Archive | April, 2008

Domina Hotel Group to Open Three New Hotels in North and Eastern Europe

The Domina Hotel Group is expanding its presence in North and Eastern Europe with the opening of 3 new hotels and launch of its Domina Prestige brand. Domina Prestige St Petersburg, Domina Hotel & Conference Blijdorp in Rotterdam and Domina Hotel Budapest are all due to open between Summer 2008 and Spring 2009. The 3 hotels will add to the 6 already existing hotels in the region located in Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Hungary and Poland.

St Petersburg has the image of being the most Western European styled city of Russia and is referred to as the “Northern Capital” of this nation. Rotterdam is one of the largest ports in the world, the second city and the industrial heart of the Netherlands and the economic, social and cultural centre of the Rijnmond (‘Rhine Estuary’) region. Budapest, the capital city of Hungary, has the River Danube flowing through the city along a stretch of 28km. Its embankments, the Castle District and Andrassy Street have been officially recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Gerhard Zeilinger, newly appointed Regional Manager North Eastern Europe of the Group, said, “We are already present in the area with the Domina Inn brand counting 320 rooms and the Domina Hotel brand currently counting 160 rooms. These numbers will increase with the 3 new openings adding up to a total of nearly 1,000 rooms.” Continue Reading

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International Spa Show – London ‘09 At Olympia National Hall

Expomedia Events Ltd., part of Expomedia Group Plc are delighted to announce the launch of International Spa Show – London, the UK premier consumer event dedicated to spa industry and spa tourism at one of the most established and prestigious London venues – Olympia National Hall.

The event is planned for 20 – 22 March 2009, period undoubtedly associated with increased consumer bookings for the summer and autumn/winter holiday season.

UK – THE 3RD LARGEST TRAVEL AND TOURISM SOURCE MARKET IN THE WORLD

With a population of 60 million people, UK represents the world’s third largest outsourcing consumer market for the travel and tourism industry, boasting over 70 million departures abroad and 101 million domestic trips, registering an estimated expenditure of over £52 billion annually. 80% of the UK’s outbound traffic is fuelled by London and the South East of England. The UK consumers are amongst the most affluent spenders in the world, holding the top spot with £529 per capita spend on travel and holidays alone. ** Continue Reading

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Karma Opens New Luxury Resort in Bali

Karma Resorts has opened the Karma Kandara, Bali, Indonesia. Set on a dramatic cliff overlooking a private beach club at the tip of Bali’s elevated southern peninsula, the Karma Kandara is not far from one of the island’s most sacred Hindu temples, Uluwatu. It is just 24km from the international airport.

The resort comprises 46 pool residences of mainly 3 and 4 bedrooms. All enjoy spectacular views of the Indian Ocean and are connected by stone steps, bridges and walkways that meander through landscaped tropical gardens and water features.

Internationally acclaimed architects Grounds Kent have created contemporary elaborations on the traditional Balinese garden compound design, with each residence comprising two or three pavilions with roofs of alang alang grass or sirap wood tiles, framing a central lap pool and courtyard. With their high pitched roofs, the open plan living pavilions have an airy, expansive feel and comprise lounge, dining area and a fully equipped kitchen featuring the latest SMEG appliances. All bedrooms are oriented to face the ocean and boast large, semi-outdoor bathrooms with large stand alone tubs, designed to fully embrace the tropical setting.

Created by Lisa Garis of Plum Design, Singapore, interiors evoke a Mediterranean ambience while retaining a clean, modern feel Accented with antique artifacts and the work of local artists, features include delicately carved stonework, deeply varnished teakwood fittings, creamy marble and richly upholstered contemporary furniture in shades of chocolate, cinnamon, copper, bronze and amber. Continue Reading

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China says Tibet to be reopened soon for foreign tourists

Beijing – Tibet would reopen to foreign tourists in the “near future”, an official said today over a month after the Himalayan region was sealed to quell the most violent anti-China protests in two decades.

The first domestic group had arrived on Thursday in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, where monks-led protests took a bloody turn on March 14, leaving 19 people dead, and leading to a security clampdown.

“We are going to receive overseas tourist groups in the very near future,” Deputy Director of the Tibet Autonomous Regional Tourism Bureau, Zhanour was quoted as saying in Lhasa by state-run Xinhua news agency.

Tourists need not worry about their safety in Tibet, he said, adding, “Tibet will keep its image as a safe, healthy and civilised tourist destination”.

