Luxury Hotels Worldwide

Archive for July, 2009

Holiday makers scoop ‘Las Vegas bargains’

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Luxury travel to Las Vegas can be made on the cheap this summer, the Times reports.

The vacations hotspot is currently struggling with dropping visitor numbers, which means that many of its luxury hotels have cut their prices.

Over the first four months of the year, visitor numbers have fallen by four per cent – almost unprecedented since 1970.

Recently, the city’s Tropicana resort has filed for bankruptcy.

There have also been mass job cuts at resorts including the Bellagio and the Mirage.

While bad news for the local economy, this domestic turmoil has led to bargains to be had on luxury holidays to Las Vegas.

The newspaper managed to secure a week’s stay at the Bellagio in June for £106 after “a little light haggling”.

Three nights at the MGM Grand can also currently be had for £150, the report adds.

Leeds to NY route announced

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Travellers to luxury hotels in New York City will soon be able to choose a new UK air route to the city, Jet2holidays.com has announced.

 

The flights firm said that it will begin offering the first-ever trans-Atlantic  flights from Yorkshire’s Leeds Bradford airport.

 

Packages for the new route are available immediately, and start at £699 with three nights’ hotel accommodation.

 

Other packages also include stays in five star luxury hotels, the firm said.

 

The flights themselves will not be operating until the end of the year, however.

 

Managing director of Jet2holidays.com, Richard Bodin, said: ”We are launching with Christmas shopping breaks as our research suggested this was the one thing most people tend to recommend to friends as a must-do first experience, and something they tend to repeat.

 

“Of course with the current strength of the pound against the dollar there’s never been a better time to enjoy great value for money and have fun spending in this great city.”

Hard rock offers ‘wild’ experience

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

A “wild” new theme park has been opened in the US, the Times reports.

Hard Rock Park, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is dedicated entirely to rock n’ roll music.

The theme park has been developed as an off-shoot of the Hard Rock Cafe chain and boasts priceless music memorabilia for public view, such as Elvis’ motorbike and a set of original sketches from John Lennon.

On-site concerts at the park, which opens on June 2nd, are also scheduled from the likes of Kid Rock and George Clinton.

Tourists more used to the sedate charms of the Disney resorts might be somewhat thrown by the park’s main ride – a Led Zeppelin rollercoaster, with design input from Messrs Page and Plant.

Hard Rock head Steven Goodwin confidedd: “We met them in London and told them we wanted to design a ride around a Led Zep song.

“Straight off, Jimmy said it should be based on Stairway to Heaven, but Robert said, ‘Like, no way, man. Stairway is sacred. People have it played at their funerals, man.’ So we went with Whole Lotta Love.”

Other attractions at the park includes Nights in White Satin – which takes place in blackout conditions – and the Magic Mushroom Garden, a children’s play area.

Music festival season kicks off

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Music-loving holiday makers will be travelling to festivals in Europe this summer, the Independent reports.

The newspaper recommends a visit to the White Nights Festival in the Russian cultural capital of St Petersburg - which offers high-end opera and ballet in the fabulous setting of the city’s Mariinsky theatre.

Culture vultures wishing to sample the festival’s showpiece – a brand new production of Puccini’s Tosca – have until July 27th to catch a performance.

Jazz fans are also set to descend on the Greek resort of Sani – one of the hosts of the three-day Jazz on the Hill festival in mid-July.

Performers already booked for the pretty eco-friendly tourist hotspot include Chucho Valdes, Roberto Fonseca and Omar Sosa.

For those who like their music a little more up to date, Japan’s three-day Fuji Rock festival – which begins on July 25th – is also proving popular.

Acts set to take the stage at the Maeba ski resort near Tokyo include My Bloody Valentine, CSS and the Breeders.

Algarve ‘most popular destination’

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Britons planning stays in luxury hotels and luxury villas are turning to the Algarve, new research shows.

According to travel agents Holidays-Direct.co.uk, more people are searching for and viewing web pages relating to the Portuguese tourist hot-spot than for anywhere else.

Egypt was the second most-popular on the agency’s website – with Greece, the Costa Del Sol and the Canary Islands rounding out the top five.

Jon Pearce at Holidays-Direct.co.uk said: “With some of Europe ‘ s most attractive and cleanest golden, sandy beaches, exceptional landscapes and year -  round sunshine, the Algarve is quite rightly a holiday hot spot for British tourists looking for some sun.

“The Algarve’s lively nightlife, cafe culture and family orientated attractions make this the perfect destination for everyone.”

He added: “The increased interest our customers are showing in the Algarve reflects that the place not only offers many things to do, but is also a relatively cheap holiday option.”

Volunteer at the Ritz

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

A new holiday concept has been launched by luxury hotel chain Ritz-Carlton.

The Give Back Getaways scheme allows vacationers to get involved in local ecological and humanitarian projects during their holidays, the Daily Telegraph reports.

For example, those staying in the chain’s luxury hotel in Berlin are given the opportunity to help out in the local Sonnenhof children’s hospital, as well as enjoying the city’s tourist hotspots.

Bruce Himelstein, vice president at Ritz-Carlton, commented: “All our hotels are involved in their own local projects.

“Now we’re giving our guests the chance to join us in some of the work we do.”

Sue Stephenson, who runs the programme, added: “The whole scheme has grown out of the interest guests have already shown in helping with local projects – they’ve already joined us informally in projects in New Orleans, Sarasota, Ellis Island and Alcatraz.”

Further information about the various Give Back Getaways on offer can be found at the luxury hotel group’s website, ritzcarlton.com.

High-rise Dubai

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Fans of luxury hotels are sure to be in evidence in Dubai this holiday season, the Independent reports.

The town represents a “dizzying” variety of attractions – and will soon boast the world’s tallest building.

Currently under construction, the Burj Dubai is anticipated to finish up at over 800 metres tall – over four times the height of London’s ‘Gherkin’ tower.

Elsewhere in the city, part of the United Arab Emirates, one of the world’s biggest building booms is underway.

Seven-star luxury hotels such as the spectacular “sail-shaped” Burj Al-Arab have sprung up from the desert in recent years, contrasting markedly with some of the peninsula’s best beaches.

In town, luxury hotel the Chelsea Tower not only provides deluxe service for guests, but is the 14th-tallest residential building in the world – higher than any building in the UK.

Higher still is the nearby Emirates Hotel - part of a twin tower scheme which exceeds the height of the Eiffel Tower.

Snorkelling in Borneo

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

People taking their vacations at luxury hotels in Borneo should not pass up the opportunity to go snorkelling, the Times reports.

In particular, the island of Palu Lankayan near Sandakan was recommended, due to its having been designated a Marine Protected Area by the Malaysian government.

This means that the area has been specially reserved for eco-tourism – as major developments will not be allowed nearby in order to protect local wildlife and encourage sustainability.

Accessible by a 90 minute boat trip from the town, the island is “renowned for lush vegetation, stunning white beaches, but most of all, for diving”, the report adds.

Sea animals, fauna and shipwrecks are all in close proximity – and can be explored via organised diving tours.

Animal-watchers can also study sea turtles on the island, as it is a nesting place for the green turtle and hawksbill turtle species.

Hatchlings are released by locals between the months of May and September.

Tourists who wish to stay on Palu Lankayan itself, rather than in a luxury hotel nearby, can also take one of the 16 chalets and two bungalows on the island.