Rabu, 30 Juni 2010

Caravan Holidays – Travel and Freedom

If you like to travel but you like even more the feeling of freedom, the solution is obvious: a caravan. Long ago travelling by caravan meant giving up your comfort, nowadays this is not an issue. The 'home on wheels' gives you the wonderful feeling of freedom and security unique as well as all the comfort you need.

The desire for freedom, the atmosphere associated with the caravan hitched up to the back of the car and the smell of food cooked in the warm air of a beach campsite are the elements that make people love this way of holidaying and travelling.

No matter if the taste for travelling by caravans was raised by the memories of the excitement of arriving at the campsite when you were a child or by the need of coming back to the roots when people where travelling free, the enthusiasm of caravanners is infectious. The caravan offers a return to simpler holiday pleasures.

By returning to the origins of caravans and caravanning, you can find this way of travelling at gypsies and showmen who spent most of their lives in horse drawn caravans. Another historic fact for the story of caravans is that the world's first leisure caravan was built by the Bristol Carriage Company in 1880 for Dr. W. Gordon-Stables. It was an 18 ft design, based upon their Bible Wagons, which the Doctor named "Wanderer".

Now anybody can buy a modern caravan. Of course there are different sizes, from tiny two-berth caravans with no toilet and only basic kitchen facilities, to large, twin-axle, six-berth caravans with all the luxuries of a four-star hotel.

In the last 2-3 years the popularity of caravans and caravanning increased in the UK, maybe due to the excellent summer weather, the fear of travelling abroad due to worries over terrorism, large increases in house prices, which provided people with the ability to raise capital by re-mortgaging their homes or just the need for a simpler holiday and more freedom. No doubt one of the reasons for the growth in popularity of caravanning has also been enhanced by the improvements in quality and facilities making caravan holidays possible at any time of the year not just summer months.

The features of a typical mid-range, modern caravan should be: Gas/Electric powered refrigerator, Gas/Electric powered stove, oven and grill, Gas/Electric powered water heater, one or more beds, some of which double-up as daytime seating, electricity supplied by battery or external hookup, toilet with removable disposal tank and flush-water tank, shower, Radio, TV aerial/satellite dish. They may also contain the following: Air, External barbecue points, Tow hitch stabilizers, CD players, awning or screen room, clothes washer and dryer, microwave.

Budget Car Hire

Hiring a car while traveling about another city or country requires a thorough knowledge of all the basic guidelines. It is very important to understand the policies of the country or the state as well as the policies of the rental company before taking a car for rent. These can be obtained from any good car hire agency or a travel agency. You can hire Audis, Fiats, Mercedes, Peugeots, Seats, Volkswagens and many other models of cars. Some of the common categories are: mini, luxury, premium, standard, intermediate, minivans/MPVs, SUVs, compact and others. The prices, policies and conditions vary greatly according to the kind of car.

There are many things to be considered while hiring cars. The main aspect is the different kinds of fees, charges and rates applicable. Fees could include additional driver’s fees, advance booking requirements, airport concession recovery fees, drop off charges, tax, congestion charge, late charges/overtime, premium location fee, service fee, sales tax and other mandatory fees, value added tax, vehicle license fee, surcharges, weekend rates, weekly rates, time and mileage charges and so on. Sometimes, you may also avail certain discount rates, depending on the provider and other factors. Some rental companies offer monthly rates and even free mileage allowances if the car is hired for a certain period of time, such as from 28 days to 59 days.

Some dealers also offer cars for hire on discount prices. These can include concessions or reductions on certain conditions. Some others offer low prices on cars that have been hired for about a week or a month. Examples of such deals are: $175 a week for a compact car or just $220 a week for a premium vehicle. These are however, subject to certain terms and conditions like applicability for only US citizens, prices exclude tax, insurances and services, petrol, PAI, optional equipment, renters must meet age, driver and credit requirements and so on. Budget car hire deals can be weekly, weekend, monthly or last-minute.

Information about budget car rentals is available at the car rental agencies. Information can also be obtained from advertisements. The internet is also a very good source for locating a good budget car hire deal and even applying for the hire online.

Selasa, 29 Juni 2010

Car Rental Companies

Selecting the best car rental companies is not a difficult job. If you plan your car rent strategy well in advance, there shouldn’t be any problem. You need to rent your car in advance to get an affordable rate. You can also rent a car online at a discount price. Those who travel frequently can always rent car online. Leading car rental companies offer exquisite service at a discount rate. If you have to take frequent tours, it’s advisable to stick to one particular car rental service. However, occasional travelers have the freedom to compare various car rental offers.

Car rental companies offer extensive car fleets to their clients. They will also arrange specific car models if you ask. You have to act well in advance to rent any luxurious car models. You have to give the car rental company ample time to arrange the car for you. Also, you have to ensure that the car rental company is capable of offering outstanding service. You can ask your friends whether they have any car rental company to refer to you. You can also contact car rental companies that have previously offered you great service. You also check out whether the car rental companies offer roadside assistance. The roadside assistance will put the car back on track whenever it breaks down.

Along with all these aspects, you also need to keep the insurance needs in mind. Car rental companies usually offer rental car insurance along with their service. They persuade you to go for those insurance policies. But you have to be careful while reviewing all those insurance policies. You can speak to car rental representatives to get more information on the insurance offers. You have to keep in mind that the insurance premiums should remain under within your control. You have to adopt a judicious approach while going for car rental companies.

Budget Backpacking

One of the least expensive, yet most fulfilling, types of vacations is the camping and backpacking trip. Hiking through the back country at one of the nation’s magnificent national parks, or just wandering around the wilderness of a state park closer to home, can be a great way to commune with nature, and a wonderful way for families to get away and enjoy being together.

One of the things that makes backpacking so attractive to budget minded trailers is the low cost it takes to get started. Little is needed other than a good quality backpack, a top quality tent and maybe a camp stove or similar appliance. Other than that, the main thing to pack is your sense of spirit and adventure. This article provides some valuable tips for the first time backpacker on a budget.

Invest in a good quality hiking map or guide and get to know the area you will be traveling to. Pay careful attention to the notes and precautions and try your best to match the terrain to your level of ability and experience. When estimating the time it will take to hike to your destination, always overestimate.

Be sure to obtain all necessary permits, and reserve the campsite you want, in advance of your trip. It is not unusual for campsites to sell out, particularly in popular national park destinations.

Always check local regulations regarding campfires, smoking, cleanup, etc. to avoid paying fines.

Research the weather patterns of the area and always be prepared for the worst weather. Always pack some sort of rain gear.

Dress appropriately, in layered clothing, no matter what time of year. Be sure to pack clothing that will allow you to be prepared for sudden changes in temperature or weather. It is best to wear breathable materials, such as polypropylene or wool, to allow perspiration and moisture to be wicked away quickly.

Learn how to operate your equipment before you hit the trail. It is important, for instance, to set up your tent at least once or twice at home. Get familiar with how everything goes together. Learn how to operate your camp stove before you leave home.

Determine how much weight you can comfortably carry, and pack appropriately. Many first time backpackers try to take too much gear, and end up unable to carry that gear during the trip. The weight of the backpack should be no more than one quarter of your weight, and it is best to take only what you need.

Pack more food than you think you will need. Hikers and backpackers burn far more calories than the average person, so be sure to eat sufficient amounts of high quality foods while on your journey. The best foods to pack are those that are high in carbohydrates, proteins and fats. These high quality backpacking foods include peanut butter, instant oatmeal, trail mix, pasta and dried fruit.

Learn where the water sources are on the trail and be sure to keep your water bottles filled in case the next source of water is farther away than anticipated. It is important to drink plenty of water when backpacking, even when the weather is cool.

Always cook your evening meal before it gets too dark. Extra food should always be stored in a bag and hung from a tree limb at night to protect it from local wildlife. Raccoons, skunks and bears have learned to look at backpackers, hikers and campers as easy sources of free meals.

Always pack a first aid kit and be prepared with some basic first aid training. Carry a GPS system or satellite phone if you will be traveling far into the back country, and leave a schedule with the local trail ranger and with friends at home.

Senin, 28 Juni 2010

Car Hire In Munich For World Cup 2006

The World Cup in Germany this summer will be the biggest tourist draw in Europe for 2006 as well as being the most popular and watched sporting event in the world. The host cities of Germany are prepared for the influx of tourists and fans, seeking to soak up the atmosphere of the greatest show on Earth.

As one of the main host cities Munich is set for the opening of the tournament with added accommodation and improved transport links added to cope with the additional hoards that will descend on the city this summer. Munich is no stranger to high volumes of tourists as open of the most popular short break destinations on the continent and, of course, the centre of the world famous Oktoberfest.

Last minute travellers to Munich during the World Cup will find it difficult to attain accommodation. Despite the added rooms and camps, most hotels and sites have been sold out for some time. Some of the major hotel booking ( ) resellers might have some availability if not in Munich then perhaps in the surrounding towns of Bavaria. There are alternatives outside of the city of Munich and these options can be explored further by visiting the official German tourist website ( ).

Bavaria itself is one of the main tourist hot spots in Germany with a range of attractions that should keep even the most restless of tourist occupied for a week or so. For those hoping to mix some
World Cup action with something more sedate then Bavaria might just be the place to explore. Bavaria is a great region for driving with rolling landscapes and scenery befitting any country, not least the famous Black Forest itself. Car hire is easy to come by in the region and is centred around Munich and in particular the International Airport. Most of the major car rental ( ) firms have a presence there to travel around Munich for the World Cup or to the wider Bavaria to get away from the celebrations.

Budapest And The Hungarians

Budapest is located in Middle Eastern Europe and it surrounded by Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Yugoslavia, Croatia and Slovenia.

Budapest is the capital city of Hungary. Hungary is frequented visited by US tourists and.

