In the News this Week...

brought to you by News Editor, Roger Bray
  • Brits have been doing up their homes and gardens this summer rather than taking holidays.

    almost 8 years ago

    Brits have been doing up their homes and gardens this summer rather than taking holidays, new figures suggest. Spending on travel increased by a slender 1%, according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, while consumer spending in the home and garden retail sector surged ahead with a 40% increase on August 2010. 

  • Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport has completed a root and branch revamp of its international Departure Lounge 3.

    almost 8 years ago

    Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport has completed a root and branch revamp of its international Departure Lounge 3.  Its 26 retail outlets include a flower shop behind a simulated, glass, canals side facade and -  for those readers still young enough at heart – what is claimed to be Europe's first branch of Victoria's Secret. Many UK travellers use Schiphol not just for flights to and from the Netherlands but when flying with KLM and its partners to onward long haul destinations. The departure lounge, which handles some 5.3 million passengers a year, also offer free WiFi. 

  • News 198

    After some new ideas for cooking fish?

    about 8 years ago

    After some new ideas for cooking fish? Head for the Falmouth Oyster Festival, which takes place between 13 -16 October 2011.  The event, which celebrates the start of the oyster dredging season, will be opened by innovative Masterchef winner Tim Anderson. There will be plenty of cookery demonstrations by local chef, marquees full of Cornish produce, a working boat race and an oyster shucking contest. Cornish Cottages has properties to rent in and around the town – and there is, of course, an R in the month.

  • News 199

    Vienna's modern art museum, the Museum Modern Kunst Ludwig Stiftung (MUMOK) has re-opened after extensive renovations.

    about 8 years ago

    Vienna's modern art museum, the Museum Modern Kunst Ludwig Stiftung (MUMOK) has re-opened after extensive renovations. Pieces selected from its collections are now on show in a new exhibition entitled Museum of Wishes. The  museum contains around 9000 paintings, sculptures, installations, drawings, graphic works, photos, videos, architectural models and furniture, invluding works by Picasso. Mondrian, Klee, Ernst, Magritte, Franci Bacon and Giacometti.

  • Las Vegas is to have a new kind of high roller.

    about 8 years ago

    Las Vegas is to have a new kind of high roller. The company that operates Caesar's Palace plans to install a 550ft Ferris wheel on a new outdoor promenade running along the city's famous Strip linking its casinos with its restaurannts ad bars. At the same time Caesar's Palace has reached an agreement with Nobu to open the world's first hotel under the Japanese restaurant brand.  Designed as a 180 room boutique property it is scheduled to open summer 2012. And it goes without saying that with it will come another of Nobu's celebrated restaurants.

  • News 196

    Passengers flying from Stansted can now buy fast track passage through security.

    about 8 years ago

    Passengers flying from Stansted can now buy fast track passage through security. No.1 Traveller, the airport hospitality specialist, has signed a deal with Stansted to try out “Premium Departures”. It costs £5 – or £4 if bought online in advance. That also includes provision of a clear plastic bag in which to carry liquids through checks. Travellers can buy it at www.No1Traveller.com, at  www.stanstedairport.com of at a specially designated desk .  No 1 Travellers also operates lounges at Stansted, Heathrow and Gatwick. At Stansted you can combine “Premium Departures” with lounge  access for £15.

  • News 194

    Track the elusive snow leopard in the Himalayas.

    about 8 years ago

    Track the elusive snow leopard in the Himalayas. Tour operator PlanetWildlife.com is offering a 13 day trip, departing from Delhi on November 3 and starting in earnest in Leh, which was capital of the fomrer kingdom of Ladakh. Next stop is Husing Camp in the Hemis National Park. Customers will then trek the high regions of Rumbak and the Tarbung Valley – areas famous for their  snow leopard population, as well as  Great Tibetan sheep, Tibetan wolf, Eurasian brown bear, and  bird life including the golden Eagle. Further treks will follow the Indus River to Ulley village and back to Leh. The tour costs  £1,325 including all meals, accommodation and park entry fees – but not   international flights. 

  • News 195

    We'll always have Phoenix.

    about 8 years ago

    We'll always have Phoenix. One of the city's first resort hotels, the Arizona Biltmore, built in 1929 under consulting archtect Frank Lloyd Wright, is offering couple a “Casablanca Package”. It includes a champagne and chocolate truffle greeting, after which they can settle down and hum along with Dooley Wilson at a viewing of the movie in the Ocatilla Screening Room  – complete with “gourmet” popcorn and soda. After a “Parisian” breakfast you may think your troubles don't amount to a hill of beans. Rates start at $279 with valet parking thrown in.

