This winter season, Grand Hotel Kronenhof, Pontresina (www.kronenhof.com ) is inviting yoga enthusiasts to strike a mountain pose on the mountain slopes. The hotel has teamed up with qualified ski instructor and yoga teacher Sabrina Nussbaum to introduce guests to the benefits of doing yoga on their skis at the top of the slopes, in crisp Alpine air.
Nussbaum, who has been practising yoga since 1987 and has both Hatha and Vinyasa yoga qualifications, originally fused yoga with hiking, creating a yoga-hiking trail in the summer of 2012. This year, for the first time in association with Grand Hotel Kronenhof, she is offering a ski-yoga fusion, which allows yoga enthusiasts to keep up their yoga practice while on their skiing holiday.
The Ski Yoga package at Grand Hotel Kronenhof is available from Thursday through Sunday on the following dates during the 2013/14 season: 19 to 22 December 2013, 6 to 9 February 2014 and 27 to 30 March 2014. The package, which includes half-board accommodation, a ski pass, a one-to-one consultation with a yoga teacher to assess each guest’s level of yoga, a three-hour morning Ski-Yoga session with Nussbaum, two afternoon indoor yoga sessions in the Kronenhof Spa, a Hydrojet massage bath and a Kronenhof Energy Massage, costs from CHF 1,300 (approx £885) per person sharing a double room.
For more details and to book, please visit the Grand Hotel Kronenhof website www.kronenhof.com.
Grand Hotel Kronenhof, located in Pontresina, six miles from St. Moritz, offers the best of both worlds: the chance to enjoy the glitz of St. Moritz, while staying in a peaceful mountain village.
Grand Hotel Kronenhof has a rich and interesting history, having first opened its doors in the first half of the 19th century as a guesthouse. However, the main part of the current building, which is a registered historical landmark, was built at the very end of the 19th century in Neo-Baroque style. The latest addition, completed in November 2007 and costing CHF 35 million (approximately £24 million), consists of 28 new guest rooms and a stunning spa complex covering more than 2000 square metres.
The spa is certainly one of the hotel’s highlights and has been named “the best Alpine spa” (according to Tyler Brule writing in the FT, November 2009). Facilities include a 20m indoor infinity pool with counter-current system, a flotation pool with underwater music, a wide range of saunas and steam rooms, a luxurious private suite for couples to enjoy wraps and massages together, and – for the perfect final touch – a crackling log fire in the relaxation room.
Gourmet cuisine is also a speciality at the Grand Hotel Kronenhof. Awarded the title of GaultMillau Hotel of the Year in 2009, it has four restaurants (the formal Grand Restaurant in an elegant Neo-Baroque vaulted room, Gourmet Restaurant Kronenstübli serving international cuisine with a local flair, the traditional bowling lanes where Swiss raclette is served and the informal Le Pavillon for light lunches).
Finally, Grand Hotel Kronenhof is renowned for its extensive children’s activities and facilities (a kids’ playroom and Rondelle, a restaurant just for younger members of the family).
Recent awards for the Grand Hotel Kronenhof include Best Hotel in Switzerland 2013 according to TripAdvisor®, a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence for the third year running in 2013, the HolidayCheck Award 2010-2013 (most popular hotel in Switzerland, four years in a row) and a place in a list of the top ten best holiday hotels in Switzerland compiled by renowned Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung and in a list of the top ten most welcoming luxury hotels in the country put together by Switzerland Tourism.
Previous awards include first place in the Best Of Swiss Gastro (gourmet category), GaultMillau Hotel of the Year 2008, the ‘Bilanz’ hoteliers of the year.
Both the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz and its sister property Grand Hotel Kronenhof are owned by the Niarchos family.
Skiing enthusiasts heading for European slopes are being advised to book their breaks now for the coming season according to HomeAway.co.uk. The UK’s leading holiday rentals website predicts many people will be planning early winter or Christmas skiing breaks due to 2014’s very late Easter.
