How To Save Big On A Club Med Vacation

October 15, 2014 on 2:39 pm | In Beachbooker, France, Hotels, Paris | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowClub Med, the world’s leading premium all-inclusive resort company, announces a Six-Day Flash Sale from Sept. 19- 24. Vacationers need to act fast to take advantage of Club Med’s best offer on the market, featuring incredible savings of 50 percent off on travel between Nov. 1, 2014 and Feb. 13, 2015.

With this limited-time offer, travelers looking for the perfect all-inclusive getaway this winter can book their cold weather escape to the following Club Med resorts: Club Med properties in Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Ditch the winter chill and hustle of the holiday season and explore a marathon of scenic properties from Sandpiper Bay, the brand’s “premium sports” resort in Florida, which offers highly acclaimed golf, tennis, volleyball, fitness and triathlon academies to the exotic Ixtapa Pacific, the No. 1 “Hotel in Mexico for Families” as ranked by TripAdvisor.

Whether traveling as a family or a couple, Club Med offers the ease of an all-inclusive escape with everything included in one convenient price from gourmet dining throughout the day with a full open bar of premium alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to a variety of exciting activities complete with professional instruction and top-of-the-line equipment.

Offer requires a three-night minimum stay. Available only at Sandpiper Bay, Punta Cana, Columbus Isle, Cancun Yucatan, La Caravelle, Buccaneer’s Creek, Ixtapa Pacific & Turkoise. Does not include airfare. Valid for new individual bookings only for select travel dates between Nov.1, 2014 and Feb.13, 2015 and must be booked by Sept. 24, 2014. Subject to capacity control and may increase at any time.

This offer may not be combined with other promotions. Travel to Columbus Isle requires a seven-night minimum stay, and air must be purchased through Club Med at full price.

General Conditions: Blackout dates apply, including holidays and other dates. For Turkoise all guests must be 18 and older. Guests at Columbus Isle must be 2 and older. Club Med Membership fees of $60 per adult and $30 per child are additional. Other restrictions apply including brochure terms and cancellation/change fees. Not responsible for errors or omissions. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

For more information or to make a reservation, visit www.clubmed.us, call 1-800-ClubMed (1-800-258-2633) or contact a preferred travel professional. For an inside look at Club Med, follow Club Med on facebook.com/ClubMed, Twitter @ClubMedOfficial or Instagram.com/ClubMed, subscribe toYouTube.com/ClubMed and download Club Med’s free innovative travel app for iPhone and iPad at www.clubmed.us/app.

Read more travel news at www.travelpulse.com


The perfect pairing: Matching France festivals with self-guided bike tours

October 15, 2014 on 7:03 am | In Adventure Travel, Dine Drink, Festivals, France, Paris, Webbandstand | Comments Off




Competitive Cyclist Spend $250 Get $50
NEW YORK CITY – As summer takes its final bow, we can’t be sad. All we can think about is how lovely France is in autumn, with the colors changing, cooler climes and sparse crowds. If you can’t squeeze in another adventure before winter, that’s ok. Dream about the perfect journey for that other glorious shoulder season, spring. Any of the Discover France bike tours can be customized to fit a desired itinerary and travelers choose the dates! Here are some great ideas to get the wheels turning:

Shellfish & Crustacean Festival
Normandy: October 4-5, 2014


Competitive Cyclist Deals Under $100
Granville, the most important shellfish port in France, fêtes their oceanic bounty of scallops and other shellfish prepared by some of the region’s most renowned chefs.
PAIRING: Brittany to Normandy Tour
Bicycle through green pastures and seaside towns with beautiful coastline, discovering the history that has made this area so famous. Stop at Mont St. Michel, St. Mere Eglise and the D-Day beaches among other notable sites. On Day 3, wander through Granville, smelling and tasting all the fresh seafood your taste buds desire.

Le Festival du Périgord Noir
Dordogne: Through October 3, 2014
The region’s largest musical festival features classical music concerts in the truly unique architectural and natural settings in Sarlat and Chavagnac.
PAIRING: Best of Bordeaux & Dordogne
Discover this countryside mixed with vineyards, chateaux and the grottos of prehistory. Explore St. Emilion, filled with Romanesque churches and fascinating ruins stretching along the narrow streets. Travel through the forests and through small villages to Les Eyzies, home of the Font de Gaume, then end your journey in the charming, medieval town of Sarlat.