  • Scotland based Loganair has stepped in to secure the future of Glasgow's air link with Cornwall.

    about 8 years ago

    Scotland based Loganair has stepped in to secure the future of Glasgow's air link with Cornwall. On April 5, 2012 it will launch non-stop services from Glasgow to Newquay. The move follows the closure of Air Southwest, which will continue to operate the route until September 28, 2011.  Loganair will fly up to five times a week. The flights takes 40 minutes and fares will start at £64.00 one way. Tickets will be on sale from September 28 at www.flybe.com. The airline operates under a franchise agreement with Flybe.

  • News 193

    A swish new place to stay in the photogenic Austrian resort of Kitzbuhel...

    about 8 years ago

    A swish new place to stay in the photogenic Austrian resort of Kitzbuhel will open in time for the coming ski season. The five star Kempinski promises 148 rooms and suites with views of the surrounding landscape. It will have a large “wellness centre” with indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Formerly known as the Royal Spa, the hotel is offering an early season deal, available from December 7, 2011 – at €25 a night B&B. www.kempinski.com/tirol

  • Big Celebration Holidays, Kentucky Style!

    about 8 years ago

    Discover the advantages of heading to Kentucky for a big celebration holiday. Home of the famous Kentucky Derby, the birthplace of bourbon and an adventure lovers dream, Kentucky has got it all.

    Planning visit in May? Secure tickets to the famous Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby where visitors can enjoy the renowned Mint Julep cocktails whilst rubbing shoulders with celebrities which flock to the races every year.

    Looking for a place to stay? Try the 21C Museum Hotel in Downtown Louisville, located on Main Street. The boutique hotel has been voted best hotel in America two years running.  It’s just a baseball-throw away from the historic Slugger Museum and a short walk from boxing legend Muhammad Ali’s award-winning museum.

    Like bourbon? Try the unmissable Urban Bourbon Trail, a set route taking in various high-class bars across Louisville offering bourbon tastings. Louisville also offers some of the most inventive American cuisine using tasty, locally sourced produce.

    Looking for some more action? Try kayaking on the amazing Red River Gorge, visit the “Niagara of the South” Cumberland Falls or zip-line your way across Mammoth Cave, the world’s longest underground cave system.

    Finally take a trip to Bowling Green where visitors will be blown away by a visit to the National Corvette Museum, America’s number one sports car.


    For information on Kentucky visit www.kentuckytourism.com/.

  • Air travellers are still being charged over £265,000 a day to book with debit cards.

    about 8 years ago

    Air travellers are still being charged over £265,000 a day to book with debit cards despite a ruling that they should stop, according to research by Which? The consumer publication submitted a “super complaint” to the Office of Fair Trading in March, asking the regulator to look into credit and debit card charges. In June the OFT said debit card fees should be banned via a simple amendment to the Treasury's Payment Services Regulations. The Government has not acted yet and consumers are still forking out. Which? Says that “unbelievably” two airliners – - Swiss and Lufthansa – have actually started charging for credit and debit card bookings since the ruling was made. 

  • News 177

    Latest Silver Travel Advisor prize winners will be sailing up the Danube.

    about 8 years ago

    Liz and Malcom Bryant from Maidstone will soon be sailing up the Danube to the strains of Mozart, courtesy of Noble Caledonia and Silver Travel Advisor.



    Malcolm (aged 69) and Liz (60) won first prize in our July draw, giving them a week's Mozart themed Danube cruise on board Noble Caledonia's m/s Johann Straus.



    Keen travellers Malcolm and Liz said:



    "We are of retirement age but both still working full time.  We love to travel and we enjoy many different types of holidays from safaris in Kenya, to snorkelling in the Maldives, to cruises, to visiting our family in Wales.



    We also love our family holiday each summer and have just returned from a week in Italy with four generations of our family – from our 1 year old grand daughter to my 90 year old father! 

    We are thrilled to win such a fantastic prize and are very much looking forward to the cruise on the Danube, an area we have never visited before".



    Silver Travel Advisor's Debbie Marshall added "we are delighted for Malcolm and Liz and are sure that they will have a fabulous time.



    Silver Travel Advisor was created just for people like them, as active travellers who are keen to exchange experiences and information with other like-minded mature travellers. We very much look forward to reading their review of the Mozart cruise".

  • Kilimanjaro

    Kilimanjaro adventure

    Legs and lungs still in good working order?

    about 8 years ago

    Legs and lungs still in good working order? The Adventure Company is offering the opportunity to climb Mount Kilimanjaro at a £100 discount. Routews up vary in difficulty but although you wonj't need any technical mountaineering expertise you'll need to be fairly fit to complete anyj of them. The operator is offering departures on September 16 and October 22 with prices ranging from £1992 for 10 days taking the straightforward Manarangu route to £2449 on the less trodden Lemosho route, with two extra days to allow altitude acclimatisation.
    www.adventurecompany.co.uk.