To make it easier than ever before for earlybirds to book their skiing holiday, HomeAway.co.uk has thousands of properties in European ski resorts that can now be booked safely online with just one click. With over 42,800 ski chalets in Europe to choose from, skiers can find and secure their ideal accommodation within 24 hours without the need for enquiry.
Whilst resorts in Eastern Europe are still popular for good value and quieter slopes, destinations such as Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland also offer plenty of choice for a cost-effective break for all age groups budgets, skiing abilities and parties. The tiny principality of Andorra with its excellent nursery slopes and family friendly facilities is also increasing in popularity among those looking for good value skiing for all ages and abilities.
From five star chalets on the snow-covered Swiss and French Alps to chic apartments overlooking Austrian lakes, HomeAway.co.uk lists a fantastic range of flexible properties that are bookable online across the price range and close to first class ski and snowboarding facilities. Many also offer an excellent variety of off-piste activities for the less dedicated winter sports enthusiast.
Erica Chang, Regional Director of HomeAway.co.uk, says, “Easter is traditionally a busy time for families to hit the slopes but in 2014 Easter Sunday falls on April 20th – too late for snow in all but the highest European ski resorts. This means many families will be planning early winter, Christmas or February half term ski breaks instead – so now is a great time to book before the rush really starts.”
“With our online booking facility booking a skiing holiday has never been easier. People can check out the resorts, find the accommodation that will work for them, then simply click and secure their booking in minutes.” she added.
Current ski holidays available to book NOW at www.HomeAway.co.uk include:
Three bedroom holiday home in Zell am See, Austria
This newly-built, luxury house sits in the mountain resort of Zell am See just minutes from the ski bus, bars, restaurants and shopping areas. Modern furnishings adorn the three bedrooms, living room, kitchen, diner, and luxe bathroom. There are also two terraces, both of which are perfect for looking out across the snow-covered peaks and enjoy an après-ski hot chocolate or cocktail.
This property can be booked now at www.homeaway.co.uk/p3540132and prices start at £1699 a week.
Five Bedroom Holiday Chalet, Chamonix, France
Location, location, location… sums up this ski chalet in the heart of Chamonix. Chalet Heidi is newly renovated, spacious and located close to all amenities. Arranged on three levels, it has three double and two twin mezzanine bedrooms linked by a children’s play area. There’s a cosy lounge/dining room, log fire and a light and spacious basement with laundry facilities and a wine cellar.
The property can be booked now at www.homeaway.co.uk/p99609and prices start at £2,000 a week.
Luxury Chalet, Haute-Nendaz, Switzerland
This is a five-star luxury apartment that has been finished to a very high standard. It has three double bedrooms, three bathrooms and is ideally located for families wanting to ski in one of the best areas in the world. It has a large open plan sitting room and kitchen with beautiful mountain views. There is also access to a large indoor swimming pool and sauna.
Guests can walk from the apartment to the ski lift which takes them to the Tracouet ski area and from here they can ski into Verbier.
This property can be booked now at www.homeaway.co.uk/p414853and prices start at £1,933 a week.
One Bedroom Apartment, Bansko, Bulgaria
Bansko, situated at the foot of the Pirin Mountains, just over two hours from Sofia, is well known for its affordable accommodation, uncrowded slopes and long tree lined ski runs.
This spacious, bright, fully furnished apartment is set on the Kandahar complex four-minutes from the main ski lift. The property sleeps up to four, boasts ceiling to floor windows with a southwest facing balcony and fantastic mountain views. Located in the ‘Gramadeto Area’ of Bansko, the restaurants, supermarkets and bars are a five-minute walk away.
Full details can be seen at www.homeaway.co.uk/p873804 and ski weeks start at £252.
Two Bedroom Apartment, Encamp, Andorra
In the heart of the Pyrenees and located in the North of the Principality of Andorra Grandvalira is a snow capital on the border with France. This bright, comfortable, well-equipped apartment has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a balcony with views and sleeps up to five guests looking for a great break on and off piste.
