter in the fog, the fateful collision with the collier and the desperate rush to escape the sinking vessel. Artifacts like the ship’s bell and compass, and eyewitness accounts like the memoir of an eight-year-old survivor, help bring to life stories of loss and rescue, despair and bravery, that were all part of the greatest maritime disaster in Canadian history. For information visit: www.historymuseum.ca/empress.
Travel Adventures . . .
Events in Leipzig & Berlin in 2014
Peaceful Revolution and The Fall of the Berlin Wall
The year 2014 has a special meaning for Germany. It marks the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, one of the most important and memorable events in the country’s history.
And now, 25 years later, a unified Germany invites visitors to numerous events, exhibitions and historic celebrations in Dresden, Leipzig and Berlin, many of which already start well before November.
Leipzig celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution from October 9 – 12, 2014, highlighted by the ‘Festival of Lights’ festivities on October 9. Audio, video and light installations along the demonstration route will recall and remember the events that took place 25 years ago. Another important event will be the peace prayer in St. Nicholas Church, also on October 9. Many more cultural institutions dedicate events, readings, discussions, exhibitions and concerts to the occurrences of 1989 – a year that changed Germany for the better. Tens of thousands of guests from all over the world are expected to join in for the celebrations.
In Berlin many special events, exhibitions, and festivities about the division, the Cold War, and the events leading up to the peaceful reunification are planned throughout the city.
The highlight will be the weekend of November 9. A special installation made out of thousands of illuminated, helium-filled balloons will be set up along the former border of the Wall. However, this border made of light, stands as a "symbol of hope for a world without walls", and will be 7 miles long and will run across the city center for the entire weekend. Residents and visitors can walk along the course of the Wall and visualize the extent of the former division. At five spots the white balloons will be released into the air as a remembrance of the opening of the wall 25 years ago.
For those yearning for more, the Berlin Wall Memorial is a central place for commemoration of the Berlin Wall and features a last piece of the wall, as well as emotional displays and information. A new permanent exhibition, “25 Years Fall of the Wall” will be opened in a festive ceremony on November 9, 2014.
One of the most important events in German history took place in Leipzig on Monday, October 9, 1989. After prayers for peace in St. Nicholas Church, for the first time in history, about 70,000 people peacefully demonstrated, calling out “Wir sind das Volk” (“We are the People”) and “Keine Gewalt” (“No violence”). The Monday demonstrations remained peaceful and set the course for a fundamental change with worldwide consequences.
The Fall of the Wall came all of a sudden. On the evening of November 9, 1989, Günter Schabowski, an East German government official announced that "Permanent relocations can be done through all border checkpoints between the GDR (East Germany) into the FRG (West Germany) or West Berlin." People hesitantly approached the border – and crossed it!
Traditions and customs in Germany
Many regional traditions and customs are still alive and well in Germany today. Having long been a manufacturing nation, Germany places special emphasis on handcrafted products, and its volkfest festivals are unlike anything else in the world. At funfairs, festivals and Christmas markets, visitors can experience a wealth of traditions that are deeply rooted in society. These include regional dishes and traditional dress as well as art, music and culture.
According to the latest Quality Monitor survey of the German tourism industry (GNTB/ERV, 2013), the traditions and history of a region are among the top ten reasons cited by international visitors for choosing their holiday destination. That is why the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) has decided to put the Traditions and Customs theme at the center of its global sales and marketing activities in 2015. “Traditions and customs are an integral part of Germany’s appeal as a cultural destination, while also being key facets of the core Destination Germany brand,” says Petra Hedorfer, Chief Executive Officer of the GNTB. “The idea of our themed campaign for 2015 is to make travelers more aware of this.”
The campaign promoting traditions and customs will highlight three aspects in 2015. One of these is culinary Germany with regional cuisine. The second comprises the living traditions in Destination Germany, which are reflected in its huge number of festivals – from carnivals and cultural events to marksmen’s parades and theatre extravaganzas. Traditional costume and dance play an important part in this. The third key theme of the campaign is arts and crafts, and this will give international travelers a deeper insight into music, handicrafts and craft villages in Germany.
