Monday, June 30, 2014
Saturday, June 28, 2014
One of the most decorated, respected and charismatic chefs in the world, Todd English has enjoyed a staggering number of accolades during his remarkable career. He has been recognized by several of the food industry’s most prestigious publications, established one of the best-known restaurant brands in the nation – Olives – and is a four-time James Beard Award winner. In addition, Chef English has four critically-acclaimed cookbooks, including the October 2011 release, Cooking in Everyday English.
Fans of Chef English can follow him on Twitter (@ChefToddEnglish) and Facebook (Facebook.com/ChefToddEnglish)
Since becoming Cunard’s flagship on completion of her maiden Transatlantic Crossing in 2004, Queen Mary 2 has remained unchallenged as the world’s grandest ocean liner ever built. In her first 10 years of service, following a spectacular naming by Her Majesty The Queen on 8 January 2004, Queen Mary 2 has undertaken more than 420 voyages, including over 200 Transatlantic Crossings, and has called at 182 ports in 60 countries.
Staterooms and Grills Suites are still available for the 1 July 2014 Independence Day Celebration (M410), with fares starting from $1,299 per person.
Friday, June 27, 2014
Dorsett Shepherds Bush, London Enjoys Its Soft
Opening Launch Today
Dorsett Hospitality International is delighted to announce the soft opening of their first hotel in the buzzing capital city of London on 24th June. Dorsett Shepherds Bush is the newest addition to the Dorsett Hospitality International portfolio, and the company's first hotel in the United Kingdom and indeed Europe.
To the mark the soft opening in West London today, the grand hotel lobby became centre stage to a stunning performance of a traditional lion dance honouring and celebrating the opening in true Chinese tradition in homage to the company's Chinese roots.
With their strong record of building, operating and managing 18 hotels in Asia (China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia), Dorsett Hospitality International targets key cities with high demand and growth potential.
"I am delighted to be part of this extremely exciting London hotel launch within the vibrant area of Shepherds Bush. Dorsett Shepherds Bush offers easy access to numerous facilities and activities within the local area as well as fantastic transport links to the rest of the city. Dorsett Shepherds Bush is a hotel where British charm meets Asian hospitality and we look forward to welcoming our first guests through the doors today" says Hilary Cross, General Manager of Dorsett Shepherds Bush, London.
Dorsett Shepherds Bush is set within a Grade II listed building, originally known as The Shepherds Bush Pavilion, formerly a cinema, built in 1923. Dorsett Shepherds Bush retains the buildings historic façade with added contemporary elegance within.
Under the landmark glass roof, the 7 storey hotel offers 317 Chinese inspired bedrooms designed with a light and modern feel, including 187 standard Dorsett rooms, and 24 suites combining the Dorsett Suite and the Dorsett Studio. The interior was created by Dorsett's very own in-house design team, who are known best for providing modern, innovative and comfortable accommodation in their hotels.
When choosing from the selection of five room categories, guests enjoy complimentary high-speed internet access and docking stations in every room. The hotel has a selection of interconnecting rooms for those travelling with young children. Interior rooms have a magnificent view across the atrium which is decorated with a backlight gold façade. All guests booked in to Executive rooms or Suites can also make full use of the Executive Lounge.
The ideal facility for guests with discerning needs. The Executive Lounge is located on the hotel's ground floor exclusively for guests staying in Executive guestrooms and Suites. The Executive Lounge is equipped with enhanced amenities and services such as complimentary daily continental breakfast, complimentary wireless internet access and other selected privileges. The Executive Lounge serves as a temporary office or a relaxation point where various business facilities are available and refreshments are served for free from morning to evening.
Dorsett Shepherds Bush offers two restaurants, the first, Pictures, showcasing a contemporary brasserie style menu; complimented with a selection of handpicked Asian inspired dishes. The second restaurant at the hotel is an innovative new venture for an established restaurateur bringing a fine dining Chinese Restaurant concept to Shepherds Bush.