This property can be booked now at homeaway.co.uk/p562918a and ski weeks start at £375.
Four Bedroom Chalet, Morzine, France
Chalet Ouzon is a newly renovated, four-bedroom property set in a tranquil location near Morzine and Chatel, surrounded by uninterrupted alpine views. Filled with clean spaces and light, this property is a relaxing haven where guests can unwind after a day on the mountains.
The chalet is split over three levels and has four bedrooms, which comfortably sleep eight guests. There is a kitchen, living area, two shower-rooms, lounge and large balcony with amazing views as well as under floor heating, a large wood burning stove and heated boot room.
The property can be booked now at www.homeaway.co.uk/p1169965 and ski weeks start at £1,088.
Austrian Airlines has concluded a total overhaul of its fleet with the completion of the cabin redesign of all 47 of its Fokker and Dash 8-400 aircraft, which are primarily used on domestic and short haul routes.
The colors used in the new design, primarily red and grey, differ sharply from the old green design. All seats have been fitted with leather upholstery. “Bright green is yesterday’s look. An elegant grey is today,” said Karsten Benz, chief commercial officer for Austrian, of the final departure of the company’s old color concept. “Our new design places us way ahead in customer surveys. The new cabin combines modern design with comfort.”
With the completion of the redesign on the Fokker and Dash 8-400 aircraft, Austrian Airlines has completed the upgrade of their entire fleet, short- and long-haul, a job that began in 2011.
After 35 years as the world’s premiere active travel company, Backroads is celebrating its milestone year by unveiling an array of new travel offerings and an all-new bike fleet (including redesigned Custom Titanium bikes, top-of-the-line pro-level bikes and electric-assist bikes) for couples, families, singles and private groups seeking an unparalleled travel experience. In 2014 Backroads is adding Greenland, the Canary Islands, the Carolinas and San Francisco to Monterey to its destination lineup.
“For 35 years, Backroads has been a company continually in motion, always focused on turning great ideas into reality for our guests,” explains Backroads Founder and President Tom Hale. “We have many new offerings on tap for 2014 to make our travel adventures even better including upgrading our world-class bike fleet, expanding our trip collection and debuting new Family Breakaway Trips for families with older teens and 20-somethings. We have also enhanced our Private Trips program to make planning and booking travel easier and more flexible than ever before.”
Get Pumped Up with New Bike Fleet
The industry’s best bike fleet just got better! Backroads’ all-new Custom Titanium bikes feature a redesigned frame and upgraded components. The new Ti bike weighs in at a full two pounds less than its predecessor. Additionally, Backroads has acquired a brand-new fleet of 2014 Specialized S-Works Roubaix and Ruby pro-level bikes equipped with the best componentry on the market. And for riders of different abilities who want to bike together without feeling forced to speed up or slow down, the new custom electric-assist bike is the perfect solution (plus it’s absolutely silent).
Tripping with Older Teens and 20-Somethings
To make family travel with older children a positive experience for the whole family, Backroads is rolling out Family Breakaway Trips—big adventures for families with older teens and 20-somethings. Backroads understands that young adults are increasingly sophisticated, active and curious and may have different interests from their parents and siblings. Family Breakaway Trips are the perfect opportunity for the whole family to maximize time together.
Nineteen Nifty New Itineraries
Backroads is rolling out 19 new Classic, Family and Singles-Solos itineraries in 2014, expanding its diverse collection of trips to more than 70 destinations worldwide. New trips include
three of Backroads’ most cycling-centric trips ever—a winter escape in Spain’s Canary Islands, six glorious days in the Blue Ridge Mountains of the Carolinas, and the Epic Ride (for serious riders) along legendary routes in Northern California. New options for exploring the world on foot include a journey from the canal to the cloud forest in Panama, and a walking and cooking trip in Provence. For travelers who prefer a blend of activities, there are new offerings in Canada’s pristine Gulf Islands, the awe-inspiring Swiss Alps and Nordic exploration among the spectacular glaciers of Iceland & Greenland.
