Posts tagged with "accommodation"

Vagabond Tours Accepts Two Top Awards

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland is no stranger to accepting awards. In early February the company received not one but two 2019 Irish Tourism Industry Awards presented Feb. 2 at the Clayton Hotel in Dublin.

These awards recognize those people and companies that create enhanced experiences to draw people to Ireland. Awards are granted across 15 categories for general initiatives such as accommodation and marketing, and regional specific awards for the Atlantic Way, Hidden Heartlands and Ancient East. Fifteen winners were chosen from among 75 shortlisted nominees. For more on the awards see https://www.irishtourismindustryawards.ie/

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland’s 6 Day Ancient Ireland Tour won in the category Best Ireland’s Ancient East Tourism Experience, under 25,000 visitors. “We introduced this tour in 2018 to help answer the question, “Who are the Irish?” explained Rob Rankin, co-owner with his wife, Amy Rankin. In their imaginations guests burrow into bogs, scale crenellated towers and shimmy up mountains for glimpses of Ireland beginning with Iron Age Celts sifted into Stone Age sands. See: https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/tour/6-day-eastern-ireland-tour/.

Best Environmental Tourism Innovative went to Vagabond Tours of Ireland for environmental initiatives that in some instances have led to significant cost savings for the company while other initiatives are viewed as company investments that “we hope will have a long-term benefit to the environment,” said Rankin. These include:

  • Offsetting the company’s total annual carbon emissions and restoring Ireland’s lost woodlands with a program of replanting indigenous Irish hardwood trees.
  • Offering free compostable cups to guests to use in local coffee shops instead of non-recyclable cups.
  • Giving each guest an aluminum water bottle to use instead of single use plastic bottles, helping to eliminate an estimated 30,000 fewer plastic bottles per year in Ireland.

Vagabond’s staff curate locally owned accommodations, pubs and restaurants that help serve their goal of authenticity. In the end the mission is to have guests “love Ireland as much as we do.” Transport is in custom mini buses, Mercedes ‘Vagatrons’ or 4×4 Sprinters Newtrons that allows access beyond where regular tour buses go.

For details on all of Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, availability and for 2019 reservations, please visit https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/. Call toll free (from the US) 1.833-230-0288; in Ireland 00353 (0) 1 5634358; or email: info@vagabond.ie.

AL BAIT SHARJAH × SHARJAH, UAE

A Family Guide to Sharjah with Al Bait Sharjah

Sharjah is the hidden gem of the UAE, a destination well known to the art connoisseurs that visit for the Art Foundation Biennial every other year. For families looking to explore an authentic destination, Sharjah is the region to visit now as it celebrates an exciting cultural renaissance.  Sharjah will be hosting the first Fringe Festival on the Arabian Peninsula. The inaugural Sharjah International Fringe Festival will take place in January 2020 and will host music, circus, comedy and theatre productions aimed, primarily, at families and children, together with an extensive street theatre programme.

Here are five top experiences for families in Sharjah:

Discover MLEIHA Archeological Site 

Visit Mleiha for an adventure deep into the deserts of Sharjah where you can uncover the secrets of the region’s ancient Bedouin culture. Get your adrenaline rush by exploring the beautiful landscapes of Mleiha on a dune buggy visiting Camel Rock, the Faya Dunes and the Mleiha Desert. Pay a visit to the Mleiha Archaeological Centre where you can learn about life in the region in years gone by as well as take a closer look at the wide variety of artifacts on display.

Spend a day at Al Majez waterfront

The unique Al Maraya Art Park is located here. At this outdoor art exhibit, adults can observe artists work from international destinations in the Sculpture Park while their kids learn and explore in the Children’s Art Park. The Children’s Art Park is specially designed to introduce young kids to the world of art through sculptures, educational activities, and games. Also at Al Majez waterfront is a mini splash park where kids can cool off and play in its tunnels while watching the aquatic displays.

Play at Al Montazah Water Park

Al Montazah Water Park is the first of its kind, offering electronic games along with water rides and a go-kart race track for kids and adults. The water park has a wide range of pools appropriate and suitable for kids of different ages. For added fun, an amusement park is conveniently located next to the water-park. The parks contain 35 attractions with state of the art facilities all around the grounds and a picnic area.

Reflect at the Islamic Botanical Garden

Located in Sharjah Desert Park, this garden allows visitors to take in the horticulture of this exotic destination. With over 100 varieties of plants, you and your family will be mesmerized by the incredible biodiversity present. The gardens are a peaceful environment designed to promote reflection through paved walkways, ornamental pools, and narrow waterways. Before or after strolling through the grounds, be sure to take time to visit the interpretation center and Arabic cafe. 

