Toast the Holiday Spirit in These Whimsical Winter Wonderlands

Celebrate the festive season and discover a new city full of holiday bliss. From snow to palm trees, Marriott International hotels across the Americas are offering winter getaways to these unexpected destinations for some holiday joy and to experience another destination on the travel wish list.

Where should you go?
Some of the coolest destinations to offer merry celebrations, activities and holiday spirit are: Asheville, NC – Branson, MO – Medina, OH – Las Vegas, NV – Louisville, KY/Santa Claus, IN – Philadelphia, PA – Phoenix, AZ – Seattle/Leavenworth, WA Toronto, ON Canada and Washington, DC.

Asheville, NC
Situated in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville lends itself to a picture-perfect backdrop for all holiday happenings. Visit the city’s biggest attraction as the Biltmore Estate adorns 55 elaborate hand-decorated trees, 1,000 poinsettias, and miles of garland. New for 2017, guests can visit The Biltmore Winery, where 7,000 globe-shaped ornaments will hang from the ceiling creating the illusion of being inside a bottle of sparkling wine. Settle in at the brand new AC Hotel Asheville Downtown where every hand-selected detail fuses local culture with the brand’s European roots.

Branson, MO
Holiday celebrations continue through New Year’s Day in this Ozark town. Branson does not disappoint, offering up an array of holiday-themed activities from exploring Silver Dollar City Continue reading “Toast the Holiday Spirit in These Whimsical Winter Wonderlands”

Marriott International Announces Partnership with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment in Canada

Members of Marriott Rewards and SPG Can Get Exclusive VIP Access to Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Event
Marriott International, the country’s leading lodging company, is proud to announce a multi-year partnership with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), making Marriott International the preferred hotel company for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The 100 million+  global members of Marriott’s three loyalty programs – Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guests (SPG), including the more than 3.7 million members in Canada, will be big winners with the partnership. Members will be able to redeem points on Marriott Rewards Moments and SPG Moments for once-in-a-lifetime hockey themed experiences with players and legends of the game.

“The cross country popularity of hockey makes the Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment an ideal partner to provide members of Marriott Rewards and SPG with once-in-a-lifetime experiences,” said Don Cleary, President of Marriott International Canada. “We know that Canadians – more so than ever – travel for experiences and our partnership with the Toronto Maple Leafs unlocks the potential for memorable travel.” Continue reading “Marriott International Announces Partnership with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment in Canada”

St. Louis Sends Love!

Thanksgiving weekend is here- for the Americans I meant! We’re having our American family visit us and are excitedly looking forward to it!

Prior to that, we had other priorities –bring another family member back home! From the US of A! My mother-in-law who cannot travel alone but loves to visit her granddaughter in America, once every year!

On our weekend getaway with a mission/purpose we land in a very beautiful city, St. Louis in Missouri. This has been our tradition for the past decade or so, where we deplane at this city for our onward road journey to our family’s hometown.

St. Louis, one of the biggest city of Missouri is one of the finest cities to visit and well-known for its Gateway Arch, night life, botanical garden etc. The boat tour on Mississipi River is splendid and an experience we cherish. A visit to the Gateway Arch is essential, a must do for everyone visiting or passing by St. Louis — pictures do the astonishingly colossal monument no justice.

Like most Midwestern cities, the people here are very friendly and warm. The weather is slightly cold at this time of the year, but nothing to complain about. Really. There is an old joke: Question: “What is the hardest job in the world?” Answer: “Bank guard in Alaska…everyone is wearing ski masks!” The second hardest job in the world has to be forecasting the weather in St. Louis, since it’s pretty much the opposite of San Diego’s steadfast sunshine.

Having said that, other than Chicago, St. Louis is one of the nicest major cities to visit, especially enroute to where we want to go. The people are amazing, the food is great!

Continue reading “St. Louis Sends Love!”

The Riu La Mola recognized as Top Producer of the year in Formentera by Expedia Inc.

The Riu La Mola hotel has been chosen by Expedia Inc. as the Top Producer 2017 in Formentera, Balearic Islands, for its outstanding performance and amount of rooms generated on Expedia.com for 2017. Considered as one of the largest and most important travel companies in the world, Expedia Inc. awarded this resort located on Migjorn Beach during the last Expedia Partner Appreciation Event that took place in the Pueblo Español in Palma de Majorca. Nacho Alonso, Expedia Senior Market Manager in the Balearic Islands, was in charge of giving the prize to RIU Hotels & Resorts, represented by Sandra Rodón, Director of Global Distribution of this hotel chain.

Overlooking Migjorn Beach, the Hotel Riu La Mola offers guests the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful vacation at one of Formentera’s best hotels. The resort has 345 rooms equipped with Wi-Fi, satellite TV, air conditioning, a minibar and a balcony or terrace, as well as many other amenities. At this hotel on Migjorn Beach in Formentera, the guests can relax with the magnificent treatments offered by Renova Spa, workout at the hotel’s gym, or play sports such as tennis, volley ball or rent bikes.

