~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 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”

Charming Cleveland: Clan, Culture & Cuyahoga!

 Are you gone again this weekend? To Cleveland? Exactly!

That’s been a ritual for the past decade or so. It’s more of a family visit than a getaway. This city, which used to be known as urban decay for the longest time is actually a haven of culture and cuisine. And close enough to Toronto for a quick drive, a short trip.

Our visits to this city-even though not a dream vacation- always ends up being a lot of fun(not to mention our loving family!). The road trips, when we go practically tech-free are a perfect time for catching up with our teen-adult kids.  We don’t need two-dimensional images to be happy. We could talk.  The route is very simple, we all know it like the back of our hand.

Our car would be packed with samosas, sandwiches, water and all kinds of snacks   from the Indian grocery store. Even with years of   experience, we of the opinion that there is no food available off I-90. That doesn’t prevent us from taking a mandatory break at Angola.

It’s a highway, after all, and despite being lined with beautiful trees and rolling green fields. When you’re surrounded by a storybook landscape, a road trip doesn’t feel like one. The drive is always fun as we go through New York and Pennsylvania to reach Ohio.

The word Cleveland may conjure up images of derelict factories and shuttered steel mills, rather than a   delightful break. But this city formerly key notch in America’s Rust Belt, has come a long way back from industrial oblivion. It is now a city with attractions, culture and cuisine. Continue reading “Charming Cleveland: Clan, Culture & Cuyahoga!”

Labor Day Holiday long weekend:Plan your border crossing

CBSA advises travellers to plan their border crossing for the Labour Day Holiday long weekend

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is anticipating heavy traffic volumes at ports of entry in Eastern and Northern Ontario this Labour Day Holiday long weekend and would like to remind travellers to plan their border crossing to avoid delays.

Beat the border rush by crossing at a non-peak time. Regardless of your itinerary, try to plan crossing the border in the morning, especially if you cross on Sunday or Monday. Most lineups at the border start building in the afternoon and carry on throughout the evening.

For travellers crossing at the Lansdowne (Thousand Islands) port of entry, be aware of the current construction taking place for the new facility. Travellers and commercial vehicles may experience delays as a result of reduced processing lanes. At peak times, travellers and commercial vehicles may choose to enter Canada via the Prescott port of entry.

We encourage travellers to plan ahead and help facilitate their border crossing by following these tips:

  1. Plan your border crossing – Check border wait times using the CanBorder App and cross at the least busy port of entry in the area.
  2. Know your purchases and keep travel documents handy – Know your personal exemptions and restrictions and make sure that each passenger has the correct travel document. Continue reading “Labor Day Holiday long weekend:Plan your border crossing”

Culinary Journey: Joys of Curry

Is all Indian food curried? Yes, No, Maybe so!

Indians today have relocated to every nook and corner of the earth. Restaurateurs’ have followed suit. Aren’t we glad??!! No matter where you travel to, you can find an establishment serving naan and daal, thanks to enterprising Punjabis who have influenced cooking in a major way. Similarly, the caterers of South India have given many parts of the globe a taste of idlis and dosas.

Obviously, cross-fertilization between cuisines takes place and innovative chefs come up with new recipes to the delight of foodies! As with all cuisines, easy availability of local produce forms the base for use of various ingredients in cooking. Similarly, preferences of the palate differ between communities which influence cuisine. But the bottom line is the ‘masala’ or the ‘curry’ is what adds flavors to Indian cuisines. Even in pizzas, pastas and such!

An authentic Indian curry is a combination of onion, garlic, ginger and spices, seasonings. Turmeric, cloves and cardamoms. Coconut in the Southern delicacies.  Not all Indian food is spicy and salty. We’re major on sweets (Bengali ones are extremely popular) and a lot of these are made with jiggery, milk and ghee. Watch your calorie intake as you consume those! Side dishes and condiments like chutneys ad pickles add to the texture of a meal and provide balance. Continue reading “Culinary Journey: Joys of Curry”

Goa: Beautiful Beaches, Lush Landscape

We went. We saw. We marveled.

India’s popular seaside destination Goa left an unforgettable imprint on us. The journey from Bangalore to Goa was a bit hair-raising. Driving in India can be quite challenging at times, but our driver was supremely confident and gave us a non-stop running commentary. The night sky was pitch black and our vehicle barely lit the way with its tiny headlamps – goodness knows how he could see! The driver was so proud at how quickly we had reached our destination!

The splendid scenery (even though it was dark and rainy) with coconut trees and crops of Karnataka along the way was breathtaking. The guesthouse that we stayed in was on the main road, but was quiet at night. It was not a tourist place and yet there were food stands, selling Indian snacks. We quickly settled into a leisurely and inexpensive way of life for the next couple of days.

Upon arrival, our kids couldn’t wait to get to the beach. On our first day we relished in feeling the warm refreshing Arabian Sea lap against our toes. We watched crabs dart across the beach and watched hawkers trying to sell their trinkets.  Early morning is the best time to go for a walk- collecting sea shells! Continue reading “Goa: Beautiful Beaches, Lush Landscape”

Chill at Crystal Clear Charming Coastline!

The Coast is Clear. Fort Erie’s Crystal Beach is a well-guarded (or not?) secret among Ontarians. The “best beach” destination (out of the mouths of kids) sounds like feeble praise. With miles of coastline, Crystal Beach holds its own as idyllic spot you’d want to spend on a Sunday afternoon in summer.

Crystal Beach is more of a Caribbean type of sandy beach, a family-friendly enclave which attracts kids and grown-ups as well. Lake Erie’s cool, clear waters draws a lot of travelers on summer weekends from across Niagara, Western New York and the GTA.

We picked a perfect day, when the weather was absolutely gorgeous. The water was reliably calm, for the kids to play some watersports and swim. Walking on the sandy shores was a pleasure on its own. Add to it, the company of your trusted friends and family, the charisma of the picturesque beauty doubles! What was especially satisfying was there was something for everyone. Seniors in the family sat in the shade sipping tea, teens were busy clicking selfies and the little ones building sand castles! Continue reading “Chill at Crystal Clear Charming Coastline!”

Indian Railway Stations to provide better access

In order to provide better accessibility to Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), short term facilities, as detailed below, have been planned at all stations:

  • Standard ramp for barrier free entry
  • Earmarking at least two parking lots
  • Non-slippery walk-way from parking lot to building
  • Signages of appropriate visibility
  • At least one toilet (on the ground floor)
  • At least one drinking water tap suitable for use by Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan)
  • ‘May I help you’ Booth

In addition, long term facilities,  have also been planned at ‘A-1’, ‘A’ and ‘B’ category stations:-

  • Provision of facility for inter-platform transfer
  • Engraving on edges of platform

So far, 394 escalators at 167 stations and 219 lifts at 100 stations have been provided. Further, work is in progress for about 380 nos. of escalators at 133 stations and 427 nos. of lifts at 134 stations which shall be completed over a period of next two to three years. Continue reading “Indian Railway Stations to provide better access”