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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Affordable Car Hire with International Access

Car rental services that can be booked through one source for any destination across the world is a blessing for a traveler. Car Hire International offers a worldwide search of car hire and rental services that are affordable and dependable. 

The service is extended through various channels located across the globe to provide customers the best spend on their car hire service. The advantage of choosing Car Hire International for traveling needs is the insurance facility and airport parking. A search through the service would help locate car rentals that are cheap and affordable with the best facilities. The service has a reputation worldwide for their impeccable customer support and the discounted deals that they offer.

The car hire service can be availed from any airport, railway stations, ports or city locations downtown.

The type of car can be chosen and the CarTrawler search would help to locate the car hire services that can be hired instantly. Prior booking or advanced bookings for a planned vacation or a visit can be acquired for even more affordable prices. This is a unique service with the facilities that are incomparable. The service can also be compared with other providers to see the benefit that this service provides. This is facility is also available while on the move, customers can make bookings for a assured pick up and drop facility. The web page would help to make instant bookings by filling out the basic information. Customers who have opted for this service have experienced time bound service and have become repeated customers as the bookings are highly discounted through this service.

Air Tahiti Nui Hosts First Inflight Wedding

Inflight ceremonyAir Tahiti Nui has held its first inflight wedding ceremony 10,000m in the air somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean between Paris and Los Angeles with a British couple celebrating their union on flight TN07 en route to Tahiti for their honeymoon.

For Alex Pelling and Lisa Gant, it was their 42nd wedding ceremony as the pair travel the globe exchanging vows in unique wedding locations, including a horseback wedding in Canada, a wedding in an Ecuador temple on the Equator and even a ceremony officiated by Martha Stewart in New York, all in search of the perfect place to wed.
During the Air Tahiti Nui ceremony, the bride and groom walked down the aircraft aisle and met in the first row where the Lisa walking down aisleflight’s chief purser recited the ceremony in English and French before declaring the couple united as “2 people 1 life”.

In front of the aircraft full of travellers, Alex and Lisa each vowed to be “life long travel partners” before placing the national flower of Tahiti, a Tiare flower, behind Alex and Lisa signing ceremony certificateeach other’s ears as a symbol of commitment.

The couple celebrated with passengers, who had the opportunity to sign a guest book, before retiring to business class for celebratory champagne and sugared almonds.

Upon touching down in Los Angeles, the couple tweeted, “We are SO on our way to Tahiti and have just held our 42nd wedding ceremony INFLIGHT with Air Tahiti Nui! It was AMAZING! An incredible team made us so welcome and helped us celebrate!”

Alex and Lisa will spend a week exploring the Society Islands including two more Tahiti-style weddings at a cultural village on Moorea and also in a glass-bottomed overwater chapel at the Intercontinental Resort Bora Bora.
According to the couple’s website (www.2people1life.com), they are planning to spend five months driving around Australasia with their three-year adventure slated to end down under in July 2014.
For more information on Air Tahiti Nui visit www.airtahitinui.com.au

Three of The Best Kenya Safari Camps For Families

Saruni Mara
With great wildlife viewing opportunities, iconic African landscapes and lots of well-equipped family oriented camps, Kenya is one of the very best countries to visit with children in tow.

Africa Exclusive have chosen three of their favourites in Kenya for a family safari:

Saruni Mara

Saruni Mara sits in the world famous Masai Mara National Park, one of Africa’s most prolific game viewing regions. The grassy plains are home to all the characteristic African animals that children want to see, from lions and leopards to zebra and warthog. The Warrior for a Week programme makes this camp something really special. Families have the opportunity to become a Maasai warrior for as long as they like, spending time with the Maasai learning the secrets of surviving in the bush, including how to track animals use a bow and arrow and use plants as medicine. It’s a real adventure!

Sabuk Lodge

What better way to see the bush than from up high on a camel’s back? At Sabuk Lodge the whole family can do just that! Laikipiak Maasai warriors accompany you as you sail through the bush atop a camel, exploring completely deserted tracks of wilderness. There are lots of activities at Sabuk, including day and night drives, nature walks, fishing, swimming in the river, bird watching and even flycamping. There’s a dedicated family cottage too, for extra privacy and comfort.

Kinondo Kwetu

Kenya’s idyllic coastline is the perfect place to retreat to after all the excitement of a safari. At Kinondo Kwetu guests can relax on the powder soft shores, indulge in pampering and beauty treatments, play tennis, ride horses along the beach and even visit the local golf club. The hotel has its own PADI diving centre too, so you can explore the Indian Ocean and meet some of its most colourful residents beneath the waves.

If you would like to find out more about these Kenya safari camps please visit www.safari.co.uk or call 01604 628979.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Australia Leads the World as Cruise Passenger Numbers Surge to New High

A new report has confirmed that Australia’s cruise industry growth continues to lead the world, with passenger numbers surging 11 per cent last year to hit a record high of 694,062.

