Bottelary Hills Magic Pops Up at Mooiplaas in South Africa

August 22, 2014 on 8:51 am | In Adventure Travel, Africa, South Africa | Comments Off

Revel in the magic and marvels of the Bottelary Hills wine region, when Mooiplaas Estate & Private Nature Reserve sets an enchanting Langtafel for the area’s seasonal Pop Up Winemakers Lunch on Sunday, 31 August.

The historic manor house on the estate beckons enthused wine and food lovers to join a close-knit winemaking community for a superb, home-cooked four course feast prepared by passionate hosts, Dirk and Kirsten Roos.

This exclusive gathering in an atmospheric 1833 Cape Dutch Herenhuis will start with a tasting of the latest vintages stemming from this esteemed sub-route of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes, focusing on Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc on the day. Joining the Roos family at the long table will be fellow Bottelary Hills estates – Beyerskloof, Goede Hoop, Hartenberg and Kaapzicht – for guests to immerse themselves in their charming conversation and terroir-driven wines.

If the sound of a languid lunch in a national monument framed by award-winning vineyards is your idea of gourmet heaven, then you must make a beeline for the Bottelary Hills on 31 August.

The Bottelary Hills Winemakers Lunch at Mooiplaas starts at 12h30 (for the wine tasting, followed by lunch at 13h00) and costs R280 per person for the interactive tasting and lunch which includes a glass of wine per course. Pre bookings are essential as seating is limited. Only 40 seats available.

To book your seats contact Tamzin Isaacs at Tel: (021) 886 4310 or send an email to

Mooiplaas Estate is situated on the M23 Bottelary Road off the R304 to Stellenbosch.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber: A magical winter

August 22, 2014 on 8:48 am | In Adventure Travel, Germany | Comments Off

Rothenburg is situated in northwest Bavaria – at the meeting point between the two key tourist routes: the Romantic Road and the Castle Route. The origins of the town date back to the time of the 12th century, and visitors can still find 42 gates and towers, and impressive walls that date back to this period to this day. The unique wonder of this town with its fairytale silhouette is especially noticeable in winter, when silence falls with the snow over Rothenburg and the town radiates in a soft light.

At the end of the year, Rothenburg’s famous Christmas market transforms the town into an idyllic winter wonderland. With its 500-year tradition, Rothenburg’s Reiterlesmarkt is one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany (daily from 28th November to 23rd December 2014, free entry). The winding alleyways and squares near the Town Hall, its vaults and the market square are filled with stalls full of everything that sets the heart racing and the mouth watering: tradition German pastries, “white Glühwein” and hand-crafted gems.

The world-famous Käthe Wohlfahrt “Christmas village” in the heart of the Old Town promises that Christmas feeling all-year-round (free entry,

Rothenburg reads like a life-size history book in which the chapters come alive before your eyes: One highlight is a walk with the nightwatchman, which takes you through Rothenburg at night (April to December, daily at 8 pm; from January to March, every Saturday at 8 pm). Individual group tours can be booked all-year-round (100 EUR for a group up to 20 people).
Further Information:

Rothenburg Tourism Service
Marktplatz 2
91541 Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Telephone: +49 (0)9861 404-800
Fax: +49 (0)9861 404-529

Norfolk Broads Holiday operator Herbert Woods special offer

August 22, 2014 on 8:47 am | In Adventure Travel, London, Scotland, United Kingdom | Comments Off

eading Norfolk Broads Holiday operator Herbert Woods is having a special offer on selected Connoisseur Cruisers for breaks taken between 29 August & 24 September with 20 per cent off brochure prices!

September is one of the best times of the year to be on the Broads, children are back at school so it is much quieter, yet you still have the chance of good weather.

Herbert Woods brought the iconic Connoisseur name back to the Broads this summer after an absence of several years.

Designed specifically for the Norfolk Broads each Connoisseur cruiser, which can sleep up to eight, has ensuite cabins throughout and a spacious saloon featuring sliding canopies so people can enjoy the fine weather. They also offer a range of cabin configurations including doubles, twins and bunks.