Notable New 2014 Offerings
Classic Biking Trips:
Canary Islands, the Carolinas, the Epic Ride
Classic Multisport Trips:
Gulf Islands, Iceland, San Francisco to Monterey, Switzerland
Classic Walking & Hiking Trips:
Galápagos & Andes, Iceland & Greenland, Panama, Provence Cooking
Family Multisport Trips:
Iceland & Greenland, San Francisco to Monterey, South Africa & Botswana
Singles-Solos Multisport Deluxe Camping Trips:
Alaska, Bryce, Zion & Grand Canyon, Canadian Rockies, San Juan Islands, Yellowstone & Tetons
Family Breakaway Trips:
Bryce, Zion & Grand Canyon Multisport, San Francisco to Monterey Multisport
Czech Republic & Austria Biking, Dalmatian Coast Biking, Holland & Belgium Biking, Loire Valley Biking, Israel Biking, Pyrenees to Costa Brava Biking, Tuscany Biking
Asia, Pacific, Latin America & Africa
Argentina Lake District Biking, Bali Biking, Costa Rica Multisport, Cuba Insider, Galápagos & Andes Multisport, Hawaii’s Big Island Biking, Panama Multisport, Peru Multisport, South Africa & Botswana Multisport, Thailand Biking, Vietnam & Cambodia Biking
Known for its superb acoustics, the Festspielhaus, Europe’s second largest concert hall, offers over 300 high-profile events throughout the year. Enjoy Choral Music at Christmas Time by the Balthasar Neumann Choir and Conductor Thomas Hengelbrock (December 1, 2013) and experience the International Mariinsky-Ballet of St. Petersburg with the classic performance of “Sleeping Beauty” (December 21 and 22, 2013) and “Swan Lake” (December 23, 25 and 27, 2013).
The New Year’s Eve Gala at the Festspielhaus will once again be one of the most glamorous New Year’s Eve events in our international spa town.
For details, click: www.festspielhaus.de
Winter and the Austrians; it is a loving relationship, a blend of subtle joys and laugh out loud fun. We would like to share our anticipation with our guests from the UK and surprise them with a pre-winter taster in the city.
As we Austrians like to say: “Enjoy your celebrations, whenever they come!” (Man soll die Feste feiern wie sie fallen)
When: 17th October
Time: 12.30 and 5.30 pm
Where: Bishops Gate / Spitalfields Market
Look out for the “Buzzer” and enjoy the winter fun. Plus, choose your favourite region and win a 7-night ski holiday to the Austrian Alps for 2 people, including ski passes. And 3 runners-up will win brand new ski gear.
See you there!
Tauck is adding a new 10-day river cruise package on the Danube next year. The package includes a seven-day cruise between Regensburg and Vienna and two nights at the Ritz-Carlton Vienna. Tauck now offers seven itineraries on the Danube, its most popular river cruise destination. Eight departures are scheduled from July through October on the new 130-passenger Savor.
“Our other cruises featuring the Danube, either alone or in combination with other waterways, range from 12 to 24 days. At just 10 days, the new ‘Danube Reflections’ is a great option for travelers with less vacation time,” said Tauck CEO Mahar. “Our new itinerary also has a greater focus on Vienna, one of Europe’s true gems and a perennial favorite among our guests, and we’ve built in sightseeing choices during many of our port visits.”
The Vienna stay includes guided sightseeing and an exclusive “Imperial Evening” that features a cocktail reception, dinner and performances of period music and dance inside a private Viennese palace.
The “Danube Reflections” package is priced from $4,590 per person, plus air, and includes shore excursions, all gratuities, onboard beverages (soft drinks, wine, beer and premium spirits), meals aboard ship and select meals ashore, all port charges, airport transfers, luggage handling, and more.