  • Leipzig

    Leipzig

    Ryanair is to launch flights from London's Stansted Airport to Leipzig later this year.

    about 8 years ago

    Ryanair is to launch flights from London's Stansted Airport to Leipzig later this year. The former East German industrial city may not leap to mind as a short break destination but it has much to offer. It was home to Johann Sebastian Bach, who was its musical director and master of the St Thomas Church Choir, which is over 800 years old. Mendelssohn lived and died there there, His former house is open to visitors. Goethe studied there – and set a scene from Faust in Auerbach's Cellar, a restaurant since 1525. And there is the grimly fascinating STASI museum, housed in the former headquarters of the notorious East German secret police , whose permanent exhibition is titled “STASI – Power and Banality”.
    www.ryanair.com

  • News 189

    The Romanian capital Bucharest has a new luxury hotel.

    about 8 years ago

    The Romanian capital Bucharest has a new luxury hotel. Hilton has opened an 88 room property there under its Doubletree brand. The hotel is on Unrili Square, close to the old Lipscari district. It has a spa and fitness centre, free high speed internet access and the Avantgarde restaurant on the top floor – its name recalling the French influence which earned Bucharest the soubriquet “Paris of the East” – has views over the city.

  • Controversy raged about who got there first...

    about 8 years ago

    Controversy raged about who got there first – but now British tourists are being offered the chance to plant their feet at the North Pole. Tour operator Frontier Canada is running a trip there, departing from Ottawa on April 9 next year. Particpants will fly to Resolute Bay in Nunavut, where they'll spend the night. Next day they will travel further north to the Canadian government weather station at Eureka. On day three or four, depending on the weather, they will fly on to Discovery Bay and beyond, refuelling before for the final leg, 276 miles to the Pole where – if conditions permit – they will land. The return journey will take in time in Greenland at Qaanaq and Grise Fjord on Ellesmere Island. The price of the nine night  trip, which includes flights from the UK and a night in Ottawa at either end, is a cool £33,000.
    www.frontier-canada.co.uk

  • Guests at the Mint Hotel Tower of London can now book walking tours of the surrounding area.

    about 8 years ago

    Guests at the Mint Hotel Tower of London can now book walking tours of the surrounding area. The itinerary includes All Hallows by the Tower, the oldest church in the City -  Samuel Pepys climbed the tower of the church to survey the damage caused by the Great Fire of London – Leadenhall Market, the capital's oldest coffee house – and some of the new buildings under construction. Led by City of London Guide Geoff Boyd, the tours last 1hr 30mins, though shorter tours can be arranged on request. For groups of ten or more, the cost is £8 per person. For groups of five to nine persons, the cost is £10 and for groups of five persons or less, the cost is £12. There's a minimum requirement of two people – and in case you're thinking of taking the grandchildren – the walks are not suitable for under 12s.

  • News 184

    The Palm Springs Art Museum is to mount an exhibition celebrating the swimming pool in Southern California.

    about 8 years ago

    Conjuring images of countless sequences in Hollywood movies, the Palm Springs Art Museum (www.psmuseum.org) is to mount an exhibition celebrating the swimming pool in Southern California. Photographs, film clips and “selected ephemera” will cover the tears from the end of the Second World War to 1982. The Museum promises snapshots of stars, “often in private and candid moments,” relaxing in their own "backyard oases". Among them will be photographs of Rock Hudson, Marilyn Monroe, Alan Ladd, Esther Williams, Olivia de Havilland and Liberace – who had a pool shaped like a grand piano.  At the deeper end, the exhibition will look at the swimming pool as a symbol of the ideals and aspirations of post war life in America. It wll run from January 21 – May 27 2012.

  • Try Swinging your Clubs at a Golf Course near Frankfurt.

    about 8 years ago

    Frankfurt is the largest city in the federal state of Hesse, a region which is well known for its fantastic golf courses that attract golfers from all over the world. Set in stunning landscapes that include river valleys, water reservoirs and forests this region can also boast Germany’s first golf society, The Wiesbadener Golfclub e.V founded in 1893 by Scottish and Englishmen. There are around 50 courses to choose from, many that are close to Frankfurt, as well as some of Hesse’s other tourist regions such as Rhön, Taunus and Odenwald. One of the closest to the city is the Frankfurter Golf Club e.V (www.fgc.de) set within an estate of 63 hectares and host of the German Open 12 times.

    German Travel Centre can organise three night packages to Frankfurt from £279 per person including flights and accommodation. For information and reservations contact German Travel Centre on 020 8 429 2900 or visit www.german-travel-uk.com.