This is a friendly city with about 2 million citizen.

Budapest is split right through by the great River Danube, like a hyphen in the city’s very name. Just as a Danube divides Europe into East and West, so it divides this city’s west-bank Buda district from the east-bank district of Pest. East and west, the city has been tugged in both directions for almost its entire history.

Budapest is the largest city in Central Europe, Budapest is also one of its loveliest, hugging the curve of a wide band in the Danube. Along the west bank, the city climbs quickly up to Castle Hill, site of the former Royal Palace and the medieval village of Buda.

On a flat, low-lying plain across the river is Pest, the modern administrative and commercial hub of Budapest. An admirable example of town planning, the so called Inner City is distinguished by board, leafy boulevards, continental cafes and handsome baroque, neo-classical and novo buildings. The city’s grand look, fin-de-siecle look has prompted many to call Budapest “the Paris of the East.”

The point where the two sides face each other, across the Danube is what defines Budapest best. Lining the left bank of Pest is the palatial neo-Gothic Parliament building a whole city block of white spires, topped by a neo-Renaissance red dome. Just as famous is the 19th-century Chain Bridge regally guarded by four stone lions and linking (along with seven other bridges) the two banks of the city.

For photos about Hungarian Parliament and Chain bridge and other interesting places in Budapest you can visit my Budapest Photo blog.

Minggu, 27 Juni 2010

Car Hire In Berlin For World Cup 2006

The World Cup in Germany this summer is se tot be not only the biggest sporting event of the decade but also the biggest tourist draw in Europe this year. Berlin will be the centrepiece for this celebration of the beautiful game hosting the final and, as capital of Germany, the main host for the festivities.

Although the influx of tourists is set to be huge, Berlin is well geared up for the opening of the tournament. As one of Europe’s most popular city break destinations and the host for major annual events such as the Love Parade, Berlin is well used to throwing a party. Accommodation however will be thin on the ground in Berlin and anyone looking for a late deal will be struggling to find anything within the parameters of Berlin itself but some of the major hotel booking ( ) resellers may have some late availability on the outskirts of the city or surrounding towns.

For true football fans getting around Germany during the World Cup might be a troublesome affair. Although Germany has one of the most efficient public transport systems in the world, it is also the largest country in Europe and with the 12 host cities spread throughout the land mass, the transport system is set to be bursting at the seams. Renting a car might be the best option for those looking to explore further than Berlin or to use the capital as a base for following their teams’ fortunes in the tournament. Most of the major car rental ( ) firms have a presence in the city and the road network in the city itself and throughout the host cities makes car hire in Berlin and for World cup 2006 a valid option.

Berlin has garnered a reputation as a cultural and party capital since reunification in 1990. A steady influx of short break tourists have ensured that the city has the facilities and tourist infrastructure that one would expect of a major European city and Berlin certainly does not disappoint. There are some interesting towns surrounding the capital and for those exploring the region by car the contrast between east and west although eroded over the last 16 years is still just visible.

Bryce Canyon - a stunning US travel destination

The state of Utah in the United States is home to lots of beautiful National Parks, & Bryce Canyon National Park ranks as three of the most magnificent & awe inspiring.

Bryce Canyon isn't a canyon. it is the spectacular edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau, a place where intricately carved towers & archways of stone shimmer in a dazzling array of colour under the bright sun.

The rock in Bryce Canyon is composed of layer after layer of sediment deposits, deposited millions of years ago when the area was at the bottom of a lake. Now the Paria River has exposed the layers, allowing a detailed history of the lake to be determined.

15 million years ago the earth in this region began to shift, forming a series of plateaus. The Paunsaugunt is an extensive plateau, with the Paria River gradually eroding away the edge to form Bryce Canyon.

The Park itself was established in 1924, & was named after an early settler in the area, Ebenezer Bryce. they emigrated from Scotland, married a local girl then moved southwards in stages, building sawmills as they went.

In the mid 1870s they reached the Paria River, where they & his relatives settled for a number of years. It was at this time that Bryce made his immortal comment about Bryce Canyon - they called it "one hell of a place to lose a cow".

The area remained basically undiscovered by European tourists, the first guest houses only being constructed around the time when the park was officially established.

Luckily this has led to Bryce Canyon being an area of largely unspoiled beauty, as well as the enormous scientific value of the historic information trapped in its pinnacles & spires.

The canyon is by no means a stagnant place - the rim recedes by an average of about a foot every 50 years, & in this ever changing scene it is water that plays the most vital role in the shaping & eventual destruction of the magnificent scenery.

Because the rock was laid down in layers, there is a variation in the hardness of the rock formed. When water runoff trickles across the rock, some areas erode rapidly whereas others hold firm.

This variation in erosion speed causes the formation of pinnacles, or "hoodoos" of stable rock. In some places the water seeps down through cracks & eats out holes beneath the surface. When the side rock erodes away, an archway is left behind.

Eventually the arch collapses, leaving one more pillars to join the rest. The ever changing vista of colours, spires, walls & archways is spectacular at any season, & the park is open all year round.

Here you can wander through the Queen's Garden, or gaze up at Queen Victoria herself surveying the 'flowers' in her garden. Some of the most awe inspiring lookouts are situated in this area, including Sunset Point & Inspiration Point - a must for any visitor.

In the warmer months there's lots of trails for the visitor to explore, ranging from easy strolls to hard hikes. Some of the best trails are located in the Bryce Amphitheatre, located near the entry to the park.

Summer months can cause temperatures in the base of the canyon to soar, so it is very important to be prepared for the heat, & over lots of water.

Walkers can also follow the Fairyland, Riggs Spring & Under-the-Rim trails, which are longer, but permit more opportunities to see the different elements of the park at close quarters.

For the energetic, it is possible to cross-country ski in a number of areas in the park, & on some trails it is possible to go snowshoeing instead of hiking.

In winter the roads are opened between snowfalls, allowing a different perspective of the park. Snow capped pinnacles stand out sharply against the background of white snow & dark green trees. The air is also cleaner, allowing visitors to see great distances.

If you require a slightly different view of the park, it is possible to explore the park in a 1930 limousine. Alternatively, you can rent a horse on an hourly basis to trek some of the better trails.

there is lots of interest to explore in the park, apart from the marvellous scenery of the 'silent city', as the hoodoos are sometimes called. The park also contains a large variety of plants & wildlife, including meadows & forests.

Some bears & mountain lions also enter the park occasionally, but are seldom seen by tourists.

Ground squirrels abound near the viewing areas, & their antics are to distract the visitor's eyes from the scenery. On quiet mornings & evenings it is also possible to see deer, elk & antelope grazing on the meadows.

Bryce Canyon is a hidden jewel, thoroughly deserving to be as widely known as its southern neighbour, the Grand Canyon. Include it on your itinerary, & you definitely won't be disappointed.

In fact, you may be completely overwhelmed by the fascinating & awe inspiring beauty of Bryce Canyon, like every other visitor.

Sabtu, 26 Juni 2010

Car Hire - What Not To Do

This is my experience in hiring a rent a car and this is what not to do. My misadventure happened in the late 1980s. I wanted to visit some friends several hundred miles away. At the time I lived in a small town in the country. I didn't own a car and there was no direct convenient bus or train service to where my friends lived. I decided to take the bus, then rent a car, at the nearest place available.

I traveled to the town where the car hire or rent a car place was located. By the time I arrived at their business to rent the car, the sun had set and it was dark. I went in to the business, to enquire about renting a car. The owner had one ready to go. It was a compact blue station wagon. Being dark outside I couldn't see the car too well, but it seemed ok, so we went back to the office to do the paperwork. The car hire form had details about the car, how long I expected to rent the car for, and the insurance coverage choices, so the business owner filled out all that. I was sure that I chose to have the car and myself covered in full by insurance. I thought the insurance box was checked, as covered. He took an imprint of my credit card to pay for the car hire and that was it. He gave me the car keys, and I drove away.

I had a long way to drive in the dark. My route took me through rugged mountainous rural country side, to a large lake, where there was a ferry crossing.

At night when you're driving in a rural mountainous area always be on the lookout for deer, moose and other animals roaming along the road side. You want to see their little shining eyes, so you can slow down and be ready to swerve to avoid hitting them. Sometimes deer become alarmed by the noise and headlights of the car approaching and they want to dash across the highway in front of you. You want to be ready to slam on the breaks, so as not to damage the hired car you're traveling in.

Another good idea, especially if you are driving at night, is to take a highway map of the area you are traveling through. Then you can mark off where you are and the places to turn ahead, so you don't make a wrong turn, like I did.

I made a wrong turn some where along the way. Instead of taking the direct route to my destination, I ended up taking an indirect route. It was dark and snowy, and I realized that the road and country side, didn't look like where I should be. I kept driving and a sign appeared with the next town ahead and how far to go to get there. Then I realized, it was just a slight detour or side trip for me. I felt a lot better when arriving at the next town, and knew which direction to go. The remainder of my trip went well and I arrived safely at my destination.

I had a good weekend with my friends, catching up, going out to dinner.

The return trip was more interesting because it was day time. I could enjoy the beautiful country side. Every thing went well to begin with. I arrived at the last town before the lake ferry and I thought it might be a good idea to put gasoline in the car, at that point, since it was a long distance to the next town with a gas station.

I checked the time, and it looked like there was just enough time to reach the ferry by driving a little faster than usual. That was a mistake. Give yourself more than enough time when using a car you've hired. So again I'm driving over mountainous rural terrain at the edge of a lake rushing to catch the ferry. I'm watching the scenery and my watch, making calculations of where it is I should be, and how long left to drive to catch the ferry. It looks like I need to go faster, so I do. I step on it. I'm hoping to cut my time of travel down to just arrive before the ferry leaves.