Luxury Travel Leader’s River Cruises Offer Unique Land-Cruise Opportunities
Travcoa, a world leader in luxury travel, is improving on the luxury cruise ship experience with two new Danube River offerings through the heart of Central Europe. “These new, inclusive land-and-cruise journeys provide a more intimate travel experience while allowing unforgettable access to Central European ports that are beyond the reach of larger ships,” says Jerre Fuqua, President of Travcoa.
“Aboard ships that host 200 guests or fewer, with every cabin offering five-star views, the experience onboard is as exceptional as the opportunities to explore each of the storybook-like villages and world-class cities along the way,” says Fuqua.
Travcoa’s insistence on smaller ships is in keeping with its commitment to provide the discerning traveler with journeys that are both luxurious and intimate. “The ’Travcoa style’ is incredibly important to our guests,” says Fuqua. “On a small ship, there is a significantly higher staff-to-guest ratio, and premium amenities may include a heated swimming pool with a swim-up bar, gourmet dining, and a first-run movie theater. Because of these special touches, guests take as much joy from the journey as they do from the destinations they explore.”
And those destinations are plentiful. Travcoa’s “Danube of the Habsburgs” Escorted Journey includes Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Slovakia and Hungary, while the “Kingdom of Romania & The Bohemian Danube” Escorted Journey begins with a land excursion through six cities in Romania and Hungary before guests embark on the Danube River cruise which travels through Slovakia, Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany.
“For many of our guests, these journeys provide an opportunity to return to their ancestral roots, and discover first-hand their family’s history, traditions and culture,” says Fuqua. “And when you consider how well the towns and villages along the Danube are preserved, guests often say they experience a sense as if they have traveled back in time.”
For more information on Travcoa’s Danube River small-group luxury tours, to request a brochure, or to make a reservation, please contact a travel agent or a Travcoa Journey Consultant at 1-800-992-2003, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.travcoa.com.
Travcoa has been leading luxury adventures and in-depth explorations of the world’s most interesting destinations since 1954. The company offers three types of travel experiences around the globe: small-group Escorted Journeys with comprehensive itineraries guided by professional Travel Directors; pre-designed and priced Independent Journeys for guests who prefer private travel on a date of their choice; and Custom Journeys crafted to individual guest specifications.
Solo Travelers Can Save $1,800 and Enjoy Colorful Tulip Cruises in Private Cabin
New York, NY (November 4, 2014) – European Waterways, Europe’s largest luxury hotel barge cruise operator, is waiving the single supplement aboard the 12-passenger Panache for all of its April 2014 departures, when guests will enjoy Holland during the colorful tulip season. Solo travelers looking to have some privacy in a cabin of their own will save $1,800 for the 6-night cruises, with cabins available for departures on April 6, 13, 20 and 27, 2014.
“There is absolutely no reason for solo travelers to miss out on the opportunity to enjoy the unique experience that is hotel barging,” said Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways. “Holland is an ideal destination for a cruise in the spring, with the striking colors of the tulip fields displayed at their prime, and guests are sure to spend an excellent week in the company of other like-minded travelers seeking relaxation, tranquil scenery, fine dining and great culture.”
Tulips, Tulips Everywhere
For Holland in the Spring, it’s all about the tulips. Among the numerous excursions scheduled during Panache’s April cruises are a visit to the famous Keukenhof Gardens, considered among the most beautiful Spring gardens in the world. More than seven million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths bloom for miles around, bursting with dazzling colors and captivating fragrances. Guests will also visit the town of Gouda, famous for its cheese, and Zaanse Schans, a fascinating, fully inhabited, open-air conservation area and museum located just a few miles north of Amsterdam. A unique attraction, Zaanse Schans offers visitors a vivid impression of the Dutch way of life in the 17th and 18th centuries through tours of authentic houses, a historic shipyard, a cheese and dairy farm, and clog-making demonstrations. Also on the itinerary is a tour of St. Pieterskerk, one of Holland’s oldest churches, dating back to 1315.
