United Hates Houston?s Plan for Two International Airports

Residents of the Dallas/Ft Worth Metroplex probably rolled their eyes at the news that Southwest is pushing for more freedom at Houston’s close-in Hobby airport. They’ve seen it all before with Southwest’s fight against American at Love Field, right? Not quite. This is a very different situation, but don’t worry, there is still legacy airline […]

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Rezidor launches new corporate website www.rezidor.com

(TRAVELWIRES) : The Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the world\?s fastest growing hospitality companies, has launched its new and dynamic corporate website: www.rezidor.com. The site is developed by Thomson Reuters, the world\?s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals.

: Fast, stylish and packed with essential information, www.rezidor.com is designed to ensure the most effective and transparent communication with investors, media, development community and other stakeholders. The functionality, ease of use and accessibility of relevant information have been at the forefront of the design and construction of the site, as well as the visual appeal and experience complimenting the strong identity of Rezidor. Fresh and distinctive, www.rezidor.com will also guarantee Rezidor?s prominent position in the rankings for European corporate websites.

?I am delighted that our new www.rezidor.com website reflects our ambitions as one of the hotel industry?s most transparent, innovative and fast growing companies ? with a special Z-factor passion for doing things differently?, said Kurt Ritter, President & CEO of Rezidor.

The site offers a comprehensive Investors & Media section ? in English & Swedish ? ensuring that shareholders, analysts and investors receive prompt, correct and relevant financial information about Rezidor (the group is a publicly listed company at Stockholm Stock Exchange). The detailed Business Development section describes the group?s growth strategy in Europe, the Middle East and Africa along with the dynamic support services and revenue generation tools offered to hotel owners and developers.

Other prominent features of the new website include:

Compelling, interactive call-out stories, highlighting the different parts of Rezidor?s operations
An interactive brand carousel, featuring all Rezidor brands and hotels
An interactive history charting every element of Rezidor?s dynamic development
Special light-boxes showcasing the group?s fantastic brand imagery
One-page tabs simplifying navigation to related content
Links to all Rezidor social media outposts
Comprehensive site tools ? including a document library, Investor Kit, Subscribe & Order, site search, glossary, email alerts, etc.
A multi-brand booking engine for all Carlson Rezidor hotels worldwide

-END –

Media Contact

Contact Person: Christiane Reiter
Company Name: rector Corporate Communication
Email Address: Christiane.Reiter@Rezidor.com
Telephone Number: +32 2 702 9331
For more information visit: http://www.rezidor.com


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Arcachon – The Silver Coast

By Sue Aran

Arcachon, (Arcaishon in Gascon), began as a small fishing village nestled within a veritable forest of pine trees, oaks and salt marshes, at the northwest tip of Gascony on the Atlantic coast of France, with fewer than 400 residents in the early 1800’s.  With great foresight,  two brothers, Émile and Isaac Pereire, extended the rail line 34 miles west from Bordeaux, creating the first healthcare resort in France.  Officially christened by Napoléon III on May 2, 1852, Arcachon has thrived for a mere 160 years. The population today exceeds 11,000.

Located on the Côte d’Argent, the Silver Coast, Arcachon rests in a bay fed by the ocean and inland waterways, curiously creating an inlterior sea with the extraordinary colors of a lagoon.  A variety of towns are strung like pearls around the bay, each with its own culture.

Arcachon easily segued into a luxury winter resort hosting royalty and celebrities alike.  Toulouse Lautrec was known to skinny dip in the invigorating Atlantic and Sarah Bernhardt listened to jazz at local clubs while Jean Cocteau and Marilyn Monroe sought solitude there, far from the madding crowds.

Just under 4 hours from Paris by train and 40 minutes from Bordeaux, Arcachon is a seaside retreat for vacationers, sailing enthusiasts, bicyclists, casino gamblers, seafood lovers and wine connoisseurs. Throughout the summer there are boating competitions and festivals. Nearby are a nature preserve called Le Teich and the famous Dune du Pilat, Europe’s highest sand dune, rising some 375 feet into the air. It stretches 2 miles down the coast and retreats inland at a rate of 15 feet per year.

Lining the boulevard de la Plage, the central thoroughfare, are excellent restaurants specializing in local oysters and wine tasting classes.  Stroll along the beaches, have an aperitif while gazing out at the sea or watch migratory birds fly overhead towards their sanctuary.  Henri IV is known to have said, “Great cooking and great wine make a paradise on Earth.”, and this applies to Arcachon.  It is a welcoming Garden of Eden and a perfect summer getaway.

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Climbing Mt Agung

Mt Agung

rice planting?  For our 2004 book Rice Trails – A journey through the ricelands of Asia & Australia –photographer Richard I’Anson and I wanted an iconic photograph of Balinese rice farmers working on their fields with the island’s holy mountain, Gunung Agung, towering over them in the background. Of course you need all the elements to come together, the farmers, the view, the weather, but we eventually got what we were after.

? And the farmers invited me to join them and have a go at planting out the seedlings.