For the second consecutive year, the growth of the Australian cruise passenger market has surpassed other major cruise markets, with last year’s 11 per cent increase equalled only by Germany. By comparison, North American passenger numbers grew by 2 per cent in 2012 and the UK remained steady.

The 2012 Australian Cruise Industry Report also shows that the local industry now has the second highest population penetration rate in the world, with the equivalent of 3 per cent of Australians taking a cruise last year. Only the long-established North American cruise market had a higher penetration rate at 3.3 per cent.

Releasing the report in Sydney today, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia’s Chairman Gavin Smith said 2012 was the eighth consecutive year of double digit growth for cruise passenger numbers, underlining Australians’ increasing enthusiasm for cruising.

“In only four years, the number of Australians taking a cruise holiday has more than doubled from 330,290 in 2008 to almost 700,000, while over the past decade we’ve seen an average annual growth rate of 20 per cent - a remarkable result for any industry,” Mr Smith said.

“Clearly Australians are responding to the growing number of cruise holidays on offer from Australian ports, as well as our strong dollar, which is encouraging more people to cruise overseas.
“There’s also an increasing awareness among Australian holidaymakers about the tremendous value of cruising and the wide range of cruise holidays available, from relaxing river cruises to fun family breaks and adventurous expedition voyages.”

Mr Smith said while the outlook for the cruise industry remained buoyant, a focus on appropriate port infrastructure and supportive government policies would be crucial to the continued growth of Australian passenger numbers.

The 2012 report includes its first breakdown of cruise passenger age, which reveals almost half of Australian cruise passengers in 2012 were under the age of 50, while a quarter were aged under 40 and one-third were over 61 years.

The report also found 43 per cent of cruise passengers came from New South Wales in 2012, while Queensland accounted for 22 per cent, Victoria 16 per cent and Western Australia 9 per cent. On a per capita basis, the Australian Capital Territory had the highest population penetration rate with 5.5 per cent of residents cruising, while NSW followed with 4.1 per cent and Queensland with 3.3 per cent.

Meanwhile, a new insight into the passenger mix onboard roundtrip cruises from Australia as well as transTasman and transPacific cruises shows Australians accounted for 84 per cent of passengers on those voyages, with international travellers representing 16 per cent, or close to 100,000 passengers.

Other key findings of the CLIA Australasia 2012 Australian Cruise Industry Report include:
• The most popular destination for Australian passengers was the South Pacific which accounted for 36.4 per cent of the market in 2012 (252,555 passengers)
• Europe is now the biggest fly-cruise market for Australians with passenger numbers rising 26 per cent to 57,719 (8.3 per cent of the market)
• River cruising numbers continue to expand with 12 per cent more passengers (39,275) opting for this niche holiday experience
• The Caribbean achieved the highest growth rate with a 36 per cent rise to 17,316 Australian passengers
• Collectively, US destinations including Alaska and the Caribbean account for 8.3 per cent of the market (57,396 passengers)
• Shorter cruises of 1-4 days experienced the greatest growth in 2012 rising 38 per cent, with 76,719 Australians opting for a short break cruise.

The Australian Cruise Industry Report looks at key trends drawn from data supplied by CLIA member cruise lines carrying Australian passengers around the world.

Formerly the International Cruise Council Australasia, CLIA Australasia is one of 11 regional cruise associations which joined together in December 2012 to form a common global cruise organisation under the CLIA banner. CLIA associations around the world are committed to industry training, raising consumer awareness of cruising and assisting with regional advocacy issues.

Sailing the Seychelles Seas

The Seychelles Archipelago remains one of the world's most prestigious holiday destinations with unparalleled natural splendor, convenience, accessibility and an exclusive vacation experience for any discerning travelers fortunate enough to find themselves in this paradise of a place.

Lush tropical forests give way to magnificent ocean vistas whilst powder white sand is lapped by the crystalline and tranquil waters of the Indian Ocean. An array of tropical fish and marine animals abound on its shallow coral gardens, whilst big game fish swarm in its deep, offshore waters.

A vestige of untouched natural beauty: an oasis of wonder far from the maddening chaos of the modern world, Seychelles’s 115 islands and its inviting waters are just begging to be explored.  And the best way to do this, of course, is aboard your own private charter boat.  Sailing around the 115 islands that make this archipelago often brings the saying that these islands were downloadconceived with sailors in mind as they remain the ideal sailing destination.

