In the News this Week...
brought to you by News Editor, Roger Bray
UK bookings open for Italy's new high speed trainsover 8 years ago
Need a rail booking in Italy? The country's new, privately run high speed train services can now be booked through Rail Europe in the UK. The Italo trains began operating in competition with Trenitalia on April 30. Initially they run between Milan and Naples, calling at Bologna, Florence and Rome, but services will be extended to more routes later in the year, with the addition of destinations including Venice, Turin and Salerno, gateway to the Amalfi Coast. Trains will wi fi connections and are completely ticketless. Travellers simply need a reference provided at the time of booking and train staff will be able to retrieve all their details from a mobile PDA device. One small snag. For the time being, at least, reservations in the UK have to be made at least 60 days in advance.
Rural retreat to open in Algarveover 8 years ago
A hotel created through the renovation of a Portuguese country house is scheduled to open this summer in the eastern Algarve. Fazenda Nova (www.fazendanova.eu), not far from the coastal town of Tavira and 25 minutes from Faro airport. Formerly a family home and farm it sits in ten hectares of grounds with an orchard and vegetable and herb gardens. It has ten suites, two apartments and a penthouse, most of which have private gardens or terraces. The property will have a restaurant – and guests will be offered home baked bread from a 200 year old oven. B&b rates for two sharing a garden suite range from €150 for a garden suite in winter to €240 this July, August or September.
BA slashes business and first class faresover 8 years ago
British Airways (ba.com) is lopping 50% or more off some business class and first class fares in a sale starting June 7. Round trip prices in business from Heathrow to Toronto and Montreal start at £1019 – down by up to 64%, for example and those to Rio de Janeiro and Los Angeles, which start at £1729 and £1589 respectively, have been cut by up to half. Other big discounts in business class include: Gatwick to Barbados, St. Kitts and Tobago from £1599 (down by up to 33%) and Heathrow – Dubai from £1300, saving up to 39%. Deals in first class include a £2187 return from Heathrow to Vancouver – down £70 on the normal fare. These deals are valid on selected flights from July 21 – September 2, a period when business travel slackens off, and must be booked by June 14.
Luxury hotel planned in Verbierover 8 years ago
The Swiss resort of Verbier will get a new luxury, ski in – ski out hotel next winter. Scheduled to open in December, the Cordée des Alpes has been designed with much use of local materials, including old wood and stone for the roof. will have 34 rooms and suites, a spa, swimming pool and fitness centre.
Carnival Cruise Lines, has added a new cruise ship to its portfolioover 8 years ago
Carnival Cruise Lines, a US-based cruise line, has added a new cruise ship, the 130,000-ton Carnival Breeze, to its portfolio.
The new ship can carry around 3,690 passengers and will be departing on its inaugural cruise on June 3, 2012, from Venice, Italy, on a special 12-day Mediterranean cruise ending in Barcelona on 15 June 2012.
The new Carnival Breeze is the 24th vessel to join the cruise line’s fleet and features several entertainment options. It is the line’s first ship to feature a multi-dimensional special effects experience, the Thrill Theater; theme water park, WaterWorks with water slides and a 300-gallon drenching bucket, and a large recreation area with a miniature golf course, and an outdoor fitness area, which is known as the SportSquare. The cruise ship also has multiple dining venues, as well as numerous staterooms, facilities for children, and a Cloud 9 Spa.
Kempinski goes on safariover 8 years ago
The luxury Kempinski group is to manage a new hotel and a safari camp in Kenya. The hotel, which will have 200 rooms and suites and is scheduled to open later this year is under construction on the Uhuru Highway in the Westlands area of Nairobi. It will have a spa and fitness centre and three restaurants. The Olare Tented Camp, which has 12 tents, is in the Olare Orok Conservancy, on the edge of the Masai Mara game reserve.
Hong Kong's new walks appover 8 years ago
Antigua bats on against the Air Passenger Dutyover 8 years ago
New family water ride at Center Parcsover 8 years ago
Center Parcs is set to make even bigger waves this year as a new, unique family water ride takes shape at Elveden Forest.
This will be the first of its kind to be created anywhere in the world, costing approximately £4m to build. A sneak preview of this exciting ride can now be viewed at www.centerparcs.co.uk/newsplash.
Search launched for UK's oldest travellerover 8 years ago
Who is the UK's oldest traveller? Gatwick Airport's management would like to know. If you think you might fit the description email your date of birth with a photo and a line about your favourite travel experience to [email protected].
Burj Al Arab, a luxury hotel in Dubai UAE, has a new website to showcase its range of Romance packagesover 8 years ago
The Jumeirah Group, a UAE-based luxury hospitality company, operates the hotel, which is the fourth tallest in the world. The Burl Al Arab has recently added www.burjalarabromance.com, a new website that claims to offer couples the ultimate romantic experience in a luxurious ambience. The website features a video series of four mini-episodes that provide an insight into the facilities that the hotel has to offer guests. The site claims to allow visitors to create a unique and personalised experience for themselves and their loved ones.