Festivities for the 154th Hospices de Beaune
Burgundy: November 14-16, 2014
During this three-day festival, merchant houses and family wine estates open their cellars and their bottles. Popular entertainment, both free and for a fee, fill the days, from a half marathon to street theater, wine tastings, bottle-opening contests and a carnival. The high point is the most famous charity wine sale in the world.
PAIRING: Burgundy Gastronomy and Wine
This cycling tour is the perfect combination of Burgundy’s most important treasured assets: wine and cuisine. Starting in historic Dijon, make your way across the most famous vignobles. Stop for tastings at your leisure and explore the wine country villages along this route. The last two nights will be in Beaune, allowing for plenty of time to enjoy the festivities.


30% Off Limited Edition Fixed Gear Bikes $299
International Garden Festival
Loire: April-October

The former home of Catherine de Medici and Diane de Poitiers Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire, hosts the world’s most lavish garden festival, boasting nearly 580 gardens designed as prototypes of gardens of the future.
PAIRING: Loire Valley Classic

Discover the rolling landscapes, unspoiled nature, beautiful gardens and breathtaking castles of the Loire Valley. You will explore the area between Chambord and Azay le Rideau, and indulge in the gastronomy of this region daily. Imbibe the sparkling white wine and savour sweet chocolates then stroll through the gardens Château de Chaumont.

Great Roman Games in Nîmes
Languedoc: May 2015

Antiquity comes alive with the largest historical re-enactment of Roman times in the exceptional Amphitheatre of Nîmes. The event will commemorate the accession of Augustus and the Battle of Philippi, scenes including: Emperor’s parade, military parade, gladiatorial combats, distribution of bread, chariot races and a final great battle.

PAIRING: Languedoc Countryside & Heritage
Discover sunny Languedoc on a fabulous route that takes you way off the beaten tourist path. You will have loop tours on three separate days, with opportunities to hike around St. Guilhem, visit a glass blowing museum in its birthplace, visit the icon Pic St Loup, explore the gorges of the l’Herault and more. You will be in Nîmes on Day 6 to enjoy the Roman Games.

Weekend of the Grands Crus
Bordeaux: May 30-31, 2015
The Union of the Grands Crus of Bordeaux invites all fans of great wines to experience an exceptional weekend among the best wine labels of Bordeaux. On Saturday, enjoy a tasting at the historic port, followed by an evening of private wine and food pairings or opt for cocktails and music at local wine bars. On Sunday, visit vineyards around Bordeaux or play a round of golf while tasting prestigious wines.
PAIRING: Bordeaux Wine Country
Arrive in Bordeaux a few days prior to your self-guided tour to take part in the Grand Crus events. This cycling tour is centered around Bordeaux vineyards, including Saint Emilion, Entre Deux Mers and other small wine villages throughout the region. Travel through the vines and passed chateaux, around walled towns and along winding rivers. Leave time for wine tasting, shopping and visits to cultural sites throughout the tour.

Luberon Jazz Festival
Provence: May-June, 2015
The 22nd annual festival, featuring the new generation of French jazz musicians and numerous regional musical treasures. Plus, plenty of European and African discoveries too.
PAIRING: Provence Multisport
National Geographic Adventure named this the “Best 25 New Trips of 2009”. This tour combines several activities to provide you with a unique way to discover this beautiful part of France. You will cycle through the vineyards and forests of the region, hop on a canoe and paddle down the Gardon river, hike through the mountains, lavender fields and olive groves. You have the option to do a cooking class too!

www.discoverfrance.com


Master the Culture, Language and Savoir Faire of French Cuisine‏

October 14, 2014 on 7:52 am | In Books Guidebooks, Dine Drink, France, French West Indies, Paris | Comments Off




Great fares to Europe and beyond.
Dine, drink, converse, and indulge à la Française.

Introducing “The Farm to Table French Phrasebook,” a new comprehensive language guide for food lovers that serves up the vital French expressions other books leave off the plate.

You’ll learn how to: navigate produce markets, charcuteries and pâtisseries; prepare meals the French way with delicious, authentic recipes; speak the lingo of Paris’s top restaurants and bistros; pair regional wines with delightful cheeses; and, master the proper table etiquette for dining at a friend’s house.

Whether you’re spending a semester in Paris, vacationing in the Riviera, dining at a local bistro or mastering the French culinary art in your own kitchen, “The Farm to Table French Phrasebook” opens a bountiful world of food you won’t find in any textbook or classroom.

You will come to appreciate a French meal to its fullest—and, perhaps, become a little bit French yourself!

This compact hardcover gift book is perfect for tucking into your knapsack for a day of sampling gourmet local specialties as well as a great present for the Francophile in your life.