Seychelles Yacht Charter (SYC) has been operating in the Seychelles since 2011 and has established itself as one of the industry leaders.  From bareboat to luxury full service, the company’s fleet is at your disposal and the team is on hand to assist you from first contact through completion of an unforgettable vacation experience. From tranquil island cruising, magical beach and forest excursions to memorable diving encounters the SYC will let you in on some of the Seychelles’ best kept secrets.  If fishing is your game, SYC’s expertise and experience are there to ensure you land the big one.

The diversity of the Seychelles is today renowned as the group of islands offering two holidays in one. They have both granitic islands with their high mountains and they also have coral islands that are flat and surrounded with some of the most amazing marine life.

The Seychelles Yacht Charter recently announced the international launch of its fleet  and are inviting business partners, travel specialists and travel agents to come and discover for themselves the magic that is the Seychelles Yacht Charter experience.  Visit www.seychellesyachtcharter.com to view their products and package or contact them directly at sales@syc.sc.

Summer Journeys at Chiva-Som

This summer, Chiva-Som proudly unveils Summer Journeys, an exclusive diary of different weekly programmes designed to explore various life challenges in intimate groups of no more than 15 people.

Topics covered include women's and men's health, the balanceof life, the mind, relationships, inspiration, creativity, culinary health, and beauty. Summer Journeys draw together a specially curated selection of the very best in treatment modalities, fitness activities, specialistspeakers and workshops to compliment the central theme.

Each Summer Journey is designed to draw together like-minded people with shared interests. Summer Journeys confirmed specialist speakers include Judith Horstman, an award winning journalist and author of several books on the brain and Dr. Gerald Lalande, founder of CEO Health as well as Chiva-Som favourites like Danchai Chernprateep Kamonwan (Nok) Khamching and Chef PaisarnCheewinsiriwat.
Summer Journeys begin on a fixed arrival date for a fixed program of 5 or 7 nights.

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The Summer Journey's Calendar
June 2nd - 7 Nights Summer Journey: Posture Realignment - Posture, Aging Well and Emotion. A Life Changing Posture Improvement Program.

June 9th - 7 Nights Summer Journey: Next Generation: Parents with 16+ young adults. Sharing and Inspiring a Wellness Lifestyle in Young Adults.

June 16th - 7 Nights Summer Journey: Mind for Life: Learn Brain Healthy Lifestyle Habits for adding life to your years hosted by Master-In-Residence Judith Horstman author of 'Healthy Aging Brain.'
June 23rd - 7 Nights Summer Journey: Wellness, Wisdom and Purpose for Women. Female only program connecting wellness and life purpose.

July 9th - 5 Night Summer Journey: Healthy Culinary Journey: Chiva-Som Health Cooking
School Healthy Spa Cuisine, Thai and Chiva-Som Secrets with Chef Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat

July 14th - 7 Nights Summer Journey: Beauty Wisdom: an integrative East meets West approach to ancient beauty art, modern technology and make-up. Hosted by Dr. Niwat Polnikorn of Niranlada Aesthetic Medi Spa and facial acupuncturist Takeshi Kitagawa.

July 21st - 7 Nights Summer Journey: Inner Reflection: Spend Buddhist Lent in Thailand on a self-empowerment journey. Hosted by Master-In-Residence Danchai Chernprateep

July 28th - 7 Nights Summer Journey: Andropause Meet Menopause: Couples Hormones, Life stage and relationships

August 4th - 7 Nights Summer Journey: Creative Inspiration: Discover creativity, passion mapping and purpose with Kamonwan (Nok) Khamching

August 11th - 7 Nights Summer Journey: Thai Mothers & Daughters: In honor of HM the Queen's Birthday

August 21st - 5 Nights Summer Journey: Healthy Culinary Journey: Chiva-Som cooking school -
Healthy Spa Cuisine, Thai and Chiva-Som secrets with Chef Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat

August 25th - 7 Nights Summer Journey: Chiva-Som Summer Fitness Boot Camp 

September 1st - 7 Nights Summer Journey: Life Energy - an Energy Booster

September 8th - 5 Nights Summer Journey: Sustainability, Compassion and Wellness: A mindful programme of environmental, social and wellness activities for improving the self, the community and the planet. In celebration of Chiva-Som's 10 year celebration of commitment to the Preserve Hua Hin Foundation

September 15th - 7 Nights Summer Journey: Work Life Balance: Stress management, relaxation and a new perspective on life

Friday, April 26, 2013

Jeeva Resorts Set to Open Saba House

An Indonesian-based resort group praised for the development of two small, ecologically and culturally sensitive Lombok hideaways, will open its third property on Bali's east coast in June.

Jeeva Resorts’ management refers to it latest retreat, jeeva Saba, as a purpose-built Bali “house” intended for families or small groups who are only able to book the entire retreat under a single reservation. The fully integrated property features eight large butler-kept suites in its three “houses,” a restaurant kitchen and chef, games and media rooms, open-air function areas, 25-meter infinity pool, fitness center and grassy, oceanfront lawn for private parties. 