I’d always wanted to climb Agung and on a visit to Bali this week I finally got around to it. Lots of visitors climb Mt Batur, the 1717 metre crater-within-a-crater in the centre of the island. You can zip up from Ubud in the night, climb up for the sunrise in a couple of hours and head back to Ubud soon afterwards. Some Batur climbers stay at one of the lakeside guesthouses at the foot of the volcano before their climb.

Climbing Agung is a more serious effort, particularly if you want to get to the highest point on the crater rim at 3142metres. To accomplish that you need to start from Besakih, Bali’s most holy temple, at around midnight to be up at the top at 6am for dawn. You will have climbed 2000metres from your 1100metre high starting point.

I chose the easier option, starting from the Pura Pasar Agung temple north of Selat. I was picked up from my hotel in Ubud at midnight and at 130 am lined up in the car park below the temple at 1572metres. Despite the less than perfect weather (it was the wet season) there were a surprising number of climbers. My guide Ketut and I teamed up with four other climbers and their two guides, both of them young women, and we stuck together all the way to the top. A couple of other climbers were already there when we reached the crater rim at 530 am, after 4 hours climbing.

crater crowd
? It was already starting to get light and by dawn there were about 15 of us perched on the rim. My GPS said we were at 2873metres, so more than 250metres below the highest point, which we all agreed seemed distinctly unlikely! Perhaps Agung really is somewhat lower after the 1963-64 eruptions. It’s still classified  as an active volcano, but has not had a serious eruption since that series which killed nearly 2000 people. It’s not possible to make your way around the rim from our point to the highest point, but volcanoes aren’t like mountains, I reckon just getting up to the crater rim is good enough.

offerings on the rim?  Offerings and statues perched on the rim of the crater.

An hour later, we seemed to unanimously agree it was time to head down, the visibility was less than perfect and it was cold and windy on the top.

As often happens with mountains it was harder getting down than going up, the descent only took 2-1/2 hours, mostly because we made no rest stops on the way down, but I doubt we moved any faster. Agung is not a technical climb in any way, but it’s often more a clamber than a walk and it can be very slippery.

Agung descent
? Descending Agung

It’s also utterly relentless, climb-climb-climb then descend-descend-descend, there’s never a moment’s level break. I’ve climbed higher and made equally long ascents and descents in one go, but I don’t think my legs have ever been so tired. I was beginning to stumble by the time we got back down to the car park, one ankle didn’t feel right for the next 24 hours and two days later my legs are still aching.

Source: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/tonywheeler/travel_blogs/climbing_mt_agung/

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Kayaks on the Upper Yarra

The Yarra River is so tranquil as it flows past my place, close to the centre of Melbourne, Australia’s second biggest city, that it’s hard to believe there are rapids further upstream.

Yarra kayak
I’ve been out on the Yarra – the ‘muddy Yarra’ as it’s usually described – with Ian Penrose, the Yarra ‘Riverkeeper’ before, but on the lower reaches and in a boat with an outboard. This time I joined Ian and his Project Officer, Rod Ingham, for a spell of kayaking. We put in at Wittons Reserve and paddled about 5km downriver. We’re well into the summer now and the water was only just deep enough to get over the rocks, there were a few hard thumps, but it was good fun getting past Bob’s Rock, Island Rapid and other Upper Yarra obstacles.  I managed to not tip out, although I did get pretty wet. In fact we all got pretty wet.

Source: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/tonywheeler/travel_blogs/kayaks_on_the_upper_yarra/

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2012

Saturday 9 June – Immrama Festival of Travel Writing – Lismore, Ireland – I’ll be speaking at the travel writing festival in Ireland, more on that in a couple of weeks when the programme is officially announced.

Later in the year – I’ll be chairing the panel of judges for the 2012 Dolman Award for Travel Writing, Britain’s only award for travel books. More on that soon, when the long list of books is released.

Source: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/tonywheeler/my_events/2010/

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Centara Hotels scheduled to open second luxury resort in Maldives

Centara Hotels and Resorts is set to open its second property in Maldives before the end of 2012. This move will allow Centara to offer adult focused holidays on the island called Male.

The Centara Ras Fushi Resort is on Giraavaru situated 15 minutes away by speedboat from the International Airport and Male. The resort involves about $54 million of investments to replace the old resort built on the island about three decades ago.

Space Architects will handle the design aspect of the resort and is centered on conserving the naturally beauty of the three hectare property. It will try to preserve much of the dense green by strategically positioning the guest villas along the beach and over the water.

The island of Giraavaru was first inhabited by a local tribe before it a resort was developed back in the 1970s. The large lagoon next to the island is perfect for those who want to snorkel and swim. There are also great sites for diving including the Giraavaru Cave.


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Easter Short Breaks Can Take In Some Of Europe\?s Finest Festivals says CheapHotelChains.co.uk

(TRAVELWIRES) : Easter Short Breaks Are Often Too Focused On Our Home Country, Here\?s Three Options Across Europe To Explore Something New and Different This Year.

: There?s more to easter than chocolate eggs, especially if you decide to leave the UK for a week or two and travel to somewhere else in Europe. Easter is celebrated differently all over the continent, and the following three cities all have unique celebrations and events which you won?t be able to find anywhere else.

