Hilton Worldwide has signed a franchise development agreement with Grupo Hotelero Santa Fe for the first Hilton Hotels & Resorts property in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Scheduled to open in Q2 2012, Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort forms part of the company's aggressive expansion campaign to grow the Hilton Worldwide portfolio throughout Mexico and Latin America.
Located five minutes from Puerto Vallarta's International Airport and cruise ship terminal, the new resort will present vanguard and elegant architectural and design concepts that integrate the senses. A world-renowned architectural firm, selected by Grupo Hotelero Santa Fe, will create elements of enjoyment, relaxation and … Read the rest
Walk in the footsteps of giants to St Michael's Mount, Marazion
Cross the causeway to a sea-encircled castle, once home to a legendary giant who was lured to his death by a brave local lad. Children love to hunt for the giant's stone heart etched in the pathway, follow clues to the castle turrets and stand in the firing line of bygone battles. The climb to the castle is too steep for buggies, but hipster seats are available (free) or you can take in the island vibe from the 18th-century village and seafront cafe. To emphasise the magic of … Read the rest
The 24th September has been declared National Braai Day, and it also sees the nation celebrate Heritage Day, which is a public holiday.
Catering group Compass Game Park Services (CGPS) has made the most of its location, the Kruger National Park, to launch a series of innovative boma and bush braai evenings for visitors. This is a new experience at the national park, and one generally associated with private game reserves.
With nature as the backdrop, the resident Compass chefs will prepare a South African braai feast at the following camps: Berg en Dal; Pretoriuskop; Lower Sabie; Skukuza; Satara; … Read the rest
Long delays, lost luggage, security hassles, rancorous flight attendants, scary little snacks you wouldn't feed to a guinea pig -- flying has become such a chore. But before you swear it off altogether, you might want to consider a few things about air travel and the airline industry that actually seem to be working, and working well. Indeed, here are 10 reasons why we still love to fly.
No More Saturday-Night Stopovers
There was a time when travelers were gouged for the price of an air ticket if their plans didn't include one Saturday night away from home. Airlines … Read the rest
Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk launched the National Minimum Standard for Responsible Tourism today. Speaking from the Featherbed Nature Reserve in Knysna, he highlighted that responsible tourism is about creating better places for people to live in, and better places to visit. He says that South Africa’s natural environment is one of its greatest tourism resources and the tourism industry needs to be actively involved in conserving and protecting it.
The minister said that the primary objective of the National Department of Tourism (NDT) is to retain the economic and social advantages of tourism development and growth while … Read the rest
Sir Richard Branson and New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez dedicated the futuristic building that will see space tourism become a reality, “Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space”, yesterday (17 October).
More than 800 guests attended the event and watched as Virgin Galactic’s commercial space vehicles soared through the skies of southern New Mexico during the dedication ceremonies of Virgin Galactic’s new home at Spaceport America. The flight of WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo was the highlight of the ceremony, which featured the dedication of the Sir Norman Foster-designed building and announcements of new scientific and educational customers for the world’s first commercial … Read the rest
Winning tip: Billingsgate fish market
Whether you are in east London to visit the Olympic Park or just looking for a way to keep the kids occupied, head down to Billingsgate and take a picnic, but be sure to pack a mackerel (as the fish market closes at 8.30am). When you spot Sammy the seal (although most likely Simone, in my opinion) in the Thames near the market throw the fish to him/her. He/she has been hanging around here for a few years and why not, with all that fish around? You might even get to see a porpoise … Read the rest
The Tanks: Art in Action, Tate Modern, Bankside
Tate Modern just keeps growing, with bigger, wilder spaces. The buzz around the new Tanks dedicated to live and time-based art cannot be overstated: the former power station's underground oil tanks have been transformed into cavernous chambers studded with gigantic concrete pillars. Works that are usually performed on stage are given a new lease of life as the audience gets to see performers and dancers up close. The programme is an eclectic mix of old and new. Don't miss work by artist-in-residence Tania Bruguera.
