NCR Corporation will provide NCR TouchPort kiosks to Ordos Ejin Horo Airport in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, through a partnership with Beijing Sinonet Technology Co., Ltd (Sinonet). The kiosks will run on a common use self-service (CUSS) platform, allowing passengers to use the kiosks for self-check-in for flights on all the airlines that operate at the airport. It’s the first time that Ordos Ejin Horo airport has offered self-service check-in for passengers. The technology is a major part of Ordos Ejin Horo Airport’s and Sinonet’s effort to accommodate the rapid increase in passengers at the airport.
Founded in 2007, the Ordos Ejin Horo Airport is a regional airport with routes connecting to more than 30 cities in northern China. It currently has a passenger volume of more than one million for the third consecutive year. More than 10 airlines operate out of Ordos Ejin Horo, including Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Tianjin Airlines, Hebei Airlines and Spring Airlines.
Passengers arriving at Ordos Ejin Horo Airport can use the NCR self-check in kiosks to check flight information, change seats, check itineraries and print boarding passes. Passengers who have checked in online but wish to make changes can also use the kiosks. The TouchPort kiosk comes with a faster processing speed, reducing passenger transaction times. The kiosks can also read mobile barcodes, drivers’ licenses and passports making the check-in process easier and giving Ordos Ejin Horo Airport the potential to develop paperless self check-in in the future.
The itinerary includes an exploration of Mongolia’s capital city of Ulaanbaatar, which includes a visit to the 18th Century Gandantegchinlen Monastery and a visit to a 75-foot gold Buddha statue, and a trip into the Gobi Desert to view wildlife, such as Argali sheep, Siberian ibex, the Gobi camel, and the snow leopard. On the desert, clients will stay in a traditional Mongolian ger tented dwelling within view of the Gobi and Altai mountain ranges.
The program is priced $2,899 per person double occupancy land only, including deluxe accommodations at the Ramada Ulaanbaatar City Center, the five-star Sunjin Grand Hotel in Ulaanbaatar, three nights in an authentic ger in the Gobi Desert, intra-Mongolia air and land transportation, all meals as per the itinerary, entrance to the National Stadium for the opening of the Naadam Festival, baggage handling, port charges, hotel taxes and service fees.
International airfare is not included, but can be purchased through Pacific Delight Tours.
This journey delves deep into the backcountry for an up-close-and-personal encounter with the nomadic Tsaatan tribe. Participants will assist in the tribe’s livelihood by herding reindeer on their very own handcrafted skis before voyaging to the immaculate Lake Khovsgol for a joyous festival on its frozen crystalline waters.
After arriving in Ulaanbaatar, guest will be given a whirl-wind tour of the capital before being whisked to Toom, the gateway into the Mongolian Taiga.
Characterized by rolling mountains, dramatic valleys, forested plains and vast areas of barren tundra, the journey into the remote regions of the Taiga will commence by ski with an expert team equipped with horses and vehicles for added support.
Days of skiing in idyllic conditions with infinite visibility and you will arrive to meet your hosts, the Tsaatan. The nomadic tribe of reindeer herders have an ancestry that spans centuries and is deeply rooted in Shamanistic traditions.
Nights are spent with local host families in traditional Mongolian gers and Tsaatan tents drinking airag (fermented mare’s milk) and singing traditional folk songs, offering a true taste of the legendary Mongolian hospitality.
The marathon journey culminates with a huge celebration at the Ice Festival on Lake Khosvsgol. Surrounded by the Saradig mountain range with peaks upwards of 3000m, the lake’s famously clear waters transform into crystal-clear ice in the winter acting as a picturesque setting for winter sports competitions and traditional games.
“The chance to see this remote corner of the planet and meet its mysterious population in deep winter is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You rarely come across truly unique and one of a kind experiences in today’s globalized world but this is something that has us all very excited and should be a must on anyone’s 2013 ‘to accomplish’ list – you don’t get many chances to carve your own skis and try them out in the Taiga.” – Tom Marchant, Black Tomato co-founder
Black Tomato can arrange a bespoke 18-night Mongolian Backcountry Ski Experience from GBP4,285 per person based on two sharing. The price is fully inclusive and based upon February 2013 departures.
