Bramble Ski has a new Austrian chalet

March 24, 2014 on 10:38 am | In Austria, London, Skiing Snowboarding, United Kingdom | Comments Off



New luxury ski-in ski-out chalet hailed as most exclusive private property in region

Bramble Ski, the exquisite collection of private chalet properties in Verbier, St Anton, Villars and Lech – is delighted to announce a brand new addition to its portfolio in the Austrian mountain village of Oberlech, the sleek überHaus chalet which sleeps up to 16 people.

Fast establishing itself as one of Lech’s most prestigious private chalets, überHaus is the second Bramble Ski property in Lech following the acquisition of the sixteenth century Chalet 1597 (sleeps 12) in 2013. Located right in the middle of the piste, and boasting phenomenal facilities such as an outdoor hot tub, sauna, Hammam and gym, a dedicated cinema room and even a pool table, adults and children alike will be blown away by überHaus’ boundless appeal and effortlessly elegant design.

Location

With one of the highest snowfall records in the Alps, Lech has been for decades the preferred destination for wealthy ski fanatics. The resort continues to be the favourite choice for discerning travellers who enjoy the pretty landscape, quiet nature of the slopes, as well as lively après ski venues and phenomenal shopping opportunities. For fashionistas and novices alike, Bramble Ski can arrange a dedicated personal shopping experience at the resort’s world famous Strolz Department Store. One of the rare ski-in ski-out properties in the exclusive mountain village of Oberlech, überHaus is the second chalet managed by Bramble Ski in the area.

Accommodation

Sleeping ten adults and six children, überHaus offers a spacious master suite, two family suites, and a further two double bedrooms (all en-suite). The master suite and a further en-suite double bedroom are both located on the top floor of the chalet, offering stunning views of the magical snowscape below. The master suite boasts its own grand living area and dressing room as well as a beautiful, spacious bathroom with roll-top bath and a separate shower.

The two family suites and a further double bedroom – all en-suite – are easily accessible on the ground floor, with one of the family suites containing a double bedroom and a separate children’s room with two sets of bunks (sleeping four children). The second family suite offers a double en-suite bedroom and a children’s bunk in the alcove, which can be folded away on top to make a comfortable seating area.

The first floor of überHaus consists of living and dining areas, separated naturally by the warming fireplace in the middle and spilling out onto a large balcony to the front of the property. The kitchen can either be left open to the dining room or closed off by sliding doors, and is professionally equipped for use by both staff and guests depending on guests’ preference.

Leisure

Sitting right in the middle of the piste, (with cushioned safety barriers to prevent skiers from skiing in to the building!) and immediate access to the slopes, guests enter Bramble Ski’s überHaus chalet after a long day of skiing and are immediately greeted by the warmth of the open fireplace blazing in the hallway and refreshing beverages.

The chalet’s relaxation area and spa is equipped with a glass bottomed outdoor hot tub overlooking the surrounding mountains, sauna, Hammam, fitness area, massage room, snooker room, bar, library, and a cinema. A grand open plan reception and dining area, with a table seating up to 16, is the ideal space for entertaining guests who can choose from a selection of fine wines from the chalet’s own cellar. Bramble Ski provides guests with a team of private staff including a chef, driver and housekeeping who provide the highest level of attention to detail whilst ensuring the utmost privacy and discretion.

Bramble Ski’s überHaus and Chalet 1597 are available on both a catered and self-catered basis. Whether guests require a highly trained chef at their disposal throughout the week or just for one special celebratory meal, Bramble Ski will provide the ultimate ski holiday dedicated to their every need.