• SE1, 020-7887 8888, tate.org.uk. Until 28 … Read the rest
Fodor's Assistant Editor Amy Wang recently sailed the Aegean Sea aboard a yacht, getting a taste of Santorini, Ios, Naxos, Paros, Mykonos, Delos, Syros, and Kythnos islands.
Why the Greek Isles?
For anyone who has ever glanced at a "Greek Isles" calendar and concluded that such beauty must be the result of Photoshop, I'm here to say that's not the case. Sandy beaches baked by a brilliant sun, mysterious and charming alleyways winding onto hidden squares, humbling archaeological ruins, whitewashed homes draped with bougainvillea -- all of it is very real and astonishing. Also, September is a good time … Read the rest
Some people are adept at quantum physics. I know hotels. I've seen more hotel rooms than a New York City call girl on speed-dial. For years I've poked around lodgings throughout the world for consumer guidebooks, and one thing I've learned is that you never know what you'll find.
Checking out a hotel room in St. Thomas, I walked in on a guy sitting at a desk, naked. He invited me to stay but I declined. In Bermuda, I opened the door and found a couple asleep in bed. I don't know who of the three of us was … Read the rest
The play's the thing in London's West End, but seeing one can be a pricey proposition. If you don't feel like taking out a second mortgage to pay for tickets, check out the Get Into London Theatre promotion, running through March 17, 2007. The promotion gives you the opportunity to buy discounted tickets to over 60 shows for f10 to f35. Offerings include hit musicals (among them, Monty Python's Spamalot, Mary Poppins, Porgy and Bess, Chicago, Les Miserables and Evita) along with dramatic productions by the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre, dance performances by the National Ballet, and … Read the rest
The Shacklewell Arms, Dalston
Until recently, the Shacklewell Arms was a garishly painted Caribbean social that sat quietly in an unloved part of Hackney. Now the ripple effect of regeneration has changed all that. Dalston's rebirth as London's coolest neighbourhood has allowed most of the run-down boozers in the area a makeover, although the Shacklewell appears to have just swapped clientele as decor-wise it's still resolutely Kingston JA. The back room frequently hosts nights courtesy of London's hippest gig promoters Eat Your Own Ears. Expect the very best in upcoming music – jagged guitars, electronica, folkie acoustics and plenty … Read the rest
Hoteliers based in KwaZulu-Natal recently learnt all about what it takes to be an environementally-friendly establishment after attending a workshop hosted by founder of online hospitality directories Hotelstuff/Greenstuff, Lorraine Jenks.
The workshop, a collaboration with Eskom, focused on greening and energy efficiency for hoteliers in and around Durban who will be hosting the COP17 Climate Change Convention delegates later this year
"We sat down with Eskom earlier this year and the discussion turned to COP17 and whether our lodgings were adequately prepared to demonstrate that we can be leaders in eco tourism and compete with other destinations on green … Read the rest
Popular seaside destination, Mossel Bay, is pulling out all the stops this Tourism Month to make sure it continues to attract visitors in future.
“The theme for this year’s Tourism Month is ‘Tourism - Linking Cultures,’ and this is particularly appropriate for Mossel Bay, which is something of a crucible of South African culture,” says Mossel Bay Tourism’s Marcia Holm.
She says that the work of the Mossel Bay Archaeology Project - the largest scientific project of its kind in the world today - has shown that modern human behaviour emerged in the Mossel Bay area about 164 000 … Read the rest
Porthcurno to Logan Rock
Distance 1 mile
Start Porthcurno car park, grid ref SW288223
National Trust downloadable route and map
Porthcurno is a classic Cornish beach. The golden sand is surrounded by a host of strangely shaped rocky outcrops, and it's thought that this is what gave the place its Cornish name – "cove of horns". Up on the western side of the beach is the Minack theatre (minack.com) – during the day you can pop in and have a walk around – but the coastal path to the east of Porthcurno is the real star of the show, … Read the rest
The City of Cape Town has filed an application for an interim interdict to prevent the South African Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) taking further steps to convert the N1 and N2 highways into Cape Town into toll roads.
The City filed the application last Friday “in the public interest because it believes that millions of people and businesses will be adversely affected financially by the proposed tolling, and the City will have to foot the bill for maintaining and upgrading municipal roads to accommodate the traffic that will divert off the national roads if they are tolled.”