For more information and to book visit www.blacktomato.com or call +44 207 426 9888.
Experience Mongolia’s Culture, Food, and The Spectacular Golden Eagle Festival On A New Women-Only AdventureDecember 1, 2012 on 10:39 am | In Adventure Travel, Asia, Cabinweb, Mongolia | Comments Off
Join women’s only adventure company, AdventureWomen for a luxurious journey through Mongolia’s mountainous and desert landscapes where mounted soldiers once galloped across the golden steppes of the Gobi Desert with the warrior Genghis Khan, and to the Altai Mountains, where Kazakh hunters celebrate their traditional culture and magnificent golden eagles.
Highlights of this new girlfriend getaway include attending the spectacular Golden Eagle Festival, with up to 60 Kazakh hunters and their magnificent golden eagles, visiting ancient Mongolian monasteries and natural wonders, traveling to the Flaming Cliffs, where legendary explorer Roy Chapman Andrews discovered the first nest of dinosaur eggs, and more.
Other highlights include unique accommodations, ranging from traditional Mongolian gers (yurts), to the luxury Three Camel Lodge, in a magnificent Gobi setting, visiting nomadic Mongol families in their gers, decorated with the colorful textiles of Western Mongolia’s Kazakh craftswomen, opportunities for beautiful hikes and journeys through mystical landscapes of the Gobi Desert atop a two-humped camel, delicious meals prepared with fresh, local ingredients, immersion into the local culture, and much more.
Departs September 30th, 2013.
Odysseys Unlimited is expanding its small group reach with a 16-day journey following in the footsteps of Genghis Khan. Limited to 12 to 18 guests, Odysseys Unlimited’s Mongolian Adventure begins in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbatar followed by four nights in the Gobi Desert exploring the barren expanse that was once part of the Mongol Empire and along the Silk Road. The itinerary continues with the ancient Mongol capital of Karakorum, Khustai Nuruu National Park, Lake Khuvsgul, and the Ulaanbaatar countryside.
Engaging in activities that Gobi nomads still practice today, the small group travels by foot and by Bactrian camel, stays in traditional ger (round tents) camps, dines on traditional Mongolian barbecue, and attends a traditional campfire with a local shaman. Guests can hike, bird watch, kayak, fish, mountain bike or try Mongolia’s traditional sport of archery.
Odysseys Unlimited offers two special Nadaam Festival departure dates, July 3 and July 10, 2013. Centuries-old, Nadaam is a form of memorial celebration honoring various mountain gods. Festivities kick off with a colorful parade of athletes, monks, soldiers and locals dressed in Chinggis-style warrior uniforms. Contests highlight Mongolia’s greatest athletes in horse racing, archery, and wrestling.
Limited to 12 to 18 guests, Odysseys Unlimited’s 16-day Mongolian Adventure is priced from $5,187 per person ($4,695 air and land inclusive plus $492 airline taxes and departure fees). The tour price includes international airfare and all flights within the itinerary, 13 nights’ accommodations, all meals on tour, extensive sightseeing, services of an Odysseys Unlimited tour director, luggage handling, most gratuities and a frequent traveler credit of $100 to $300.
The Private Collection, which will over an encounter with the nomadic communities of the Mongolian steppes on a private basis.
The programs combine travel by private plane or helicopter with stays in traditional Mongolian gers, with opportunities to get to know nomadic families of the Mongolian steppes.
The trip also includes a meeting with one of the leading paleontologists of Mongolia in the Gobi Desert to learn about the fascinating dinosaur fossils discovered there.
One of the new itineraries, the 10-day Mongolia Private Collection:
Lake Hovsgol and Gobi Desert, features Lake Hovsgol, one of 17 ancient lakes worldwide that are more than 2 million years old.