This is definitely not the thing to do when driving a rented car, especially in a rural area where there are birds around. As I am speeding down a hill a rather large dark coloured bird darts in front of the car. This is a big bird, about the size of a chicken. At the high speed I am traveling at I hit the bird. There was a sickening popping sound as the car and bird collided. The feathers and bird flew up and to the side of the car. I keep going and get to the ferry on time. I drive on the ferry and park. Getting out to inspect the car grill, I get a shock. There was a large hole in the plastic car grill. Broken pieces of plastic and feathers showed what had happened. So now I'm sick about the damage.

I continue on my way to return the car to the rental company. When I arrive at the car rental place I have to tell the owner about the bird collision. He's not too impressed. We look at the rental form where the insurance section is not checked as covering the damage. The owner wants several hundred dollars and that charge goes on my credit card too. So don't do what I did.

Go to a major name car rental company. Be absolutely sure of your insurance coverage details. Check that you are covered for all damage. Know what the insurance deductible amount is. That is the amount that you will need to pay, before the insurance pays the balance of any damage. Read the form over carefully a couple of times before you sign it. Be a careful driver, and take your time. Have a great trip in the car you hire.

Brussels Tourist Information

General summary of city:

The city of Brussels is the capital city of Belgium and is a modern city that is rich in medieval and art-nouveau buildings. Brussels is steeped in rich history with plenty of museums and galleries and a pulsating cultural life.

Brussels is also the administrative center of the European Union, which has earned the city the title ‘the capital of Europe’. The business sector in Brussels is booming with international agencies taking root in the city, however not at the expense of the rich cultural history. The juxtaposition of past and present is evident in Brussels with blocks lined with international businesses and their advanced steel and glass high rises which are only a few steps away from cobbled streets and medieval architecture that speaks of the city’s flavourful past.

With a mixture of French and Flemish culture and language, Brussels is steeped in history and culture, with something for everyone to enjoy. The nightlife culture of Brussels, complete with clubs and pubs to enjoy add to the eclectic ambience of this fair city in Belgium. During the day, as business booms throughout the week, there is a wide variety of attractions for visitors and locals to enjoy, regardless of age. Families enjoy Belgium for its unique atmosphere which embraces every aspect of family life and socialization for adults.

Places of interest:

Brussels boasts over a century of history which lends too many intriguing sights to visit and see in the city and immediate area. Brussels possesses the most fabulous market square and the highest concentration of restaurants in the entire world.

The Petite Rue des Bouchers, which translates to street of the butchers is located in the medieval center of Brussels and is most famous for the simple fact that every building on the street is a restaurant. The roadway is very narrow and is closed to automobile traffic, which allows for the restaurants to boast their wares in spectacular fashion, while on wider parts of the road, restaurants feature outdoor eating areas.

The central market square in Brussels is known as the Grand’ Place, which is notably the most beautiful in the world. A 15th century Town Hall dominates the Grand’ Place with hundreds of small statues and an elegant tower is surrounded by 17th century buildings with golden inlays which surround the entire square. Other places of interest to visit is the Manneken Pis, the Saint Michael cathedral, the Atomium, the Palais de Justice as well as a plethora of parks including the impressive Bois de la Cambre and the forest to which it once belonged, the Foret de Soignes which features birch trees that are hundreds of years old.

Brussels features many interesting sights for the whole family - business people, families, nature lovers, culture devotees and historians alike.

Things to do:

There is a wide variety of things to do in Brussels, regardless of your age or fancies. For those who love to dine, you could spend an eternity sampling all the wonderful restaurants and eateries in Brussels, which boasts itself as having the highest concentration of restaurants in the world. The restaurants in Brussels feature a wide variety of food types and styles for anyone’s palate.

For those who want to take in the rich history of Brussels, there is a surplus of museums that boast the wonderful and flavourful richness of a millennium in Brussels.

Sightseeing is plentiful in Brussels with many 15th and 17th century buildings around the city. Declaring a beautiful surrounding with intricately designed buildings from these centuries, the city of Brussels promises a wonderful view in any direction. With beautiful boulevards, picturesque squares, parks and a very active cultural life in every sense of the word, there is something for everyone in Brussels. You can take in a movie or a play at a theatre, enjoy dinner in one of the many restaurants, and visit the monuments and places of great interest that abound in this beautiful city.

Brussels is steeped in over 1000 years of history and beauty for each individual to unfold whether visiting or moving to the city.

Food & Drink:

Brussels is all about the food. Because Brussels has the highest concentration of restaurants in all the world, the dining industry is literally one of the most prolific in the city. The Petite Rue des Bouchers (the street of butchers) is literally lined with restaurants. Every single building on the street is a restaurant that caters to a variety of flavours and tastes.

Throughout this beautiful historical city, restaurants, eateries and quaint cafes abound, offering up a dish of enlightening flavor to satisfy any palate. There is, of course, plenty of French food and Flemish food, but with the coming of immigrants to Brussels, there is an increasing variety of foods from other cultures and countries throughout the world. Within the streets of Brussels, you can find Western cooking, Lebanese flavourings, Greek, Mexican - really any ethnic food flavouring that your heart could desire.

To go to Brussels means to enjoy good food in a beautiful atmosphere. Brussels is known world wide for its upper class restaurants and small, cozy eateries that are both quaint and classy.

Hotels & Accommodation:

Silken Residence
Le Châtelain All Suites Hotel
Hilton Brussels
Minotel Chambord
Le Méridien Bruxelles
Eazires Europarthotel Avenue Louise
Hotel Villa Royale
Hotel le Dixseptieme
Sun Hotel
New Hotel Charlemagne
Hotel L'auberge Du Souverain
Hotel Continental
Hotel le Chantecler
Hotel De Fierlant
Hotel Erasme
Rijckendael Hotel
Eurostars Royal Embassy Grand Place

Brussels is very much a city of the night. There is a bustling nightlife in Brussels in the many clubs, discotheques, bars and restaurants. There is always something to do in Brussels.

During the day, the museums offer a great deal of entertainment for the entire family. With the wealth of history and past culture in Brussels, everyone in the family will find the museums, galleries and culture centers interesting and intriguing.

There are a wide variety of cultural festivals that are also offered throughout the city at various times of the year ranging in depth from family fun to adult entertainment.

Fun for the whole family is offered in the heart of Belgium in the capital city of Brussels. Movie theatres, shopping centers, parks, forests, museums, cultural centers and places of interest abound in this gorgeous city. Boredom is nearly impossible in Brussels - there is always something to do or see in this fair city. A rich social life is just around the corner in Brussels, all you have to do is see what they have to offer during your visit.

Jumat, 25 Juni 2010

Cancun Vacations offer the chance to travel Mexico and stay

When you decide on two of several Cancun vacations you'll find that even though you are in a foreign country, there are plenty of familiar U.S. hotels & restaurants. Cancun Vacations, attractive Mexico resorts, attractive beaches & people are all waiting for you.

Cancun vacations offer white sandy beaches, warm tropical sun & attractive blue water. some of the finest Mexico resorts can be found in Cancun. two of the great things about Cancun vacations is the short time it takes to get there to travel Mexico. Only a couple of hours flying time & you can be staying at two of plenty of Mexico resorts offering you the chance to relax, tan & even travel Mexico.

Cancun vacations at lush Mexico resorts can easily be found on the web. Imagine snorkeling in warm, blue water in the afternoon. Renting some jet ski's & feeling the spray of the surf splash your face as you frolic like a baby with a old toy. Have you ever felt the thrill of being lifted into the air under a big, billowy parasail? What an experience! Imagine the breathtaking view you would have as you floated above the sun, the sand & surf with the warm tropical breeze blowing through your hair. All this & more is yours when you choose to "get away from it all" in Cancun.

Bruges Tourist Information

General summary of city:

Bruges, Belgium, from the Norse word 'Bryggja' meaning “mooring place,” is one of the three regions and the capital of Flanders. Bruges has a population of over 100,000 and covers an area of approximately 138 km. This historic city, with its natural link to the sea, became a commercial center for European trade in early medieval times, as the harbor filled with ships carrying wool, grain, and wine. In a short while, the door opened for trade with countries on the Mediterranean Sea and the first fleet of ships arrived from Genoa, Italy. With the increase in international trade and the influx of capital, Bruges soon became an extremely wealthy city and a worldwide banking market. Over time, however, internal revolts between the prosperous tradesmen and the common people of Bruges led to the subsequent decline of the city as an important center for trade. As silt began to form and fill the waterway, Bruges was replaced as a major seaport by the more accessible city of Antwerp. After its separation from the Netherlands near the end of the medieval period, Bruges today is no longer known for its maritime prowess, but for its preservation as a provincial city with a wealth of culture and history.

Places of interest:

Bruges, often called the Venice of the North, is actually much further inland, amid different arms from the sea, waterways created by repeated flooding from the North Sea. After constant dredging, the Reie River was turned into a network of canals, the Water Halls of the Market. The Court of the Market (Grote Markt), the Castle, and the small towns of Damma and Suis are visited by tourists in Bruges on riverboats owned by five families. The Market has a belfry tower from which you have a spectacular view of the city and the Provincial Court, on the east side of the square where the original water halls existed, is a wonderful example of neo-Gothic architecture. The statues of Jan Breydel and Pieter de Coninck, national heroes, are located In the middle of the market square. Within the museum adjacent to the Castle, The Shrine of the Sacred Blood houses the vessel that is carried in a procession every year on Ascension Day. The southern area of modern reconstructed medieval houses still reflects the original architecture of Bruges. In addition, there are several wonderful museums in the city such as the archaeological museum, with historical exhibits from the Stone Age and beyond. Another place of interest is the Groeninge Museum, which houses a magnificent collection of fine art, containing works by Flemish masters such as Van Eyck, Hugo van der Goes, Jacob van Oost, and the more recent expressionist masterpieces.