The regional government had stopped issuing tourist permits to foreigners and tourist authorities had advised travel agencies to defer organizing tour groups, citing safety concerns and reconstruction of tourist facilities damaged in the riots. Continue Reading

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Free Nights at Cocoa Island in the Maldives

A ‘Summer Special’ package at the idyllic Cocoa Island in The Maldives offers guests complimentary stays of two free nights per week for one week or two week stays. Guests can either stay 7 nights for the price of 5 or 14 nights for the price of 10.

The low-season deal at this unique COMO Resort is on offer from May 15 to October 15. Prices start at US$590++ a night, or US$690++ in July and August.

The chic Indian Ocean outpost is world-renowned for diving and its serene COMO Shambhala Retreat, an exclusive retreat for yoga and well-being, rejuvenation therapies and indulgent pampering.

Package prices from May 15 to June 30, and September 1 to October 15, range from US$590++ for a Dhoni Suite to US$790++, US$970++ and US$1,900++ a night for villas. In July and August, prices start at US$690++ a night, to US$950++, US$1,230++ and US$2,500++ for villas.

Prices are for either single or double occupancy with breakfast, and subject to 10% service charge and government tax of US$8 per person a night. Continue Reading

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Explore Hong Kong with The Luxe Manor’s Museum Promotion

Exploring Hong Kong’s selection of world class museums has never been easier for visitors with The Luxe Manor’s new Museum Package.

Valid from 1st May 2008 the Museum Package includes a Museum Pass valid for seven days at seven venues in Hong Kong and Afternoon Tea at the hotel’s signature Italian restaurant, Aspasia.

The Luxe Manor, a boutique hotel offering 153 guest rooms, is located in the heart of Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui area bursting with shops, museums, markets, restaurants, bars, clubs and tourist attractions such as the harbourfront’s dazzling ‘Avenue of Stars’ and nightly ‘Symphony of Lights’.

The Museum Pass allows guests free access to seven of Hong Kong’s most popular museums including the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Hong Kong Museum of History, Hong Kong Science Museum, Hong Kong Space Museum, Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence and the Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum. Four of these museums are within easy walking distance of The Luxe Manor and the remaining three are easily accessible via the city’s efficient MTR network. Continue Reading

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SriLankan Airlines launches New Frequent Flyer Programme

Earlier this month, SriLankan Airlines launched its new frequent flyer programme, ‘FlySmiLes’, which promises a wide range of exciting rewards for passengers of Sri Lanka’s award-winning National Carrier.

The airline’s previous frequent flyer programme, Skywards, ended on 31 March 2008 as SriLankan’s management changed hands.

Manoj Gunawardena, Head of Worldwide Passenger Sales, said, “FlySmiLes will be introducing a number of partner airlines and other companies which will offer members a choice to both earn and burn miles for a variety of goods and services. These will range from hotel stays to bank services, retailers, and especially SriLankan Holidays – the airline’s leisure arm.”

FlySmiLes has three tiers of membership – Gold, Silver, and Blue – according to how many miles are accrued. Every valid mile flown is credited to a member’s FlySmiLes account as one mile.

Members can exchange their miles for rewards such as free air tickets to Europe, the Middle East, South Asia and the Far East; and upgrades. They also have a wide range of other benefits such as pre-assigned seating and priority wait-listing. Continue Reading

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Amadeus signs 60 Hotel Brands to Worldwide Commission Manager

Amadeus has signed up 60 hotel brands around the world to its Worldwide Commission Manager (WCM) and launched the solution in France following a successful international pilot. Over 20,000 hotel properties in Amadeus have subscribed to this initiative and the solution is today available to all 4,400 travel agencies in France.

“Our travel agencies are telling us that hotel commissions are a key source of revenue for them and at the same time administratively challenging to keep track of,” said Jean De Durfort, Head of Hotel distribution, Amadeus, “We have launched WCM to give our agencies visibility on the status of the commission owed to them across the range of hotels they work with from just one tool. Participating hotels benefit from the transparency they are willing to provide and that becomes a sales argument for their hotel and travel agencies benefit from having a single view of the commissions owed to them.”

Amadeus Worldwide Commission Manager (WCM) makes it easier for travel agencies to track hotel commissions by offering travel agents a web-based single point of information on hotel bookings and the status of commission payments.

WCM tracks the progress of payments resulting from fulfilled active hotel reservations, regardless of the commission payment system used by each hotel. The tool has no technological set-up costs, maintenance or fees and provides a reliable overview of the commission payment process for all hotels on Amadeus’ GDS. Continue Reading

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Grand Hyatt Hotel opens in Guangzhou

Hyatt Hotels & Resorts has opened its first Grand Hyatt in China’s Guangdong Province, the Grand Hyatt Guangzhou.