1. Seville, Spain

The Easter celebrations in Seville are known all over the world. Here, Easter is the most important time of the year, and the celebrations last for the entire Holy Week, or ?Semana Santa? as it is known locally.

The celebrations involve numerous processions of ?pasos?, which are floats of sculptures created from wood and depicting scenes from the Passion. Members of different religious brotherhoods go on their own processions, dressed in striking robes and hoods, all heading towards the cathedral, and the spectacle attracts large crowds from far and wide.

There are about 60 processions in total, and the best take place on Holy Thursday, which is the day before Good Friday. Hotels in Seville book up fast this time of year, so make sure you check out the cities hotels pretty early.

2. Florence, Italy

Florence is where the famous ?Scoppio del Carro? takes place, which translates roughly as the ?explosion of the cart?.

You won?t find another Easter celebration quite like this one, and it has become a major spectacle in the city over the years.

It involves a huge decorated wagon being dragged by white oxen through the city all the way up to the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore which is located in the city centre. Following the mass, the cart is then exploded, setting off a huge firework display.

As if this wasn?t enough, the explosion is followed up by a parade where the locals dress up in medieval clothing to provide one of the most exciting Easter celebrations you?ll find anywhere in Europe.

3. Nicosia, Cyprus

The Cypriots know how to throw a party, and if you head to the capital of Cyprus you?ll be able to take part in all manner of celebrations, most of which involve eating large quantities of food.

The fun starts weeks before Easter in the lead up to Lent, usually sometime in February. There is a carnival, dressing up in costumes and lots of festivities as the locals prepare for their lengthy fast.

The first week is focused on meat, where people essentially eat as much as they can, and then this is followed by a week focused on cheese. After this, the fasting begins until Easter arrives and the eating begins once again.

You?ll find plenty of tasty treats to eat here, including the square pastry ?flaounes? and the sweet ?tsoureki? which are typically eaten on Easter Day. Many people also enjoy a ?souvla? on Easter Day, which is a type of barbecue.

Do Something Different this Easter

If you want to escape the UK this then enjoy something completely different and try an Easter hotel break in anyone of the above three cities. Not only will you be able to enjoy these fun celebrations, but you?ll also have a great holiday as they are all top locations at any time of the year. For more info, please visit http://www.cheaphotelchains.co.uk/cheap-hotel-guides.html

About CheapHotelChains
Cheap Hotel Chains is a website dedicated to price comparing all the latest hotel deals around the world. The website helps people find the very best deal for them in their chosen holiday destination, from basic and cost effective rooms to something more luxurious. Please visit http://www.cheaphotelchains.co.uk

-END –

Media Contact

Contact Person: Phil Byrne
Company Name: CheapHotelChains
Email Address: info@cheaphotelchains.co.uk
Telephone Number: +44 113 8150575
For more information visit: http://www.cheaphotelchains.co.uk


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Musée Bourdelle – A Gem of Montparnasse

Musée Bourdelle – A Gem of Montparnasse

By Sue Aran

A garden of sculptures beckons you into the Musée Bourdelle, an infrequently visited gem at 18 rue Antoine Bourdelle, set amidst brick houses on a quiet street in Montparnasse. Émile Antoine Bourdelle was born on October 30,1861 in Montauban, also the birthplace of the painter, Ingres.  He moved to Paris at the age of 23 and studied at the École des Beaux-Arts.  So talented was Bourdelle that in quick succession he became a pupil of Auguste Rodin’s, his assistant, then a teacher in his studio.  Many future, well known artists, like Alberto Giacometti, became Bourdelle’s students and were influenced by his eclectic style which combined naturalism, monumentality and geometry with shades of Romanticism.

The museum is a blend as varied and interesting as the man himself.  I visited mid-week and found the place almost deserted except for a few guards and cleaning personnel.  Inside the modernist grand hall you will find majestic sculptures randomly placed under the overhead skylights.  In another section there’s a striking display of Beethoven busts, a subject matter that obsessively occupied Bourdelle until his death in 1929. His old studio is lit by bright northern light drawing attention to the dust that has settled on the half finished sculptures scattered around the room and the damp smell of the wooden parquet floor. The faded gray plaster will give you a feeling that Bourdelle just stepped outside for a moment and will be right back.  There is also a basement in which you can see studies for some of his greatest works.

Across the garden you will find Bourdelle’s apartment.  Rarely are we allowed to intrude on so private a place. At first glance you might be struck by its sombre, atonal palette. His bed and some personal belongings are on view, matter-of-factly set with complete disregard for any kind of design ethic, evocatively uninspiring, yet intimate. I imagine Bourdelle didn’t spend very much time there, except to sleep.

The museum was officially opened in 1949.  It is open Thursday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Some of Antoine Bourdelle’s sculptures can also be seen at the Musée d’Orsay.

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Delta, Hawaiian, and Southwest Talk Fleet Strategy

One of the more interesting panels in Phoenix last week was the one that focused on fleet strategy. There’s always a ton of discussion about buying airplanes, and each airline has a different philosophy. On the panel, there were representatives from Air China, Delta, Hawaiian, and Southwest from the airline side. The CEO of Airbus […]

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