With regards … Read the rest
A handful of South Africa’s finest chefs have walked away with top honours in the Senior, Junior and Team of Four categories in the whirlwind mystery basket finals of the Unilever Food Solutions Chef of the Year 2011 that took place on Friday, 16 September.
Unilever Food Solutions Head Office in Umhlanga, Durban was the site of the exciting cook-off which attracted hundreds of entries from some of the most promising chefs in the country, as well as international talent in the Senior and Junior categories. In the end, only 38 chefs were selected, through process of regional finals, … Read the rest
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) sees Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) as a huge growth opportunity, and plans to have 100 hotels open by 2020.
The hotels are estimated to create more than 8 000 new jobs for local people in addition to the 2 500 already working at hotels from the IHG family of brands across Russia and the CIS. IHG currently has 16 hotels across Russia and the CIS including 11 hotels in Russia.
The company said it would continue to grow in Moscow and St. Petersburg and work with local investors to introduce managed … Read the rest
With all the buzz that surrounded the opening last year of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, it's easy to forget that Roald Dahl was the mastermind behind the fantastical world of Wonka. Fortunately, a museum devoted to the children's writer has opened its doors for business. The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, which honors both Dahl and the many characters from his famous fables, is located 20 miles northwest of London, in Great Missenden.
In addition to exhibits on his life and work, the museum has more than a few design details inspired by Dahl's books, like … Read the rest
The second Annual South African Guest Relations and Concierge Conference took place on Tuesday, 27 September 2011 at La Toscana Montecasino in Johannesburg. This new forum was established in 2010 for both guest relations managers and concierges from four - and five-star properties in Johannesburg to share ideas, keep up to date with the latest industry trends and discover the attractions and activities in and around Johannesburg that can assist them in creating the unforgettable experiences guests expect.
The firstconference in 2010 was initiated and set up by Deon Prinsloo, guest relations manager at The Palazzo Montecasino, with the … Read the rest
Victoria Falls Safari Lodge has won the Association of Zimbabwean Travel Agents' (AZTA) Best Safari Lodge of the Year Award for the 16th year in a row. The announcement was made at the annual AZTA Awards ceremony held in Harare.
Recognition from the travel trade industry makes this accolade particularly special, so thank-you to the Association of Zimbabwe Travel Agents”, says Glenn Stutchbury, MD of Africa Albida Tourism. “Victoria Falls Safari Lodge is committed to ensuring our guests are well looked after and that our service levels and facilities at the lodge are up to the high standards of … Read the rest
England's Lake District is one of the U.K.'s most majestic regions, an inspiration to outdoor enthusiasts and bookworms alike. Indeed, poet William Wordsworth is the district's King Midas, and you'll find all of his old stomping grounds dispersed throughout the region. Here are our picks for six quintessential stops not to be missed.
1. William Wordsworth's Home on the Range
The famed Romantic poet once dubbed Grasmere's environs as the "loveliest spot that man hath ever known." Such lofty claims might be a bit biased considering Wordsworth called the area home for almost 50 years, but the small village … Read the rest
Dick Cole, the leader of Mebyon Kernow, the political party that is fighting for Cornish identity, has devoted his life to the cause. With notes to himself scribbled on his hand, and protected against wind and rain by a shapeless blue fisherman's sweater, Cole is the picture of the Cornish politician on the stump.
He has certainly had to make sacrifices – he used, for example, to be an archaeologist with the council. "I gave up my career to work for Mebyon Kernow," he says. "As a councillor, I'm on about ?15,000. Before that, I was earning more than … Read the rest
A 76ft motor yacht and a new ballroom have been added to the facilities at the One&Only Cape Town, which has created new options for the booming wedding market.
With a new ivory colour palette and the addition of six crystal chandeliers to the decor, the new ballroom is a space now suited to the most elegant of weddings.
Measuring 2 314 sq ft, the ballroom also has 648 sq ft of outdoor space with views of Table Mountain. Able to accommodate up to 140 guests, the venue can be divided in two for more intimate affairs and has … Read the rest