Things to do:

Walking through and around the ramparts that enclose this delightful, small city is one of the best ways to discover its charm. Carriages can be hired and scooters can be rented for an hour or a day of sightseeing, as well. Day trips by buses (fares are extremely reasonable) can be arranged to Sint-Trudo Abbey Male, former castle of the Counts of Flanders, and the Boudewijnpark and Dolphinarium, a theme park and panoramic aquarena. Take time for a stop at the Lace Center to watch the local artisans at work and the Antique and Flea Market where arts and crafts are featured. Exploring a bit further in the area around Bruges, you’ll enjoy the beaches at Zeebruge, a small seaside resort, and the quaint village of Lissewege located between the city and the coast. Zeebruge lies within 8 miles from Bruges, connected by a canal, and boat trips and visits to the exhibitions of the sea are popular things to do. There is no end to great shopping in Bruges, largely between the Market square and the old city gates. A number of small specialty shops are situated in the center such as De Kaarsengieterij, the oldest and only candle shop in Bruges. Here, you can find garden and interior candles, candle holders, and t-lights, or if staying in the city a while, take the opportunity to order hand-painted candles for gifts and special occasions.

Food & Drink:

Bruges is known for excellent food and restaurants, featuring French and Flemish cuisine. Mussels, steamed in beer or wine, are a favorite of the people in Bruges and are often served with a side order of French fries with mayonnaise. Waterzooi is a type of soup with cream, vegetables, chicken, or fish, and paling in’t groen consists of eels with vegetables and herbs. Popular selections for dining out, as might be expected, are in the variety of seafood that is available, from fresh salted herring to North Sea shrimp. Chocolate is a must for dessert or for purchase in the many shops or patisseries that surround the city and the Cote d’Or, with an inexpensive selection of chocolate bars. Wine is served in most places; however, with over 100 breweries in Belgium and 400 varieties, beer is the national drink in Bruges. There are three types of beer, lager or dark, white, and the lambic homebrewed beer, often flavoured with fruit. Beer is relatively expensive, but much stronger than beer from other countries. There are a number of restaurants and pubs such as De Garre that have great atmosphere and serve over 100 different varieties of beer.

Hotels & Accommodation:

Hotel Prinsenhof
Sofitel Brugge
Best Western Premier Hotel Navarra
Small Luxury Hotel The Pand
Relais Oud Huis Amsterdam
Minotel Azalea
Hotel De Tuilerieen
Die Swaene
Relais Bourgondisch Cruyce
Crowne Plaza Hotel Brugge
Walburg Hotel ****Restaurant
Hotel de Orangerie
Hotel De Castillion
Brugsche Suites
Graaf Van Vlaanderen
Hotel Asiris
Hotel Ibis Brugge Centrum
Hotel Cordoeanier
Hotel Botaniek
Hotel Koffieboontje
Hotel Jacobs
Scandic Brugge
Novotel Brugge Zuid
Hotel Groeninghe
Hotel 't Voermanshuys
Hotel de Pauw
Hotel Goezeput
Campanile Brugge / Bruges
Hotel Malleberg
Hotel Gulden Vlies
De Tassche

Bruges is a fun-filled city, if you’re looking for some friendly nightlife. The nightclubs are small, but filled with lively conversation, drinking, and dancing. The Grand Café du Theatre features music from the 60’s through the 90’s, a large selection of beer, and snacks from 6 to 8 p.m. nightly. If you enjoy sports, the Snooker Palace is equipped with nine snooker tables, three dart boards, and a pool table. Backpackers in Burges will enjoy the Snuffels Sleep-In Bar, where plenty of beer is available and free concerts are held every two weeks. Another favorite nightspot is Kant, a sophisticated club with a great dance floor, serving the best champagnes and a variety of local beer and wine. Bars and pubs are popular, as well, such as Celtic Ireland on Burg Square and De Versteende nacht, for Wednesday night jazz. Larger nightspots are nearby in Antwerp and Ghent. Evening strolls to the market square of beautifully illuminated historic buildings, the tranquil parks, or lovers’ lake, are enjoyable pastimes while in the delightful city of Bruges.

Kamis, 24 Juni 2010

Cancun Beach Being Restored At A Record Pace

When Hurricane Wilma swept through Cancun last October the mighty winds stripped away 8 miles of some of the most beautiful sandy beach in the world. Everyone from Mexican President Vincente Fox down to the local residents knew that the beach had to be restored or Cancun's future was in serious danger.

Within weeks the Mexican government pledged $21 million to restore the beach. Now they have made good on that promise, and a massive barge being run by a Belgian firm is working day and night to replace the sand.

The target date to have the brilliant white sand back in place is the end of April, and already the large earth moving machines are smoothing the sand dredged up from the sea bed.

**A long-standing problem

Cancun has some of the Caribbean's most beautiful beaches. But the resort town of roughly 300,000 is perched on the extreme southeast end of the Yucatan Peninsula, looking out into the Caribbean, and too often is directly in the path of hurricanes that come sweeping in from the sea.

The problem of beach erosion existed long before Hurricane Wilma. Local Cancun officials have known for years that the shoreline was eroding and the beach was being washed out to sea. That process was given a boost by Hurricane Gilbert which swept away about half the beach in September of 1988.

One of the positive outcomes of Hurricane Wilma is that it got the government to make the commitment to beach restoration. What seashore experts had been trying to do for more than 17 years, Hurricane Wilma did in a matter of days.

**An essential resource for Cancun

Erosion of coastlines and beaches is a problem around the world, but in Cancun, where it is the very lifeblood of the resort, the disaster of Wilma finally led to serious action.

Cancun consists of three distinct areas. Ciudad de Cancun, the actual town, has a population of about 300,000. Off the beach, the ecological reserve, has incredible lakes, forests and mangrove marshland. And then there's the Zona Hotelera, which is an island where most of the hotels and shopping malls are found.

Cancun is a mecca for tourists from the U.S., Canada, and Europe. It has more than 25,000 hotel rooms, hundreds of restaurants and several hundred shops. There are roads leading to the forest, making it an easy trip to see the forest and remains of ancient local Mayan culture.

Roughly 3 million tourists came to Cancun last year, spending about $4 billion. But Wilma has put a damper on tourism this year. Working flat out, local workers expect that by May, about 90% of Cancun's hotel rooms will be cleaned, redecorated and ready for guests. The restaurants, bars and malls will be reopened, and more than 10,000 new palm trees will be planted along the main streets of the resort town.

The thousands of tourists, who are already starting to return to this famous resort, will be back in droves once the rebuilding and restoration are complete.

Bristol City Guide, Including Bristol Hotels


Bristol is an exciting city, overflowing with intriguing, traditional and occasionally off the wall things to do and see. What really makes it special is its energy, the mix of historic and new. With the city, coast and countryside all within easy reach Bristol is a great place to enjoy a day out or a weekend break. A vibrant young city, mixing bands and bars, clubs and cafes and yet this city has a thousand year history as a historic port!

Places of interest:

Bristol has some amazing sights, including the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol Cathedral and the SS Great Britain to name but a few. Many of Bristol's museums depict parts of local history, including its maritime and industrial history.

Clifton Suspension Bridge spanning the beautiful Avon Gorge is the symbol of the city of Bristol. For almost 150 years this grade I listed structure has attracted visitors from all over the world. A Bristol wine merchant left a legacy to build the bridge over the Gorge.

Bristol Cathedral. The eastern end of the Cathedral, especially in the Choir, gives Bristol Cathedral a unique place in the development of British and European Architecture. The Nave, Choir and Aisles are all the same height, making a large hall. Bristol Cathedral is the major example of a 'Hall Church' in Great Britain and one of the finest anywhere in the world. Guided tours of the cathedral are available every Saturday from May to October.

Brunel’s steam ship, SS Great Britain, has survived from Victorian times and is the forerunner of all modern shipping. It was the world's first iron-hulled, screw propeller-driven, steam-powered passenger liner.

Bristol Zoo Gardens is dedicated to conservation and is involved in international breeding programmes. Bristol Zoo has seen a number of significant births and there are many young animals running around the Zoo so it makes for a fun day out for all the family.

The British Empire and Commonwealth Museum brings to life more than 500 years of history using state of the art presentation techniques.

The City Museum and Art Gallery has outstanding collections of art and archaeology, geology and natural history housed in a magnificent early 20th century building on Queens Road.

Things to do:

If there's one thing you can guarantee, you will never run out of things to do in Bristol. Attractions, shopping, nightlife and exciting activities combine to create a place quite unlike any other. Bristol is also the perfect base to explore the West Country. There are lots of attractions and places to visit all easily accessible by car or public transport.

A harbour tour is the best way to get some idea of what the harbour side area has to offer. Two companies offer such tours (some with commentary) allowing you to explore the harbour side from the water. It is not only a great way to see Bristol, but also travel from A to B.

Shopping in Bristol offers plenty of choice, catering for the most eclectic of tastes and all budgets. The elegant shops of Bristol's West End, White Ladies Road and Clifton Village should not be missed. They are magnets for those looking for designer clothes, antiques, jewellery, art and crafts.

At-Bristol offers interactive adventure of a lifetime. At-Bristol's has three award-winning attractions - Explore, Wildwalk and the Imax Theatre. They offer amazing experiences every day.

Slimbridge promotes the conservation of wetlands focusing on rare wetland birds. Millions of people have visited Slimbridge to get closer to wildlife & wetlands since it opened in 1946. You are able to get close to the birds, or just soak up the ambience of this haven by the Severn. The birds keep coming back too – tens of thousands wild birds drop by each year, some staying for months before starting out on their great migratory journeys.