For full details of this offer please call 0800 144 4472 or visit

Spring into 2015 with Grand UK Holidays

August 22, 2014 on 8:44 am | In Adventure Travel, London, Scotland, United Kingdom, Wales | Comments Off

Grand UK Holidays has added 10 escorted tours to its range for spring 2015, to cater for growing demand from early bookers.

The over-55s specialist has already sold out of several holidays for the 2014-15 festive season, and now customers are keen to snap up spring 2015 breaks too.
Sales director Harold Burke said: “Sales for 2015 are well ahead of bookings for this time last year, as many of our customers are keen book in advance by six months or more.

“This trend towards earlier bookings reflects a general growing consumer confidence which bodes well for the travel trade.”

New spring tours added to the 2014-2015 brochure include ‘Candleford House & TV Backdrops’ and ‘Tastes & Tales of the Lakes & Dales’.

‘Candleford House & TV Backdrops’ visits Chavenage House – Candleford House in the TV show Lark Rise to Candleford – as well as Lacock, the setting for costume dramas such as Downton Abbey and Pride & Prejudice (five days, £289pp).

‘Tastes & Tales of the Lakes & Dales’ combines the sights of the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, along with regional cuisine on the hotel menu (five days from £239pp).

Other additions for spring 2015 include ‘Norfolk Steam and the Dad’s Army Collection’ which visits vintage railways in Norfolk, and the fascinating collection of the Dad’s Army Appreciation Society at Bressingham Steam Museum (five days, £299pp).

Fans of steam trains may also be interested in another new tour: ‘Welsh Highland Rail Adventure – Grand UK Gold’, which visits vintage railways in North Wales (five days, £399pp).

Green-fingered holidaymakers are catered for with three new garden-themed tours across the UK and Ireland: ‘Harrogate Flower Show & Majestic Gardens of Yorkshire’ (five days, £309pp); ‘Houses & Gardens of Hidden Wales’ (five days, £209pp); and ‘Ireland in Bloom’ (seven days, £399pp).

Harold added: “We always add new tours for each season to freshen our range, especially as many customers book with us year after year.

“Many tours reappear season after season too, as they are favourites with our clientele, such as our solo travel specials, and breaks based on hobbies such as bingo, rambling, cards and dancing.

“Also, as commemorations of World War One anniversaries continue, we are still seeing interest in our remembrance tours, such as ‘In Flanders Fields, We Will Remember Them’.”

For bookings, call 01603 619933 or see

Discover Island Fun, New In Mallorca

August 22, 2014 on 8:42 am | In Adventure Travel, Beachbooker, Cruise Boats, Spain | Comments Off

Pierre & Vacances opens its first two properties in the Balearic Islands this month. Located on the popular island of Mallorca, the two residences offer two boltholes on the east coast of the island best known for its beaches and caves.


Mallorca has been welcoming the rich and famous for generations, with regular visits from Claudia Schiffer to Andrew Lloyd-Webber, the King of Spain and Raphael Nadal.Mallorca is one of the most popular destinations for British families taking a summer holiday in Spain. Located 130 miles off the coast of Barcelona, there are regular direct regional flights from the UK. It is the largest island of the Balearic Islands and unusually for a Mediterranean island, amid its varied and breathtaking landscape, Mallorca is fertile and green. With soaring mountains in the west to beautiful vineyards and of course, wonderful golden sand beaches along its coast.

Residence Mallorca Vista Alegre

Newly opened, Pierre and Vacances has 42 new spacious and elegant apartments at the Mallorca Vista Alegre residence which feature one bedroom apartments, fully equipped, air conditioned apartments for 3 people. Just 500 meters from the sea with individual terraces, the open air pool is nestled between the five buildings.

Prices for a family break at Vista Alegrestart at £227 for 7 nights in 1 bedroom apartment with a/c that sleeps up to 3 on a self-catering basis see here: Vista Alegre This includes a special introductory offer of up to 25% which is valid on selected dates until the end of October. Contact Details: k or call 0870 0267 145

Porto Cristo has carved out a role as a friendly, family resort, taking advantage of a superb position at the end of a long, sheltered inlet. It’s a sweet little place, with a nice beach and a lovely blue-green sea. Porto Cristo is an old Mallorcan fishing village, surrounded by many beaches and creeks whose turquoise waters are perfect for sailing. The lively port boasts many water sports activities and is an ideal location to switch off – swim, sunbathe and dine at the terrace restaurants which are perfectly placed to catch the lunchtime sun. A great way to sample the eastern coastline is by boat, there are many glass bottom boat cruises that do trips to see stunning cliffs and rocks with beautiful clear blue seas. One of the most popular local sights is the Cuevas del Drach, the Dragon Caves with one of the largest underground caves in the world. For those in search of imitation pearls, Mallorca’s ‘second city’ of Manacor is just a 20 minute drive away where an industry thrives on this.