Activities include horseback riding, hiking and kayaking.
The journey takes in the 1,000-year-old Uushgiin Deer Stones, one of the best-preserved monuments of its kind in Mongolia, and includes the vast, dramatic Gobi Desert with its famous Flaming Cliffs.
A couple of years ago, the notion of Gap Year – where students take time to travel or get life experience before moving on to university or embarking on a career was almost unheard of in Asia. However it has since become increasingly popular and more fresh faced school and university students are heading to the shores of New Zealand, Thailand, India and beyond for a grand adventure. But Gap Years needn’t be confined to the youngsters. A growing number of professionals, empty-nesters and retirees are hankering after the same kind of round the world, off the beaten track experiences, albeit in a little more style than the traditional gapper. Here, Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), experts in luxury boutique travel, share their dream itineraries and experiences for a “Grown Up Gap Year” – retirement, redundancy, sabbatical or just an escape from the rat race, whether you have a full year, a few months, or a couple of weeks, these are the destinations to dream about. Or you can always make your own with 520 hotels in 70 countries the choices are endless, call one of our travel experts to come up with a specially tailored gap year itinerary.
1. Solo Traveller
A journey through Costa Rica makes the trip of a lifetime. Explore this ecologically rich country with SLH – from quiet beaches to wild rivers, a Central American adventure awaits. Our dream itinerary would include a stay at Hotel Punta Islita www.slh.com/puntaislita – overlooking a rugged bay on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula, Punta Islita is a picturesque beachfront resort set on a tiered hillside. Expect a close-up view of authentic Costa Rican culture amidst forest-covered mountains with plenty of fast-paced activities such as zip lining and forest trekking, and a relaxing spa with treatments inspired by nature to fill your alone-time. For quieter moments, one of the main attractions of Punta Islita is the peace and seclusion – warm tropical breezes, forest scents and sea and sky views are best enjoyed from your hammock for a taste of delicious solitude.
From there, head to Le Caméléon in Puerto Viejo www.slh.com/cameleon Close to some of the world’s quietest beaches in Puerto Viejo, this is a sophisticated yet relaxed beach retreat where a laid back Caribbean lifestyle becomes second nature for all guests. Laze by the pool and enjoy a massage…or visit Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, renowned for manatees, dolphins and sea turtles that nest on the beaches from February to May.
Rancho Pacifico in Puntarenas www.slh.com/ranchopacifico is an idyllic spot to end the journey – expect ultra-comfortable isolation in the midst of tropical jungle. Set high on a secluded hilltop, surrounded by 250 acres of rainforest, this eco-luxury resort provides 10 dramatic rooms – choose from suite, villa and treehouse accommodation. Activities abound – take the private Bosque Puro Trail 1,000 feet up to the top of the coastal mountains into the cloud forest, or journey into a remote part of the Osa Peninsula via the Sierpe River by boat. Sightings of monkeys, sloths, jaguarundis, anteaters, tree frogs, toucans and parakeets are commonplace in this area.
2. Find Yourself
Seeking a spiritual retreat? Why not follow in the footsteps of Julia Roberts and embark upon a journey of self-discovery as portrayed in the novel and movie Eat, Pray, Love! SLH offers a charming selection of luxury escapes in Florence, India and Bali, the three destinations the protagonist famously visited on her journey.
Dine Like A King In Florence: JK Place Firenze Hotel – www.slh.com/jkplace
Suspended in a bubble of refinement in the heart of the city, JK Place Firenze Hotel is an exceptional retreat, adored by everyone who stays behind its modest townhouse façade. Inside, it is elegance epitomised with century’s worth of artefacts and lovely homemade food served all day in a glass-covered courtyard.
Find Inner Calm In India: Fragrant Nature Retreat & Resort, Kerala – www.slh.com/fragrantnatureretreat
The natural village setting of Fragrant Nature Retreat & Resort reflects the authentic Keralean way of life. In a stunning setting overlooking a fresh water lake, the extremely comfortable rooms and villas bring you close to nature while fine dining, a pampering spa and a traditional cruise boat provides more than a touch of supreme comfort.
