Costa Rica's smallest park packs an impressive collection of natural attractions -- wildlife, rain forests, white-sand beaches, coral reefs, rocky coves with abundant marine life. Then there's the forest, which is thick with massive ficus and two - and three-toed sloths, green and black iguanas, agoutis, four species of monkeys, and nearly 200 species of birds. Yes, it's a wild, wild place.
Nevertheless, Manuel Antonio is no undiscovered wilderness. It's one of Costa Rica's most-visited attractions, so if you're looking for an undisturbed natural oasis, this is not it. But what Manuel Antonio does have is great wildlife that … Read the rest
Flight Delays and Cancellations
If your flight is delayed, go immediately to an airline representative to ask what the problem is and when your plane is expected to depart. Don't be surprised if you don't get a satisfactory answer, however. Most delays are caused by snow, ice, thunderstorms, air traffic, mechanical problems, or other factors beyond the airlines' control, and it may be too early for the representative to respond definitively. If the delay lasts too long, other factors may come into play.
Government rules limit how long a flight crew can work, and if your flight crew is … Read the rest
New York is indisputably the restaurant capital of the world. No other city can boast such a profound variety of cuisines, from Aegean to Zambian, and virtually everything in between. But the dining scene in New York City evolves in fits and starts. Most restaurants are ephemeral, with seemingly built-in obsolescence.
Yet some restaurants are really built to last indefinitely, and they do, thanks to excellent management, enduring cuisines, and above all, regular repeat visits from local guests. Here are ten restaurants that have continued to set a high standard for over 20 years---some for a good deal longer:… Read the rest
The Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI) has welcomed the imminent establishment of a national conventions bureau.
The bureau, which will be operational as a business unit inside South African Tourism by October next year, will improve the country’s capacity to bid for even more international conferences and events. It will also contribute to unity within the sector and help grow the local association meetings market.
SAACI national chairperson Nina Freysen-Pretorius says the association has supported the establishment of a national conventions bureau from the outset, specifically its inclusion in the National Tourism Sector Strategy which was … Read the rest
Kievits Kroon is a Cape Dutch themed property in Pretoria that does brisk conference business, incorporating the health, wellness and beauty treatments offered at its spa. Packages are created to celebrate the seasons and tie in with what clientele are looking for in different weather conditions.
The property is celebrating spring with new spa packages to attract additional business. Three half-day packages have been created, incorporating the hotel’s Cape theme and using Fynbos-based products:
- Bliss, which incorporates a full body grapefruit exfoliation; Cape Fynbos head massage; Ylang Ylang back, neck and shoulder massage; and Zinziba express manicure and … Read the rest
Selecting a cruise can be confusing for even the most seasoned traveler. Besides researching your ports of call, you'll want to get a sense of your ship's particular culture -- who'll you'll be traveling with, for how long, and under what conditions. Below is a collection of threads from cruise devotees on our talk forums. Listen up. These folks dispense priceless advice on everything from proper attire to tips on tipping.
You'll be glad you asked ...
· ... "how much should I pack?"
"I go with the mix and match theory--bring black, denim and khaki bottoms for the … Read the rest
AA Travel Guides, publishers of information about tourist accommodation and travel options in South Africa for the past 18 years, has warned against over-regulation of the tourism industry.
This follows the release of the draft Tourism Bill, which called for industry comments and input earlier this week.
AA Travel Guides, which also runs the AA Quality Assured Accommodation programme, which started in 2000, submitted its comments to the National Department of Tourism.
MD Vanessa Sand says while compulsory registration of tourism businesses does make sense, as one needs an indication of the size of the industry, this could be … Read the rest
Eight member guesthouses in Orlando West in Soweto which are enrolled in the Southern Sun Book-A-Guesthouse enterprise development programme hosted 29 Southern Sun managers from around the country recently. The managers were attending a management development course at the Gordon Institute for Business Science (GIBS).
Book-A-Guesthouse is Southern Sun's national enterprise development programme that empowers women within the local tourism industry by providing business development support and market access.
There are currently 63 independently-owned and operated bed & breakfast and guesthouse establishments in the programme, located in Gauteng, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape.
The eight guesthouses were selected to … Read the rest
Cape Town Tourism has introduced an inclusive global marketing campaign for the city. “The campaign encapsulates the essence of every facet of what the City has to offer, from tourism to design, business and studies to the rich diversity of people and nature,” says the organisation.