Residence Mallorca Portomar

Newly open on the 9th July 2014, the Pierre and Vacances Mallorca Portomar residence is just 50 metres from the sea and 500m from Cala Marçal, one of the quietest beaches in Portocolom. The new residence features 2 and 3 bedroom apartments for 3 to 6 people for a week or short break in Mallorca. The modern apartments are spacious and comfortable, all with air conditioning and a balcony and some have sea views. There’s a fully equipped gym, sparkling outdoor pool, Jacuzzi and sauna on site.

Located on the east of the island, Portocolom is well-known for its natural environment and the crystal clear waters of its beaches and creeks. Cala Marcal is a blue flag rated beach that stretches 500m along the seafront to the south of the town. Portocolom boasts a wide range of leisure facilities and water sports activities. This fishing village, set inside a deep natural harbour, still has the feel of a small fishing port, with boats around the quay and pastel-coloured houses lining the Waterfront, each with its own landing-stage. The most popular beach of Portocolom is Cala Marcal which lies to the south of the marina and village. It is a blue flag beach with very soft sands and water that is fairly shallow and which gradually deepens. From Portocolom, the Natural Park of Mndrago or the pretty sandstone village of Santanyi is accessible by car.

Prices for a break at Residence Mallorca Portomar start at £256 for 7 nights in 1 bedroom apartment with a/c that sleeps up to 2 on a self-catering basis see here: Residence Mallorca Portomar

This includes a special introductory offer of up to 23% which is valid on selected dates until the end of October. Contact Details:  or call 0870 0267 145

Pierre & Vacances Created in 1967, the Pierre & Vacances-Center Parcs Group is the European leader in local tourism. It has built its growth on an original business model of synergies between its two businesses: property development and tourism. Today, with its six complementary tourism brands – Pierre & Vacances and its two Premium and Villages Clubslabels, Maeva, Center Parcs, Sunparks, Adagio and Adagio Access – the Group operates a tourism network of more than 51,000 apartments and homes, located in almost 300 sites in Europe. In 2011/2012, the Group welcomed 7.5 million European clients and generated turnover of €1.419bn.

British Visitors Flock To Flanders Fields

August 22, 2014 on 8:39 am | In Adventure Travel, Belgium, London, United Kingdom | Comments Off

As the beginning of the 100 year anniversary of the outbreak of WWI draws close, research commissioned by Westtoer, the tourism organisation for the province of West Flanders, in co-operation with VISITFLANDERS, shows huge growth in visitor numbers to the Flanders Fields area. The first five months of 2014 has seen an increase of 70% compared with the same period in 2013, with visitors from the United Kingdom making up 37.2% of the number.

Considerable investment has been made into the area’s key museums and other visitor sites, in preparation for the commemoration of the Great War, including significant refurbishment and expansion of the In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres (reopened July 2012) and the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 (reopened July 2013). Research from these museums, as well as other attractions and sites has revealed the following:

- 63.5% of visitors from Britain were school groups; individual visits made up 23.1% of the total, and 13.4% were group visits.

- 67.3% of individual British visitors were “extremely satisfied” with their experience of Flanders Fields; a further 28.0% were “satisfied”

- 58.8% of group visitors from Britain were “extremely satisfied”, with 38.6% responding as being “satisfied”.

- With an average stay of between 2-3 nights, the most popular sites visited were Tyne Cot Cemetery, the Last Post ceremony in Ypres and the In Flanders Fields Museum.

- British visitors were second only to Belgian visitors in terms of the most frequent visitors to the area. Other Commonwealth visitors represented a total of 12,400 visitors to the area and of these, Australians made up 7,300 of this number.