Love Yourself In Bali: Spa Village Tembok Bali – www.slh.com/tembok
Set amidst a dramatic volcanic landscape on Bali’s north-eastern coast, Spa Village Resort Tembok, Bali is where your restorative journey begins. Dedicated to top-to-toe pampering and personalised spa treatments, this uniquely peaceful and tranquil spot is surrounded by tropical gardens and provides a beach-side restaurant, a spectacular infinity pool and stunning accommodation.
3. Off The Beaten Track: Hotel Terelj, Mongolia – www.slh.com/terelj
Set on the banks of the Terelj River in a remote spot surrounded by lush tree-covered mountains in the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, the Terelj Hotel is a polished sanctuary of relaxation just 50 kilometres from Mongolia’s capital city, Ulaanbaatar. An almost untouched corner of the earth, near the birthplace of Ghenhis Khan, the pristine wilderness surrounding the property is some of the most carefully protected parkland in the country. Guests enjoy outdoor adventures from bird watching to hiking and climbing or horseback riding through meadows of edelweiss, grassy steppes and forest-covered mountains. Although sparsely populated, the park is also home to nomadic Mongolians, offering visitors the chance to meet with the authentic people of Mongolia. Admire the Khagiin Khar glacial lake, the Yestii hot springs, and spot brown bears, wild boar, wolves and over 250 bird species before retreating to the hotel’s veranda to relax in an armchair under a cashmere blanket – the grown up way to experience the wilderness!
4. Ski Season
Art and Relax Hotel Bergwelt, Austria – www.slh.com/bergwelt
At a heady 1950m, Obergurgl in Austria boasts a long ski season for maximum snow days. The typically Tyrolean village has magnificent scenery and lively après ski to boot – stay at the Art and Relax Hotel Bergwelt, a fabulous ski-in ski-out property set high on a sunny plateau. Delightfully traditional, the lodge offers modern, stylish interiors, a panoramic restaurant, a spa with the highest pool in the Alps and a fantastic welcoming bar with blazing fire. We wouldn’t mind holing up here all winter long!
Royal Park Hotel Kandersteg, Switzerland – www.slh.com/royalpark
From Austria, head across the border to Switzerland to the small alpine resort of Kandersteg. Excellent skiing, snowboarding, heli-skiing, cross country skiing, skating, tobogganing and even ice hockey await! Stay at the Royal Park Hotel Kandersteg, which sits in a huge park, perfectly located for all the activities on offer in the area. The ski season staples of fondue and râclett served at Berner Stübli restaurant are truly legendary.
Reservations for any Small Luxury Hotels of the World property can be made by calling 800 1205507 (Singapore), online at www.slh.com or via the new iPhone app. Travel agents need only remember the GDS code LX for LuXury.
Gate 1 Travel presented its new lineup of travel packages for 2013 reflecting changes in response to customer demand for longer stays and more flexibility.
The new offerings also reflect increased demand for Ecuador, Peru, Turkey, Jordan, Morocco, China, France and Spain.
New packages for 2013 include 10-day Hong Kong, Macau & Bangkok; 11-day Tanzania Safari; 14-day Art Cities of Spain with seven-day Western Med Cruise; nine-day Wine & Art of Northern Italy and Cinque Terre; nine-day Tokyo & Kyoto; and more. Gate 1 also has plans to expand packages for its new small group travel brand, Discovery Tours. Destinations will include Croatia, Mongolia and Colombia.
Sights and Soul Travels, a tour operator specializing in travel programs for women, released its 2013 lineup of tours to 26 destinations, including the Amazon, South Africa (with Zimbabwe/Victoria Falls extension), Egypt (with Jordan/Petra extension), Vietnam (with Cambodia/Angkor Wat extension), Washington, D.C., New York, Portugal, Spain, Greece, France, Croatia, Poland, Prague, Austria, Iceland, Ireland, England, Italy (five separate tours including Venice and the Lakes, Tuscany, Rome, Amalfi Coast, and Sicily), Turkey, Morocco, Argentina and Germany’s Christmas Markets.