Pavilion Spa & Wellness
Dorsett Shepherds Bush is home to the innovative Pavilion spa, with 4 treatment rooms offering non-invasive, results driven face and body treatments, open to guests and local residents in conjunction with holistic and Chinese treatments to relax and revive. Two nail stations offering a variety of hand treatments complete the therapist services offered. In addition there is a steam room and a sauna, along with a specialist infa-red sauna, perfect for helping with sprains, strains, arthritis, and pain management. Hotel guests have complementary 24 hour access to the gym using their room card.
Business Travel and Meeting Rooms
Dorsett Shepherds Bush is fantastic for both business and leisure travellers wanting stylish and comfortable accommodation for to enjoy, relax and explore the city of London. The business traveller can make use of the business centre and complimentary Wi-Fi and all guests can enjoy the 24 hour concierge and express checkout service. Dorsett Shepherds Bush has three spacious meeting rooms, each fully equipped with the latest multimedia technology and wireless internet connectivity.
Located in the heart of vibrant Shepherds Bush in West London, in close proximity to Westfield Shopping Centre, the property is strategically located close to both Shepherds Bush over ground station and tube stations offering guests easy accessibility to Notting Hill, London's West End and major tourist spots, and within a 30 minute drive to Heathrow airport.
Dorsett Shepherds Bush is offering a special introductory rate of £123 per night until the end of August (This price will be inclusive of VAT and breakfast.)
For bookings and more information on Dorsett Hospitality International, visit www.dorsett.com
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Air Canada Opens Maple Leaf Lounge at New London Heathrow Terminal 2 Showcasing Canadian Design and Artwork
- A Quiet Zone comprising three reclining pods equipped with personal satellite-fed TV screens, USB ports and Sony noise-cancelling headsets
- Spa-inspired shower area featuring showers with large rain-shower heads, ambient music
- Business Centre equipped with individual flat-screen Dell PCs, colour laser printing and scanning
- Complimentary wireless high speed Internet access throughout
- A cooking station with chef to prepare meals upon request
- Tended bar with Molson Canadian beer on tap along with a large selection of wines, beer and spirits
- Bistro-style dining area offering a selection of hot and cold food items
- Showcasing Canadian art and products from 2Loons a Toronto based design and production house, laminated glass art walls from Accura Glass, Concord, Ontario and Cloud lamp by Frank Gehry among others
- Hours of operation: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
|Tauck Chairman Arthur Tauck, Jr., ms Savor Godmother|
Liz Tauck Walters and Captain Michael Szekely
European river cruising continues to be the fastest growing segment of Tauck’s business, the company routinely sells out its cabin inventory each year, and demand has been further bolstered by Tauck being named the “World’s Best River Cruise Line” twice in the past three years by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine.
FEWER PASSENGERS, AND UP TO FOUR-TIMES THE SERVICE STAFF
The ms Savor and ms Inspire together comprise Tauck’s new Inspiration Class ships, and they join Tauck’s four existing Jewel Class ships, the ms Treasures, ms Swiss Jewel, ms Swiss Sapphire and ms Swiss Emerald. Like the Jewel Class ships, the Inspiration Class vessels carry far fewer passengers – yet they have far more service staff – than ships of the same size operated by other river cruise lines. Where the 443-foot-long Inspiration Class ships carry just 130 guests, other lines’ ships of the same length carry 190 passengers, or 46% more guests. And where other lines have just one cruise director to tend to the needs of those 190 guests, Tauck staffs each ship with a Tauck Cruise Director and three professional Tauck Directors to care for 130 guests.
Also notable on the Savor and Inspire are the eight “loft” cabins located on each ship’s lower (Emerald) deck. On other European riverboats the lower-level cabins are small, and because they’re mostly below the ships’ waterlines, they’re limited to modest, sealed windows at eye level that admit minimal sunlight and zero fresh air. Tauck’s 225-square-foot loft cabins, however, have a raised platform seating area located against the ships’ hull/outer wall with a correspondingly higher ceiling immediately above. The higher ceiling in turn allows the use of a much taller window than can normally be incorporated into lower-level cabins. The middle portion of this window can be opened electronically for fresh air, and being taller, the window allows far more natural light to fill the cabin.