Andrew Daines, Director of VISITFLANDERS UK and Ireland said “With increasing numbers of British and Commonwealth visitors expected for 2014, we are proud of what Flanders has to offer all age and interest groups in terms of its tourism infrastructure. We are delighted that visitors are impressed with the regions’ respect for WW1 heritage and its ability to convey a universal message of the importance of peace”.

Dedicated Outlander itinerary of Scotland launches as TV series

August 22, 2014 on 8:29 am | In Adventure Travel, London, Scotland, United Kingdom | Comments Off

Fans of new fantasy TV show Outlander, based on author Diana Gabaldon’s first two novels of the same name, can now follow in the footsteps of the hero and heroine, Jamie and Claire, with a special online map and designated itinerary from VisitScotland.

The online guide highlights real locations featured in the series, as well as numerous visitor attractions and historical sites that have a strong connection to the Scotland-set literary phenomenon, including Inverness, Glasgow, Perthshire, Fife, Edinburgh and West Lothian.

Among the locations featured on the map are the Palace of Holyrood House and the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, where protagonists Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser meet with Bonnie Prince Charlie; Loch Ness, where the characters go in search of the loch’s most famous resident; and Fort William, which also plays a key role in Gabaldon’s novels. Read more:

2 for 1 Cruise Fares with Portuscale Cruises

August 22, 2014 on 8:26 am | In Adventure Travel, Cruise Boats, London, Spain, United Kingdom | Comments Off

Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowPortuscale Cruises has released a 2 for 1 offer on its 45 Day Suez Sojourn cruise from Barcelona, Spain to Newcastle, Australia departing 4 January – 17 February 2015 with the first guest paying full fare and the companion only paying for port charges and fees! Hurry, this offer is valid until 5 September 2014 and will sell fast!

This bucket list cruise has it all; history, culture, archaeological marvels and gastronomic delights as guests experience ten countries over 45 Days. Explore the Mediterranean’s most ethnically diverse islands to some of North Africa’s oldest and sophisticated civilisations before South East Asia welcomes guests with its vibrant culture and people.

During days at sea take a dip in the pool, catch up on some reading in the library, attend presentations and lectures, contact family and friends in the internet centre or simply enjoy a drink or two with newfound friends in one of the five bars onboard. Dining will be a highlight where no dinner menu is repeated and the bread will arrive at tables freshly baked from the oven. The night doesn’t end there with evening performances to entertain all guests.

Cabins are comfortable and include a private ensuite bathroom, hairdryer, bar fridge, safe, flat screen TV and depending on the category chosen, it may also include a sofa and coffee table.

The 45 Day Suez Sojourn cruise from Barcelona, Spain to Newcastle, Australia starts at $7,098 (based on Cat 1 inside cabin) for the first guest and the 2nd guest only pays for port charges/fees of $848. That’s a saving of $6,249!

Click here, to download your copy of the Portuscale 2 For 1 Fares flyer.

For bookings or for more information, please contact us at

Book Your Beach Resort at a Discount

See the Sunrise With Bedouins, Trek Taal Volcano or Do Yoga Paddle Boarding in the Seychelles, With Raffles

August 22, 2014 on 8:10 am | In Adventure Travel, Africa, Asia, Cambodia, China, France, Middle East, Morocco, Paris, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Turkey | Comments Off

At Raffles, we know that a day that begins well for our guests, will end well too.

From a daybreak detox in Paris or sunrise yoga in the Seychelles, to Tai Chi in Singapore or a Bedouin breakfast in the Dubai desert, here are just a few recommendations for catching the magic moments of stillness in the early morning – as the world wakes up and the bustle of another day begins again.