The campaign will be promoted internationally, both online and offline. The main focus will be the GNTB’s website www.germany.travel. An events database is also being created, which will include dates and events related to the 2015 theme of Traditions and Customs.
By Air . . .
airberlin receives “Best Business Class Airline Europe” award
airberlin has received the “Business Destinations Travel Award 2014” from British trade journal Business Destinations in the category “Best Business Class Airline Europe”.
“We are very pleased that airberlin has received the “Best Business Class Airline Europe” award. With our new Business Class we offer both business and leisure travelers a very high-quality product, and are currently the only German airline to offer FullFlat seats with completely horizontal adjustment on every Business Class flight,” says Thomas Ney, Senior Vice President Guest Experience.
airberlin recently equipped the last of its Airbus A330-200s with the new Business Class. From now on flight guests will enjoy the comfort of the new FullFlat seats on every Business Class flight guaranteed. The new configuration, with only 19 seats, offers flight guests increased privacy and direct access to the aisle from every seat. The majority of seats are also positioned in a single-seat arrangement. The FullFlat function very quickly transforms the new seats into a comfortable, horizontal sleeping configuration, ensuring a restful flight. The new seats also offer a massage function. On-board entertainment is provided by an Inflight Entertainment System with 15-inch screens on each seat. Flight guests in airberlin Business Class also enjoy very individual and personal service at their seats, while gourmet menus and premium wines from Sansibar further enhance the exclusive traveling experience.
FIJI AIRWAYS CELEBRATES FIRST BIRTHDAY WITH FARE SALE
Fiji Airways announced a 50% fare sale today to celebrate its one-year anniversary since its re-brand.
On this day last year, the airline retired its ‘Air Pacific’ brand and returned to its original identity as Fiji Airways in a nod to its heritage.
Starting today, fares on the Los Angeles (LAX) to Nadi (NAN) and Honolulu (HNL) to Nadi (NAN) sectors will be 50% off. Travel must take place in November 2014 or February through March of 2015.
The sale ends this Monday, June 30th.
By Sea . . .
CROISIEUROPE INTRODUCES FREE WI-FI ABOARD EUROPEAN FLEET
Known for their excellent value for money, CroisiEurope, Europe’s longest running river cruise company, is upping the ante of all-inclusive cruising with the introduction of free Wi-Fi for guests throughout their fleet of European river boats and barge hotels.
The newest additions to the fleet, such as the MS Gerard Schmitter, the MS Cyrano de Bergerac, the MS Lafayette and the fleet of four hotel barges, are equipped with Wi-Fi for guests to use throughout the boats, including guest cabins. The remaining river boats based in Europe offer free Wi-Fi in the reception area and lounge bar.
CroisiEurope is also equipping every ship in the fleet (apart from those ships on the Mekong) with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet for guests’ use.
In addition to free Wi-Fi, CroisiEurope’s fantastic value, all-inclusive pricing includes accommodations in an outside-facing cabin with all onboard meals, complimentary beer and wine at lunch and dinner as well as open bar throughout the voyage (not including Champagne, wines on the wine list or fine brandies), onboard entertainment and port taxes.
Established in 1976, CroisiEurope has been a leader in affordable European river cruises for nearly 40 years. Based in Strasbourg, France, CroisiEurope is headquartered at the epicenter of Europe with offices in Paris, Lyon, Nice, Brussels, Lausanne, Madrid, London and New York City. With an English-speaking crew of 700 people, this family owned company operates almost 40 vessels that sail along Europe’s most famous rivers. Passengers can choose from a variety of itineraries that explore picturesque riverside cities in France, Italy, Spain, Germany and Belgium while treating guests to on-board dining menus designed alongside Michelin-starred chefs. Today, CroisiEurope offers cruises not only in Europe but also along the Mediterranean coast, Vietnam and Cambodia. For more information about CroisiEurope, please visit, www.croisieuroperivercruises.com or call (800) 768-7232.
By Air & By Sea
EXCLUSIVE SPAIN FLIGHT NOW FEATURING CELEBRATED CHEF
NYC Chef Alex Raij invites New Yorkers to Basque in Spain's Most Spectacular Cuisine
Rising New York City star chef Alexandra Raij is leading adventurous New Yorkers to her beloved Basque Country this fall to explore Spain's most exciting cuisine. Along the way she and a small group of food-loving travelers will join Pedro Subijana at his spectacular 3-Michelin-star restaurant workshop in San Sebastián. They'll also venture into the countryside to discover Basque artisan cheesemaking traditions.