Prices at überHaus start at £3,788 / €4,530 per night, with a minimum stay of 7 nights, for exclusive use in low season (on a catered basis, excluding food and drink). W: http://www.brambleski.com/  T: +41(0) 22 534 97 74; E: info@brambleski.com

*Prices in Pounds Sterling correct to today’s exchange rate


Hohenwerfen Fortress in Austria

March 24, 2014 on 10:26 am | In Austria | Comments Off



Elevated by Alpine slopes and built with an unyielding stone façade, the 900-year-old Hohenwerfen fortress has undergone centuries of development to become one of the oldest and best-preserved castles in Europe. In addition to touring the interior of this historic structure, visit the impressive falconry displays at Austria’s first Falconry Museum. Concerts, theater performances and heritage evenings can also be enjoyed throughout the year at this “Castle of Adventure”.
Hohenwerfen Fortress © Hohenwerfen, SalzburgerLand
Hohenwerfen Fortress © Hohenwerfen, SalzburgerLand
Werfen
Werfen on the map

Isolated high above the Salzachtal Valley near Salzburg, Hohenwerfen fortress has a history of protecting archbishops and archdukes from enemies as well as keeping prisoners locked up behind the impenetrable castle’s walls. These days, the stronghold’s doors are wide-open to visitors of all ages to explore the history of this “Castle of Adventure.” A guided tour takes you through the venerable fortress’ chapel, kitchens, battlements, and bell tower. Check out weapons from throughout the ages on display in the armory and arsenal, and inspect the residential rooms of former castle governors.

Every year, a wide variety of special events including concerts, theater performances, and folk heritage evenings take place at Hohenwerfen. Many consider the highlight of this lineup to be the daily demonstrations of falconry put on by the Provincial Falconer. To learn more about the history and skill of falconry, visit Austria’s first Falconry Museum along the Bird-of-Prey Path.
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Fortress Hohenwerfen
5450 Werfen
Telephone: +11 43 6468 7603
office@burg-hohenwerfen.at

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Rail Deals Add Nights and Days in Europe and Africa

March 24, 2014 on 9:06 am | In Adventure Travel, Africa, Austria, Belgium, Czech, Denmark, Europe, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lichtenstein, London, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Paris, Poland, Portugal, Rail Tours, Romania, Rome, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom | Comments Off



A couple of rail deals from abroad are catching the eyes of rail riders. Both Eurail and South Africa’s luxury Blue Train are adding value to the offering for those booking this spring. Eurail is adding value in the form of extra days in some of Europe’s most popular countries. The Mediterranean Deals from Eurail Pass add a free travel day to the Italian One Country Pass and one free travel day to the Regional Passes France-Italy, France-Spain and Italy-Spain. The offer is valid for any variations of these products purchased through April 30. Users will find extensive modern train networks in all three countries and flexible passes that allow for a selection of available travel days and dates, within a period of two months.

With France back in the Eurail Select Pass as of April 1, after a one year absence, the Eurail system now flows unbroken through most of Europe. The Eurail Select Pass re-launches as a Four-Country Pass only. Three, Four and Five Country Select Passes in its current format will still be available for sale until March 31, not including France. Starting on April 1, only Four Country Select Passes can be purchased, with France as one of the 26 Eurail countries to choose from.

There are four types of Eurail Pass exclusively for riders who live outside of Europe: 1) Eurail Global Pass valid in 24 member countries, 2) Eurail Select Pass, 3) Eurail Regional Pass and 4) Eurail One Country Pass. Travelers can also still benefit from the previously announced “Early Bird Promotion,” which offers non-European residents free travel days on Eurail Global Passes purchased by March 31.

For a listing of Authorized General Sales Agents visit www.eurailgroup.org/eurail-vendors.

Extra Nights in South Africa

Africa’s luxury Blue Train is offering passengers an extra two hotel nights for travel in June this year. Passengers may use the two hotel nights either pre or post rail journey. The hotel selections in Pretoria include the Sheraton or the Castello di Monte, while the choices in Cape Town include the Taj or Westin, both set in ideal locations in the heart of the city. A hotel breakfast and train station transfer are also included. The promotion is valid for departures from Pretoria to Cape Town on June 2, 9 and 16 or from Cape Town to Pretoria on June 4, 11, and 18. For the remainder of 2014, all guests on other departures are entitled to one complimentary hotel night at these pre-selected hotels.