Food & Drink:

Bristol's well known for the quality and choice of its restaurants, cafes, and bars. We have award winning restaurants and great ideas for lazy weekend brunches and long Sunday lunches.

White Lion Pub in Clifton offers a spectacular view of the Clifton Suspension Bridge spanning the Avon Gorge. .

City Cafe in Bristol has a modern, chic design that makes for a most welcoming dining room with an ambient lighting that adds to the sense of occasion. Located on Temple Quay it has a very popular terrace outside for basking afternoons.

The Wheatsheaf Inn offers a traditional British menu. Diners are spoilt for choice with a full bar and restaurant menu. This includes Steak pie, beer battered cod & scampi, grilled steaks, fresh sauces, and homemade pâté.

The Elbow Room Pool Lounge & Bar is a former winner of “Bar of the Year – South” and is situated on Park Street in Bristol. Lively but laidback, both urban and urbane, it takes lounging to new levels of elegance.

Hotels & Accommodation:

Bristol offers a wide range of different accommodation types for visitors, catering for both overnights stays, short breaks or something long term. Bristol hotels, bed and breakfasts, guesthouses, and self-catering accommodation offer a wide range of style and price.

Thistle Bristol
Bridge Inn New Lodge
Brunels Tunnel House Hotel
City Inn Bristol
Downs Edge
Arnos Manor Hotel
Westbourne Hotel
Novotel Bristol Centre, (close to M32 & station) F
Avon Gorge
Chewton Place
The Brigstow Hotel
Express By Holiday Inn Bristol North
Clifton Hotel
Corus hotel Bristol
Express by Holiday Inn Bristol City Centre
Rodney Hotel
The Old Manor House Hotel
Days Serviced Apartments Bristol


In the evening enjoy Bristol's theatres, bars and clubs. The elegance of a west end show or the international reputation of the Bristol Sound is available, while Bristol's comedy club venues provide the best in sharp comedy.

Bristol Hippodrome regularly hosts West End musicals, comedy shows, opera and ballet.

Colston Hall is where the people of Bristol have been enjoying music for almost 140 years.

The Tobacco Factory produces a programme of diverse arts activities including touring and Tobacco Factory productions, educational projects, children's shows and music events.

Jesters Comedy Club provides some of the best alternative stand up comedy that the UK has to offer.

Bristol, being located on a motorway and rail hub makes it easily accessible for a day out or a short break. It does not matter what your age group is or what kind of activity you enjoy, with both coast and countryside within easy reach of the city, all needs are catered for here.

This Article may be freely copied as long as it is not modified and this resource box accompanies the article, together with working hyperlinks.

Rabu, 23 Juni 2010

Canadian Immigration

One of the most disheartening things I hear about Canadian Immigration is the stories of families who return to their original country after unsuccessfully attempting to settle in Canada. One of the main reasons for the failures, it seems, is that the principal member of the household that normally supports everyone financially is unable to gain meaningful employment in their chosen profession or trade.

Many of these stories state that once in Canada it is quickly discovered that the foreign qualifications do not meet Canadian standards and so they cannot find employment without extensive retraining. Most of these cases may have been avoidable if the prospective employment requirements had been thoroughly researched well in advance of landing. Canada has an extremely high standard of education and many other systems simply don’t measure up against theirs – a degree program is 4 years for instance. So the chances are you will have to retrain, recertify or normally as a minimum, start again at the bottom. This may seem crazy but it’s the way it is – at least once your experience is apparent you may well soon find yourself rising up the ranks.

When my wife and I moved to Canada I believe we had exceptional luck, but we had also spent two years thoroughly researching our respective occupations in the Province of our intended destination. When I realized that my qualifications would not suffice I had to make alternative plans and so set about working towards qualifications that would be attractive to any employer – not just my “niche”.

A first aid at work course run by the St Johns ambulance will only cost 2 days of your time and around $150.00 and will instantly make you slightly more attractive to any employer – most Provinces have Laws requiring employers to train their staff. Being computer literate with a variety of applications is almost imperative. Anything that makes you stand out and will reduce the cost and time needed to train you, will be a massive boost to your Resume. Also, employers are the same the world over – everyone prefers people who are keen to self improve and make themselves more employable.

The first step is to decide which Province you wish to settle in as each has its own educational assessment agencies and occupational regulators. The Federal application for skilled trades bases your trade on the National Occupation Classification (NOC) list. However, some “Red Seal” trades are regulated in such ways that they transfer between Provinces, but the majority of trades and professions do not, which means recertification if you ever move.

Once you have an idea whereabouts in Canada you want to settle, contact the agency that will carryout your educational assessment and follow their instructions. Once you know what your qualifications equate to you will have a good point from which to start. Then using the PROVINCIAL regulators find out exactly where you stand with regards your intended field of expertise. The International Credential Assessment Service (ICAS) in Ontario provides a service that evaluates educational documents to provide a Canadian equivalent that can be used for employment, immigration or further education. ICAS also has information and advisory services for all types and levels of education - elementary, secondary, postsecondary and technical. I would definitely recommend contacting them well in advance for some professional advice. You can find the contact details on our website “Job search” and “Ontario Immigration assistance” pages on our site.

If you only need to complete a few exams or courses to change over to the Canadian system then great, if not, make plans so that you can support yourselves during the time it takes to recertify. Also, try to make sure that there will be a good chance of employment available once you’ve qualified.

Definitely have a back up career chosen or identify anything you could easily cross over into as things rarely work out as you intend. If you read the “Our Story” page on our Canadian Immigration information website, you’ll see that events transpired that meant my Plan A and Plan B both went wrong. Luckily some earlier research paid off and I managed to “the right job” within 6 weeks.

To close this article, DO NOT rely on your settling funds to last – I would thoroughly recommend working anywhere to start with – our budget gave us 6 months without work but in reality we’d have been in trouble in 4!!!! A servers or Bar job can be very lucrative but even $1,000 a month means that your money will last longer or help with retraining costs. My wife, Andie, worked in the local movie store almost straight away and apart from the money it means you meet people and start making contacts. As the saying goes “it’s not what you know it’s who you know”.

Whatever you decide about your Canadian Immigration adventure, please ensure you fully research your employability – is packed full of great FREE information about Canadian Immigration and if it’s not on the site, there’ll be a link to the relevant authority.


Dave Lympany

Brighton City Guide, Including Brighton Hotels


Nestling between the South Downs and England's sunny south coast, Brighton is an enchanting, and exciting seaside city. With its mix of Regency heritage, specialist shopping, lively arts, beachfront fun and year round events the place defies comparison. Perfect for a break at any time of the year, Brighton is packed with everything within walking distance, and only an hour from London.

Places of interest:

Brighton has been a pleasure ground for visitors since Regency times, with a wealth of attractions full of charm, style and eccentricity. With the unique Royal Pavilion, the Victorian Brighton Pier, the Volks Railway and the various museums, Brighton's attractions mix heritage, fun and culture, there is sure to be something that you want to see.

The Royal Pavilion is without doubt one of the most beautiful and unusual landmarks in the Brighton area. With striking Indian architecture, finely decorated interiors with strong influences from China, the Royal Pavilion was originally built for King George IV and has been used by many members of the royal family, including Queen Victoria.

The Victorian Pier is one of the most important landmarks in Brighton and is located in the centre of Brighton's seafront. It is home to an enormous amount of attractions, including arcades, a funfair with a mini-roller coaster, and dodgems, side stalls, and a restaurant with stunning sea views. It is also the venue for seasonal fireworks displays.

The Lanes area of Brighton is full of fascinating Brighton history and character. With narrow streets, historic buildings, street entertainers, jewellery shops, antiques stores, cafés and restaurants, The Lanes area of Brighton is also home to a number of atmospheric public houses.

Volks Railway has regular trains travelling from Brighton Pier along Brighton seafront to Black Rock, and is one of Brighton's most historic tourist attractions. Dating back to the late 19th century, Brighton's Volks Railway is the oldest electric railway in the United Kingdom.

Brighton Marina is located in the Kemp Town area of Brighton and is home to an enormous amount of entertainment and attractions for tourists visiting the Brighton area. With cafés, restaurants and bars, most of which have superb views of the harbour, together with shopping facilities, boat trips around Brighton Marina, a multi-screen cinema and tenpin bowling complex, Brighton Marina is one of the largest yachting harbours in the United Kingdom.

Things to do:

Brighton beachfront is a playground of surfing, sailing, basketball, volleyball, skateboarding and lots more. Away from the water there is plenty to enjoy. Take a Ghost Walk or tour of The Lanes, and all year round there are hundreds of events from the famous London to Brighton and National Speed Trials, to power boat racing and kite festivals. Brighton provides an excellent base for exploring the rolling South Downs and the castles of Hever, Leeds and Arundel.

Brighton Racecourse holds meetings throughout the summer months.

Walking Tours are available in the Brighton and Hove area and these provide tourists with a real insight into some of Brighton's most interesting and historic tourist attractions, landmarks and information.

Brighton guided bus tours operate throughout the day at regular intervals. The Brighton bus tours provide a popular way of sightseeing in Brighton and, with daily hop on / off tickets; they are also a very useful way to travel around Brighton. Bus tours in the Brighton connect all of the major points of interest in Brighton, including many of the tourist attractions, landmarks and monuments in Brighton.

Devil's Dyke, on the north side of Brighton, is owned and managed by the National Trust, with superb panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, Devil's Dyke is a deep valley and attractions include large areas of grassland ideal for sunbathing, sports, kite-flying, hang-gliding and picnics.

Bluebell Steam Railway is on the outskirts of Brighton. It is one of the most popular attractions in this area. It features lovingly restored steam locomotives, a museum, stunning views of the surrounding countryside and a public house, serving snacks. The Bluebell Steam Railway travels between three different train stations.

