Archives for posts with tag: Spain

MADRID, BARCELONA AND TIPS FOR TRAVELLERS

In Part 3, Churches were once Mosques and Synagogues, Novelists pay homage to Spain’s bullfighters and castles, Tapas tantalizes and Flamenco fiery passions ignite.

Spain rolls out the welcome mat

Madrid was the last stop of our guided Odyssey Tour. For five of the 10 couples, our next stop was Barcelona, a three-day tour extension. Odyssey arranged our transportation to the airport from Madrid to Barcelona and had a local guide waiting to escort us to our final hotel. Transportation was also arranged to take us to the airport for our journey home.

Downtown Spain, where many buildings have sculptures decorating the skylines.

Where we stayed: Wellington Hotel, an old-world property near some of Spain’s luxury shopping. Many of the stores were brands popular in the United States, such as Tiffany or Benetton.

What we saw: Plaza Mayor, located in the heart of the city, and Palacio Real, a 2,800 room residence that was home to Bourbon kings from Charles III to Alfonso XIII. The palace today Read the rest of this entry »

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OLIVE OIL, HEMINGWAY, FLAMENCO DANCE, AND TAPAS

In Part 2, Roman ruins, mountain-top castles, gypsy offerings, history rich from battles and architectural ingenuity

Parador de Ronda in the background while restaurants, hotels and homes sit precariously on the edge of the El Tajo Gorge

There are more than 300 million olive trees planted across Spain. Don’t tell Italy, but we were informed that much of Italy’s olive oils derive from Spanish olives. That was just a glimpse into the world’s largest producers of olive oil. On the road from Carmona to Ronda, our Odyssey Tour group stopped for a few hours at Basilippo Calidad Gourmet Olive Oil company in El Viso del Alcor, Seville, Spain for a hands-on experience of picking olives from the trees. Unfortunately, it turned out to be the only time we had Read the rest of this entry »

SPAIN FURTHER AWAKENS OUR SENSE OF HISTORY, FROM CASTLES TO ICONIC CHURCHES

In Part 1, our tour of Portugal took us on a trip through Lisbon, Monsarez and Évora. The journey continues into Spain.

Roman Amphitheatre in Mérida

Mérida was a much too-short visit to one of the most fascinating attractions of our tour thus far. At least for my husband Russ and me. We’ve never been to Rome, so have never been to the remnants of the Roman Colosseum; therefore, the exploration of the Roman Amphitheatre and the Roman Theatre in Mérida was like being on the set of “Gladiator,” without having to watch the blood, gore and thumbs-down kill signs hoisted by a rabid audience.

While at the UNESCO World Heritage archeological site with our Odyssey Tour group, schools of Read the rest of this entry »

Belem Tower, Lisbon, Portugal,

PART 1: PORTUGAL

We travelled back to 13th century Portugal and Spain without having to step foot in a time machine or imbibing in mind-altering drugs. The trip began simply enough with an overnight stay at the Corinthia Hotel Lisbon, the first stop in our two-week trip with Odysseys Unlimited’s tour of historic lodging and architecture.

The tour is billed as Paradores & Pousadas, which means luxury accommodations resurrected from ancient monasteries, castles or city halls by governments eager to restore iconic structures reflective of Read the rest of this entry »

Design Hotels is offering summer incentives at Alila Villas Uluwatu in Bukit Peninsula, Indonesia

Design Hotels is offering summer incentives at Alila Villas Uluwatu in Bukit Peninsula, Indonesia

Summer may be slipping into Fall but that doesn’t mean you’ve missed out on hot resort packages, memorable adventures, or that it’s too late to book the perfect destination for your group’s last-minute meeting. So, let’s get to it, right? You may not have time to waste.

HOT HOTEL PACKAGES

Book this Daytona Beach beauty for a meeting or event from November through February 12, 2015 and you can claim this year’s prices even though the property is in the midst of a major redo. Bonus: The Shores Resort & Spa will show their appreciation by offering groups of 100 or more total rooms a one-hour welcome reception on the first night of arrival and guaranteed ocean-view rooms for all guests, in addition to two complimentary upgrades to the property’s all-new oceanfront Cabana Suites*.  More than 20,000 sf of indoor and outdoor function space has been added to The Shores, considered to be Central Florida’s only AAA Four-Diamond oceanfront resort. “From technology upgrades and updated soft goods to new amenities and eco-friendly improvements, our guests will notice a difference at every turn,” says David Rijos, general manager. Cool ocean blues and sandy beach neutral tones dominate the 11th floor meeting rooms. The inspiration comes from the water views available from each room. On the ground floor, the 6,895-sf is getting new carpeting, paint and décor. The new pre-function area pays homage to the golden age of travel in Daytona Beach. Upgraded technology increases wireless bandwidth throughout the property. Have an executive board looking for something more special than four blank walls? A new private dining room being added on the second floor will overlook the Azure Lounge area and offer ocean views. (20 max).