Jeeva Klui Lombok
“We chose the word “house” simply because the property is planned more like a residence than what you’d expect in a villa or resort,” said jeeva Saba operations manager and Bali native, Wayan Narta. 

“Here’s a facility ideal for small, corporate MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Exhibitions and Conferences) and weddings, too, given its privacy, intimacy and natural setting.”

A picturesque coastline with a backdrop of the Indian Ocean and Mt. Agung, Bali’s most revered volcano, is what decided jeeva Resorts’ director Pak Supriyanto on the location back in 2007. “It’s not a coincidence that our first resort in Lombok, jeeva Klui, also has a view of Mt. Agung, although from across the Lombok Strait.”

The company’s second resort, jeeva Beloam, is a cluster of traditional Lombok dwellings known as “beruga” majestically located in a nature reserve with its own 250-meter beach on Lombok’s wild east coast.

“At jeeva Saba the concept is all about catering to the requirements and whims of an important family event or company function with some of the finest service you’ll find on the island. For example, instead of a set menu or a restaurant, we plan and serve meals dictated by individual and group needs.”

Evason Ana Mandara Resort - Nha Trang Highlights

Six Senses Home Office, Bangkok – 25 April 2013  Discovery Tours & Activities 
Evason Ana Mandara - Nha Trang, is Vietnam’s first and only absolute beachfront resort, and is now entering iconic status. With a delightful garden setting, this family-friendly resort offers a host of activities.

Evason Ana Mandara's morning Market Tour
Family excursions like the Discovery Vietnam Tour include a tour to the morning markets on traditional cylcos, a visit to nearby rural villages where traditional rush mats, incense sticks, conical hats, and daily staples like rice paper and noodles are made. 

Additional excursion requests are also on offer - such as taking a local boat down the Cai River - Nha Trang’s widest and longest river, and stop for a fresh coconut or seafood at local restaurants;or cycle along the beachside at dawn and visit the harbour fish market and the markets of Dam and Xom Moi, where the locals shop for their daily essentials.Making Vietnam's famous Conical Hats
There is also a range of water activities, under and above water, for Evason Ana Mandara guests. Diving and snorkelling in the vicinity of the Mun Island, which is only a 20-minute boat ride away from the resort, offers a great underwater experience where the surrounding turquoise and crystal clear waters are home to over 350 types of stunning hard and soft corals, and colourful exotic marine life. And for those who fancy water sports, the resort’s trimaran will surely be a fun sailing experience to discover the spectacular marine life from above water. The resort offers a comprehensive range of water sports equipment, with an onsite PADI-accredited dive centre.
The Beach Restaurant at Evason Ana MandaraNha Trang city is a very popular beach destination on Vietnam’s south central coast. With a unique microclimate, the weather is tropically warm almost all year round, so it is hugely popular with international and domestic visitors alike.

The versatility of the city of Nha Trang and its surrounds, enable Evason Ana Mandara to offer guests a unique and diverse range of experiences. The in-resort Vietnamese Street Market Dining by the Beach has become a popular spot abuzz with local dishes and savouries. A team of qualified sports and recreation experts and the Experience team are on hand to design tailored memories for families and children of all age.

For further press information regarding the above press release, please contact Susan Wu, Director of Marketing and Communications, Vietnam: susan@sixsenses.com or visit the website at www.sixsenses.com

ANZAC Day hotel bookings show popularity of four-day weekend

Securing a four-day long weekend courtesy of the ANZAC Day public holiday on Thursday might have involved taking a day off on Friday, but that doesn’t seem to have dampened the enthusiasm of Aussie travel lovers. 

Data from leading travel and lifestyle website www.lastminute.com.au, reveals that hotel room nights booked for the ANZAC Day period* are up 88% on last year when the public holiday fell mid-week.
Whether these holiday-goers used an annual leave day or perhaps *ahem* less legitimate methods remains to be seen.

WA and QLD leading the rise in bookings
Western Australia and Queensland have seen the most dramatic rise with a 123% and 112% increase in bookings year-on-year respectively for the ANZAC Day period.

Accommodation providers in Victoria (up 92%), New South Wales (up 86%) and South Australia (up 85%) also saw an increase in visitors, while off lower bases respectively, Tasmania (up 130%) and the ACT (up 137%) are also on the up.

“Aussies love any excuse to squeeze in a getaway and this year’s ANZAC Day public holiday is no exception. Who can blame them with so many great destinations an easy drive distance from capital cities including the Hunter Valley, Gold Coast and Margaret River,” said lastminute.com.au General Manager Kirsty Labruniy.

