Four Seasons just made it easier to plan the perfect getaway with the launch of its Four Seasons Vacation Rental website. Guests can now browse through some of the world’s most exclusive properties and select the ideal urban residence or resort villa that provides the comforts of home, backed by the promise of uncompromised luxury and customized service that is Four Seasons.
Delivering a seamless user experience, visitors to the site can browse the collection of private luxury residences atvacationrentals.fourseasons.com through customized searches based on region or area of interest. Users can further target their search based on the number of guests, rooms, square footage and price to find the ideal holiday home to meet their needs – whether it be a luxury residence in the heart of downtown Houston or a holiday villa nestled on the coast of the Indian Ocean in the Seychelles.
Each property page also features a comprehensive image gallery as well as a selection of a la carte services to further customize the experience – from booking a private Four Seasons chef or chauffeur to requesting a fully stocked fridge or childproofing before arrival, and everything in between.
“We’re seeing a steady increase in multi-generational and small group travel – guests who want to get away with children, grandparents or groups of friends to celebrate holidays or mark special moments – and these guests are looking at residential options,” says Jose Soriano, Vice President, Worldwide Residential Operations,Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “Whether a pied-a-terre in the city or a holiday villa, our new website takes the guess work out of finding a Four Seasons vacation rental that offers the privacy, space and freedom of being at home with an ideal base from which to explore a new destination, relax or entertain – all while having full access toFour Seasons signature service and amenities to deliver every comfort and luxury.”
Four Seasons employees are at the disposal of vacation rental guests to truly create a home away from home. This is in addition to enjoying access to all the exclusive services and amenities guests have come to expect fromFour Seasons – including housekeeping, world-class spas and full service fitness facilities. Guests can personalize their stay even further by selecting from a menu of items available exclusively to Four Seasons Residential guests.
Four Seasons has been setting the benchmark in luxury travel for more than 50 years and was the first luxury hotel brand to extend the signature personalized service to the management of residences more than three decades ago. Four Seasons is now the first luxury hotel brand to launch a dedicated vacation rental website. This launch comes on the heels of the recently announced exclusive fully-customizable Four Seasons bed and the introduction of the hotel industry’s first fully-branded private jet experience, making its inaugural flight in February 2015.
To learn more about Four Seasons Vacation Rentals and browse the full collection of luxury properties, visit www.vacationrentals.fourseasons.com
MasterCard’s Multi-currency Cash Passport, a prepaid Chip and PIN-protected travel card, is now available from 54 American Express Foreign Exchange bureaux countrywide.
As the only product of its kind in South Africa that can be preloaded with up to four currencies (U.S. Dollars, Pound Sterling, Australian Dollars and Euros) at once, the MasterCard Multi-currency Cash Passport offers cardholders a secure and convenient way to carry their foreign currency when travelling abroad. It also enables travellers to pay for goods and services at millions of merchant locations and withdraw cash from ATMs all over the world where MasterCard products are accepted.
“The security, flexibility and convenience of the Cash Passport offers travellers increased peace of mind while travelling,” says Alan King, Managing Director, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Access Prepaid Worldwide, a MasterCard subsidiary. “Since the Cash Passport is preloaded and not linked to a bank account, the risks of carrying cash are eliminated.”
Additional security benefits include emergency cash disbursements and a free replacement card if it is lost or stolen. Global assistance is available 24/7 and can be accessed toll-free in 50 countries. The card’s embedded chip technology offers increased protection against counterfeiting and fraud.
Preloading specific currency amounts onto the Cash Passport prior to travelling reduces currency conversion charges as cardholders are able to lock in the exchange rates for each currency. This means cardholders will know exactly how much they’re spending in the currency of a particular purchase.
In each destination country, the Cash Passport uses advanced technology to match the transaction currency with the appropriate currency loaded onto the card so that no further foreign exchange conversions take place. Furthermore, to ensure that purchases are not declined due to an insufficient balance, the Cash Passport will also convert the transaction amount into another available currency loaded on the card when required.
