In the News this Week...

brought to you by News Editor, Roger Bray
  • News 366

    Stadel Museum, Frankfurt

    New contemporary art gallery for Frankfurt Museum.

    over 8 years ago

    Frankfurt’s Städel Museum has opened a new undergound gallery displaying contemporary art  this month.  Naturally lit through 195 skylights it will concentrate on post-1945 works by starts including Georg Baselitz, Olafur Eliasson, Nan Goldin, Andreas Gursky, Martin Kippenberger, Sigmar Polke, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Wolfgang Tillmans and Victor Vasarely. The museum contains a total some 2,900 paintings, 600 sculptures, 500 photographs and more than 100,000 drawings and prints. In its old masters collection are works by the likes of Vermeer, Rembrandt, Dürer, Lucas Cranach and Botticelli, while its modern inventory includes paintings by Monet and Picasso. www.staedelmuseum.de
     

  • May reopening for Tokyo luxury hotel.

    over 8 years ago

    Tokyo's rebuilt Palace Hotel is scheduled to reopen this spring. With 290 rooms and 23 storeys it promises extensive views over the city, a French-style spa with Asian treatments, and restaurants with input from chefs who have worked at Michelin starred restaurants elsewhere in the city. The hotel has already been accepted as a member of the Leading Hotels of the World consortium. It has been developed on the sites of an earlier, similarly named property. Close to the city's Imperial Palace, it is across the street from Otemon Gate, once the main entrance to Edo Castle, residence of the Tokugawa Shoguns when they founded their capital here at the beginning of the 17th century. The uppermost of its four basement levels will house 17 retail outlets and will provide acces by underground passage to the Otemachi subway station, which will be completed in the spring of 2013. The hotel's grand opening is scheduled for 17th May.
     

  • Australia's remote paradise.

    over 8 years ago

    Truly remote is hard to find but a new luxury hotel due to open in April on the  Kimberley Coast of Western Australia should fit the desciption. The mouthwatering Berkeley River, built on a dune, surrounded by vegetation and with views across the Timor Sea, is is accessible only by air or water. Its 20 suites will have open air bathrooms. Guests will get there by seaplane. Those who want to do more than chill out by the pool the property will offer boat cruises, bush and beach walks, fishing and helicopter flights.The property's website (www.berkeleyriver.com.au) shows prices per person from AU$2500 for a minim two night stay sharing a twin chalet – or around £1700 at the currrent exchange rate. That includes flights to and from Kununurra, meals and activities.

  • Modern art museum to open in LA.

    over 8 years ago

    Next year will see the opening of a new modern art gallery, The Broad, on Grand Avenue in central Los Angeles. Mainstay of the exhibition, spread over three levels,  will be the contemporary art collection of Eli and Edythe Broad, comprising 2000 works by more than 200 artists including Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Cindy Sherman and Jean-Michel Basquiat. 

  • Luxury package to Kentucky Derby

    over 8 years ago

    Horse racing enthusiast are offered a four night package to watch the Kentucky Derby by tour operator Bon Boyage. The deal includes flights from Heathrow, Glasgow or Manchester, transfers, four nights at the five star Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa, most meals, excursions, reserved seats by the first bend on Churchill Downs – and the services of a tour leader and guides. You may need a hefty win or two to recoup the price, however. It's £4465 for each of two sharing services. www.bonvoyage.co.uk/spotlights
     

  • Egypt to unveil more ancient wonders.

    over 8 years ago

    Newly revealed wonders among the many jaw droppers already to be discovered in Luxor will be inaugurated officially in March. Providing a boost for Egypt's tourism industry, which has been hit badly by political unrest ikn the country. Work to restore another section of the Avenue of the Sphinxes began almolst five years ago. Built by King Nectanebo, who ruled Egypt from 380 – 362BC it runs for 2700 metres between Luxor and the Temple of Karnak. Associated excavations unearthed a relief bearing the cartouche of Queen Cleopatra VII, who is believed to have visited the Avenue with Mark Anthony and over 650 sphinxes. Tourists will be able to walks along about 600 metres of the route from next month, adding to some 200 metres already open. Much of the project cost has been compensation for owners of houses and shops along the way.
     