The Hotel Riu La Mola’s facilities include a children’s pool, two pools for adults and a private beach access so all guests can head easily to the beach for a swim in the crystalline waters surrounding the hotel. On the other hand, the hotel offers exquisite food which stands out for its variety and the quality of its ingredients.The hotel’s restaurant has incredible buffets, show cooking areas and the best barbecue thanks to the restaurant located in the garden area. In addition, the Hotel Riu La Mola’s 3 bars offer the best beverages and appetizers all day long. Continue reading “The Riu La Mola recognized as Top Producer of the year in Formentera by Expedia Inc.”

Mississauga Introduces Hotel Tax to Promote Local Tourism

On Wednesday, November 1 at General Committee, Mississauga City Council approved in principle the introduction of a four per cent hotel tax effective July 1, 2018. The new tax is a result of Bill 127 which the Government of Ontario passed earlier this year. The Stronger, Healthier Ontario Act (Budget Measures) 2017 allows municipalities to charge a transient accommodations tax also called a hotel tax.

Mayor Bonnie Crombie said “This new revenue tool is an opportunity for the City of Mississauga to generate important funds that will be reinvested in an accountable, transparent and dedicated way toward undertaking important city-building initiatives to grow and diversify our local economy, strengthen our tourism industry and showcase our many celebrated attractions, festivals, heritage, culture and businesses.”

The four per cent hotel tax rate is consistent with the rate being considered by the City of Toronto. With Mississauga and Toronto being near to each other, applying a similar rate in Mississauga would ensure local hotels continue to be competitive.

The City estimates that the tax will generate approximately $9.8 million annually, 50 per cent of which will be shared with Tourism Toronto to promote tourism in Mississauga. The City and Tourism Toronto will use hotel tax revenues for tourism-related activities such as implementing recommendations from the Tourism Master Plan, developing and maintaining tourism-related infrastructure, improving programs and services and for Economic Development initiatives. Continue reading “Mississauga Introduces Hotel Tax to Promote Local Tourism”

Marriott International Named Best International Hotel Chain at Travel Weekly Asia Readers’ Choice Awards

Top accolade judged by Travel Weekly Asia readers honours the best in the industry

Marriott International has been named Best International Hotel Chain at the Travel Weekly Asia 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards for the second year in a row. The coveted award was announced at a gala dinner at the Mandarin Orchard Singapore in front of an audience of more than 100 hospitality leaders across the region.

The awards celebrate the best in the travel industry in Asia and are voted for by readers of Travel Weekly Asia, a group made up of professionals from different fields within the industry. The Best International Hotel Chain award honours outstanding hotel chain operating a network of properties internationally.

“Travel Weekly Asia would like to congratulate Marriott International for its impressive success at this year’s awards. It’s clear that our readers, who number some of the most well-travelled people in the region, continue to be impressed by Marriott’s distinct offerings such as its industry-leading loyalty program and remarkable breadth of brands”, said Irene Chua, group publisher, Travel Weekly Asia.

Craig S. Smith, President and Managing Director of Asia Pacific for Marriott International, said: “I’m so proud of all of more than 130,000 associates across the region who are dedicated to providing the best possible experience for our guests. At Marriott we put people first, so I am delighted with this fantastic recognition of their hard work,” Continue reading “Marriott International Named Best International Hotel Chain at Travel Weekly Asia Readers’ Choice Awards”

EXPERIENCE “TRUE JOY” THIS WINTER WITH JETESCAPES’ HOLIDAY OPTIONS FROM JET AIRWAYS

~All-inclusive domestic and international holidaysstarting INR 11,390 and INR 23,470 respectively~

 Jet Airways, India’s full service, premier international airline, has unveiled a host of exciting domestic and international holidays for guests planning their winter getaway.

Attractively priced, with all-inclusive domestic holidays starting at INR 11,390 onwards, JetEscapes Holidays’ tailor-made itineraries to a multitude of destinations include return economy airfare, airport transfers, three-star hotel accommodation with breakfast and sightseeing. Guests need only select their destination and travel dates and let JetEscapes Holidays take care of the rest.

Winter is the ideal time to travel. The weather is pleasant and temperatures cool enough to explore a whole host of unique destinations. It also coincides with the year-ending festive season when a lot of families choose to plan their travel.

Jayaraj Shanmugam, Chief Commercial Officer, Jet Airways, said, “Jet Airways’ Winter holidays offer extensive choices to cater to everyone’s needs. Take advantage of our wide domestic and international network to find exciting holidays that promise to leave a memorable and unforgettable experience.”