Top five hot spots for the ANZAC Day
Destinations with the most hotel room night bookings via lastminute.com.au for the ANZAC Day period include:

NSW
  1. Sydney
  2. Newcastle
  3. Hunter Valley
  4. Blue Mountains
  5. Byron Bay
VIC
  1. Melbourne
  2. Bright
  3. Cowes
  4. Daylesford
  5. Yarra Valley
QLD
  1. Gold Coast
  2. Sunshine Coast
  3. Brisbane
  4. TNQ
  5. Hervey Bay
SA
  1. Adelaide
  2. McClaren Vale
  3. Port Lincoln
  4. Victor Harbor
  5. Mt Gambier
WA
  1. Perth
  2. Margaret River
  3. Busselton
  4. Dunsborough
  5. Mandurah
TAS
  1. Hobart
  2. Launceston & Tamar Valley
  3. Port Arthur
  4. Devonport
  5. Strahan


Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai Celebrates Opening With Artistic Flair And Two Tempting Offers

 Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is delighted to announce the opening of its second city hotel in China, Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai.

In celebration, the hotel is offering guests two tantalizing packages both priced from CNY 3,600 and available from 25 April to 30 September 2013.

From left to right: Mr. Pan Wei – Artist ;  Mr. Andrew Hirst – Operations Director, Asia Pacific of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group ; Mr. Pierre Barthes – General Manager of Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai ; Professor Li Xiao Feng – Art Critic ; Mr. Miao Tong – Artist ; Ms. Kang Qing – Artist ; Ms. Chen Chen – Renowned TV Host
Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai celebrated its opening with the official launch of the hotel’s impressive art collection, curated by the renowned Art Front Gallery and featuring 4,000 original artworks displayed throughout the public spaces and guestrooms. Joining the celebrations were Associate Professor Li Xiao Feng of Fine Arts College Shanghai University, as
well as leading Chinese artists Miao Tong, Pan Wei and Kang Qing.

“We are delighted to open our newest hotel in this dynamic city,” said Andrew Hirst, Director of Operations – Asia. “Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai is set to become a new luxury landmark for guests seeking the finest in service and facilities, as well as a riverfront destination for art connoisseurs.”
“Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai provides a stunning backdrop from which to showcase some of China’s most exciting artworks, and is sure to become a destination for both local and international art lovers,” said Mr. Li Xiao Feng.

To mark its official debut, the hotel is offering two packages:image005
Your Second Night On Us package includes:
v  Two-nights luxurious accommodation in a spacious guestroom or suite (the second night is complimentary)
v  Complimentary in-room wired and wireless internet access
Discover Shanghai package includes:
v  One night’s accommodation in a luxurious guestroom or suite
v  Complimentary in-room wired and wireless internet access
v  A credit of CNY888 for room guests and CNY1,888 for suite guests that can be redeemed at the hotel’s spa or restaurants
Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai - Presidential Suitev  Complimentary butler service for suite guests
Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai’s opening packages are valid from 25 April to 30 September 2013. Rates for both packages start from CNY3,600. Rates are subject to 15% service charge. This offer is subject to availability and advance reservations are required. Reservations can be made through Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group’s on-line reservations service at www.mandarinoriental.com or by contacting the Group’s worldwide sales and reservation offices, or by phoning Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai directly on +86 21 20829908.

Should you have any enquiries for the attached release, please feel free to contact me on +852 3665 1000. Please note that Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has a downloadable photo gallery within their press centre at www.mandarinoriental.com.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mandarin Oriental, Geneva and Mandarin Oriental, Prague Unveils Its New Rooms and Suites

Mandarin Oriental, Geneva is proud to unveil its brand new "Mandarin Floor", offering the most exclusive and luxurious accommodation in the city.

Having recently completed a two year refurbishment of the hotel’s guestrooms, Mandarin Oriental, Geneva is delighted to now uncover luxurious accommodation on its new “Mandarin Floor”, located on the hotel’s sixth storey with superb views Royal Mandarin Suite Living room at Mandarin Oriental, Genevaover the city, river and mountains. With interiors by renowned French designer Sybille de Margerie of SM Design, who was also responsible for the guestrooms, public areas and Spa at the Group’s Paris hotel, the “Mandarin Floor” offers modern and spacious rooms and suites bursting with a sophisticated palette of reds, invigorating exotic fuchsia and delicate tones of silver or gold, as vibrant and full of energy as the hotel’s riverside location and Geneva's urban atmosphere.

With the launch of the “Mandarin Floor”, Mandarin Oriental, Geneva now offers a total of 170 stylish and spacious guestrooms and 27 top suites.
For special offers and enquiries, visit the hotel's website www.mandarinoriental.com/geneva or contact the reservations office at Mandarin Oriental, Geneva on +41 22 909 00 01 / mogva-reservations@mohg.com. Rooms are subject to availability and terms and conditions apply.