The Burj Al Arab is designed to look like a ship’s sail, and stands at a height of 321 metres. The hotel offers amenities that include in-suite check-in and checkout, reception desks on every floor of the hotel, private butler service, and access to the hotel’s own Rolls-Royce fleet and private beach.
New York's Algonquin re-opensover 8 years ago
The Algonquin Hotel in New York, which hosted the literary "Round Table" between the wars, has reopened after a major refurbishment. Most prominent, perhaps of the group that made it famous, was Dorothy Parker. But others who gathered there to exchange ideas, views and often cutting wit, included Robert Benchley and Edna Ferber. The £10 revamp covered public areas such as the Blue Bar and the hotel's 181 rooms. Accordig to the New York Post the Algonquin is hoping to rekindle some of that old literary spirit with a number of events during the city's imminent Book Week. However, plans to end supper club nights in the Oak Room, where the likes of Diana Krall, Harry Conick Jnr and Jack Jones have sung, have sparked an on line protest petition.
Sonny Rollins to star in Perugiaover 8 years ago
The great, enduring Sonny Rollins and guitarist Pat Metheny will be part of a glittering line up at this summer's Umbria Jazz Festival which takes place in the lovel city of Perugia from July, 6 – 15. 2012. Other stars will including Al Jarreau and Sting. Essential Italy (www.essentialitaly.co.uk) has a number of accommodation options available close to the city.
New Loire cycle route completedover 8 years ago
For those with no ambition to be King of the Mountains the Loire Valley is a great place for cycling holidays. New months sees the completion of of the 500-mile/800 km Loire à Vélo route. It runs from in the Cher in the Département of Cher – in the centre of France - to Saint-Brevin-les-Pins, on the coast of Loire-Atlantique and it's part of Eurovéloroute 6, which links the Black Sea and the Atlantic and also follows two other major rivers, the Rhine and the Danube.
Cotswold gardens open for first time in yearsover 8 years ago
The gardens of Russell House and Court Farm, in the Cotswold village of Boadway, will be open to the public for the first time in decades next month. They were created by the 19th century British artist and garden designer Alfred Parsons. He was a leading light in the Broadway Colony, a group of otherwise predominantly American artists, writers, actors and musicians who made homes in the village between 1885 and 1914. The openings are part of this year's Brodway Arts Festival which runs from June 9 – 17. The gardens contain hallmarks of Parsons' approach, such as eccentric topiary and buildings in Arts and Crafts style.
New South Australia hiking toursover 8 years ago
Still fit enough to hike 21 kilometres a day? New walking tours have been launched in South Australia's Flinders Ranges. Travellers stay at Rawnsley Park Station, about a 4hrs 30mins drive north from Adelaide and the walks are led by its ownerm Tony Smith and Kym Tilbrook a writer on bushwalking. They include a climn of Ranwsley Bluff with a 4.30am start. Three or five days packages cost AUD$1150 or $1875 respectively with breakfast – served in guests' cabins – and dinner.
Don't get caught without a breathalyzer in Franceover 8 years ago
Travellers driving to France this summer are reminded that from July 1 they will be required by law to carry breathlyzers. They will enable drivers to discover whether they are below the French limit of 50 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood, which is already 30mg lower than the UK's. However it could be risky checking immnediately after emerging from the restaurant or bar. At least one expert has warned alcohol levels can be higher around 45 minutes later than immediately after downing your last glass of wine. According to the AA the new regulation will not be enforced until November 1, when you'll be fined €11 if you're caught without at least one unused breathalyser carrying the French NHF certification mark. It will have to be valid within a date range. Single use breathalyzers are usually valid for a maximum of 12 months, through you can spend more and buy a multi-use digital version. The AA is selling the former in packs of two at its shops at the port of Dover and the Ashford Channel Tunnel terminal.
Get a bird's eye view of the Dorset Coastover 8 years ago
A seagull's eye view of the Dorset Coast will be on offer in Weymouth this summer when the 53 metre high, revolving Sea Life observation tower opens on June 22 at the corner of the resort's pier. On clear days visitors will be able to see Portland and Chesil Beach – and as far as Durdle Door in one direction and on another. the tower will also provide a vantage point over the Olympic/Paralypic sailing arena, but demand during the races is likely to be very high. Tickets cost from 7.20 on line at www.weymouth-tower.com.
Scandinavia on the Orient Expressover 8 years ago
The Orient Express is heading to Scandinavia. For the first time in April next year the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express – to give the art deco train its full title – will carry passengers from Venice to Copenhagen and Stockholm. The route will cross Austria, Switzerland and Germany. Trips will also be available in the reverse direction. Passengers will be able to book between Venice and the Danish capital – and vice versa – and separately between Copenhagen and Stockholm. The Venice-Copenhagen-Stockholm trip departs from Venice on April 8 and departs on the return leg four days later. A five day package, including a one way journey, a night at the Copenhagen Marriott and two nights at the start or finish in Venice's Hotel Cipriani costs €4550. A single journey between Venice and Copenhagen costs €3400.
New Luton - Slovenia flightsover 8 years ago
Budget airline Wizz Air is to launch flights between Luton and Ljubljiana. It wil fly three round trips a week to the Slovenian capital, starting on October 30, with one way fares starting at £23.99, including taxes.