An additional check-in area has been added to the lobby. All 212 guest rooms and suites are getting new furniture and décor. Fourteen lanai rooms are being converted into Cabana Suites, providing a private outdoor space with lounge chairs and flat screen TV. The outdoor area has been pumped up with furniture, turtle-friendly lighting, and games, such as life-sized checkers and cornhole and ping pong.  The shores is pet-friendly and eco-friendly.

Group Sales: (866) 934-SHORES; www.shoresresort.com

Book any of the four Gaylord Hotels by Sept. 28, stay by Oct. 31 and receive a $50 nightly credit. This promotion applies at Gaylord National (Washington DC), Gaylord Opryland (Nashville, TN), Gaylord Palms (Orlando, FL) and Gaylord Texan (Dallas/Ft Worth). Really easy.

Just use this promotional code—ZXO—when you go online or call (800) 228-9290.

Hotel Unique in São Paulo, Brazil stands out from the rest of the city

Hotel Unique in São Paulo, Brazil stands out from the rest of the city

It’s an endless summer of discounts when you book Design Hotels in Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Spain or Turkey. Get up to 30% discount and free breakfast for booking by August 31 any three (or more) night stay at six featured hotels. These include:

Aguas de Ibiza Lifestyle & Spa (Spain) – an eco-luxury 112 room property

Design &Wine Hotel (Portugal) – a 23-room high-tech hideaway in Portuguese wine country

Klaus K (Finland) –139 rooms. Think of it as Renaissance meeting cutting-edge Nordic modernity.

La Maison Champs Élysées (France) – 57 rooms of French elegance

PalazzinaG (Italy) – 22 rooms. Taking 16th century Venetian design into the 21st century

Seaside Palm Beach (Spain) – 328 rooms located in an old palm grove.

There are also 59 hotels worldwide with discounts if you book by Sept. 14. Check out the 65 room Alila Villas Uluwatu (Indonesia) that sits atop a 100-meter cliff or Hotel Unique’s distinct architecture in Brazil.

  1. designhotels.com

 

The New $223 Million LINQ Hotel & Casino opens October 30 in Las Vegas.

The New $223 Million LINQ Hotel & Casino opens October 30 in Las Vegas.

UP AND COMERS

The slogan for Las Vegas may be that “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” but the truth is far different. In fact, like most major cities, especially those that attract an international clientele, Vegas is constantly reinventing itself. Take for example what’s happening to The Quad Resort & Casino. At its October 30 reveal this year, it will be known as The LINQ Hotel & Casino, a 2,256 room Caesars Entertainment hotel with 204 suites and 29 cabana suites with private access to the new pool area.  Look for the new automated check-in process and a concierge touchscreen option for immediate bookings of favorite dining and entertainment offerings. The north entry has been redesigned with new retail and quick-service dining options. Significantly, The LINQ Hotel & Casino will connect to the LINQ promenade, which has12 restaurants, eight bars, 14 retail shops and two concert venues. It is anchored by the tallest observation wheel in the world, the High Roller, recently named by Travel & Leisure as the “World’s Coolest New Tourist Attraction.”

  1. caesars.com/thelinq/news.html; www.TheLINQ.com; (855) 891-6863

What does a $10 million makeover get you? If the property in question is the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC), which became privately operated last year by AEG Facilities, the year-long transformation will include:

-Installing a new, energy efficient solar-ready “cool roof” on the South Hall and Concourse Hall

– Rolling out new carpet throughout the Center, including the Concourse Hall, Concourse Walkway, and hall lobby areas

– Overhauling parking systems to provide more automated options and speedier entrance and exit times

– Completely remodeling the 299-seat Theater and upgrading AV capabilities to accommodate a wide variety of current and next-generation technology options

– Installing the latest in energy-efficient and noise-reducing air handling units

– Upgrading air walls, IT infrastructure, lighting systems and numerous operating systems

This is LACC’s first expansion in 20 years. It annually attracts more 2.5 million visitors. The environmentally-friendly facility holds the prestigious U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED-EB Gold Certification.

  1. Lacclink.com

Karen Kuzsel is a writer-editor based in the Orlando area who specializes in the hospitality, entertainment, meetings & events industries.  She is a Contributing Editor-Writer for Prevue Magazine and is an active member of ISES and MPI. She writes about food & wine, spas, destinations, venues, meetings & events. A career journalist, Karen has owned magazines, written for newspapers, trade publications, radio and TV. As her alter-ego, Natasha, The Psychic Lady, she is a featured entertainer for corporate and social events. karenkuzsel@earthlink.net; www.ThePsychicLady.com; @karenkuzsel; @thepsychiclady

 

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