Jetstreams for Travel Discounts

Win an Expedition Cruise to ‘La Belle Province’‏

October 14, 2014 on 7:35 am | In Adventure Travel, Alberta, British Columbia, Canada, Cruise Boats, France, Labrador, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, NWT, Ontario, Paris, PEI, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Toronto, Yukon | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowADVENTURE CANADA TO SEND CONTEST WINNER TO FRANCE, WHILE BARELY LEAVING THE GULF OF ST. LAWRENCE

Adventure Canada partners with Photo Life to host winning photographer aboard new 2015 expedition, from Quebec City to Saint-Pierre and Miquelon

Port Credit, ON. September 25th, 2014:

Photo Life Magazine’s annual photo contest, The World We Live In, returns for its 20th anniversary, and this year’s grand prize is an expedition cruise for two aboard Adventure Canada’s Mighty Saint Lawrence, travelling from Québec City to the French territory of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon. The winning photographer and guest will embark on the expedition company’s newest ship, Ocean Endeavour, for its inaugural voyage of the season, departing June 14th, 2015 to June 23rd, 2015.

“We’re thrilled about this collaboration,” says Adventure Canada’s Vice President Cedar Swan. “The destinations dotting the Gulf of St. Lawrence are a photographer’s dream, with numerous opportunities to snap photos of the wildlife, like blue whales and Atlantic puffins. It’s also a great chance to visit the communities living and thriving along one of Canada’s most exceptional coastlines.”

Wildlife and landscape shutterbugs will find plenty of photographic inspiration during the 10-day voyage, with stops including the Gaspé, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and the Magdalene Islands. Destination highlights include visits to nature reserves such as Percé Rock, home to more than 100,000 gannets; the Saguenay Estuary, a spectacular marine mammal feeding ground; and Forillon, the first National Park in Quebec. Guests will also experience the rich cultural heritage of the region, learning about Quebec’s colonial and Aboriginal history, and indulging in food and wine tastings in Saint-Pierre, a small territory of France, only a few kilometres off the coast of Newfoundland. Photographers will enjoy free workshops and have access to the latest Fujifilm cameras throughout the expedition.

Photo Life welcomes amateur and professional photographers to submit up to 10 images under the topics of humanity, environment and interconnection. The contest runs from now until November 30th, 2014 and there are 22 prizes to be won.

The grand prize winner will receive:

Cruise for two aboard Adventure Canada’s Mighty St. Lawrence Expedition
Lowepro Pro Trekker 600 AW
DxO Optics Pro 9 Elite
Slik Pro 340DX tripod
Billingham Khaki/Tan iPad slip
Blurb photo book voucher

For more information about Adventure Canada’s Mighty St. Lawrence expedition, please visit www.adventurecanada.com/trip/mighty-saint-Lawrence  or call 1.800.363.7566.

For more details on the Photo Life contest, please visit www.photolife.com/contests/the-world-we-live-in.

About Photo Life

Established in 1976, Photo Life is Canada’s leading source for photography. Including technical knowledge and tips, industry news and events, international travel photography and documentaries, as well as innovative approaches, techniques and secrets of the trade, Photo Life is published six times each year with distribution to subscribers, newsstands and participating photo retailers.

About Adventure Canada

Founded in 1987, Adventure Canada was created to bring travellers to Canada’s ‘blank spaces,’ those areas whose remoteness alone made them special. They specialize in environmental discovery voyages, focusing on art, culture, natural history, and photography in the Arctic and Antarctic, Canada’s East and West coasts, the Galapagos Islands, and select wilderness destinations. Most travel takes place on small expedition ships equipped with Zodiac landing crafts for easy access to isolated destinations.


Auto Europe Offers A-ROSA 2015 Cruises, Larger Selection of Options, Early Booking Savings

August 25, 2014 on 12:00 pm | In Austria, Belgium, Cruise Boats, Europe, France, Germany, London, Netherlands, Paris, Road Trips, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowAuto Europe in conjunction with David Morris International, is offering A-ROSA Cruises for 2015 with now over 200 departures including Rhone/Saone, Rhine, Danube, Moselle and Main rivers in Europe.

Yes, 2015 promises to be the year of choices on A-ROSA Cruises in many areas designed to allow guests the freedom to make their vacation one that fits their lifestyle and preferences that day.

A sample of these increased options for 2015 include: Guests choose what to drink with A-ROSA’s open bar policy, not just wine and beer, and choose when they enjoy a drink starting in the morning until the wee hours of the night, not just during lunch and/or dinner.