The Blue Train is an all-inclusive luxury rail cruise through the South African bush. It features such amenities as personal butler service, suites with en-suite bathroom featuring option of bathtub or shower, two lounges with full bar service on board, a boutique, Wi-Fi, gourmet cuisine and a beautiful selection of unlimited South African wines and cocktails. The Blue Train has regularly been voted “The World’s Leading Luxury Train.”


Salzburg’s Walk of Modern Art

March 24, 2014 on 9:00 am | In Austria, Webbandstand | Comments Off



Salzburg
Salzburg on the map

A decade ago the city of Salzburg had a vision: a monumental outdoor art project that would span ten years and highlight the city’s identity as a cultural epicenter. The Walk of Modern Art was born, and each year a distinguished artist is invited to produce a significant installation somewhere in town.

The result is a winding, unforgettable dialogue of 12 intriguing artworks throughout the city: Jaume Plensa’s “Awilda,” a striking marble bust of a girl seemingly lost in dream — and ever-changing perspective, as you circle the piece. Or Marina Abramovic’s interactive “Spirit of Mozart,” an homage to Salzburg’s greatest son in the form of a 15-meter-high chair, surrounded by eight smaller ones the public is invited to sit in. The cumulative effect?

A thoroughly unique (and free) way of snaking through the city, guided not by “experts”, but the artistic spirit that’s long defined Salzburg. Special tours for interested participants can be arranged with Austria Guide Ms. Inez Reichl de Hoogh (+43-664 -4968011).


Graz – Capital of Culinary Delights

March 24, 2014 on 8:59 am | In Austria, Dine Drink | Comments Off



Austria’s southern beauty, the city of Graz, is a place of its own kind. Just two hours by car south of Vienna, the Styrian capital boasts culinary wonders from its nearby region that make your mouth water. Taste your way through this charming medieval city and don’t forget to bring back some delicatessen for your family and friends. Believe us, they will be upset if you don’t!
Kaiser Josef Market © Graz Tourismus
Kaiser Josef Market © Graz Tourismus
Graz
Graz on the map

When you hear gourmands rave about “Austria’s delicatessen,” they’re talking about Graz, the country’s gastronomy-wild southernmost city.

With its mild, almost Mediterranean climate, Graz inspires a close relationship with nature — which, in turn, plays out happily in kitchens throughout the city. From its bars to coffeehouses, wine bars to inns to restaurants, you’ll be invited to sample regional delicacies made with products — cherries, apricots, summer mushrooms — from the nearby Styrian regions.

Take a culinary stroll, starting at one of the two central farmer’s markets, still run by local farmers. (Your can’t-miss souvenir: a tasty, dark-green pumpkinseed oil, made in Steiermark.) Southern light cooking dominates in summer, and the city flocks around the countless outdoor dining establishments. Winter brings traditional Alpine cuisine, the famed Christmas markets and Advent season, and some of the cozier meals you’ll find in Europe.


Styriarte: Festival of Classical Music

March 24, 2014 on 8:57 am | In Austria, Webbandstand | Comments Off



Music from the Middle Ages through Romanticism is reanimated during the styriarte festival in Graz. Held in the hometown of an illustrious conductor, this festival celebrates the history of classical music and the innovators who keep it alive today.
© Werner Kmetitsch
Graz
Graz on the map

Every summer in the south of Austria, the concert halls of Graz revitalize music from epochs as old as the city’s streets. The well-preserved city, with architecture dating back to the Renaissance, provides a perfect backdrop to honor the enduring traditions of music. The world-renowned conductor and Graz native, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, originally founded the styriarte Festival in 1985 to forge ties with his hometown. Today, the festival has become a reflection of the conductor’s pioneering work in the Early Music movement.

During this three-week-long festival, operas, concerts, and other events invoke the classical music history of Austria while exploring themes of changing times. Listeners have the opportunity to witness Harnoncourt lead the Concentus Musicus Wien ensemble perform musical variations entirely on period instruments. Other must-see acts include the Chamber Orchestra of Europe as well as famed Early Music performers like Jordi Savall, Quatuor Mosaiques, and Armonico Tributo Austria.