Learn at the Sharjah Natural History and Botanical Museum

Take your family through these exhibits to unveil the complexity of the emirate’s aquatic life, animals, fauna, and flora. You will be able to learn how Sharjah’s massive sand dunes were created along with viewing a collection of meteorites. Kids will be entertained throughout their visit to the museum by digitally erupting volcanoes and prehistoric fossils in addition to the dinosaur models on display.

Where to stay in 2019: Al Bait Sharjah

The Heritage House at Al Bait Sharjah is the perfect place for families. It offers 4 Al Bait Heritage Rooms and 2 Al Bait Heritage Suites, allowing guests an entire house and full privacy.  Al Bait Sharjah which translates to ‘The Home’ is set to raise the bar for luxury resort accommodations in the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE). Located 20 miles or 16 km (10 miles) from Dubai in the UAE’s most ambitious historical restoration project known as Heart of Sharjah, the resort will be home to 53 luxury guest rooms and suites. The resort facilities and amenities at the boutique property will include a museum, library, ice cream shop, pool, and an array of dining offerings spotlighting local and international cuisine. The architecture and design will sensitively reflect Arabic culture, in tune with its surroundings and blending harmoniously with the heritage buildings in the district. 

About Sharjah:

Sharjah is located on the southern coast of the Arabian Gulf and is one of the seven emirates that form the UAE. The emirate of Sharjah comprises the capital city of Sharjah and smaller towns including Khorfakkan, Kalba, and Dibba Al-Hisn.  Ruled by the Al Qasimi family, it is bordered by Dubai to the south and Ajman to the north. Sharjah is a diverse destination with many layers that represent chapters in the emirate’s rich and varied history, from the atmospheric streets in the Heart of Sharjah to the ancient archaeology sites deep in the desert. These riches have led to the city being named the 1998 Cultural Capital of the Arab World, the 2014 Capital of the Islamic Culture and the 2015 Capital of Arab Tourism.

Two Wild Women Expeditions

The trail blazer of women-only travel has created two itineraries where few travel. On five departures in 2018, Wild Women Expeditions immerses women in the physically challenging, poignantly stunning landscape of Newfoundland in the remote northeastern corner of Canada.

 

Two distinct, week-long adventures engage guests on Newfoundland’s western shore, separated from Quebec by the Gulf of St. Lawrence that eventually pours into the North Atlantic.

 

This is home turf for Wild Women Expeditions that offers more active travel departures for women only than any other tour operator in the world. The company was founded in Newfoundland and maintains its headquarters here. Owner Jennifer Haddow grew up near Gros Morne National Park where many of the itineraries’ activities take place.

 

“This is a place of stark ancient beauty, where the ground beneath your feet tells the story of Earth’s geological history. It’s also a place where icebergs stroll up and down coastal waters and where fjords claw their way into the interior,” explained Haddow, noting that few other adventure travel companies offer tours here.

 

Indigenous peoples predated the Vikings who arrived some 1000 years ago. England first raised a flag on the North American continent in the late 16th century in what came to be called Newfoundland. Fishermen soon discovered some of the Atlantic’s most productive waters here. The park’s Long Range Mountains testify to this once geologically charged world rife with volcanos and glaciers. These mountains are part of the Appalachian chain rising from Georgia through Maine.

 

“Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is as important to Plate Tectonics Theory as Ecuador’s Galapagos Archipelago is to the Theory of Evolution,” Haddow added. “The challenges of this environment become metaphors for the challenges faced by the women who choose to travel with us.”

 

Hiking first through a barren landscape, women discover where the peridotite ends and ancient oceanic crust begins. They hike through a boreal forest to the rugged coastline where pillow lava and sea stacks dominate the shore. They move to the rich marine wonderland of Bonne Bay and a landlocked lake before summiting Gros Morne Mountain in a hike of up to 10 hours.

 

Following are two 2018 Wild Women Expeditions’ itineraries in Newfoundland. Daily challenges reflect the company’s philosophy that women can discover and build on their own inner strengths by mastering hurdles in the safe company of other women.

 

Newfoundland Gros Morne Multi-Sport Adventure is a seven-day hiking and kayaking expedition in one of the wildest places in Canada. In 2018 there are three departures: July 21-27, Aug. 11-17 and Sept. 8-14. The $2,695 CAD per person rate includes professional local female guides, all meals, six nights shared accommodation in oceanside cabins, fully outfitted sea kayak day trip on Bonne Bay, guided hikes, ground transportation, park pass and Western Brook Pond Fjord boat tour.