  • Queensland forest lodge gets new luxury accommotion.

    over 8 years ago

    Binna Burra Mountain Lodge, a superb walking base for exploring the fascinations of Queens's Lamington National Park, has 18 new eco-friendly “sky lodges”. Opened at a cost of some £7.5 millions, they are energy efficient and afford sweeping views of the Coomera and Numinbah Valleys. The Lodge  is about 2hrs by road from the Gold Coast. Crimson corellas, king parrots and rainbow lorikeets play around its eaves. It offers a range of guided walks during which guests learn about the flora and fauna of the forest, from the deadly funnel web spider and the Gympie stinging tree to the carpet python and the whip bird.
     

  • Saga launches the search for the top 50 films at 50

    over 8 years ago

    Saga Travel has teamed up with LOVEFiLM to discover which films top the charts for the UKs over 50s. The travel and the home entertainment giants have developed an online survey to discover which films todays over 50s love, from Hollywood blockbusters and the latest comedies, to gripping drama and cult classics.
    The quick and easy poll, which is only open to the over 50s, can be completed by visiting fiftyfilmsatfifty.co.uk and will be live from 22nd February to 9th March. Everyone taking part will be entered into a draw to win a fantastic 15-night voyage aboard Saga Sapphire, the new cruise ship in the Saga fleet. Cruising to the Canary Islands and North Africa the winners will experience a wealth of contrasts from rainforest and verdant mountains to black-sand beaches and volcanic scenery.

    There are also four runners up prizes of iPads to be won, including a year’s free LOVEFiLM Instant, providing access to thousands of movies streamed direct to the iPads. All entrants in the survey can also take advantage of an exclusive LOVEFiLM offer; two months unlimited LOVEFiLM for just £2, a saving of £27.

  • Wanted! Germany's Top 100 Must-Sees

    over 8 years ago

    In its own survey, the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) is turning directly to the people who have already visited the country in order to find the top 100 must-see attractions in Destination Germany. The results are being incorporated into a special app which will be available from summer 2012 in English and German for Apple and Android devices.

    "Interaction with our customers strengthens our marketing initiatives and puts into focus how people around the world perceive Germany as a travel destination", says Petra Hedorfer, Chief Executive Officer of the GNTB. From 3 February to 15 March 2012, people will be able to take part in the online survey in 26 languages at www.germany.travel and on the GNTB's international Facebook pages. It should take no longer than five minutes to answer the two questions. Those who also register their  mail address will receive a newsletter detailing the results of the survey and will be in the running to receive one of ten iPod shuffles.

  • Celebrate The Month Of Sleep

    over 8 years ago

    In time for International Sleep Day on 16 March, Hospes Infinite Places is launching a month-long Sleep Programme designed to help guests improve the quality of their sleep.

    Hospes hotels across Spain and in Paris are renowned for their focus on sleep and wellbeing.  Available to book throughout March, the dedicated programme will offer tips on relaxation, advice on nutrition, as well as spa treatments helping guests to discover the secret to a perfect night’s sleep. The hotels' Senzone restaurants will offer a sleep menu every night, with specially prepared dishes made from ingredients to promote rest and relaxation. Specialities such as mini octopus with lemon zest, as well as chocolate mousse served with dried fruit praline and apricot sorbet will not only satisfy the palate, but relax the mind and body. The Bodyna Spas will offer daily relaxation techniques and treatments to loosen muscles, soothe painful joints, and destress the mind.



    Hospes is also a key donor to SOS Children’s Village as part of its Sueños Project – a charity which helps children realise their dreams. From 16 March 2012 until 16 March 2013, for every booking made on www.hospes.com, 1€ will be donated to SOS Children.

  • UK airports scrap £9 million iris recognition scheme.

    over 8 years ago

    Birmingham and Manchester airports have scrapped multi-million pound eye scanners, which were introduced to speed up passport control. Heathrow and Gatwick are expected to ditch their scanners after the Olympics.



    According to ministers the scanners were able to process travellers in as little as 12 seconds, however passengers often spent longer being scanned by the machines than when going through traditional passport control.



    Some travellers have had the misfortune of getting trapped inside the scanning booth when they stopped working.



    Border Agency bosses have refused to state whether the scanners will be removed completely, and announced they are ‘still considering’ the future of IRIS.



    In 2004, then immigration minister Des Brown unveiled IRIS claiming it would provide a ‘watertight’ check of identities as well as slashing queues.



    The system was targeted at foreign passport holders within the UK who travel frequently, and want to avoid queues. Users were required to undergo a free 15-minute registration to record the pattern of their iris every two years.