Each of the new Inspiration Class ships also has twenty-two 300 square foot suites furnished with two French balconies with floor-to-ceiling windows, a pull-out couch, roomy walk-in closets with built-in drawers, and a spacious bathroom with rain shower. Along with the suites, the newbuilds also have thirty-two 225 square foot cabins, plus an additional thirteen cabins ranging from 150 to 190 square feet. In keeping with Tauck’s policy of welcoming solo travelers, four of the 150 square foot cabins are set aside for guests traveling on their own. All suites and cabins feature in-room movies, minibar, individual heating and cooling controls, luxury toiletries, and plush bedding with 100% goose down pillows, 400-thread-count linens and pillow-top mattresses.
For 2014, the ms Savor will sail on two Tauck itineraries, “The Blue Danube” (12 days, from $4,790 per person plus airfare) and “Danube Reflections” (10 days, from $4,590 per person plus airfare). Like all Tauck river cruises, both itineraries aboard the ms Savor are fully inclusive.
Besides launching two new ships, Tauck is also launching four new river cruise itineraries this year, including its first on the River Seine in France. Tauck will launch two additional river cruises in 2015, the 23-day “Belle Epoch: London to Monte-Carlo” on the Seine, Saône and Rhône rivers, and the 8-day “Castles on the Rhine: Family Riverboat Adventure.” The latter itinerary is the third river cruise created specifically for families by Tauck, which has twice been named the "World's Best River Cruise Line for Families" by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Australians have long had a love affair with these gentle giants and now people have the opportunity to see them from a very different perspective on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
Sunreef Whale Encounter Supervisor Dan Hart said Sunreef was excited to be offering this great experience.
“I swam with humpback whales in Tonga and it is something very special.
“It’s a life changing experience – to have a humpback whale just a couple of metres away looking you right in the eye. It’s indescribable.
“It gives you such a sense of these amazing creatures and we are excited to be able to offer it to everyone.”
Dan said the swimming with whales experience was operated under a strict Code of Conduct to protect both the whales and the participants.
Participants who take part in a swim with the humpback whales experience can expect a three-hour round trip with a maximum of 20 participants taken on each trip.
Dan said Sunreef provide a full briefing on what to expect and safety procedures as well as providing all required wetsuit and snorkeling equipment.
Once a whale is sighted, the boat will be put into neutral 100m or more away from the whale, and if the conditions are determined as safe by our trained crew, the boat will be turned off and swimmers will be allowed into the water holding on to the floating line attached to the boat.
“Then it’s all up to the whale – it is a natural experience and it is 100% on the whale’s own terms,” Dan said.
“Whales are known as curious creatures so they may come over towards us or they may just swim past or away. Either way it’s an experience you will never forget.
“In our experience, the whales seem as intrigued by us as we are of them and often come close to swimmers, gliding effortlessly around us, with such a gentleness that its like they recognise our fragility in comparison and know we are there out of wonder and respect,” Dan said.
“Our first Swim with the Whales experiences will run from the 6th of July and we will continue to offer them throughout the season,” Dan said.
Dan said that every day is different on the water, and every encounter is unique.
Sunreef have access to a spotter plane to increase the likelihood of participants whale encounter. If however, the boat does not see a whale during a tour, guests will be offered the opportunity to rebook at a 50% discount.
Sunreef is a PADI 5 Star Training Centre and offers accredited dive courses for all levels of divers as well as local reef dives in the Sunshine Coast region including the ex-HMAS Brisbane and offers international dive trips and travel as well as dive equipment sales and servicing.
The whale swimming and watching operations work out of Mooloolaba at the heart of Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast.
It takes about 10 minutes from the Sunreef dock to get out on the beautiful waters off the Coast, which are at their best during the winter months when the whales migrate. Water temperatures during this time range from 17 to 23 degrees C and visibility is regularly up to 30 metres.
Sunreef Scuba Diving Services, based in Mooloolaba is the longest established dive centre on the Sunshine Coast (Queensland, Australia) with roots starting back in 1976.
For more information on Sunreef and swimming with the whales visitwww.sunreef.com.au or call 07 5444 5656.