Alpine Fitness With Wellbeing Escapes

March 23, 2014 on 10:39 am | In Adventure Travel, Austria, Europe, France, London, Skiing Snowboarding, Switzerland, United Kingdom | Comments Off



Work Out In the Alps to Boost Your Fitness Results With Wellbeing Escapes “Alpine Fitness” packages

Winter is almost over, but that doesn’t mean that mountain lovers need to swap the peaks for the beaches just yet. Wellbeing Escapes’ signature Alpine Fitness packages offer a fun and healthy alternative to the beach. Use the altitude to boost your work-outs, whilst enjoying stunning views and bliss-inducing Spas.

Breathe in that incredible Alpine air and warm up (or cool down!) amongst the majestic scenery of the Austrian and Swiss Alps. The increase in altitude has been proven to boost your workouts so you can work less, get greater results and spend more time taking it all in.

Work up a sweat at Schloss Pichlarn with a choice of up to 5 activities including Personal Training sessions, BodyTec Training and Nordic Walking to name but a few. Need a rest? Bliss out in the relaxation spa in the evening whilst gazing through the glass roof at the enchanting star filled sky.

Test your limits at The Alpina Gstaad with a range of Alpine activities including Canoeing, Rock climbing and River rafting. After all that adrenaline, come back down to earth with a gentle yoga class or Six Senses Spa signature massage.

The Hotel Schweizerhof’s Alpine flexible fitness programme has something for everyone. Work on your flexibility with a choice of Yoga and Pilates, reconnect with nature with a guided hike in the stunning mountains and invigorate your soul with access to the spa’s ice fountain and Finnish sauna.

All of these packages and more are available to book now for summer 2014. To find out more visit www.wellbeingescapes.com

About Wellbeing Escapes:

Wellbeing Escapes is the UK’s leading wellness travel company, specialising in healthy holidays and experiences. They carefully research the different resorts they work with so they meet the company’s high wellbeing standards without compromising on value. Recent Wellbeing Escapes client Ruby Wax (comedian and writer) has said “”Wellbeing Escapes is the John Lewis of healthy breaks – they gave me great advice, arranged everything seamlessly, and gave me a real deal!”

The company offers much more than a holiday; it offers positive and life-enhancing experiences – the kind of holidays that are so rejuvenating you don’t come back needing another break to recover!


Mövenpick Expands Empire and Vienna International Turns 25

March 18, 2014 on 9:54 am | In Austria | Comments Off



Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts describes its latest growth spate as having an organic quality. New hotels in Turkey, Mongolia and Morocco, the remake of a landmark hotel in Pakistan and the opening of a new “hotel within a hotel” in Egypt are all offered as examples of the approach. The 407-room Mövenpick Hotel Karachi took over from a five-star landmark hotel by Sheraton. Renovations will begin later this year.

Mövenpick is adding two more properties in Morocco. By summer the company will take over management of the 184-room Mövenpick Hotel Casablanca. Formerly known as Hotel Casablanca Plaza, the 16-story hotel was completely renovated in 2011 and will see further enhancements to its restaurants and bars.

The company’s third Moroccan property, the 374-room Mövenpick Hotel Marrakech is scheduled to finish construction late this year. It will feature the largest swimming pool in Marrakech as well as a shopping mall, on-site branded Buddha Bar, Hard Rock Cafe, Kidzo entertainment zone, and an ice-skating rink.

The 137-room Mövenpick Hotel Istanbul Golden Horn is scheduled to open this summer near Sultanahmet, the city’s Old Town. In building the hotel, Mövenpick used the latest international sustainable standards, using recycled materials and the latest energy and water saving technology.

In 2018, Mövenpick will begin managing the 250-room (and 124 residence) Mövenpick Hotel & Residences Ulaanbaatar in the city’s Banyanzurh District about 2 miles from the historic center of Sukhbaatar Square.