Says CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Mariette du Toit-Helmbold: “Global best practice shows that the demand problem will be addressed if we retain most of our existing successful initiatives but overlay them on a compelling global marketing and communications campaign; a campaign which takes Cape Town to the world in a bold and … Read the rest
Land's End to Sennen Cove
Distance 1.3 miles
Start Sennen Cove Car Park, grid ref SW354263. Finish Point Lands End – SW342254
Sennen Cove draws a vast number of visitors to its golden sand, but many miss the great vistas afforded by a brief walk up to the old coastguard lookout – and the opportunity to wander a little further to get the most amazing views of Land's End without the associated car chaos. There is a great cafe on the beach and a good pint in the Old Success Inn (oldsuccess.com). If the tide is out, … Read the rest
On Friday, 2 September 2011, Johannesburg Tourism Company (JTC) celebrated with four students whom they have nurtured since high school, when they graduated from the International Hotel School’s START (Skills Tasks & Results Training) programme.
“We are so impressed with the results achieved with this particular group of students and the success of not only the individuals themselves, but also the way our partnerships with various private institutions have prospered and benefited the students,” explains Lindiwe Kwele, CEO of the JTC.
The group is now also benefiting from a six-month internship with the City Lodge Group, augmenting the initial … Read the rest
The Thebe Exhibitions and Projects Group (TEPG) has introduced Atomic Junkies, an extreme sports and adrenalin fest that will take place at Johannesburg’s Coca-Cola dome from 6 to 9 April 2012.
TEPG MD Carol Weaving says Atomic Junkies will be a hype-driven event: “We strive to attract the top talent. We will present what’s ‘cool’ and reach a target audience that is ready for a new culture of sports. Traditional sport is no longer enough. Activities continually evolve as participants look for new ways to challenge themselves and perform increasingly dangerous feats.”
She says Atomic Junkies will showcase some … Read the rest
Accor’s Hotel Formula 1 has made a name for affordable prices, convenient location and innovation. It is proud of its one-star grading. The brand is ideally positioned for travellers with restricted budgets, with its slogan: “Be smart, Stay smart”.
The brand continues setting industry benchmarks with the introduction of its sixth “cocoon” concept room at Hotel Formula 1 Nelspruit. The design received the ‘Best Interior Design’ award at the 2008 European Hotel Design Awards and was awarded the "Business Janus" label.
Zahra Peera, CEO of the Hotel Formula 1 Group in South Africa, says, “Times are changing fast and … Read the rest
For more than 100 years, busy days have begun at E Pellici, at 332 Bethnal Green Road in the East End, and we can think of no better place to start ours than in this honeyed art-deco-style Anglo-Italian cafe. If possible we'll take a seat at the rear by the serving hatch and enjoy breakfast with the accompanying back-and-forth banter between customers and staff.
From here we walk to Liverpool Street, we catch the 214 bus to Camden Town, and head to Regent's Park (royalparks.org.uk/parks/the-regents-park), entering at Gloucester Gate. Our goal is Queen Mary's Gardens, with its fragrant, formal … Read the rest
Whenever I need to fortify myself with breakfast before setting out into the East End streets to pursue the mudlarks, bunny girls, diamond thieves, trannies and costermongers that form the subjects of my daily interviews, I go to Leila's on Calvert Avenue in Shoreditch for its celebrated ham and eggs cooked with a pinch of sage.
No one can really say they have been to Spitalfields unless they have shaken the hand of the legendary Paul Gardner, fourth-generation paper bag seller at Spitalfields' oldest family business, Gardners' Market Sundriesmen at 149 Commercial Street, which has been trading since 1870. … Read the rest
The ability to work well under pressure has enabled Eshowe-born chef Robert Gumede to rise through the ranks in some of KZN’s best kitchens over 20 years and aim to be rated as one of the best in the province.
Now head chef of the Dish restaurant at the Royal Palm Hotel in Umhlanga, Gumede says: “I appreciate being able to offer my own personal inputs as a senior staff member.”