 

Guests walk on rugged trails over the Earth’s mantle that supports little to no vegetation, explore fossil remains, visit an artsy village, kayak in a sheltered fjord, witness Minke whales, eagles, terns, and kingfishers in the bay and on land; caribou, Rock ptarmigan and Arctic hare. There’s also time to relax on a boat tour of a land-locked fjord accessed through bogs and limestone ridges. For trip details see http://wildwomenexpeditions.com/trips/newfoundland-multisport/.

 

Icebergs and Arts Adventure is an eight-day wilderness immersion with a hefty dollop of culture on two departures in 2018: June 3-10 and July 6-13. The per person rate of $2,695 CAD includes professional female guides; all meals; seven nights shared accommodation in an authentic house and suites, a wilderness lodge and seaside cabins; guided and fully outfitted sea kayak day; guided hikes and interpretive walks in Gros Morne National Park and along the Great Northern Peninsula; Western Brook Pond Fjord boat tour and iceberg and whale watching boat tour; interpretive tour and lunch at the French Shore Museum in Conche; and a visit to L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where Viking history comes alive.

 

At Port aux Choix National Historic Site guests hike to Philips Garden to explore the ancient remains of one of the largest Dorset Paleoeskimo settlements in the Eastern Canadian Arctic. They also visit the Myra Bennett Heritage House, the home of a nurse known along the 200 miles of coast simply as “the nurse.” This remarkable woman brought her life-saving skills to what was then an isolated, rugged Great Northern Peninsula. See: https://wildwomenexpeditions.com/trips/newfoundland/

 

“Canada is a country designed for adventurers. For women who want it all, Canada delivers the goods,” said Haddow. “We’ve been trailblazing outdoor adventures in Canada for over a quarter of a century. Increasingly women want to feel the freedom of connecting with wild space in its finest form. In Canada are some of the wildest and grandest natural treasures on the planet.”

 

Wild Women Expeditions’ Canadian programs are prototypes for the baptism-by-wilderness experiences that Haddow’s team arranges in 26 countries this year. These journeys reflect that… 

  • Women need opportunities to just be themselves, together;
  • The wilderness helps women connect with elements of their psyche that may be lost in the daily hustle and bustle;
  • Pairing women and wilderness often encourages women beyond their comfort zones, leading to increased confidence;
  • These ingredients can be transformational, perhaps leading to answers to the question that Poet Mary Oliver poses: What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? 

 

About :

Founded in 1991, Wild Women Expeditions is the world’s largest women-only travel company. Its initial focus was on canoeing on remote Ontario waters. Through an unwavering focus on Canada, one of the wildest, most pristine countries in the world, Wild Women Expeditions became Canadian experts in a pioneering niche that introduced small groups of women into wilderness settings. Even though the company now hosts guests all over the world, it retains a national focus with more trips and more women-only, backcountry camping adventures in Canada than any other women’s travel company in the world.

 

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ASHFORD CASTLE × WORLD SPA AWARDS

ASHFORD CASTLE WINS “IRELAND’S BEST HOTEL SPA” AT THE 2017 WORLD SPA AWARDS™

Hotel Receives Outstanding Award in “Ireland’s Best Hotel Spa 2017” Category Second Year in a Row

For the second year in row, the iconic Ashford Castle has again been named winner in the “Ireland’s Best Hotel Spa 2017” category in the 3rd Annual 2017 World Spa Awards™. The awards were developed in response to overwhelming demand from the spa industry for a program that was fair and transparent, a program with a mission to serve as the definitive benchmark of excellence, and to help foster a new era of growth in spa tourism.

The winners of the prestigious World Spa Awards™ were announced at a gala presentation dinner at JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay in Vietnam alongside the World Travel Awards Grand Final. The awards ceremony celebrated both the best of European hospitality and the global spa and wellness industry, with a wider focus this year on the wellness retreat category.

The 5-star Spa at Ashford Castle was unveiled in 2015 as the final luxury installment in the historic property’s extensive restoration. The striking French-style conservatory is adjoined to the 800-year-old castle and houses an indoor resistance pool offering views across the serene Lough Corrib. State-of-the-art facilities at the Spa include an invigorating Hammam, steam room, manicure and pedicure area, a tranquil relaxation suite and five treatment rooms, including a couple’s room, where guests can indulge in a vast range of pampering treatments. The Spa offers products from organic Irish brand Voya, internationally renowned Elemis and Red Carnation Hotels’ very own B|Africa product range, previously exclusive to the collection’s South Africa properties. It is the only hotel spa in Ireland that offers the Pure Flow System, designed to combat fatigue and improve endurance, performance and recovery.