The company’s founder, Yolanta Barnes, will join some of the tours.
“Our tours go beyond the usual ‘drive-by’ visit and offer an in-depth approach to the world’s culture and history,” said Barnes.
“The tours we create do not feature the typical tourist spots and they allow women to truly immerse themselves in the world’s best destinations. Our tours are geared for those women from all walks of life who appreciate history, art, people, adventure and great food.”
Barnes points out that women travel differently than men. Many women wait until they have achieved in their careers, gotten married and had children who are grown before they take the time for themselves. When they do finally travel, they want to do so in a safe, relaxed, and friendly atmosphere.
Reading recommendations include not only guidebooks, but novels and other books that relate to the tour. On most Sights and Soul Travels tours, participants change hotels only once.
While at a boutique city hotel or spa resort, women will have enough time to become familiar with their surroundings and take side trips.
“When you are on a Sights and Soul Travels tour,” said Barnes, “you will have the opportunity to discover your own personal passions whether they be studying Titian artwork or photographing wildflowers.
You can choose to wander aimlessly for as long as you want or simply slow down, relax and just be.”
Prices for a Sights and Soul Travels vacation start from $1,395 per person land only for a five-day/four-night Arts and Politics in Washington, D.C. tour during the Cherry Blossom Festival, April 14 to 18, 2013, and from $1,895 for a six-day/five-night Amazon Expedition, Jan. 7 to 12, 2013. The company does not sell airfare.
There is currently space available on a number of 2012 tours including those to Prague, Morocco, and Germany’s Christmas Markets. The company has been in operation since 2004.
Preferred Hotels® & Resorts, a brand of Preferred Hotel Group™ and a collection of more than 250 of the world’s most desirable properties in key destinations, is pleased to announce it first member in Mongolia – the brand new The Blue Sky Hotel & Tower.
The Blue Sky Hotel & Tower is a 200-room hotel within a newly built tower – currently the tallest and most prominent building in Mongolia – with a glass exterior mirroring the blue sky of Mongolia. It is perfectly located on the Sukhbaatar Square in the heart of Ulanbaatar’s business centre with government agencies, entertainment as well as tourist attractions nearby. Occupying the top floors of the tower, the stylish rooms offer spectacular views of the city with understated design and warm earth tones. At present, it is the only hotel in the country with a dedicated executive floor, lounge and complete executive floor benefits.
Five restaurants offer Japanese, Chinese, Korean and European cuisines and other international favourites. For entertainment, there is a lounge strategically located on the top two floors of the tower and a separate club providing live bands and DJs. Recreational facilities include an indoor climate-controlled pool, gymnasium, sauna and three large jacuzzi tubs of varying temperatures. With one of the largest function spaces in the city fitted with state-of-the-art visual, acoustic and lighting equipment, Hotel Blue Sky can cater for various events for up to 500 persons within the two ballrooms and three function rooms.
Buy One Get One Free from USD320 ( USD160 per night) with free breakfast, free WIFI, and taxes included. Valid until 31 May, 2012.
About Preferred Hotels & Resorts
All Preferred Hotels & Resorts embrace the brand’s award-winning Standards of Excellence™, an extensive quality assurance program that has been honored with the “Best Practices Champion Award” by Cornell University. For more than 40 years, the brand’s legendary commitment to quality has ensured an unparalleled guest experience, from the very best amenities to superb service.
Additionally, all Preferred Hotels & Resorts guests are eligible to enroll in the I Prefer™ Guest Benefit Program, with benefits including early check-in/late check-out, space-available upgrades, and local hotel benefits like complimentary airport transportation and “two-for-one” spa treatments. For reservations and a complete description of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts collection, visit www.PreferredHotels.com or www.PreferredHotelGroup.com
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