Food & Drink:

With over 400 restaurants in the Brighton area, it has more than anywhere outside London. You can choose from beachfront brasseries, exquisite seafood eateries, fish & chip cafes, traditional English dishes, chic café culture and modern international menus at stylish, exclusive venues. Whether it’s afternoon tea at the Grand Hotel, fish and chips on Brighton Pier or something altogether more exotic, there’s something for every taste.

There are good value pubs and cafes too. Brighton's pubs range from small cosy Victorian front rooms, converted churches to large theme pubs housing every video game imaginable.

Carluccio’s offers a cosy breakfast, a bustling lunch or a candlelit evening supper. All food is prepared using the best, fresh natural ingredients - often sourced from all over Italy.

Terraces Bar & Grill is the place to drop into after a bracing stroll on the prom for a refreshing cocktail, or to pile into the sofas with coffee and the papers following a huge Sunday roast.

Al Duomo: A cool contemporary Italian restaurant and venue furnished with sleek leather sofas in the bar area for drinks, lounging or coffee and modern art through out. Located next door to the Royal Pavilion and centrally located to the main shops, hotels and entertainment.

The Dorset Street Bar has character and style and has become one of the most popular restaurants and meeting places in Brighton.

The George is Brighton’s first and foremost vegetarian pub.

The Greys is serves Egon Ronay recommended gourmet food in extremely small local neighbourhood pub. Generally a great friendly atmosphere with interesting characters.

Hotels & Accommodation:

Brighton hotels, bed and breakfasts, guesthouses, and self-catering accommodation offer a wide range of style and price. Accommodation ranges from luxury hotels on the seafront, medium-priced hotels in elegant squares, family-run bed & breakfasts, budget travel lodges, backpacker hostels and self-catering apartments.

Belgrave Classic Hotel
Quality Hotel Brighton
De Vere Grand Hotel Brighton
Queens Hotel (And Lanes Leisure Club)
Royal Albion Hotel
Holiday Inn Brighton Seafront
Preston Park Hotel
Drakes Hotels
brightonwave Hotel
Sea Spray
New Steine Hotel
Westbourne Hotel
Ascott House Hotel
Gullivers Hotel
The Arlanda Hotel
Ramada Brighton
Maison Mascara
Abbey Hotel
Best Western The Brighton Hotel
Hickstead Hotel
Kings Hotel
Old Ship Hotel
Thistle Brighton
Hudsons Guesthouse
Amherst Hotel
Royal Pavillion Townhouse Hotel
Dorset Guest House


Brighton is home to a number of excellent theatres that regularly host Brighton theatrical productions, dramas, comedies, concerts, operas, workshops and exhibitions.

Pavilion Theatre is one of the best venues in the South East. The programme boasts an excellent line up of comedy, music, dance & theatre.

Gardner Arts Centre entertains you with high quality contemporary dance, drama, visual arts, films, comedy, music et al.

Komedia is a great venue for music, comedy, cabaret and theatre.

If you love life, you will love Brighton, England’s liveliest city by the sea. Brighton is fun, cosmopolitan and uniquely eccentric all year round. It has been regarded as a ‘pleasure dome’, and that’s not about to change.

This Article may be freely copied as long as it is not modified and this resource box accompanies the article, together with working hyperlinks.

Selasa, 22 Juni 2010

Can you Save Money by Staying in a Hostel?


If you’re on a tight budget and want to try something different, consider a hostelling getaway. Nowadays many older adults are joining the ranks of students and backpackers who stay in hostels all over the world.

There are some important details to consider, however.

Although the quality and comfort varies widely from hostel to hostel, you can expect rather sparse accommodations compared to an inn or hotel. You will probably be sharing sleeping quarters with several people, usually of the same gender. Private bathrooms are rare. You may have to walk down a hall to reach the bathroom - which may have only a toilet.

You may be required to provide your own bedding and towels. Sometimes linen is included in the nightly rate. Other times it will be provided for an extra charge. Laundry facilities may be available - usually coin-operated.

Sometimes breakfast will be included with your hostel package. Some hostels have kitchens where guests can prepare simple meals.

You may be fortunate enough to locate accommodations with free amenities such as:

* Complimentary in-city shuttle service

* Airport/rail terminal pickup

* Common area with satellite or cable TV

* DVD library

* Internet access and/or guest computer

* Safety deposit boxes

* Guided tours

* Access doors with computer-coded key cards

Some lodgings require an advance deposit via credit card. However, the balance of your stay and any extra charges may be payable in cash. If you object to carrying cash, make sure that you have a recognized ATM card. You will get the most favorable exchange rates from ATM machines, with no extra commission charges.

Always reserve a room ahead of time. Do not expect to find a last-minute vacancy, no matter how many times you have stayed at your favorite hostel.

Before you charge the room deposit to your credit card do some research!

* Are there guest reviews available online?

* Does the hostel impose a 'locked door' curfew?

* Do they have maid service?

* How often are rooms cleaned?

* What is the policy for early check-out?

* Does the hostel belong to an organization like Hostelling International?

* Will you be required to leave your passport at the front desk?

* What is the ‘lights out’ policy?

* Is there a 24-hour staff member on premises?

* Is the hostel near downtown and tourist attractions?

* How close are public transit and police facilities?

* Is there a medical clinic in the neighborhood?

* Can you purchase groceries nearby?

Always be prepared for emergencies. That means having some extra cash in reserve for unexpected contingencies. Photocopy your important documents before you leave - and make sure that the copies are accessible if you need them.

Somebody back home should have a copy of your itinerary, especially if you are making a trip abroad. If possible, establish some ‘checkpoint times’ where you can call home to let everyone know where (and how) you are. Leaving a message via e-mail is also an excellent option.

Make sure you have appropriate travel insurance. Does it cover hospital expenses and transport in case of serious injury?

If you like meeting people, and you’re not afraid of a little adventure, hostelling can be a great getaway.

Happy Travels!

Brighten Up Your Hotel or B&B With Contemporary Fine Art

contemporary fine art, original watercolors, acrylic paintings, hotelier, fine art, giclee, lithograph

Article Body:
If you're a hotelier or the owner of a bed and breakfast, you undoubtedly want your guests to feel warm and welcome. As you already know, the small touches can leave a lasting impression on your guests. What you may not know is that art - particularly contemporary fine art - can play a significant role in conveying your desired message to your patrons.

As an independent hotelier or B&B owner, you've probably given much thought to the facade of your establishment, the layout of the lobby, and even the uniforms that your staff wear. You may not have considered the ways in which art can help reinforce your "brand" - what your guests come to associate with your establishment.

Original watercolors, for example, can reinforce feelings of relaxation and rejuvenation among guests who stay in properties located in vacation destinations. The tropical watercolor of a parrot in colorful plumage or a flowering peach hibiscus will bring smiles to the faces of your guests. For the historical establishment, acrylic paintings depicting local history will reinforce the feeling that your hotel or B&B is associated with a particular location or place in time.

Original contemporary fine art is out of reach for many small- and medium-sized establishments, but that doesn't mean that art can't play a role in maintaining the ambience of your hotel. Reproductions are an affordable solution to fine art, and can be incorporated into virtually every public space and private room in a hotel. Giclee prints, for example, can be printed on high quality paper stock, on canvas, or on exquisite silk. The digital ink-jet process uses up to a dozen fade-resistant inks to bring depth and life to a fine art reproduction.

Likewise, lithographs can be reproduced on quality paper, or can even be printed digitally on Baltic birch plywood or aluminum. For the artist, lithographs allow his or her work to be reproduced faithfully, without a "middleman," so to speak. Serigraphy is another option for those in the hospitality industry to avail themselves of fine art at affordable prices. Formerly known as silkscreening, serigraphy is an extremely versatile method of making multiple copies of an artist's work. The inks used in serigraphy will adhere to a variety of surfaces, and so can be used on textiles, woods, paper, and glass.

Whatever the ambiance of your hotel or B&B, contemporary fine art and fine art reproductions can enhance the impression you're trying to convey to your guests - at a price that's affordable.

Senin, 21 Juni 2010

Camping Supply Secrets: Camping Tips, Camping Equipment And Camping Gear Tricks

Copyright 2006 Karin Manning

Getting the right camping gear need not be a huge expense.

Here are some quick money-saving tips that you can use today to make sure you have the right equipment for your camping trip without breaking the budget.

Visit online auction sites like Ebay where you’ll be able to pick most of the things you need at a fraction of the cost. Make sure before you place any bids on auctions that you check out the seller’s feedback. Purchases done via Paypal are also covered by Paypal’s Buyer Protection.

Look at your local newspapers often to find out if there are any offline auctions soon where camping items will feature at bargain prices.

Visit garage sales in your area where you could easily pick up tents, air mattresses, air pumps etc at really low prices.

Buy local trading magazines/newspapers where people advertise their second hand items cheaply. Also look for the items listed in “freebies” and look out for people who may be willing to trade something of theirs for something of yours.

Contact some scout halls in your local area. They often upgrade their camping equipment and are often happy to sell their second hand equipment at cheap prices.

Visit where people sell their camping items relatively cheaply.

Visit your local army surplus store for equipment specials.

Surf the internet regularly for great camping specials, including free shipping.

Below are a few online stores that offer free shipping to their customers. Conditions may apply. offers Free Shipping on all orders over $48.95. offers free shipping on US orders over $50.00 offers free shipping and no sales tax on US orders over $40.00. offers free return shipping on selected camping items.

There’s no need to pay full price for camping gear when there are so many online businesses offering serious discounts to its visitors. regularly offers up to 70% off brand name camping gear. offers the best assortment of brand-name seconds, overstocks and closeouts with discounts of 20-70% for its visitors. is America’s ultimate shooting sports discounter. is Europe’s leading online retailer of outdoor equipment and clothing at prices up to 65% less than you will find elsewhere. Keep an eye on your wallet by keeping an eye out for the best petrol prices and cars with low mileage costs. is a government website listing mileage rates for vehicles going as far back as 1985.