Finally, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has just opened a new 144-room “hotel within a hotel” at Mövenpick Hotel Cairo Pyramids, only minutes from the Pyramids of Giza. The new four-story hotel extension offers an alternative to the renowned existing garden village bungalow resort. All the new rooms have terraces – some with views of pyramids.

Vienna International Makes Berlin the Center of its Celebrations

Vienna International Hotels and Resorts (VIH) chose the ITB in Berlin as the perfect setting to celebrate two anniversaries: the 25th anniversary of VIH and the fifth anniversary of the andel’s Hotel Berlin. The hotel group, which launched in 1989, has established a strong brand as a modern hotel group with contemporary sensibility and an ability to cater to travelers in Eastern Europe. VIH manages hotels in Poland, the Czech Republic, Russia, France, Germany and Romania.

In its five years, the andel Hotel Berlin has accommodated over a million guests. Guests spent an average of 2.4 nights at the design hotel and booked a total of 667,857 rooms. The hotel received the Top Hotel award by HolidayCheck and the Traveller’s Choice Award by TripAdvisor. The fine-dining restaurant a.choice has been awarded a number of culinary distinctions including 13 points in Gault Millau and 2 forks and spoons in the Michelin Guide.

VIH hotels took over two hotels at Disneyland Paris, The Magic Circus Hotel and The Dream Castle Hotel and within a short amount of time managed to increase the profitability of the first 400-room property. Only one year later, the hotel investor was so pleased with the initial outcome that VI assumed management of a nearby second hotel of the same size.

In the second half of 2013, VIH took over six Arcadia Group hotels. VIH acquired the Arcadia Hotel Schloss Goldschmieding in Castrop-Rauxel and plans to further increase its presence on the German market.

“In addition to management and lease agreements, we also have a strong focus on ownership,” said Dr. Andreas Karsten, CEO of VI Hotels & Resorts. “Growth is planned in the East through acquisitions in Central Europe and the construction of new properties on a management basis.”

The VIH portfolio, which also includes one Leading Hotel of the World, comprises city, resort, spa and conference hotels. The hotels are located in nine European countries: Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Croatia, France, Germany, Romania, Slovakia and Russia. In addition to holiday and leisure products internationally, e.g. in Loipersdorf, Salzburg, Carlsbad and Opatija, the focus of the destinations is on business centers such as Salzburg, Munich, Berlin, Paris, Prague, Cracow, Lódz, Bucharest and Ekaterinburg. The hotels under management by VI generated €177 million in revenue with 2.4 million bed nights in 2013.


March Madness In Alta Badia

March 14, 2014 on 10:20 am | In Adventure Travel, Austria, Europe | Comments Off



Those looking to visit the slopes before the end of the ski season should head to Alta Badia, Italy, where two sumptuous gourmet events are taking place with a focus on wine and food.

The Wheel of Taste Ski Safari: Mountain Huts, Ancient Recipes and Genuine Food

The new Roda dles Saûs ski safari takes place on 16th March 2014. It’s an entire day devoted to a tasteful Ladin journey sampling cuisine and culture on skis in the lesser known ski area of Santa Croce. Sun kissed slopes will welcome guests on this food safari. Surrounded by breathtaking views, in a sprawling valley the event starts at 10.30 where skiers will have the chance to taste dishes which originated in the heart of the Dolomites from old family recipes, paired with the best South Tyrolean wines. Those keen to let their taste-buds do the skiing also have a tantalising menu of activities to choose from. Epicurean highlights across the ambulatory adventures range from hut to hut.

Ladin cuisine takes centre stage in the various mountain huts peppered across the Skitour Santa Croce ski area. Every hut has chosen to cook one Ladin dish, faithfully following Granny’s recipe. These local specialties paired with a South Tyrolean wine shall be served at the L’Tamà, Lèe, La Munt, Nagler, Paraciora, Florian mountain huts and Restaurant Oies.