    When launched the IRIS system cost £4million to run on top of its £4.9million development cost.



    However plans to use the technology for UK passports were dropped after the revelation that one in ten travellers were wrongly rejected by the machine, and then were forced to wait for manual checks.



    Lucy Moreton, Immigration Service Union’s general secretary said that the IRIS scheme has had problems from the beginning.



    She said: “IRIS scanners are prone to throwing up false alerts when genuine travellers try to use them. We welcome the decision to phase them out”.



    James Baker, of privacy group No2ID said: “This is recognition that IRIS scanning is an expensive failure. The money would be better spent employing more trained staff to use their initiative and check passports manually”.



    A spokesman for the Home Office said: “We are phasing our IRIS and will be replacing it with other types of gates that non-EU passengers will be able to use”.

  • Extended family holiday package From Royal Westmoreland, Barbados.

    over 8 years ago

    ?Royal Westmoreland, the luxury villa estate on Barbados’s Platinum coast, has introduced the ‘Platinum Family Holiday’ for extended families wanting to celebrate a special occasion together such as a birthday or anniversary, or for those simply wanting to spend some quality time together. The package has something for grandparents, parents and grand children alike to make it a holiday of a lifetime. The Platinum Family Celebration consists of:




    • Seven nights’ accommodation in one of Royal Westmoreland’s spectacular villas which range in size from 2-7 bedrooms (depending on the party size)


    • A special meal prepared by Royal Westmoreland’s chef in the villa for the whole family


    • Daily golf for the whole family on the championship golf course and practice facilities during the stay


    • A family golf lesson for up to four people with Royal Westmoreland’s golf professional


    • A couple’s spa treatment at Royal Westmoreland’s Indulgence Spa


    • A credit of BDS$1,000(£320) for dinner at one of Barbados’ finest restaurants, The Cliff

    Royal Westmoreland is home to one of the finest championship golf courses in the world. Designed by renowned golf architect Robert Trent Jones Jnr, the par 72 course is popular with amateurs and professionals alike. Included in the Platinum Family Celebration is a golf lesson for up to four people with Royal Westmoreland’s professional as well as daily golf for the whole family, so whatever their standard, the whole family can improve their swing together.



    Because the Platinum Family Celebration is designed for families celebrating either a milestone event or simply the opportunity to be together, the package includes a meal at The Cliff, one of Barbados’ finest restaurants, set on a cliff top with every table overlooking the Caribbean Sea, and lit by flaming torches. All members of the family have unrestricted access to the estate’s other extensive leisure facilities which include three 25 metre leisure pools, a children’s pool, a fully-equipped gym, Clubhouse restaurant, Bajan Rum Shak, floodlit tennis garden courts, and Mullins Private Beach. www.royalwestmoreland.com

  • New holiday flights from London Docklands.

    over 8 years ago

    British Airways will launch three new holiday routes from London City Airport this spring -  one to the Balearic Islands  and two to France. The airline will start operating up to three round trips a week from May 25 to Menorca. It already flies from the Docklands airport to Majorca and Ibiza. On May 29 it will start flying three times a week to Angers in the Loire Valley, with its impressive 13th cenury castle and gardens,  and a day later it will launch a twice weekly service to Quimper, in Brittany.
     

  • Super ferry sets sail across the Channel.

    over 8 years ago

    The second of two new, €180 million ships built for  P&O Ferries was scheduled to enter service today between Dover and Calais. Spirit of France can carry 2000 passengers and – if they were parked end to end – nearly four kilometres of vehicles.  Car drivers wanting can book parking spaces convenient for shopping n board. And while it may be difficult to imagine at this time of raw temperatures, the Club Lounge has its own outdoor deck on which to soak up the sun. She is sister to Spirit of Britain, which offers similar facilities and is aleady operating on the route.

  • Shake up in holiday protection rules.

    over 8 years ago

    New protection to ensure consumer are not left out of pocket or stranded abroad when travel companies go bust will come into force on April 30, the Government has confirmed. The so called Flight Plus rules are designed to reduce confusion among travellers over whether or not they are protected. They reflect the trend towards DIY holiday arrangements – piecing together flights, accommodation and maybe car hire to tailor make a package, rather than booking one straight from a tour operator's brochure. The Department for Transport has decided that if you request a flight booking and go back to a travel agent by close of play the following day to add a hotel or rental car, that will constitute a package for the purposes of the law. The rule will apply whether you book through a High Street agent or an on line travel agency. It ensures you are covered by the same safety net provided under the exisiting ATOL (air travel organisers' licence) scheme – so you get your money back if a firm goes under before you depart on holiday and you are brought home if it happens while you're away.
     