“The Multi-Currency Cash Passport is an innovative product that puts cardholders in control of their travel spending. Most importantly, it makes spending in foreign countries safe and easy so that cardholders can enjoy their travels. This is the first card of its kind we’re offering our customers because of its Chip and PIN and multi-currency functionality, making it a unique addition to our range of foreign exchange products we currently offer,” says Andrew McDonic, Managing Director of American Express Foreign Exchange.
A standard card fee is payable when purchasing the Cash Passport for the first time, and then amounts from US$100 to US$60,000 or the alternative currency equivalents can be loaded and reloaded at will. This removes the need to carry or convert cash when travelling.
The Cash Passport links cardholders to their accounts online, so they can check their balance, move money between currencies, review their transaction history and update personal details at any time.
“The success of the first Multi-currency Cash Passport, a co-branded card that we launched with Absa in 2013, has paved the way for us to make the Cash Passport product available through more outlets across South Africa this year. The card is now available at 85 Absa branches and American Express Foreign Exchange outlets around the country,” says King.
The Lungarno Collection, owned by the Ferragamo family, opened the latest addition to their collection, Portrait Firenze on 1 May 2014. Located in the heart of Florence with fabulous views over the River Arno and iconic Ponte Vecchio, the hotel styled by Florentine architect Michele Bönan, is inspired by the birth of Italian haute couture that took place in Florence in the 1950s. Each of the thirty-four suites is designed using hand-crafted furniture, exquisite fabrics and fine detailing to reflect the heritage of the Ferragamo family. Each suite features a kitchenette and includes complimentary use of an iPad and state of the art technology with access to a music and film library, a fully stocked mini bar with gourmet products, which can also be stocked in advance with personalised preference. www.portraitfirenze.com
INDIGO ROME – ST. GEORGE HOTEL (5*) IN ROME
The Intercontinental Hotels has inaugurated their new boutique hotel in Rome, the Indigo Rome St George, in Via Giulia, in the heart of old Rome at the beginning of June 2014. The hotel is a mixture of Renaissance and modern design and offers 64 rooms, a spa, a restaurant, a terrace with bar and free wi-fi in all areas. www.hotelindigorome.com
NH PALAZZO BAROCCI (4*) IN VENICE
The old Manin NH Hotel has been totally overhauled and upgraded by the NH Hotel Group and has re-opened in Venice at the end of May 2014. The hotel is located in the heart of Venice facing the RialtoBridge and it is built on the site of the old Teatro Sant’Angelo, dating back to the 18th century. There are 59 rooms all furnished in 5 different style, a bar “Doge” with a truly Venetian atmosphere and delightful garden.
NH PARMA HOTEL (4*) IN PARMA
The new NH Parma Hotel opened in May 2014 and is set in the brand-new architectural complex which also includes the renovated railway station. It is strategically located near the historical centre of Parma, offers 120 rooms, restaurant offering local and Italian dishes and 8 meeting rooms.
RE-OPENINGS AND NEW SERVICES
RE-OPENING OF VILLE SULL’ARNO HOTEL (5*) IN FLORENCE
The Ville sull’Arno Hotel has been re-opened at the beginning of June after extensive renovation and improvement work. The Hotel offers 45 rooms, a spa, open air swimming pool in the extensive garden, the “Flora e Fauno” Restaurant, Dante’s Bar with its 19th century design. The Ville sull’Arno was originally built in the 15th century and it was a country retreat for the Florentine nobility, in the 19th century was used as workshop by the Macchiaioli painters. www.hotelvillesullarno.com
NEW DUOMO SUITE AT THE PALAZZO PARIGI HOTEL IN MILAN
The luxury Palazzo Parigi has inaugurated recently the new Duomo Suite with breathtaking views over the city. The new suite comprises a living area with kitchenette, walk-in wardrobe, main bathroom and second bathroom. The suite can be combined with the interconnecting Suite Prestige and Deluxe Room for a total of 3 bedrooms to form an apartment. www.palazzoparigi.com
NEW VAIR SPA AT BORGO EGNAZIA
The Vair Spa is located within Borgo Egnazia Resort in Puglia, its philosophy is to nurture the client physical, spiritual and emotional wellbeing. Built in typical Apulina style, it boasts 11 treatment rooms, a couple’s spa suite with private garden and an opulent Roman water therapy suite at the heart of the building. www.vairspa.com
RE-OPENING OF THE EXCELSIOR HOTEL GALLIA (5*) IN MILAN
Starwood hotel and resorts have recently announced the re-opening of the historic Excelsior Hotel Gallia in Milan which is scheduled for November 2014. The hotel will offer 235 rooms and suites, a restaurant and a bar with panoramic terrace on the top floor, a lounge bar and cigar room, a spa, swimming pool and gym, two ballrooms and meeting spaces. www.starwoodhotels.com
JW MARRIOTT (5*) RESORT AND SPA IN VENICE
A new hotel is being re-developed by JW Marriott Hotels in Venice at Sacca Sessola and the opening is scheduled for mid March 2015. The hotel will have 266 rooms.