This is not where your savings end. It is possible to find camping gear free. Without a doubt, the best place to find camping gear for FREE is to ask your family and friends if you can borrow it. Usually most people won’t have a problem with that and if you are forced to do a “trade” of some kind so that you can use their items accept it as better than having to physically pay money for it and come to a mutually acceptable arrangement between you.

So there you have it. Camping need not be expensive. I’ve shared with you the many places you can go to, starting today, where you will be able to get camping gear for a fraction of its original price or, even better, free. So what are you waiting for! With such a ready supply of discount camping equipment, camping on a budget has never been easier.

Branched Oak Lake in Nebraska - A Great Vacation and Travel Destination

A beautiful vacation destination is Branched Oak Lake in Nebraska. This man made lake is close to Malcolm, Nebraska and just northwest of Lincoln. It is one of the state's largest lakes and it offers visitors plenty of fun activities. Those who visit can take advantage of fishing and swimming as well as motor boats and jet skis. No matter what kind of fun in the sun you love there is something for you at Branched Oak Lake in Nebraska. You can even try an extreme sport so to speak by water skiing in November on Branched Oak, which is pretty cold!

Families will really love the beach that is roped off with a special swimming area. There is plenty of room for sun bathers to get out and about and soak up the rays, too, so no matter what you are looking for you will find it at Branched Oak Lake. There is also great fishing in the lake if anyone is interested in trying to catch some fish.

The best way to get to Branched Oak Lake is to take Highway 34 on your way out of Lincoln to Highway 79. Then, take Raymond Road to the North and go west to 140 Street and then right on Branched Oak Road. Then just follow the signs to the lake. The lake is part of the state parks so you must consider the fees and permits associated with visiting. There is a small marina and there are even camping locations and places to grill. This is an amazing place to hang out with friends or families and
the weekends are really crowded. So, if you have the chance come by on a weekday so you can enjoy all the lake has to offer without the crowds. You will love visiting Branched Oak Lake and will really have a lot of fun. In fact you will probably put it on your favorite places to visit in Nebraska.

There is a website that has great information on USA Vacations and Unique Travel Spots Listed State By State and Season, the website is called: Seasonal Vacation Spots, and can be found at this url:

By Robert W. Benjamin

Copyright © 2007

You may publish this article in your ezine, newsletter, or on your web site as long as it is reprinted in its entirety and without modification except for formatting needs or grammar corrections.

Minggu, 20 Juni 2010

Camping in the Costa Tropical, Andalucia

Andalucia is not just a region in Spain but it is a package that offers memorable holidays. This region of the world is known as Costa Tropical and as a tourist you can enjoy the best of everything this region has to offer. There are plenty of adventure activities to satisfy the wandering soul and one of the recently popular activities is camping Imagine spending a night out in the heart of the wilderness in a camp where sleep will be disturbed by the sound of the passing wind or the cacophony of the brotherhood of wolves.

In fact, off late due to the large number of tourists and expats in Andalucia, camping has become more and more popular. The truth is that it has evolved over the years from being a drinking tea from thermos and sleeping in cotton tents to having state-of-the-art individual zipper tents that can help you survive the freezing temperatures of the Sierra Nevada. Today camping is considered a trendy alternative that offers freedom and adventure.

Camping is for the adventure at heart, free-spirited, travelers who like to make their own trails and leave footsteps behind. It is becoming increasingly popular with youngsters because of the numerous possibilities in Costa Tropical. Camping doesn’t just mean parking your self in tented accommodation in the forests of Spain or on the edge of a cliff but there are many more facets attached to this activity. Camping will also include everything from preparing meals in a stove to waking up to the sound of birds.

Costa Tropical presents some of the best places for camping because of the spectacular vistas, the stunning landscapes that vary from region to region. You will find camping grounds on the cliff tops, rolling countryside, mountains, close to the river basin, beaches, at the edge of gorges and in the woodlands. Camping is the best way to get up close to nature and the myriad of hues that nature has to offer. This is the cheapest accommodation available but is also considered as one of the best because you can park your tent almost anywhere. Camping is the best option for trekkers and mountaineers who end up travelling to places far from civilization.

Registered camp sites in Andalucia

There are around 200 registered camping sites spread across the length and breadth of Costa Tropical. They have been divided into three categories called the 1st, 2nd and 3rd depending on the facilities available nearby. Most of the camp sites in this region are open in the summers.

The 3rd category of camping grounds normally will have basic amenities like toilets and showers. The 2nd category is a little on the luxurious side and will have a bar, cafeteria, swimming pool and telephone. The 1st category of camping grounds will have everything from money exchange facility to children's play area, and even TV.

In the wild

Apart from the official camping grounds, you can also opt for sleeping in the wild in parts of rural Andalucia. There are several national parks where you can camp although it will be far from a luxurious and comfortable setting. There are some places in the wild where you might need to take prior permission from the authorities. The truth is that there is nothing compared to camping in the wild with the bonfire to keep you warm.

Branson Travel Guide

Branson is known as the Live Entertainment Capital of the World and boasts 49 live performance theaters performing 120 shows a day. With a reputation built on love of God and Country, this all-American town of just over 6,000 dazzles tourists each year with its brand of music, humor and "down home" appeal.

Visitors typically spend 3-4 days in town, sometimes seeing as many as eight shows during their trip. Since there is no airport in town, many elect to drive in and get around on the motorcoach. Having that isolation has done nothing to hurt the success of the city, though. In fact, many choose to include day trips to Springfield and other nearby destinations in their trip, which helps the surrounding communities' economies as well.

During the Civil War, the area surrounding Branson was considered a no-man's-land. Lacking law and any men to enforce it, women and families were terrorized and attacked by bushwhackers, men who would rape the women and then pillage the house for food, supplies and valuables. In 1865, what is generally considered to be the very first street shootout occurred in nearby Springfield, when Wild Bill Hickock killed a man named David Tutt in a quarrel over a watch.

Sabtu, 19 Juni 2010

Camping Furniture You Should Have For Your Next Camping Trip

Camping conjures up images of campfires, tents, sleeping bags and generally roughing it. However, now there are so many pieces of furniture available for use in camping, you can deck out your campsite to look almost as good as your home. There are lounge chairs available, ottomans, tables and lamps to recreate a living area around a campfire. Portable kitchen areas will provide preparation areas and grills for a versatile dining experience. Your tent no longer has to consist of a sleeping bag on the hard ground but can include beds, tables and lamps.

Keep in mind that larger pieces of furniture are difficult to transport and may be heavy or bulky so these items are best used in stationary camp sites. If you will be wandering off to camp at a site where you will have to carry your equipment long distances, these items may not be ideal. However, if you have a campsite area that also accommodates your vehicle and you plan to return to the campsite each day, they are perfect for creating a comfortable and relaxing environment.

Make sure you have enough room however you are traveling to transport items. If you have a recreational vehicle, truck or SUV, they provide ample area to store foldable or collapsible furniture along with your equipment and supplies. If you only have a small car, however, you may not be able to pack all the furniture items and still have room for necessary equipment and yourselves.

Cots, hammocks, inflatable beds and sleeping mats are great pieces of furniture for use in a tent. They provide maximum comfort while raising you from the hard ground. This can help in keeping you dry in rainy climates and warm if it is colder. Adding a small, collapsible table will allow you to set a lamp for reading and keeping water or other supplies. Lamps can be battery or gas powered and they are usually small and easily portable.

There are many varieties of chairs and lounges available. These pieces of furniture are either collapsible or inflatable for easy, compact storage. You can get these pieces in oversized models for maximum comfort and kick your feet up on an ottoman or attached foot rest.

Cooking and dining is no longer an issue with the use of folding kitchenettes. These are great ways to provide food preparation areas. They can attach to a grill or heating element to prepare your day’s catch of fish or prepare your favorite camping recipes. Tables and chairs are available and there are even portable picnic tables. You can easily gather the family around for a good meal.

With all the available camping furniture available, you can now camp in luxury. Look for camping furniture online or at local sporting goods stores. Make sure you have enough space to transport all these items. They usually come in collapsible models for convenient and compact storage but they will still take up a bit of room. Have fun on your next camping adventure by staying in style and comfort.

Bradford City guide, including Bradford Hotels

In the county of West Yorkshire is where tourists will find the bustling city of Bradford. Situated in Northern England, Bradford has more than 470,000 inhabitants and it ranks eleventh in terms of the size of various cities in England. Bradford has a rich history and was one of the central focuses of thriving businesses during the time of the Industrial Revolution. Former home of the Bronte Sisters, as well as many other famous individuals, Bradford continues to thrive in terms of business and also continues to draw thousands of tourists each and every year. Finally, Bradford is surrounded by many popular cities. Cities surrounding Bradford include Bath, Belfast, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Nottingham, Oxford and York.

Places of interest:

Looking to plan your itinerary while in England? Make sure that Bradford is on your list of places to see. Chockfull of historical adventures and incredible recreational pursuits, a trip to England would be incomplete if one doesn’t partake in all that Bradford has to offer.

ART GALLERIES: When visiting Bradford, tourists are frequently drawn to the cultural attractions that Bradford offers. Bradford is home to several art galleries including the City Art Gallery at the Headrow which houses incredible sculptures and paintings.
WALKING TOURS: Tourist will thoroughly enjoy the walking tours through the moorlands and woodlands of Bradford. Further, tourist can choose to take self guide walks or tour guide walks, whichever they prefer. Such tours allow tourists to enjoy all of the wildlife in Bradford.
FAMILY ADVENTURES: Numerous natural parks and amusement parks are in Bradford, promising entertainment for the whole family. From boating to bowling, there is no end to the fun for families in Bradford.
SPORTS: there are plenty of sports to engage in while visiting Bradford and fishing, sailing, wind surfing, swimming, cycling, horseback riding ,and walking are just a few of the sports that tourists will find enjoyable.
SHOPPING: A number of mill shops and Asian stores are readily accessible in Bradford.