All Aboard Panache
Panache features a beautiful interior with mahogany and brass finishes. It offers six air-conditioned double or twin en-suite cabins, a spacious saloon with large panoramic views, a sun deck equipped with a heated spa pool perfect for watching the Holland sunset, and 12 bicycles for guests’ use to explore the towpaths and nearby attractions. An attentive six person crew- comprised of a master chef, deck hand/steward, tour guide and two housekeepers, cater to passengers’ every need.
“Panache is one of three European Waterways hotel barges that offer the best views of Holland during its famous tulip season before they are repositioned in France, so there are plenty of opportunities to see Holland during its ‘glory days’ of Spring,” said Derek Banks.
Solo rates for Panache’s April 2014 departures start at $5,090.00 per person for a junior suite, and include all meals, wines, an open bar, daily escorted excursions and local transfers. They are the same rates as those for double occupancy. Whole barge charters are also available.
2014 Brochure Now Available
The new 60-page, European Waterways’ 2014 Brochure comes with a DVD featuring a selection of quality short videos that help convey the ambience of the “hotel barging experience.” To preview or request the brochure, visit http://www.gobarging.com/brochure.php?clear=1.
About European Waterways
The hotel barging experience is different from large vessel river cruising. It offers a slower paced, “gentle voyage of discovery” along the more intimate canals and waterways of Europe, allowing a small number of guests to become more fully immersed in the culture, history and gastronomy of the region. European Waterways is Europe’s largest all-inclusive luxury hotel barging group, offering vacations in nine countries and carrying over 2,000 passengers a year. Founded nearly 40 years ago, they own and operate a fleet of luxury barges and market cruises in France, Italy, Scotland, Ireland, England, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg. Pioneers in hotel barging, they were the first company to offer a cruise on the Canal du Nivernais in Burgundy, and through the “chateau region” of the Loire Valley. They are also the only cruise company offering barge cruises in Scotland and in the Venetian lagoon and River Po valley. Please visit www.gobarging.com or call Toll Free 1 877 879 8808 for more information, pricing, cruise schedules, brochures. Follow European Waterways on Facebook and Twitter and view their YouTube channel, http://bit.ly/19kQhbm.
The leading ski resort of Ischgl, in the Austrian Tirol, has announced the details of the exciting €18.5 million (approx. £15.6m) cablecar which is nearing completion ready for the upcoming ski season.
It will open up an endless area of freeride skiing in virtually untouched deep snow slopes from the Piz Val Gronda peak at 2812m and will be a haven for skiers and boarders alike. In the past these powderfields were accessed only by the most dedicated skiers and boarders who were towed up by snowcat.
A pisted red run from the top station will allow skiers and boarders who prefer to stay on the slopes to also enjoy the stunning views of the Fimbatal valley and peaks including the Fluchthorn, Wildspitze and Hohe Riffler.
The Piz Val Gronda (PVG) lift is 2400m long – approx. one mile – and will whisk passengers up to the peak in about 5.5 minutes from its base at Vesiltal.
Said Paznaun-Ischgl Tourist Director Andreas Steibl: “This new area will enhance Ischgl’s status on the freeriding scene and present skiers and snowboarders with an exciting new challenge.
“The new lift is the first expansion to the ski resort of Ischgl since 1989 and has been in the planning for 28 years.”
Regular consultations were held with the state of Tirol, environmental and nature protection agencies and the Republic of Austria’s Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology.
Holidaymakers can look forward to a five-month long ski season of guaranteed snow in Ischgl, from 28 November 2013 to 4 May 2014, due to Ischgl’s ideal location high in the Silvretta mountain range of The Alps.
More information on the new PVG lift is on http://www.ischgl.com/en/active/ski-area/piz-val-gronda
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