Deluxe Terrace Room at Mandarin Oriental, PragueIn addition, Mandarin Oriental, Prague is delighted to introduce its new Deluxe Terrace Rooms and luxurious Moser Crystal Suites. Designed for the most discerning travellers, both make the ideal starting point to explore the beautiful city of Prague.

Ideally situated to explore the best of the city, Mandarin Oriental, Prague provides a comfortable and relaxing retreat with luxurious rooms and stylish dining options. Whether guests choose a Deluxe Terrace room or a Moser Crystal Suite, both are a chic complement to city leisure activities. Just a few steps from all the main city sights, Mandarin Oriental, Prague, offers a perfect starting point to discover unique Prague architecture, intriguing cultural sites or the enchanting Mala Strana gardens all cloaked in leaves and blossoms.
Guests can book a Moser Suite with the hotel’s Suite Temptations package with rates from EUR 775 and enjoy:

v  A complimentary third night
v  Daily buffet breakfast for two
v  EUR 90  credit on spa treatments
v  Our special VIP welcome amenity
v  Daily in-room Internet service

For reservations please contact Mandarin Oriental, Prague directly on +42 233 088 888 or refer to the on-line reservations service at www.mandarinoriental.com/prague.

Should you have any enquiries for the attached release, please feel free to contact me on +852 3665 1000. Please note that Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has a downloadable photo gallery within their press centre at www.mandarinoriental.com.

Get Fit With Maasai Training On The Kenyan Plains

The famous Maasai warriors are amongst the fittest people in the world, covering long distances effortlessly. At Serian Camp in the Masai Mara you can enjoy the programme that keeps them at their peak fitness and combine it with your safari activities.


Days begin with long walks up an escarpment, along and back down along the Mara River with your trainer – all before midday. These have walks really get your heart pumping with inclining terrain as soon as you begin! This isn’t just a challenging exercise regime, it’s about having fun and being out in the wild as you get fit. You’ll pass by some fantastic views along the way and admire giraffe and zebra too. The escarpment walks will be timed every day, so you’ll be able to see how much you’ve progressed by the end of the programme. You’ll have a tasty al fresco breakfast en-route.

When you arrive back at camp, it’s time for a little stretching, a leisurely lunch and some relaxation. There are daily yoga workshops to help improve your flexibility and strength as well as relaxing the mind and body.

After tea it’s time to head out for an exciting game drive. The Masai Mara is one of the richest wildlife areas in the world, home to fierce predators, grazing plains game and lots of endearing smaller creatures. You’ll be accompanied by your experienced guide who will use their local knowledge to get you the very best views of the wildlife. The guides are all photographers too and they’ll be able to help you out with tips and tricks during your drives.

Whilst you’re at Serian you can compete in the Masai Olympics! Try your hand at spear throwing and bow and arrow shooting to fully embrace the Maasai culture!

To find out more about this experience or any other information about a Kenya safari, please contact Africa Exclusive on 01604 628979 or email michelle@safari.co.uk

Moor Dawn Service Options Aboard Gallipoli-2015


The Australian newspaper and Sky news report Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) support for cruise ships mooring off Anzac Cove during centennial Dawn Service Commemorations.

Arrangements for this Gallipoli-2015 initiative have already been confirmed with local port authorities.

Overnight on 24th April 2015, the Epic Cruise liner will moor as close as practical to Anzac Cove. It may be possible for passengers to observe Official Dawn Service proceedings from the ship. On board, there will be a dignified service and live broadcast of official commemorations.

Two other options are available to Epic Cruise passengers:
  • Anzac Cove Dawn Service
  • passengers successful in the Anzac Ballot and holding entry tickets for the official commemoration service at North Beach will be transferred to and from the cruise ship.
  • Independent Dawn Service
  • an independent, ballot-free event is being finalised for a site of ANZAC significance within the Gallipoli National Park, that will include a live broadcast of official commemorations.
This choice aligns with Dawn Service origins that saw a number of independent commemorations occur at locations around Australia and the Western Front.

The spirit of ANZAC is best represented by peace and comradeship. A number of different choices to join centenary activities at Gallipoli in 2015 will enable more Australians and New Zealanders who feel a strong Gallipoli connection to participate.

Gallipoli-2015 is the only Anzac Centenary cruise endorsed by the Australian Geographic Society.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Shangri-La Hotel, Suzhou Offers Premier Weekend Deals

Shangri-La Hotel, Suzhou is offering a specially designed weekend room package with a tour of Suzhou from now until mid-November 2013. 

Guests will be able to explore one of selected attractions in the city, including a night tour to Master-of-the-Nets Garden, Taihu Lake Wetland Park and Candy Land.  Guests can also enjoy Huaiyang, Cantonese and local cuisines at Shang Palace. The Premier Weekend Deals room package starts at Rmb1,100 (subject to 15 per cent service charge) for a one-night stay in a Premier Room.