MELIA SIRACUSA MARE RESORT IN SICILY
The new Melia Siracusa Mare Resort is scheduled to open in the Spring of 2015 in the Sicilian town of Syracuse. It will offer 235 rooms, 140 apartments, sport facilities, 18-hole golf course, swimming pools, spa, private beach and meeting spaces. www.melia.com
With nearly 325,000 annual visitors from the USA, Munich is one of the most popular cities in Europe for Americans. There are a plethora of reasons for this; and this upcoming winter, there are even more…
The excellent flight connections with non-stop flights to 11 airports in the USA and 3 in Canada
Munich Airport is not just the best airport in Europe (Skytrax survey, 2013), it is also the only one with its own brewery!
There are a whole host of new tours allowing you to enjoy the wonderful range of attractions, for example culinary tours, Christkindlmarkt tours etc.
Numerous exhibitions and new openings draw guests to Munich in the wintertime:
- The exhibition about the US artist Florine Stettheimer in the Lenbachhaus (until 4th January)
- An exhibition about the grandeur and diversity of Munich rococo (12th December to 12th April 2015)
- FC Bayern Erlebniswelt presents the history and success of Germany’s most successful football club
- The new Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism (open from 30th April 2015) presents Munich’s history during the 3rd Reich
- Numerous new hotels are opening in autumn and winter, e.g. Arcona Living Hotel (from September) Adagio Apart Hotel (from October) or the Relexa Hotel (from December)
“Body and soul – Munich rococo from Asam to Günther”
August Macke and Franz Marc
FC Bayern Erlebniswelt
Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism
City tours in English:
SEA AND BE SEEN – THE ULTIMATE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA GETAWAY PACKAGE
ENJOY A SEA SIDE PARADISE IN SANTA MONICA AND A SWANKY
POOLSIDE RETREAT IN STUDIO CITY
The Sea and be Seen Package Exclusively Available at The Georgian Hotel in Santa Monica
and the Re-Imagined Sportsmen’s Lodge Hotel in Studio City
Santa Monica/Studio City, CA — June 2014 – Two of Los Angeles’ most distinctive hotel properties are joining together to create one spectacular Southern California getaway. The landmark Georgian Hotel in Santa Monica and the mid-century icon, the Sportsmen’s Lodge Hotel in Studio City have created the Sea and be Seen Package. The unique two hotel/four day package features a vacation that gives travelers two quintessential L.A. experiences: a seaside paradise getaway in Santa Monica at The Georgian and a swanky poolside hang in the heart of L.A.’s film industry at the recently renovated Sportsmen’s Lodge Hotel in Studio City.
The Sea and Be Seen Package includes two nights in each of broughtonHOTELS premiere properties. The Sea features a two day/two night experience at the Georgian Hotel, an iconic beacon of art deco beauty perched above the Pacific Ocean since 1933. The package will entice and entertain with plenty of playtime at the Santa Monica Pier, shopping and dining at the world famous Third Street Promenade, and of course, a lazy day on the beach with Perry’s Beach Butler Service.