During the day skiers can also take some time to visit Badia’s Parish Church, the birthplace of Saint Freinademetz and the traditional ‘viles’, the mountain farmsteads of Fussé, Coz and Pransarores, and finish at the small church of Santa Croce, resting at the feet of the Santa Croce mountain. One ticket is required to taste Ladin specialties in the 7 participating huts during the Roda dles Saûs, which can be bought at the huts for €45.

DÉ DL VIN – WINE SKISAFARI: 2.000 M OF ECSTASY

On Sunday, 30th March 2014, it’s time for an exclusive tasting session of the best South Tyrolean wines. The 4th Wine Ski Safari promotes local wines from a breathtaking 2,000m between 10.00 to 15.30 at the Col Alt, Piz Arlara, Bioch, I Tablà, Las Vegas and Club Moritzino mountain huts. A fitting end to the close of the winter season dedicated to fine cuisine. Tickets can be purchased for €30 at the six participating huts.

South Tyrolean wine plays a fundamental role in different food and wine initiatives in Alta Badia. The South Tyrolean wines stand out for their superb quality, due to a favorable climate, fertile soil and the care and dedication shown by the artisan winemakers. Participants will also take delight in tasting some mouth-watering dishes prepared by the huts very own chefs and be able to bask in the relaxed atmosphere listening to live music.

Over the past few years Alta Badia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site has become the Holy Temple of fine cuisine with unforgettable skiing in the heart of the Dolomites. In light of this, A Taste for Skiing was created highlighting the winning marriage between skiing and eating.

Alta Badia in the Italian Dolomites is a resort worth shouting about with a superb mix of skiing, stunning scenery and gourmet food. Visit Alta Badia www.altabadia.org, the small South Tyrolean mountain region in Italy with a big reputation. Friendly and welcoming people in touch with their roots, cherishing their village architecture, unique Ladin language, world-class gastronomy and an exciting calendar of sporting and cultural events. These beautiful mountain valleys offer a wide range of high-quality accommodation and snow-sure skiing in six delightful villages located between 1320m and 1650m. The Dolomiti Superski area serves up 1200 km of piste with 510 lifts across 12 valleys, all covered by a single lift pass. At its heart is the spectacular 26km Sella Ronda ski circuit linking 4 different valleys (including Alta Badia) with 500km of piste around the Sella Mountain. With most of the skiing above 2000m, and snow-making machines covering 90% of the pistes, snow conditions stay reliable from opening to the end of the season December to April.


Early-Bird-2 Free travel days on Eurail Passes

March 13, 2014 on 9:45 am | In Austria, Belgium, Europe, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Paris, Rail Tours, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom | Comments Off



Extra travel days with your Eurail Global Pass

Get a Eurail Global Pass between February 1 and March 31, 2014 and receive free extra travel days on your pass. Eurail Global Passes can be activated within 6 months of their date of purchase. Which means that you can get your pass now and start traveling anytime before the end of September.

The number of free travel days will vary depending on the validity of the pass, so the more days you purchase, the more extra days you receive:

- A 15-day consecutive Eurail Global Pass includes 2 extra travel days; that’s a total 17 days for the price of 15 days!

- A 21-day consecutive Eurail Global Pass includes 3 extra travel days; that’s a total 24 days for the price of 21 days!

- A 1-month consecutive Eurail Global Pass includes 5 extra travel days; that’s a total 35 days for the price of 30 days!

Eurail Passes already offer great value and now thanks to these additional days you can calculate your cost per day to be even better! Use these extra days to visit more destinations or stay longer in your favorite cities. The Early Bird Promotion is available for Eurail Global Passes in First for Adult and Child passes and in Standard Class Youth passes.

You can also combine the Eurail Early Bird Promotion with the Saver discount. Eurail Saver Passes allow groups of 2 to 5 people to realize greater savings when they travel together.

Using a Eurail Global Pass, you can choose to travel by rail in any of these 24 countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.


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