The Premier Weekend Deals room package includes the following benefits:Kunqu Performance at Master-of-the-net Garden
  • Access to the Health Club and heated swimming pool
  • Access to broadband Internet and Wi-Fi
  • A choice of:
    a. Two adult tickets for Night Tour in Master-of-the-Nets Garden;
    b. Two adult tickets and one child (between 1.2-1.5m) ticket to the Taihu Lake Wetland Park; and
    c. A dining credit of Rmb200 at Shang Palace
“It is a journey where guests will indulge in the fascinations of Suzhou and be enchanted by the grandeur and comforts of Shangri-La Hotel, Suzhou during the relaxing weekends,” said Susanna Li, hotel general manager.

The city of Suzhou, known as the “garden city,” is dotted with classic gardens filled with poetic scenery, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of China’s finest, the Master-of-the-Nets Garden.

Guests can travel to the Master-of-the-Nets Garden in about 20 minutes by car from the hotel.  The garden is inspired by the simple and solitary life of a Chinese fisherman depicted in philosophical writings.  It has over 800 years of history and is particularly regarded among connoisseurs for its mastery of relative dimension, contrast, foil, sequence and depth, and borrowed scenery.

The night tour of the Master-of-the-Nets Garden is available from spring to autumn, and includes eight live performances that showcase the cultural legacy of Suzhou: the traditional dumb show, the Kunqu Opera, Suzhou Pingtan, and instrumental performances of the Chinese erhu, pipa, cheng and others.  At night, golden clearance lights and scarlet palace lanterns outline the pavilions and platforms along the river, radiating grace and elegance everywhere.  Actors in ancient theatrical costumes organize the traditional performances.  Show times are at 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30 p.m.

The Taihu Lake Wetland Park is located west of the city, about 30 minutes by car from Shangri-La Hotel, Suzhou.  This state-level wetland adds a natural, ecological and rural charm to the city.  Guests will encounter wild birds and get acquainted with the eight aquatic treasures from Taihu Lake, including cane shoots, water shield, water caltrop, lotus root, Gorgon fruit, chestnut, arrowhead and water fennel. Entertainment facilities, such as an aquatic sports centre, a foot-operated water mill and a farmer’s orchard, are also available.

Shangri-La Hotel, Suzhou offers a specially designed children’s menu that guests bringing children will appreciate.  Café Soo offers a children’s corner where the little ones can play with toys, have fun on the slide, and watch their favourite cartoon shows.  The whole family can also lounge by the hotel’s heated swimming pool with separate children’s pool.

Guests can also relax in the comfort of the hotel room and enjoy the authentic seasonal local cuisine prepared by Chinese Executive Chef Roger Xu at Shang Palace with the Rmb200 dining credit included in the package.  Guests can also enjoy the fully equipped Spa and Health Club to rejuvenate the body.
Shangri-La Hotel, Suzhou is located on the top 24 floors of the Metropolitan Tower, the landmark of Suzhou New District.  The hotel has 390 spacious and tastefully designed rooms and suites, all offering panoramic views of the city.  Six restaurants and bars provide guests with a range of dining and entertainment options.  Within easy access to the city’s finest attractions, the Suzhou railway station and the Shanghai-Nanjing highway, Shangri-La Hotel, Suzhou is an ideal choice for travellers.

For reservations or more information, please call (86 512) 6808 0168 or e-mail reservations.slsz@shangri-la.com.  Terms and conditions apply, and reservations are subject to availability.

Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently owns and/or manages 78 hotels under the Shangri-La, Kerry and Traders brands with a room inventory of over 32,000. Shangri-La hotels are five-star deluxe properties featuring extensive luxury facilities and services. Shangri-La hotels are located in Australia, Canada, mainland China, Fiji, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Philippines, Singapore, Sultanate of Oman, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. The group has a substantial development pipeline with upcoming projects in mainland China, India, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Turkey and United Kingdom. For more information and reservations, please contact a travel professional or access the website at www.shangri-la.com.

Wellness Getaway - Treat Your Senses To The Goodness Of Organic Spa, Malaysia

If you set out to explore Malaysia, you are sure to fall in love with it. A bubbling, bustling, melting pot of different ethnicities, cultures, colors, and people, Malaysia has something for everything.

History, culture, nature, adventure or relaxation, whatever it is that you are eyeing, Malaysia is sure to beguile you. Attracting a number of tourists, this Southeast Asian country offers a range of activities to indulge in, snorkeling and under water dives being some and best enjoyed in Malaysia’s azure beaches and white-sand tropical islands.