JetEscapes Holidays promises attractive and extremely convenient holiday choices across select destinations in India and abroad – from weekend getaways to extended trips. Continue reading “EXPERIENCE “TRUE JOY” THIS WINTER WITH JETESCAPES’ HOLIDAY OPTIONS FROM JET AIRWAYS”

Hong Kong: Soar Over the Skyscrapers!

3 adults, 6 kids aged 12& under, 9 days! That was the equation for our Hong Kong trip during one of the Spring breaks! Not exactly sure who was more excited- the grownups or the kids! Not that the measurement matters! The point was- we had fun, in huge quantities! Travelling business class with the tiny ones (perks of family member being an airline employee) was an added bonus which was thrown in at the last minute!

Landing into the airport was absolutely perfect! The views during descent and approach were marvelous. The tiny islands popping up from the sea and the unpopulated land around the city with skyscrapers and millions of inhabitants offers an awesome view. Once we checked into Novotel, kids forgot about their jetlag and time of the night! It was completely alive with Wi-Fi access, shopping and dining even in the wee hours.

During the day, when you set out to explore the place which has more tall buildings than New York! The number of people per square mile exceeded any other place on the planet, it’s so tightly packed.  Once you are away from the overcrowded shorelines of Victoria Harbor, you in for a treat! Mountains, harbors, forests and amazingly lush, green scenic are all available across the waterways.

The cable cars climb high over the hills and a series of valleys to get you to the renowned Big Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery. It’s about a half-hour ride from Tung Chung.

Admission to the 101-year-old monastery is free, but to go up up to the Buddha, guests are expected to buy a coupon for a vegetarian meal in a nearby tent.  That worked well for our foodie vegetarian family, who relished the bean curd, among other items thoroughly.

The other stunning view, which is not to be missed, is the Peak Tower. The Peak Tram, a funicular railway, climbs up the steep slopes of Victoria Peak. In fact, it is so steep that the buildings look as if they are all leaning at impossible angles, as you rise about 1300 feet or so, soaring between skyscrapers. Continue reading “Hong Kong: Soar Over the Skyscrapers!”

The Ritz-Carlton Unveils Tropical Paradise In Malaysia

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. is pleased to announce the debut of The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi, as the oceanfront resort opens today on the Malaysian island. Set in a tranquil private bay, the resort is surrounded by an ancient jungle, while its beachfront is shelter by trees and gently lapped by the Andaman Sea. Designed to reflect the beauty and vibrancy of the nearby traditional villages – which are known as Kampongs – The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi incorporates influences from local culture, creating a uniquely luxurious retreat with an authentic touch.

“We are thrilled to be introducing The Ritz-Carlton to Langkawi. This exciting opening marks our first resort destination in Malaysia, and the second property in the country following The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur,” said Hervé Humler, President and Chief Operating Officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.C.C. “With spectacular coastal views, lush rainforests and a blend of cultures, Langkawi offers stunning natural beauty with a fascinating story. The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi provides guests with the opportunity to experience the wonders of this unique island for themselves.”

 Designed by Philippe Villeroux of Kuala Lumpur-based Tropical Area Architects, the resort has been carefully created to fully immerse travelers in the island’s natural ecosystem and local culture. Spacious interiors in the 70 guest rooms, 15 suites and 29 villas are framed by delicate references to Malay architecture, which can be seen in the intricately-designed features, large windows and gabled roofs. Continue reading “The Ritz-Carlton Unveils Tropical Paradise In Malaysia”

HYATT REGENCY LUCKNOW OPENS IN NORTHERN INDIA

 Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) has announced  the opening of Hyatt Regency Lucknow, the first Hyatt-branded hotel in Lucknow, capital of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh in India. Hyatt Regency Lucknow is the 27th Hyatt-branded hotel in India and further expands the company’s brand presence in South Asia by offering enriching, authentic and diversified brand experiences for guests.

“The opening of Hyatt Regency Lucknow marks a significant milestone for the Hyatt Regency brand as it continues to expand its footprint throughout India,” said Kurt Straub, vice president, operations for India at Hyatt. “Not only is the hotel strategically located for business travelers visiting Lucknow, it is also well positioned for leisure guests who are interested in enjoying a journey through the Uttar Pradesh Heritage Arc of Lucknow, Agra and Varanasi.”

“We are delighted to announce the opening of Hyatt Regency Lucknow in the dynamic capital of the largest and most populous state of India. Chartered Hotels Private Limited remains focused on developing full service hotels across tier one and tier two cities in India for the ever growing business and leisure traveler,” said Varun Saraf, managing director, Chartered Hotels Private Limited. “The hotel’s strategic location along with the food and beverage offerings and large state-of-the-art meeting and banqueting facilities will provide guests with an unforgettable experience which Lucknow has not yet seen.”

Conveniently located in the corporate hub of Vibhuti Khand, Hyatt Regency Lucknow is designed to connect business and leisure travelers to all Lucknow has to offer. Continue reading “HYATT REGENCY LUCKNOW OPENS IN NORTHERN INDIA”