“We are honored to have been recognized with this prestigious award for the second year in a row,” said Ashford Castle’s General Manager Niall Rochford, “which highlights our dedicated spa manager and her team for their expertise, skills and warm guest relations – a hallmark of all our staff at Ashford Castle.”

For more information about Ashford Castle and to book a stay, please visit www.ashfordcastle.com.

ABOUT ASHFORD CASTLE 

Ashford Castle is set on 350 acres in County Mayo, on the shores of Lough Corrib and the River Cong, with a spectacular backdrop of woodlands, lake, river, and mountains. It features 83 guestrooms, suites and a Lakeside Cottage, and is renowned for a range of country sports including an equestrian centre, fly fishing, an exclusive nine-hole golf course and Ireland’s first school of falconry. Several dining rooms and bars, along with a gracious afternoon tea service are among the amenities. It is a member of Leading Hotels of the World. For more information please visit www.ashfordcastle.com.

ABOUT THE RED CARNATION HOTEL COLLECTION

The Red Carnation Hotel Collection is a collection of family-run, award-winning boutique hotels in the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland and the USA. From Ireland’s recently restored Ashford Castle to South Africa’s iconic Oyster Box, each hotel is a landmark of history and tradition that offers a unique character and unsurpassed service. Boasting a peerless reputation for exquisite fine dining, leading spas and sumptuous surroundings, Red Carnation Hotels are proud to deliver warm, thoughtful and highly personalized service to every guest, every time. For more information about these award-winning hotels and the rest of the Red Carnation Collection, please to go to www.redcarnation.com.

Home2 Suites By Hilton × Green Bay

Home2 Suites by Hilton Green Bay Opens Located Near historic Lambeau Field New Hotel Welcomes Guests Visiting Titletown

“Whether you’re here for a Packers game, on business, or simply to enjoy everything that the city has to offer, Home2 Suites by Hilton Green Bay is the ideal place to stay for sports fans and business travelers alike”, says Kyle Bersch, general manager. Credit: Home2 Suites by Hilton

Home2 Suites by Hilton, part of Hilton‘s (NYSE: HLT) All Suites portfolio, announced today its newest property, Home2 Suites by Hilton Green Bay, bringing the brand one step closer to its 200th property milestone.  Designed for travelers who want to maintain their normal routine, the hotel features 92 suites and a range of value, tech-focused and eco-conscious amenities. Home2 Suites by Hilton Green Bay caters to the 5.55 million travelers visiting Green Bay annually.*

“Whether you’re here for a Packers game, on business, or simply to enjoy everything that the city has to offer, Home2 Suites by Hilton Green Bay is the ideal place to stay for sports fans and business travelers alike”, says Kyle Bersch, general manager. “We are excited to provide guests a unique lodging experience with added value, spacious suites and convenience during their stay.”

Owned by Beechwood Green Bay Hotel, LLC and managed by Beechwood Hotel Group, LLC, Home2 Suites by Hilton Green Bay offers all-suite accommodations with fully equipped kitchens and modular furniture, providing guests the flexibility to customize their suite to their style and preference. The hotel also features complimentary Internet, inviting communal spaces, and trademark Home2 Suites amenities such as Spin2 Cycle, a combined laundry and fitness area, Home2 MKT for grab-and-go items, and the Inspired Table, a complimentary daily breakfast that includes more than 400 potential combinations. Guests can also enjoy an indoor saline pool, fire pit and grill area. Home2 Suites by Hilton Green Bay is pet-friendly.

Located at 810 Morris Ave, walking distance from Lambeau Field, Home2 Suites by Hilton Green Bay offers guests convenient access to Resch Center, Bay Park Square Mall, Shopko Hall, Bay Beach Amusement Park and the National Railroad Museum. A complimentary shuttle service is also available to nearby attractions and restaurants within a five mile radius of the property.

Home2 Suites by Hilton Green Bay participates in Hilton’s award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton Honors. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount, free standard Wi-Fi, as well as digital amenities that are available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors app, where Honors members can check-in, choose their room, and access their room using a Digital Key. For more information or to make a reservation, visit Home2 Suites by Hilton Green Bay or call +1 920 227 5757.

Home2 Suites by Hilton has launched its “Road to Home200” Challenge as it nears its significant 200th property milestone.  Follow the count and find out the latest challenge updates by visiting news.home2suites.com.

Read more about Home2 Suites by Hilton www.home2suites.com