  • News 351

    The Castle Inn Hotel - Cumbria

    If Silver Travellers can run A Marathon Quicker Than The Castle Inn Hotel's Manager they Get a Weekend Break For Free.

    over 8 years ago

    The Castle Inn Hotel is offering holiday guests over the London Marathon weekend the chance to win their break for free. All they have to do is beat the hotel General Manager's time.



    Peter Wells, the General Manager, is participating in the London Marathon on 22nd April 2012 joining some of the world's elite runners, fun runners, charity runners combined with an enthusiastic crowd. 



    Using the Castle Inn Hotels newly refurbished leisure facilities, guests can start their marathon anytime during the Sunday morning to post a time on the treadmills. Comparisons of marathon times will be made later during the day and any guests beating Peter Wells will get their weekend accommodation break for free. 



    Peter Wells commented "I wanted an additional challenge to running the London Marathon and thought this would provide incentive to keep going and post a reasonable time. As we are a family run hotel, this is an ideal way everyone can help with my training and keep me focused on the target. The daunting task is made easier by a combination of spectacular scenery, challenging routes and snow capped mountain peaks providing a variety of training around the hotel." 



    Set in a picturesque location just 8 miles from Keswick at the top of Bassenthwaite, the Castle Inn overlooks some of the Lake District's highest fells. Originally a 1770 Lake District Coaching Inn it has been transformed into a modern venue with 46 large bedrooms. Within the hotel is a Fitness Centre, large swimming pool, sauna, steam room, tennis court and Jacuzzi. 



    www.castleinncumbria.co.uk

  • Emergency in Europe: do you know what to dial?

    over 8 years ago

    Only 13% of UK travellers know 112 is the free emergency telephone number to dial in every EU state, acording to new research by the European Commission  Brussels. It works alongside nationasl numbers such as Britain's 999 and reaches police, the fire and ambulance services, mountain rescue and coastguard. The Commission announced that British Airways, easyJet and other major transport providers across Europe have agreed to join an awareness campaign.

  • Shake up in holiday protection rules.

    over 8 years ago

    New protection to ensure consumer are not left out of pocket or stranded abroad when travel companies go bust will come into force on April 30, the Government has confirmed. The so called Flight Plus rules are designed to reduce confusion among travellers over whether or not they are protected. They reflect the trend towards DIY holiday arrangements – piecing together flights, accommodation and maybe car hire to tailor make a package, rather than booking one straight from a tour operator's brochure. The Department for Transport has decided that if you request a flight booking and go back to a travel agent by close of play the following day to add a hotel or rental car, that will constitute a package for the purposes of the law. The rule will apply whether you book through a High Street agent or an on line travel agency. It ensures you are covered by the same safety net provided under the exisiting ATOL (air travel organisers' licence) scheme – so you get your money back if a firm goes under before you depart on holiday and you are brought home if it happens while you're away.
     

  • The 112 number which could save your life...wherever you are!

    over 8 years ago

    Don’t know how to call the police in Bulgaria? Wouldn’t know which number to use for the fire brigade in France? European MPs are this week reminding people they only need to remember one number when travelling in the EU. The free emergency number 112 is common to all 27 member states – including the UK – and connects to ambulance, fire or police. It has been in use for 20 years, but research has shown only one in four people knows about the number. South East MEP Catherine Bearder said: “Every year 150 million people travel around the EU, they should all know about 112. “We can get children to remember it too by saying: one mouth, one nose and two eyes.”

    Saturday, February 11, is the EU’s 112 day, aimed at raising awareness of the anytime, anywhere number.
     

  • Iberia on the move at Heathrow.

    over 8 years ago

    Iberia is move into Heathrow's Terminal 5 next month– to be alongside its British Airways, its sister carrier in the International Airlines Group. Currently it uses Terminal 3 and the minimum time needed to switch between the two airlines' networks is 90 minutes. The Spanish airline's flights will begin operating to and from T5 on March 25, when the minimum connection time will come down to 1hr.