Things to do:

There is no shortage of fun and fascinating things to do while in Bradford. Whether tourists travel alone or with the entire family, they can easily find enjoyable recreational activities for everyone to enjoy.

BRADFORD BULLS: in the Odsal Stadium, the Bradford Bulls is the favourite rugby team of many. The stadium holds huge audiences, well over 12,000 people visit the Bradford Bulls’ games and there is pre-game entertainment at every game.
BRADFORD ICE RINK: at 19 Little Horton Lane is an ice skating rink that the entire family can enjoy. Whether tourists are out on the ice with the kids or they are watching one of the many ice shows hosted at the Bradford Ice Rink, time spent at the ice rink will be nothing but memorable.
COLOUR MUSEUM: 1 Providence Street is a one of a kind experience for every resident and tourist in Bradford. Learn how animals perceive colour, how colour dyes are created and more. A great time for the entire family. The cost for admission is £1.75 for adults and £4 for the entire family.
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHY, FILM & TELEVISION: situated at Pictureville, is an exciting location with interactive exhibits and a place that reveals movie and television magic!
RED HOUSE: The former home of Mary Taylor, now known as the Red House is located on Oxford Road. Mary Taylor was the former friend of Charlotte Bronte and the house was erected in the 17th century.
SILVER JUBILEE MODEL RAILWAY EXHIBITION: on Green Lane is the place for every model train enthusiast. Model trains are sold as well as all of their accessories and you can have fun looking at all of the model train layouts.

Food & Drink:

Visitors to Bradford can find fantastic dining in and around the surrounding areas of Bradford with relative ease. No matter what a tourist’s dining preference is, they can satiate their appetite easily when visiting Bradford.

ADELPHI: located on 1-5 Hunslet Road, offers lagers, beers, and a variety of juices as well as fine dining. Desserts include both the Yorkshire pie and the Dolcelatte Pudding.
BREAK FOR THE BORDER: at 174-178 Lower Briggate in Leeds, just 9 miles from Bradford. It is a bar and lounge offering drinks and entertainment. The upstairs of the location is a restaurant that offers a variety of Tex-Mex foods.
GRILLADE: on Wellington Street in Leeds, is a mere walk from the train station. If it’s a French Bistro that a tourist’s seeks, then the Grillade is sure to please. The Grillade serves nothing but the finest French entrees and has a variety of plates to choose from.
FUJI HIRO: at 45 Wade Lane in Leeds offers an array of Japanese and Chinese cuisine. Ramen, Rice, and pan-fried noodle dishes will assuredly appease anyone’s appetite. The Fuji Hiro serves great meals like chicken katsu curry and chilli ebi ramen.
HEATHCLIFFS RESTAURANT: in Hollins Hall, Baildon, Bradford, requires that residents and tourists make reservations in advance and that they adhere to the dress code provided. Offering background piano music while visitors dine, Heathcliffs is the place in Bradford for the ultimate dining experience.

Hotels & Accommodation:

Accommodations are not at all hard to come by in Bradford. There are numerous hotels and self catering sites for tourist to choose from. No matter what a tourist decides, they will find they get the finest service during their stay in Bradford.

Midland Hotel
Courtyard By Marriott Leeds/Bradford
Park Grove Hotel
The Dubrovnik Hotel
Sporting Lodge Inns
Novotel Bradford
Best Western Guide Post Hotel
Express by Holiday Inn Bradford City Centre


There is plenty of entertainment in Bradford that is suitable for all ages. Theatres, Cinemas, Aquariums and nightlife entertainment are abundant in this city. Bars, lounges, and dance clubs await the tourist looking to relax and socialise.

Bradford: a city you can afford to miss when visiting England. Excellent food, incredible sites, and lots of fun things to do, tourist will lose out if they don’t visit Bradford. Certainly, if one wants to ensure their trip is complete, Bradford should be on their list of things to do.

Jumat, 18 Juni 2010

Cambodia – The Blind Masseuses

Cambodia has seen far more than its fair share of tragedy and misery. The blind masseuses offer a glimpse of the true Cambodian heart and will to carry on.

Seeing Hands Massage

With the onset of the genocidal rule of the Khmer Rouge, Cambodia took a serious turn for the worse from the late 1970s through the early eighties. When the Khmer Rouge were finished killing or starving as much as twenty percent of the population and finally thrown out of power, the land turned into a lawless morass with all that implies. During this time, numerous people were left disabled. A particularly significant disability was blindness, which arose from torture or muggings undertaken by throwing battery acid in the face of victims.

As the country recovers, a unique and heartening development has occurred with Cambodians that are blind. The Association for the Blind in Cambodia, along with international backers, has been training the blind to be masseuses. Their motto is, “The blind can see with there hands.”

Members of the association travel the country to find potential masseuses. The individuals are then trained until they are masters of the art of massage. The Association has even gone one step further. In Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, the Association for the Blind has opened massage businesses known as “Seeing Hands,” which solely employee the blind masseuses.

I heartily and enthusiastically recommend you get a massage at Seeing Hands if you’re traveling in Cambodia. Driving anywhere in Cambodia is a bone jarring experience. There is no better way to get out the knots than one of these massages. The masseuses are friendly and seem to be able to find every little knot. I guarantee you’ll feel like a new man or woman after getting one.

Each Seeing Hands location has slightly different prices, but all are cheap as is typical for Cambodia. You can expect to spend between three to five dollars for the best one-hour massage you’ve ever had.

On top of it, you’ll feel good to know you’re helping people help themselves. In fact, many of the masseuses make more money a month than people who can see!

Boutique Hotels Go Hi-tech

No matter where they’re staying, hotel guests are starting to demand the very latest in technology – from televisions to internet access. Boutique hotels get ahead of the game by integrating technology into their design.

Technology is moving fast, and hotels of all types have to anticipate the technology that will make their guests’ lives easier during their stay. As consumer technology becomes more affordable, guests are no longer terribly impressed by flat-screen televisions, integrated CD players and films on-demand; they can have that at home. What does impress them is when the technology improves the service, which in turn improves their experience.

Futuristic hotels have been the subject of many treatments in film, television dramas and books. In most cases, these hotels have a clinical look and feel to them, which is not at all what today’s guest wants to experience. They want the comfort, style and design of a great hotel, with the convenience that technology affords them. Forward-looking hotels of all types have recognised this and have begun to install technology systems that allow them to provide higher levels of service to guests.


To make guests feel at home, hotels have learned to put them in charge. The more control guests have over their experience, the happier they are. Flexible kitchens allow guests to have breakfast whenever they want to, and technology systems allow them to set up the room the best way for them: programme your media system with exactly the right track to wake you up in the morning, control your air-conditioning from a system by the pool so that your room’s just the right temperature when you return to it, or use a touch-screen to check in rather than waiting in a queue at the reception desk. These and other technological advances will give you as the guest greater control over what happens to you in the hotel and it works well both for the guest and for the hotel. Future advances could include:

• Key-less room access
• Remote ordering of food and drink
• Adjustment of room features from the pool/terrace/beach
• Service adapting to ongoing intelligence of your needs

There are already hotels putting systems in place that remember what guests choose from the menu and what they like to drink so that the next time they visit, their favourite cocktail is waiting in their room and the right music is playing. As boutique hotels continue to adapt the available technology to exceed the expectations of their guests, they will become increasingly popular places to stay.

Kamis, 17 Juni 2010

Boutique Hotels Are Here To Stay

Boutique hotels aren’t a passing fad or a here-today-gone-tomorrow trend. They are a growing sector of the hospitality market.

When the first “boutique” hotel opened in New York in 1984, it caused a stir. Shedding tradition, its whole purpose was to turn a paid-for bedroom into a whole new travel experience. Since then, small, chic hotels have sprung up all over the world; some more successfully than others. Those who have followed the fundamental theme of design-led individuality have experienced incredible success and that in turn has spawned a new generation of these stylish hotels.

What are the essential characteristics of this type of hotel that will ensure its place in the industry?

Individuality – boutique hotels are all different. Housed in a wide range of buildings, many of which weren’t intended as hotels or even houses originally, they use design and architecture to create entirely individual structures and spaces that catch the attention and stimulate the senses. Whatever theme or style has been chosen, you’ll never stay in a boutique hotel that’s exactly the same as the last one you stayed in.

Style – personality and style matter to these hotels. It’s what gives them their intimate atmosphere; their air of authenticity. Boutique hotels go for style that’s deliberately introduced and followed through to the smallest of details, resulting in all-round quality that’s really appreciated by the guests.

Service – many other parts of the service industry could learn from these small hotels. Their low guest numbers gives them the opportunity to shine when it comes to looking after residents, and their service is always discreet but immediate; helpful without pestering and always pleasant, never patronising.

Quality – discerning guests know quality when they see it; from the finest bed linen to the freshest ingredients. A boutique hotel takes the time to source materials, furnishings, fabrics and accessories of the finest quality, ensuring that guests are always experiencing comfort and style.

Boutique hotels are here to stay because we like them. For not much more cost than an average high street hotel, they allow us to enjoy the experience of travelling. They give us good design, a high standard of decoration and fittings and outstanding service, reminding us that we often set our standards too low when we travel. They allow us to relax and spend our time exploring and enjoying our destination rather than sorting out problems with the accommodation. They remind us that where we stay is as important as where we go.