The Be Seen Package includes two days/two nights at the newly re-imagined and renovated Sportsmen’s Lodge Hotel in Studio City, the heart of L.A.’s film industry. A favorite for decades amongst Hollywood’s silver screen legends, guests can lounge at the famed, swanky Sportsmen’s pool sipping a Blonde Bombshell from the new cocktail list and follow it up with a day trip to Universal Studios and Theme Park.
The Sea and Be Seen Package by broughtonHOTELS:
Georgian Hotel, Santa Monica, CA
o Two night accommodations, standard room
o One day Perry Beach Butler Service for two
o Valet Parking, two nights
Sportsmen’s Lodge Hotel, Studio City, CA
o Two night accommodations, standard room
o Two poolside cocktails from the Sportsmen’s Pool Bar
o Complimentary shuttle service to and from Universal Studios, Theme Park, Universal City
Package starts at $999.00 based on week night stay (Sunday through Thursday and is based on double occupancy. Tax and gratuity not included. Exclusive call-lines for the package: Georgian Hotel: 310.883.6247, Sportsmen’s Lodge Hotel: 818.255.9806.
The Georgian Hotel is located at 1415 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 9040. www.georgianhotel.com
The Sportsmen’s Lodge is located at 12825 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604. www.sportsmenslodgehotel.com
Anaheim, CA. based broughtonHOTELS was founded in January 2001 by Larry Broughton. With nearly 20 distinct hotel properties located throughout California and the Chicago area, the broughtonHOTELS team specializes in creating boutique hotel experiences with a distinctive point-of-view; putting the guest experience first by developing a warm, inviting atmosphere with service being paramount in each property. Their portfolio of hotel properties continues to grow with an emphasis on the human component of the hospitality industry and not just the atmosphere and accoutrements of each hotel. To learn more about Broughton Hotels visit: www.broughtonHOTELS.com
The parent of Singapore-based hotel chain Pan Pacific has acquired a site in London with plans to open its first property in the UK capital.
UOL Group has bought the Heron Plaza site in Bishopsgate, in the City of London, for £97 million.
The site, previously owned by property investment firm Heron International, already has permission for a 43-storey building featuring a 190-room hotel, 109 apartments and shops.
Rival luxury chain Four Seasons was originally named as the hotel operator when the project was granted planning approval three years ago.
UOL said it would ‘review’ the configuration following the acquisition.
“We are delighted to have acquired this prime site in London’s central financial district as part of our overseas strategic expansion,” said UOL Group chief executive Gwee Lian Kheng.
“We look forward to establishing good rapport with the local community as we embark on the development of this project.”
Provide An Appealing Way to Take In Such Upcoming Events As
Night of Joy, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party,
The Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival,
and the Eat To The Beat Concert Series at Epcot®
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL – There is still time to make plans to experience the special events being conducted at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Central Florida this summer and fall, such as Night of Joy, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, the Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival, and the Eat To The Beat Concert Series at Epcot®. A great way to experience these events, and/or to check out the recently expanded New FantasylandTM at Magic Kingdom® Park, is by taking advantage of the special “Make Some Memories Rates” that are being offered by the seven Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels through October 31, 2014.
In addition to their ideal location an easy walk to the shopping, dining and entertainment venues at the Downtown Disney® Area, these seven Official Walt Disney World® Hotels also provide complimentary shuttle transportation every 30 minutes to all four Walt Disney World® Theme Parks, two water parks, and to the Downtown Disney® area. As a bonus, guests at these hotels also receive the “2014 Downtown Disney Deals” booklet that features exclusive discounts and specials from over 30 merchants on Downtown Disney® area dining, entertainment and shopping.
Available for stays through October 31, 2014, the Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels’ “Make Some Memories Rates” are:
· B Resort & Spa – now open – rates from $89 per room, per night
· Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel – rates from $69 per room, per night
· Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa – rates from $75 per room, per night
· DoubleTree Suites by Hilton – rates from $99 per suite, per night
· Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista – rates from $79 per room, per night
· Holiday Inn Orlando – Lake Buena Vista – rates from $94 per room, per night
· Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort – rates from $69 per room, per night.