A Bedouin Breakfast with Raffles Dubai

Dubai lends itself perfectly to early mornings; before the heat of the midday sun comes into full force there are a few precious hours to be enjoyed. Guests of Raffles Dubai can rise early, escaping the city under the cover of darkness. The destination: the desert – all rolling sand dunes and striking silhouettes as dawn rises. Discover wildlife on a sand safari, before arriving at a local Bedouin retreat to learn breakfast recipes handed down from generation to generation. Take the opportunity to hop on board a camel, try your hand at falconry, experience traditional Yowalah dancing and enjoy a delicious breakfast at sunrise. This is a rare opportunity to glimpse the rich, authentic history of Dubai in pristine desert surroundings. Return to the bright lights, hustle and heat of the city safe in the knowledge of a stolen few hours of peace…

Sunrise Yoga Paddle Boarding at Raffles Praslin, Seychelles

What better way to start the day than with some carefully guided sun salutations… on a paddleboard… in the Indian Ocean… at sunrise? Raffles Praslin, Seychelles’ yoga master Sajeesh Pazhayidath regularly guides guests through sunrise yoga classes to the sound of the sea. But instead of just listening to the sea, guests are now being encouraged to practice yoga on the sea itself. Paddle Board Yoga helps develop core strength and balance. The board provides the perfect platform to increase the intensity of the yoga workout by creating a continuous challenge to balance and adapt to the motion of the board. This challenge adds to core stability and creates greater strength, flexibility, and balance.

Guests can enjoy a private sunrise session, with the idyllic ocean backdrop and natural surroundings providing the perfect environment for total relaxation and rejuvenation. Raffles Praslin, Seychelles resort is perfectly positioned to catch the best sunrise on the island, as the sun creeps over the mountains to one side, slowly moving high into the sky as the day goes on.

Trek to Taal Volcano with Raffles Makati

Taal Volcano is the world’s smallest active volcano; just the right size for a challenging yet achievable start to the day. Taal Volcano sits a boat ride away at the centre of Taal Lake, just fifty kilometres from Raffles Makati. The ethereal lake was formed when a much larger volcano cooled and collapsed to leave an open caldera which, over several thousand years, filled with water. Leaving Manila in darkness, visitors will arrive at the lake as the day begins, taking a beautiful boat journey across the water to the shores of the volcano itself. From here, a trail leads to the rim of the main crater, a breezy 45 minute walk – with an astonishing view waiting at the top. At the centre of the island, visitors will be surprised to find another highly sulphuric lake at its centre, and within that another small island. The views from the top of the trail both inside the caldera, and outside across the Philippines are at their best in the early morning, as the hazy dawn light gives way to bright sunshine.

Tai Chi in the Botanical Gardens with Raffles Singapore

The martial art of Tai Chi has long be revered for its natural benefits to health; a calming, slow-moving art traditionally practiced outside to lifts stress and build core strength, all fostering a healthy mind and body. The tranquil greenery of Singapore’s Botanical Garden is the perfect sanctuary for starting the day gently; slip out of Raffles Singapore to match up to the expertise of the locals. The gardens are a cool retreat from the morning bustle; catch the scent of frangipani and fruit trees drifting on the breeze, and slowly sway your body and hands in accordance with the soft movements of the Tai Chi teacher. The Botanic Gardens were originally the brainchild of Sir Stamford Raffles in 1822 – not only the founder of modern Singapore, from whom Raffles Singapore takes its name, Sir Stamford was also a keen naturalist. The gardens were moved to their current site in 1859, and remain an incredibly important botanical institute for the city. This is a natural wonderland for setting a slow pace of life for the day; return to the haven of Raffles Singapore ready for breakfast in the iconic Tiffin Room.

Modern Art ahead of the crowd with Raffles Istanbul

Offering a new perspective on a timeless city, Raffles Istanbul sits at the heart of the Zorlu Center, a new hub for fashion, food and the arts on the European shore in Beşiktaş – a next generation bazaar where fashion, performance and art converge. When it opens on 1 September, the hotel will let guests in to the best kept secrets of the cutting edge of the city. Start the day with a dose of exciting modern art: the concierge will arrange a trip to be first through the doors of some of Istanbul’s best galleries… the Istanbul Modern – Turkey’s first private museum to show modern and contemporary art exhibitions – on the shores of the Bosphorus as the sun rises over the city, or SALT, the contemporary art space, which opened in 2012. Return to Raffles, inspired, for coffee with a view from the private balcony of your bedroom as the world wakes up.