Guests also choose their own excursions to fit their activity level and interests, no excursions are “assigned” to them. In addition, guests can choose to enjoy their dinner two ways; from a four-course, plated service or a more casual, yet sumptuous buffet with cooking stations Also included for 2015 is pre-paid gratuities, port taxes and fees, and complimentary wi-fi. All offers subject to change without notice.

Fares have been reduced on many of the 2015 sailings and with their early booking incentives, save $1,000 per couple when you make a 2015 reservation by Dec. 31, 2014. In addition, singles save more as every sailing has waived Single Supplements in at least one category and up to three children sail free with just one adult (ages 2-15).

Auto Europe services over 10,000 car rental locations in over 135 countries worldwide. In addition, through their tour division, Destination Europe, they offer scheduled airfare to Europe with over thirty carriers and service three-, four and five-star worldwide hotels.

Read more travel news at www.travelpulse.com


Grape Escapes Expands Vineyard Tours To Piedmont, Turin – A New UNESCO World Heritage Site

August 24, 2014 on 11:22 am | In Adventure Travel, Dine Drink, France, Italy, London, Paris, Rome, United Kingdom | Comments Off



As Grape Escapes expands tours further into Italy, they are offering guests the chance to not only experience some of Piedmont’s finest wineries but visit one of the world’s newest UNESCO World Heritage sites. The 2 night stay in Turin will include visits to 3 wineries across 3 different regions allowing guests to sample fifteen different wines. Prices start from just £505 per person for a mid-week or weekend getaway.

Offering flexible trips throughout the year, guests will be based in the heart of Turin as the tour begins on the first evening with a tutored tasting session of 3 local wines, cheeses and snacks. With a chauffeur and an English-speaking guide on the second day, there will be a tour of the estates and cellars in the wineries of the Barola, Barbaresco and Roero appellations. On return to Turin, the day is ended with a 3 course evening meal including 3 Piedmont wines, served in a local restaurant.

For its exceptional testimony to a culture and civilisation, the Piedmont region has recently been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. UNESCO considers these sites to be of outstanding value to humanity and an irreplaceable source of life and inspiration. The Piedmont region covers ten thousand hectares of beautiful vineyard landscapes where vine pollen has been found dating back to the 5th Century BC, from when Piedmont was a place of contact and trade between the Etruscans and the Celts.

The tour is an opportunity to experience some of Italy’s finest wines and visit first hand one of the world’s 101 UNESCO World Heritage sites.

For more information call +44 (0) 1763 273 373 or visit www.grapeescapes.net


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… www.raffles.com/dubai

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. www.raffles.com/seychelles

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. www.raffles.com/makati

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. www.raffles.com/singapore

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. www.raffles.com/istanbul

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. www.raffles.com/makkah

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. www.raffles.com/siemreap

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. www.raffles.com/phnompenh

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. www.raffles.com/paris

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. www.raffles.com/hainan

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. www.raffles.com/beijing

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.
www.raffles.com


LAST-MINUTE DEAL; Holiday in Paris from $1,269 with Air‏

August 20, 2014 on 12:13 pm | In France, Paris | Comments Off



Plunk your money (or credit card) down by August 28 and you can spend Thanksgiving or Christmas in Paris starting at $1,269 from New York or $1,377 from Chicago. This phenomenal deal includes round-trip air fare to Paris, 6 nights accommodation in the 3-star Comfort Hotel Mouffetard, and daily breakfast. Departures are every day from November 1 to December 27, but the package must be booked and paid in full by August 28.

Now that you can get an authentic turkey dinner in many Paris restaurants, Thanksgiving is a great time to enjoy the city. You can zoom to the top of the Eiffel Tower, see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, visit the Palace of Versailles, or even relish a cup of the world’s best hot chocolate at Angelina on the rue de Rivoli—all without the summer crowds. (TourCrafters offers optional tours of many Paris attractions.)

Christmastime, when the City of Light lives up to its name, is magical. There are Christmas illuminations on the Champs-Elysées and Place Vendôme, window displays at Printemps and other department stores, Christmas markets and ice skating rinks in several squares and wonderfully festive meals in many hotels and restaurants. Most impressive of all, there are Christmas services in the beautiful Gothic Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris.

The cozy, contemporary Comfort Hotel Mouffetard is on one of the most interesting old streets in Paris, close to the Latin Quarter, the famous Mouffetard Market and a metro stop, and surrounded by charming little shops, cafés and restaurants. Those who want something grander can upgrade to a 4-star hotel in Montparnasse, from $1,607.

TourCrafters has a similar last-minute deal to Vienna and Prague that includes some extras. The price starts at $1,539 from New York, $1,595 from Chicago.