For more information on the “Make Some Memories Rates,” or to make a reservation, visit www.DowntownDisneyHotels.com , specifically http://downtowndisneyhotels.com/pr-make-some-memories (or http://bit.ly/prmsm ). Rates are based on availability and some blackout dates may apply. The rates do not include the Resort Services Fee or daily parking fee (if applicable), taxes or gratuities. The offer is not valid with any other special offers, promotions, existing reservations, or for groups.
Taking advantage of the special rates also will enable you to enjoy such other benefits of staying at one of the seven Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels as:
· Disney tickets available to purchase at each hotel
· Advance tee times and discounts at all Walt Disney World® golf courses
· Disney Merchandise store located in each hotel
· The ability to book advance dining and dinner show reservations for all restaurants across the Walt Disney World® Resort.
Special events at the Walt Disney World® Resort include:
· Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party – select nights September 1-October 31, 2014, at Magic Kingdom® Park
· Night of Joy – September 5-6, 2014, at Magic Kingdom® Park
· Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival Presented by Chase® — Sept. 19-November 10, 2014, at Epcot®.
· Eat To The Beat Concert Series – September 19-November 10, 2014, at Epcot®
· Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – now open at Magic Kingdom® Park.
In addition to these special events you also could take in the wonders of the recently expanded New Fantasyland, which is the largest expansion in the history of Magic Kingdom® Park. It offers more immersive enchantment and interactive experiences, and features two new themed areas: Enchanted Forest and Storybook Circus. Enchanted Forest attractions and experiences include Under The Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid; Be Our Guest Restaurant; Enchanted Tales with Belle; Ariel’s Grotto; Gaston’s Tavern; and the crowning jewel of New Fantasyland Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Storybook Circus attractions include: The Barnstormer; Dumbo The Flying Elephant; Casey Jr Splash ‘N’ Soak Station; Pete’s Silly Sideshow; and Fantasyland Station.
Among the many coupons featured in the “2014 Downtown Disney Deals” booklet are discounts at Rainforest Café, T-Rex, Wolfgang Puck Express, Steve Baker Caricatures, Lego Imagination Center, Planet Hollywood Downtown Disney®, House of Blues® Restaurant, La NoubaTM by Cirque du Soleil®, Bongo’s Cuban Café®, and Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop.
“This is a great time to visit the Walt Disney World® Resort,” said Steve Garner, chairperson of the Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels’ marketing committee. “The attendance at the theme parks is often lighter, and all of the special events at the Walt Disney World® Theme Parks are wonderful. Taking advantage of the special ‘Make Some Memories Rates’ is a great way to experience the many offerings of the Walt Disney World® Resort.”
Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels (www.DowntownDisneyHotels.com) is a consortium of seven hotels located in the Walt Disney World® Resort that includes: the stylish B Resort & Spa, opened in June 2014 with 394 newly renovated guest rooms and suites, the full-service B Indulged® by AVEDA spa (opening in September 2014), and a zero-entry pool; the 18-story Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel, surrounded by 12 acres of lush tropical landscaping, and offering 325 spacious rooms and suites, and complimentary WiFi; the newly renovated and sophisticated Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa, featuring 1,014 guest rooms and suites, a 10,000-square-foot spa, three pools, and five restaurants and lounges; the luxurious and spacious 229-suite Doubletree Suites by Hilton, the only all-suite resort hotel in the Downtown Disney® Resort Area; the deluxe 814-room, full-service Hilton Orlando Resort, featuring seven on-site restaurants and lounges and the new Hilton Fitness by Life Fitness® Center; the Holiday Inn Orlando – Lake Buena Vista, the only Holiday Inn located in the Walt Disney World® Resort Area and featuring elegant rooms with modern Florida décor; and Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort, featuring 626 guest rooms (which each feature a refrigerator), the Oasis Aquatic Playground with two pools and interactive water features, and six dining options.