The trip--going this October 4--inaugurates a series of special Basque Country tours organized to take advantage of the first-ever nonstop flight from JFK to Vitoria, the region's capital. "Because it is situated amidst the Rioja wine country, just inland of Bilbao and San Sebastian, we've put together rich food and wine experiences that celebrate the harvest season," says Carmen Romo, the Bilbao-based travel specialist who is organizing the tours.
Raij's husband Eder Montero, also a chef, is from the Basque Country. The two are passionate about bringing the regional cuisines of Spain to New York, with three restaurants: La Vara in Brooklyn and El Quinto Pino and Txikito in Chelsea--the latter focused on Basque cooking. "It's great to have the chance to show New Yorkers the place, the ingredients, and above all the hospitality that has inspired me," says Raij.
Eater named Raij Chef of the Year in 2012. Bon Appétit magazine has called her one of six Women Chefs to Watch. She and Montero are currently working on Welcome Basque, a cookbook to be published by Ten Speed Press.
"I'm excited about meeting Pedro Subijana," Raij says, "He is one of the greats." When Subijana started cooking at Akelare in his hometown of San Sebastián in 1975, he was already firmly on a path to integrate local and traditional ingredients with new techniques things. Akelare has had 3 Michelin stars since 2006.
The flight on Iberia Airlines "is a collaboration designed to respond to increasing interest from US travelers in the Basque region," says Enrique Gutierrez, director of Vitoria International Airport, the organization responsible for promoting the regional airport. "Since we know nonstops mean a lot to American travelers, a series of seasonal nonstop flights is the goal," he says.
Iberia flight 6254 will depart JFK on October 4 at 5:05 PM EST/NY, arriving October 5 at 6:20 AM local Spanish time, and the return, flight 6244 departs on October 12th, at 12:30 PM Spanish time, arriving at 3:10 PM EST/NY. The Bilbao-based specialty tour outfitter Romotur is serving as the exclusive booking agent for this special flight and land packages. US-based Spain expert Teresa Parker of Spanish Journeys is partnering on the project to handle inquiries in the US.
Bookings may be made online at the tour website: www.basqueinit.com. For more information contact Carmen Romo at Romotur - email@example.com / +34 94 443 34 63, or Teresa Parker at Spanish Journeys - firstname.lastname@example.org / +1 508 349 9769.
Hotel Openings ....
PENINSULA GRAND ENTRANCE TO PARIS
Peninsula Hotels announces the opening of Peninsula Paris, its grand entrance into Europe. Peninsula Paris sits just steps away from the Arc de Triomphe and Avenue des Champs Elysées at 19 Avenue Kléber in the heart of the elegant 16th arrondissement.
The property is a late 19th century classic French-style building, which first opened in 1908 as the Hotel Majestic. One of Paris’ most famous landmarks, the Majestic “grand hotel” enjoyed 40 years hosting the rich and famous, the titled and tycoons, together with leading lights in the world of the arts, literature and music during the “Belle Epoque” and “Années Folles”, when Paris was at the height of its creativity and glamour. Historical highlights include George Gershwin composing “An American in Paris” while staying at the hotel in 1928, while the Paris Peace Accords, negotiated by Henry Kissinger and bringing the Vietnam War to a close, were signed in 1973 in the salon which is today Le Bar Kléber.
Peninsula have been careful to preserve the heritage, authenticity and the spirit of the building, while setting spectacular new standards in design, luxury and comfort. Interiors have been designed by Henry Leung of Hong Kong-based Chhada Siembieda & Associates Ltd and the architectural restoration spearheaded by Richard Martinet of Affine architecture & interior design, the building has been meticulously restored by teams of French master craftsmen, utilising traditional techniques in use for hundreds of years.
Exquisitely restored spaces will be complemented by contemporary art installations, furnishings and technology. Dazzling rooftop spaces and private terrace gardens offer 360° views and glamorous extras that will make The Peninsula Paris a decidedly 21st century palace. www.peninsula.com.