Morning Calm at Raffles Makkah Palace

As one of the world’s most holy cities, Makkah is at its most magical in the early morning as the call to prayer wakes the city. Visit the legendary Zamzam Well, a miracle rising from beneath the sand which has generated water for thousands of years or the Jabal Al-Nour (Mountain of the Light), a mountain lying east of Makkah from which Abraham built the Kaaba. Catch the Qasr As-Saqqaf at its most peaceful: one of the oldest buildings in Makkah, this is typical of the traditional architecture of the city, with unique Islamic motifs. Or visit the Qasr Khozam, the palace of King Abdul Aziz, built more than 80 years ago with stone bought from the west coast of the kingdom. Part of the palace has now been converted into a museum of archaeology and ethnology. Or within the hotel, slip into the Raffles Makkah Palace library – the only library of its kind – with a collection of more than 2,000 Hadith and classic Islamic texts on its shelves.

A Champagne Breakfast at Angkor Thom with Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angko

The temples of Angkor Wat are undoubtedly Cambodia’s most majestic of experiences: ancient monuments telling stories of hundreds of years. Angkor is at its most magical as the day begins, as the sun rises and the jungle around the temples wakes up. Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor guides its guests away from the main tourist sunrise spots to a hidden spot of Angkor Thom. Breakfast is served… tropical fruits, fresh pastries, and a glass of champagne as the cool dawn light lifts to reveal the 54 faces carved into the rocks at Bayon, and the charming figures on the Terrace of Elephants. Spot monkeys beginning their day, and make the most of the early start to discover the secrets of an ancient world before the sun rises too high in the sky and the cool of the pool at Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor calls.

Cambodian cooking with Raffles Hotel Le Royal, Phnom Penh

The cooking class at Raffles Hotel Le Royal has been described as “one of the most bespoke cooking classes South East Asia has to offer.” Early birds catch the best of Phnom Penh here, travelling to the local market with Chef to collect the freshest produce and finest ingredients of the day before the rest of the city wakes up. Returning to the hotel, guests will learn the secrets of Royal Khmer Cuisine: Raffles Hotel Le Royal was gifted exclusive rights to recipes from the Palace kitchen by King Father Norodom Sihanouk during his reign. Six dishes will be created in total using rice – a sacred component of Khmer Culture – and fish and shellfish fresh from the Mekong and Tonlé Sap rivers. Herbs and spices come fresh from the market, and the lesson ends with guests tasting their own culinary creations.

A Morning Detox at Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris

Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris has the perfect recipe for a healthy, energizing start to the busy Parisian day; a morning mini-detox. Runners can take a turn around the Parc Monceau, just a short hop along the Avenue Hoche, while water babies can enjoy some peaceful lengths in the hotel’s pool – longer than any other hotel swimming pool in the city – for starters. On, to the stylish surroundings of La Cuisine breakfast, which marries gourmet food and wellbeing in a tempting spread. Begin with a cleansing ‘Royal Booster’ smoothie, packed with vitamin C rich Chia seeds, fresh fruit and spices. Next, choose organic eggs cooked any way – perhaps an egg white omelette – or seafood, rich in Omega-3. There is also seasonal fruit platters, an ‘Alternative Milk Bar’ (soya, almond milk, coconut water) and gluten-free cakes and bread, dried fruits, organic cereals and grains. Don’t miss the delicious Granola Ispahan by Pierre Hermé – a reinterpretation of a classic with oats, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, puffed rice, grated coconut, pistachios, pecan and almonds, flavoured with honey and rose, dried raspberries and lychees.

China’s most glamorous beach at its best: Raffles Hainan, Clearwater Bay

Every day marks a new beginning on Hainan as birdsong fills the gold coast of Clearwater Bay, and the world wakes up to a refreshing breeze off the sea. Make the most of the restorative early morning light with a range of outdoor activities. Take a yoga class on the beach, or jog along the water’s edge leaving footprints in the sand. Borrow a bicycle and be carried along the coast in no time, or head for the gentle pick-pock of tennis balls on court for starting the day à deux. Or simply take a wonder along the beach, collecting shells, and spotting crabs and small fish starting their day in Hainan style. This is China’s most glamorous beach at its best; all to yourself.