He has been at Dish for four years. “Dish is a great restaurant,” he enthuses, “it offers excellent meals and is run by passionate people who love good … Read the rest
Art hotel in Penzance
Artist Residence, a quirky hotel which opened in April 2011 in an historic Georgian building, has eight rooms decorated by young Cornish and British artists. There's The Artist's Studio with a "floating" bed and blackboard doors for guests to add their own doodles, a nautical room with recycled furniture, and Urban Splash, a room designed by Jo Peel of The Scrawl Collective, complete with silver carpet. Its location on Chapel Street, Penzance's oldest street, is also home to some great galleries and antique shops – check out The Penzance Art Club, with its friendly cafe … Read the rest
Best for food, St John, West End
This boutique hotel (it's really more of a restaurant with rooms) was launched last spring by the bon viveur co-founders of London's nose-to-tail restaurants St John and St John Bread and Wine with the new mantra of "from table-to-bed". Set just off Leicester Square, Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver's latest spot serves food until 2am and is worth visiting even if you're not staying. Inspired creations such as devilled pig skin with cod roe, or gurnard, tomatoes and aioli are served with delicious baked goods from the St John Bakery, but be … Read the rest
by Lisa Oppenheimer
It's hot, it's humid and it's raining. The air-conditioning is broken, and the kids are activity-less for a whole week between camps and the start of school. That's five days: 120 hours; 7,200 minutes; 432-thousand seconds (not including weekends). An eternity.
For those not lucky enough to be in possession of plane tickets to points elsewhere, it's time to get creative. Let's face it: Play dates, board games, and the great outdoors will only get you so far. Sooner or later, someone is going to let loose with that all-too-familiar call of the child, "Mommy, I'm … Read the rest
The days when London dining was synonymous with bad food are over. The revolution in London's kitchens began simmering in the 1970s, and by the 1980s a handful of influential restaurants had brought it to a boil. Gourmet magazine recently termed this multicultural city "The best place to eat on the planet," and its restaurants made up 22% of the top 50 in the world for 2005, according to a list compiled by 600 serious foodies for Europe-based Restaurant magazine.
Today, Londoners and visitors alike can choose from an ever-changing, cosmopolitan mix of cuisines and cooking styles, but a … Read the rest
It’s often the little details that make a hotel stay memorable – like the turn-downs at Durban’s luxury Oyster Box Hotel. The offering focuses on exclusive and personalised touches.
Every morning, the hotel’s management discusses the day’s turn-downs. Regular treats include nougat, Turkish delight, coconut ice, chocolate brownies, macaroons, mini-meringues, home-made marshmallows or fudge.
Overseas visitors can enjoy a taste of South Africa, such as a bottle of locally-made liqueur; those on a romantic holiday will be spoiled with petals arranged in the shape of a heart. The turn-down chocolate is is shaped like the famous Umhlanga lighthouse.
VIPs … Read the rest
Henk Bredenoord, operations director of Status Hotels and an experienced hotelier, shares some of his thoughts on the recent news in the hospitality industry:
“Here are just a few comments about the articles that have been doing the rounds with regards to hotels going bankrupt because the business is so bad.
“If you look around at the hotels in general, and I am referring to Gauteng and more specifically the Johannesburg side, then in general the hotels are about 10% down on last year which had the 2010 Fifa World Cup in it and hotels in Gauteng in particular … Read the rest
The 2011 Joburg Shopping Festival is set to take place at eight participating centres from 17 to 25 September in Rosebank, the CBD and Woodmead. Festival partners include SAA, freight service UBag, six Johannesburg hotels (Don Suite Hotels, InterContinental, The Peech Hotel, City Lodge Group, Mapungubwe Hotel and The Reef Hotel) and Welcome Tourism Services, who have partnered to create a variety of packages for visitors and shoppers.
These special packages can be viewed on the Welcome Tourism Services website (www.welcome.co.za) and Johannesburg Tourism Company’s website (www.joburgtourism.com).
Participating shopping centres include The Zone @ Rosebank, The Mall of Rosebank, … Read the rest
Fodor's editor Doug Stallings recently spent a week in Prague, learning first-hand why this small and compact city is one of Europe's most popular destinations.
Many parts of the Old Town look just as they did in the Middle Ages. The hotel I stayed in was built in the 1400s. I went to church concerts, ate good food, walked the cobblestone streets, saw the sights, and drank lots of cheap Czech beer.
What was your best find?
Two things actually. The first was Jaroslav "Jay" Pesta, a private tour guide I found through his Web site (www.prague-walks.com). … Read the rest