Situated in Guangzhou’s new central business district – Pearl River New Town, the 375-roomGrand Hyatt Guangzhou is located in one wing of a brand new streamlined twin-tower building. It is one of the first international hotels in Guangzhou to feature a “sky lobby” located 22 floors up; like many other areas in the hotel, it offers expansive views across the Pearl River and Guangzhou’s new CBD.

The interior architecture of the entire hotel tower was conceived by award-winning US-based interior design consultancy Remedios Siembieda, creators of some of the world’s most luxurious hotels including the Grand Hyatt Tokyo and Park Hyatt Beijing. With Grand Hyatt Guangzhou, the objective was to create an exclusive, iconic hotel where the design is highly contemporary, but firmly anchored in Oriental culture. “If Beijing is formal and scholarly like Washington DC, and Shanghai is dynamic like New York, then I see Guangzhou as the Los Angeles of China,” said Peter Remedios, the firm’s Creative Director. “It’s a new city that’s reaching forward, but one that’s still rooted in its cultural legacy.”

The hotel’s 375 guestrooms have been designed with simplicity of line, colour tone and function, while using luxurious materials and textures. One immediately noticeable feature in the rooms is the bathroom island – incorporating a separate soaking tub and rain shower – which is a focal point. Work stations incorporate high-speed broadband Internet access and universal adaptors, and an in-room iPod docking station is also standard. A specially designed inset wall frame allows a 37-inch multi-channel LCD flat-screen TV to be neatly stored flush with the wall and swung out when required for viewing from certain angles. Continue Reading

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New Regent Hotel to open in Kuala Lumpur in 2011

Carlson Hotels is expanding its portfolio of luxury Regent Hotels with The Regent Kuala Lumpur scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2011.

The Regent Kuala Lumpur will be developed by City Properties and joins a growing portfolio of Regent hotels and resorts worldwide, which includes The Regent Beijing and The Regent Shanghai. The 250-room hotel will also feature an additional 102 exclusive luxury apartments which will be branded as ‘The Regent Residences, Kuala Lumpur’.

The Regent Kuala Lumpur, together with the The Regent Residences, Kuala Lumpur, will occupy a prime city-centre location in the heart of the city’s ’Golden Triangle’, with views of the iconic Petronas Twin Towers and KLCC Park, just 200 metres walking distance away.

“The development of The Regent Kuala Lumpur is an important part of our strategy to establish the flagship brand in the Carlson Hotels portfolio in every major gateway city across Asia,” said Martin Rinck, president & managing director, Carlson Hotels Worldwide – Asia Pacific. Continue Reading

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New Ritz-Carlton Hotel Opened in China

One of the world’s leading operators of luxury hotels, Ritz-Carlton, has opened its latest hotel in China. The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya on Hainan Island, features stylish hotel room accommodation and luxurious private villas with eight dining experiences, a world-class spa and designer brand shopping.

“Sanya is a beautiful, paradise island offering visitors perfect white sandy beaches, stunning mountains, rain forest, mangrove reserves and year-round sunshine,” said Simon F. Cooper, president and chief operating officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.

“We have no doubt that Sanya has the potential to be a resort island of true international appeal, attracting visitors from all over the world, whether they are visiting the island for business or pleasure. It really is a hidden gem, and the opening of The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya helps to put this destination on the map for discerning luxury travellers.”

The hotel’s 450 rooms include 33 pool villas, each with their own private butlers, in addition to 21 luxury suites. Being nestled between the pristine white sand beach of Yalong Bay on one side and a mangrove reserve on the other, views from all guest rooms are breathtaking. Each of the 33 one, two, and three-bedroom private pool villas are tastefully furnished with a large outside deck, double and single sun loungers for lazy days and evenings, and intimate infinity pools which merge with the horizon. Continue Reading

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InterContinental Hanoi Westlake opens State-of-the-Art Fitness Center

The InterContinental Hanoi Westlake is aiming to set a new standard in fitness center appeal throughout Vietnam with the launch of it Health Club membership sales campaign.

Housed in an airy, stand-alone building, the Health Club features an array of Life Fitness-brand equipment imported from the United States, including six treadmills, three cross trainers, two recumbent bikes and two upright bikes — all with integrated LCD.

“It’s easy to make fitness center equipment that looks good, and you see this all over Vietnam,” said Christian Pirodon, the hotel’s general manager. “But we made an investment in some of the best machinery available. The stature of the equipment had to be commensurate with the stature of the hotel.”

Beyond the bikes, treadmills and trainers, the club boasts a full complement of Signature Series Life Fitness strength machines, for chest press, shoulder press, leg curls and other muscle group exercises. For old school aficionados, the club also features the full range of free weights. Continue Reading

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