With nearly 30 food and beverage outlets and restaurants, more than 3,600 rooms and scores of amenities, the Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels offer a rate, space and menu to please every guest. Located in the heart of the Downtown Disney® area, these properties are within walking distance of some of the area’s best shopping, dining and entertainment.
For reservations, or more information, visit www.DowntownDisneyHotels.com
Our rooms and special rates have arrived for 2015, so it’s time to plan your groups to NYC now for 2015 and lock in the rooms and rates — because a small group deposit will guarantee the hotel rate for 2015!
These NYCVP special 2-nights (or longer) group packages start as low as $364 per person with accommodations at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel. Take advantage of our special group package rates today!
Call NYCVP’s Group Department at 877 NYC-Trip (touch 12) or email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts has launched Waldorf Astoria Driving Experiences (www.waldorfastoria.com/drivingexperiences) at six of its landmark properties in the United States. The new driving program offers hotel guests the unique opportunity to get behind-the-wheel of three incredible supercars under the guidance of world-class professional racecar driver Didier Theys.
Designed to appeal to discerning travellers and automotive enthusiasts, Waldorf Astoria Driving Experiences give participants access to three of the world’s most famous super cars, including a Ferrari 458 Italia Spider, McLaren MP4-12C, and Porsche 911 Turbo.
The driving experience program will start its engines in six of Waldorf Astoria’s 29 properties, including:
· Waldorf Astoria Park City – Park City, Utah, September 30 – October 5
· La Quinta, A Waldorf Astoria Resort – Palm Springs, California, October 15 – 20
· The Boulders, A Waldorf Astoria Resort – Scottsdale, Arizona, October 24 – 29
· The Roosevelt, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New Orleans, Louisiana, November 6 – 11
· Boca Raton Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort – Boca Raton, Florida, November 14 – 19
· Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort – Phoenix, Arizona, December 2 – 7
At every location, motorists will receive an introduction and tutorial about each vehicle by excursion leader and Belgian race champion Didier Theys, and then set out behind the wheels on a bespoke and breath taking driving tour, rotating cars and drivers along the way.
The pre-arranged courses will take attendees through some of America’s most beautiful routes and historic landmarks. In Utah, for example, the pre-planned course will take the group past Provo Canyon and Bridal Veil Falls, and the Palm Springs route will include stops along the San Bernardino National Forest and Big Bear Mountain. The total drive time will be approximately three hours and the cost of the experience is $999 (approx. £601) per couple (excluding accommodations). Waldorf Astoria Ultimate Driving Experiences are presented in partnership with DXL US.
“The Waldorf Astoria brand has provided unforgettable experiences for its guests for more than a century,” said John T.A. Vanderslice, global head, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Worldwide. “This program continues our legacy by offering our clientele authentic and unforgettable moments that further connect them to our properties in an extraordinarily modern and interactive way.”
Waldorf Astoria enthusiasts are also invited to participate socially in a #WaldorfExperiences contest launched online on August 11, 2014. Waldorf Astoria will ask fans and followers of the brand’s social channels (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) to submit photos from their own driving experiences by tagging them with the #WaldorfExperiences hashtag for a chance to win a free stay at a Waldorf Astoria property.
To learn more about or to book the Waldorf Astoria Driving Experiences, please visit www.waldorfastoria.com/drivingexperiences
The Starwood owned Silicone Valley area hotel is trialing the first Botlr (robotic butler) on call day and night to attend to guest requests.
Once guests call the front desk for a room service request, the hotel’s human staff simply load up the Botlr with an extra towel or a late night snack, input the guest’s room number and the Botlr does the rest.
It can navigate hotel corridors and use the elevator using a Wi-Fi signal.
The pilot program officially kicks off on August 20 and may be deployed at almost 100 properties if it proves a success.
Starwood says the robots will augment rather than replace existing staff.
The Botlr was built by California tech firm Savioke which believes there is great potential for service robots.
“There are all these places, hotels, elder care facilities, hospitals that have a few hundred robots maybe but no significant numbers and we think that’s just a huge opportunity,” said Savioke CEO Steve Cousins.
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