All prices are per person, double occupancy, and are subject to availability. Fuel charges are included, but are subject to change by the airline. Airport taxes of $109 per person are not included and must be paid prior to departure. A supplement will be charged for weekend departures.

For more information, visit www.tourcrafters.com , click “Special Offers” and then “Deal of the Week.” For reservations, call 800-482-5995.


Hotel Openings And Palace Distinction For French Hotels

August 10, 2014 on 11:03 am | In France, Paris | Comments Off



The Peninsula Paris is located in the heart of the 16th arrondisement just a few steps from the Arc de Triomphe and the Avenue des Champs Elysées. The elegant 19th century property first opened in 1908 as one of Paris’ most famous “grand hotels”. Following the wartime occupation of Paris, the hotel was then converted into the UNESCO headquarters and in 1958 became the conference centre for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs until 2009. For the past 6 years it has undergone a complete renovation and now offers 200 rooms, rooftop terraces and six dining venues.
Prices start at: €1,095

The Hôtel Plaza Athénée has been closed for the past 10 months for extensive renovation work including an expansion into three adjacent buildings. Fourteen new rooms have been added and the hotel now has a total of 208 rooms and suites. In addition, a new ballroom and further meeting space has been created. The hotel is located on Avenue Montaigne near the Champs-Élysées and the Eiffel Tower. The Hôtel Plaza Anthénée is a member of the Dorchester Collection.
Prices start at: €995

The Shangri-La and Mandarin Oriental hotels in Paris and the K2 in Courchevel have all been awarded the exclusive ‘Palace’ status. Only 16 hotels in France carry the Palace label. Established by the French Minister of Tourism in November 2010, the Distinction Palace is designed to award official recognition to the finest 5-star hotels. They must have exceptional qualities that embody French standards of excellence and contribute to enhancing the image of France throughout the world.

Peninsula Paris
http://paris.peninsula.com/en/default

Hotel Plaza Athénée
http://www.dorchestercollection.com/en/paris/hotel-plaza-athenee

Place hotels:
http://int.rendezvousenfrance.com/en/about-france/palace-status

For more information:
Atout France
pressofficee.uk@atout-france.fr
+44 (0)20 7061 6640


Fat Tire Bike Tours Announces Paris Vacation Giveaway

August 4, 2014 on 9:39 am | In France, Paris | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowSpring vacation to Paris?

Oui, s’il vous plaît!

Tourism innovator Fat Tire Bike Tours today announced the 2014 Fat Tire Paris Giveaway. Throughout the month of August, the bike, walking, and Segway tour operator will award weekly giveaway prizes and a grand prize of one free trip for two to Paris, France.

The grand prize Paris vacation for two features roundtrip airfare on Air France, transfers to and from the airport, a five-night stay at the Fat Tire Flat and a customized trip itinerary with unlimited tours of Paris offered by Easy Pass Tours, Fat Tire Bike Tours, City Segway Tours and Classic Walks of Paris.

Weekly giveaway prizes for two include: a Versailles Bike Tour, Bikram Yoga session, Paris Day Bike Tour, Skip the Line – Louvre Tour, free Fat Tire t-shirts and more.

To enter for a chance to win a free trip for two to Paris, France, click here.

“Paris is the most magical city in the world, and there’s truly no better way to see the sights and learn the history up close than our customized and engaging tours,” said Crissa Woodruff, Marketing Director for Fat Tire Bike Tours. “We’re thrilled to be able to offer the contest winner a spring getaway to share with someone special.”

For complete contest rules and to enter, visit: http://paris.fattirebiketours.com/contests/free-trip-to-paris

The 2014 Fat Tire Paris Giveaway starts August 1st at midnight (Paris time) and ends August 31st at midnight (Paris time). Weekly winners will be announced on August 8, 15, 22 and 29.

The grand prize winner will be announced September 2. Travel to Paris, France must occur between April 7, 2015 and April 31, 2015, and the winner must specify which 5 nights they will stay at the Fat Tire Flat in Paris, France by October 1, 2014.

For more information about Fat Tire Bike Tours, please visit: http://paris.fattirebiketours.com/contests/free-trip-to-paris.

About Fat Tire Bike Tours
Established in 1999 by David Mebane, our mission is to provide safe, fun, and unforgettable experience through superior customer service that creates memories and smiles that last a lifetime. Since its beginning, the tourism company has grown to offer a wide variety of bike, walking, and Segway tours throughout Europe and North America. All of our tours have been designed with you, our guest, in mind. It’s our goal to bring each customer a fantastic private and personal experience. We achieve this through limited group size, world-class tour guides, and 5-star customer service.


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