The capital city of Kuala Lumpur is home to fantastic shopping, mouthwatering cuisine, an imposing skyline of glistening skyscrapers and some amazing sightseeing. However, sightseeing can sometimes lead to tired muscles, aching limbs and a sore back. That is when a heavenly organic spa Malaysia comes to the rescue. Make the most of your holiday in Kuala Lumpur and douse yourself in stimulating and soothing therapies and spa treatments. For those who want a good pampering, The Chateau Spa and Organic Wellness Resort offer rejuvenating and revitalizing spa retreats. Offering the best in health and wellbeing fortification, The Chateau is the world’s first organic spa and wellness resort. Impeccable services and unsurpassed hospitality standards form the base of this organic spa, inspired by the 18th century Haut Koenigsbourg castle in Alsace, France. Helping to melt away the stress after an eventful day of sightseeing, the spa and wellness center here offers complete body healing and a relaxing experience. Tailor made to suit personal needs, the number of packages make one go wow - Therapeutic massages, fragrant wraps, enriched baths, gentle facials, steam and saunas…the list goes on endlessly.
Blending in the best of European spa expertise with warm, Asian hospitality, The Chateau Spa and Organic Wellness Resort is the place to be. After a heady relief post-treatment, you will have no choice left than to visit back again and again.

For more information, please visit www.thechateau.com.my (or) write to their Corporate

Southern Discoveries launches high-speed catamaran tour and nature experience

 Premier South Island tourism company Southern Discoveries is continuing to invest in its tourism operation, launching a multi-million dollar catamaran and nature experience on Lake Wakatipu.

The purpose-built 26m high-speed catamaran, to be known as Spirit of Queenstown, will launch for the start of the 2013/14 summer season.

She will carry up to 150 passengers from Queenstown across the pristine waters of Lake Wakatipu to the normally A concept image of the new Southern Discoveries Spirit of Queenstown catamaran on Lake Wakatipuinaccessible Mt Nicholas Station for an authentic and nature-based experience.

The activity will include a high-speed boat trip across Lake Wakatipu with land based activities at the high country station.  Mt Nicholas offers uninterrupted views to Mt Earnslaw and up the lake to Glenorchy, as well as rolling hills, hidden valleys and lakes and the opportunity to see a working high country station.

Activities on offer include day walks, cycling and musterer safari trips into the high country for an authentic high country experience. The main woolshed is located right on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and will be transformed into the heart of this family-friendly experience.

Highly sought-after merino wool from Mt Nicholas station is used exclusively for Icebreaker clothing and the journey from sheep to clothing is included in the trip as well as fascinating stories of high country farming, the history of local families, and how they live in this remote location.

The Spirit of Queenstown will also be available for conference, incentive and event groups and private functions for up to 150 guests, offering a new and exciting option not currently available in Queenstown.
Southern Discoveries’ General Manager John Robson said it was ‘hugely exciting’ to have a new experience to offer visitors to Queenstown.

“We’re privileged to be the only company offering excursions to Mt Nicholas Station and thrilled to be able to showcase this wonderful pristine landscape for the first time,” he said.
The privately-owned Mt Nicholas Station will undergo some developments in order to host the trip and until now has been unexplored territory for tourists.

“In the competitive tourism market you always need to have something a little bit different and with our state-of-the-art catamaran – a first for Queenstown - and unrivalled access to one of the South Island’s most stunning high country stations, we’ve achieved that,” said Mr Robson.
The company continues to invest in its business and in October plans to relocate its current Shotover Street information and booking centre to the top of The Mall, one of Queenstown’s most iconic business locations.
The new flagship premise will be the main information base for the Southern Discoveries portfolio of products, KJet (in which Southern Discoveries owns a 50% share) and national bus carrier InterCity.
Mr Robson said it was one of the most high profile and high foot traffic sites in the CBD.

“It’s ideally positioned at the gateway to the town centre in full view of all new visitors into Queenstown,” he said.

”As we continue to invest in new products and experiences in Milford, Te Anau and Queenstown, we need to increase our street presence and the prestigious Mall location is perfect to capture visitors as they drive in or stroll around Queenstown.”

Southern Discoveries is the oldest and most well-established operator in Milford Sound operating five vessels, ranging in capacity from 35 to 400 passengers. It offers the widest range of Milford products including Scenic and Encounter Nature cruises and popular Discover More cruise featuring the Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory.

It also owns and operates Harrisons Cove Kayaking, the Blue Duck Café & Bar in Milford, four information centres in Te Anau and Queenstown, and Te Anau-based coach service Go Milford.

It also operates the Queenstown Princess which provides day and charter cruises on Lake Wakatipu for up to 35 people. Southern Discoveries also have a 50% interest in KJet, Queenstown’s original Jet boating company and the only Jet boats to operate on both the Shotover and Kawarau Rivers.

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The Expeditionist

The Expeditionist
Venturing to the world's special places