Dawn flag raising ceremony with Raffles Beijing

While most tourists are still sleeping, guests of Raffles Beijing can join Raffles Ambassador John Spooner to witness the traditional and atmospheric Flag Raising Ceremony at Tian An Men Square, the largest city square in the world. The raising of the national flag is accompanied by a marching military band as the day begins in Beijing and the sun appears over Tian An Men. John will share his knowledge of the history of the ceremony, as well as taking guests on a journey through Beijing’s past. Opened in 1917 as the Grand Hotel de Pékin, Raffles Beijing Hotel’s graceful French-Orient façade has long stood as an icon of the city’s historical heritage. Just over six years ago, a new chapter began when it was fully renovated in 2006 by Raffles Hotels & Resorts.

About Raffles Hotels & Resorts: Raffles Hotels & Resorts is an award-winning, luxury international hotel company with a history dating back to 1887 with the opening of Raffles Hotel, Singapore. The portfolio currently comprises ten luxurious properties, from secluded resorts to city hotels in key locations around the world: in Singapore, Cambodia, China, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, the Philippines and Paris, each one is an oasis of calm and charm. The company is embarking on a new phase of expansion, with openings in key destinations scheduled over the next two years. With a compelling mix of cultures and styles, every hotel in the Raffles family has its own individual personality, with its own story to tell and its own sense of place. However, each one is proud to draw on the timeless essence of Raffles – to deliver thoughtful, personal and discreet service to well-travelled guests.

Raffles Hotels & Resorts is part of FRHI Hotels & Resorts, a leading global hotel company with more than 110 hotels and resorts worldwide under the Raffles, Fairmont and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel branded luxury private residence clubs, whole-ownership residences and serviced residences properties.


August 21, 2014 on 11:59 am | In Adventure Travel, Cruise Boats, Mobile Apps | Comments Off

- Featuring Uniquely American River Cruises © -

The American Queen Steamboat Company, owner and operator of the country’s grandest riverboat fleet, is pleased to announce the launch of its new website showcasing sailings through America’s heartland and the Pacific Northwest. Highlighting the American Queen and American Empress experience online, the website was designed with digital advertising partner, Fuseideas. The new webpage boasts a fresh look with more interactive components than ever before, allowing future guests and travel agents to seamlessly research and request their next river cruise.

“Fuseideas was pleased to partner with American Queen Steamboat Company to design and construct a modern website using advanced Content Management tools and technology to not only assist staff in updating itineraries and general site content, but also ensuring it serves a valuable marketing tool to grow their business.” shares Fuseideas CEO Dennis Franczak.

Of the many enhancements, users will most enjoy the improved search function with more query options and faster results. Voyage content includes expanded information on themes and special events. Vessel details are more comprehensive than ever, with new videos for the American Queen and American Empress highlighting the brand’s onboard hospitality and hop-on, hop-off shore excursions. Enhanced stateroom descriptions combine deck plans, images and other useful information neatly one page. Additionally, a list of special offers encourages users to take full advantage of value cruises and sign up for monthly newsletters. The Travel Agent section of the website has received an upgrade as well, with increased access to marketing materials and sales support.

American Queen Steamboat Company

The American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC) is the owner and operator of the U.S. flagged American Queen, the largest, most opulent riverboat in the world. Longer than a football field, towering six decks in height and laced with fanciful gingerbread trim, she is a marvel of modern engineering. Her journeys through the heartland offer a unique perspective on America’s history, culture and landscape with convenient departures from some of America’s most iconic river port cities including Memphis, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Louisville, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and St. Paul. In April 2014, AQSC began serving the Pacific Northwest with opulence and grandeur on the American Empress. The American Queen Steamboat Company is a proud supporter of The National Trust for Historic Preservation. For additional information and reservations, contact the American Queen Steamboat Company at 888-749-5280, visit  or call a professional travel agent.

About Fuseideas

Fuseideas is an award-winning digital-centric advertising agency that integrates digital technology and analytics into its breakthrough creative campaigns. The agency focuses on four key markets: academia, travel and tourism, media / entertainment and retail. Headquartered in Boston and named one of the fastest-growing private companies in 2014 by Boston Business Journal, the company has additional offices in Portland, ME, and Prague. For more information, visit Fuseideas online: Facebook, Twitter, Blog.

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