“Smart Products” in Hotels Substitute Pay-Per-View Services

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Will “smart products” soon be available in almost every hotel room?

“Smart Products” in Hotels Substitute Pay-Per-View Services. Taking time to call her dearest. Beautiful young businesswoman in suit talking on the mobile phone and smiling while sitting on the bed in hotel room

Modern technologies have become accessible in almost every sphere of everyday life. Hotel chains are no exception. For example, Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham are thinking of creating special electronic cookbooks for their guests, with the supportive short cooking programs through the hotel TV.
Wyndham’s Hawthorn Suites have already prepared an electronic cooking book, supported by the broadcasting cooking programs via hotel TV.

The initiative to advance modern hotel services appeared in January in the Marriott International. The creation of Autograph Collection independent film channel promises to be innovative. With the support of FilmBuff, the channel plans to embrace more than 1,500 films, documentaries and TV shows, and webisodes. Moreover, for those who like a life performance, Mariott Hotels have prepared TED program broadcasting. Also, Marriott is making a brand new technology, with the name “Connect My Device”, which will  that will allow guests to “cast” their preferable streaming content directly onto their in-room TVs.

“Smart Products” in Hotels Substitute Pay-Per-View Services

The important issue of all these innovations is a hotel’s possibility to maintain such in-room service. Today the main investments of big hotel chains are made in technology and infrastructure development as a key for future success. Making a step forward to a better hotel service, companies build the right reputation.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) took a decision to improve the Internet connection covering more than 5,000 hotels all around the World

The proceedings began last year, with the plan of amending the in-hotel Internet technology in USA by the end of 2016.

IHG Connect plans to make the huge placement of diverse wireless access points in every hotel of a waste chain. that increase bandwidth by at least four times, creating “dedicated pipes that can grab as much connectivity that’s needed so hotel owners don’t have to worry about how much bandwidth they’ve signed up for, and hotel guests won’t become frustrated,” Jeff Eckard, VP of technology for the Americas at IHG told Skift explained. Those access points hold inboard beacons, which permit to make a connection to a cloud-based tech platform and control every access point.

“Smart Products” in Hotels Substitute Pay-Per-View Services. Lonely businessman in hotel room sitting on the bed

The same type of improvements is doing Samsung company, working with hotels to broadcast the same kind of technological improvements. The main goal for Samsung is the same – to enhance an Internet speed for visitors with its Samsung Hospitality Wall Plate access point.

The New York’s Le Parker Meridien in liaison with Samsung made a test of the total hotel services. As the results, said John Yu, director of management systems for Le Parker Meridien, were a success.
Nowadays, we have to admit that the technologies are the future. Whether we use that up-to-date device or not so modern technology. Upgrading or the Internet and other tech services are not only time-consuming but also cost intensive.

Adapted from skift.com

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How (and Where) to Have a Destination Wedding

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Destination Wedding Planning Tips And Venue Ideas

Weddings are a celebration of love, and today more and more couples are opting to marry in a locale that matches their mood: expansive like the ocean, lofty like the mountains, timeless like a European castle. Yet the reasons to have a destination wedding are as practical as they are poetic.

Travel advisors often handle the entire destination-wedding process, just as they would for any group getaway. They help couples choose the right destination, find a venue, negotiate hotel rates, book rooms, arrange flights and transfers, review contracts, manage logistics for off-site parties, plan activities and excursions, and coordinate with the hotel wedding planner, who usually focuses on details for the actual wedding.

Here, four travel advisors offer their favorite spots for tying the knot. All that’s left to say is “I do.”

How (and Where) to Have a Destination Wedding

Beachfront Bliss – Saint Lucia

“I call Saint Lucia the Hawaii of the Caribbean,” says Virtuoso advisor Lindsey Epperly of Atlanta. The island appeals to adventure seekers and beach bums alike. “Imagine the Pitons with a beach nestled in between. It’s like nowhere else in the Caribbean.”

Privacy, Please. With hillside villas and beachfront bungalows just steps from the water, Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort, offers wedding guests plush privacy, including a plunge pool and butler for each of its 86 rooms. Epperly suggests having the ceremony on the beach or the resort’s sunset deck. “A lot of brides have a romantic image of their wedding day in paradise,” she says. “Here, you can actually make that happen.”

How (and Where) to Have a Destination Wedding

Crowd-Pleasers. Whether it’s spa treatments in a Swiss Family Robinson-like treehouse, private boat tours around the island, or rum-tastings with the resort’s “rummelier,” the Sugar Beach staff is adept at keeping wedding guests entertained during their stay.

The Details. Saint Lucian law requires couples to be on the island for three business days before their ceremony (though a license can be expedited for an additional fee).

*If you like Saint Lucia’s sun-soaked island vibe, try Anguilla. On this secluded Caribbean isle, 70-room Cap Juluca resort is home to a private, crescent-shaped beach and elegant Moroccan architecture.

Mountain Magic – Saratoga, Wyoming

While staying stateside is simpler for guests (no passport required), a domestic destination wedding can still capture a far-from-home feeling. Many Western lodges combine rugged natural beauty with five-star-resort amenities. “It’s rustic luxury,” says Winter Park, Florida-based travel advisor Susan Moynihan. “But rustic doesn’t mean you have to rough it.”

How (and Where) to Have a Destination Wedding
On the Ranch. With gorgeous scenery, comfortable accommodations, and a remote location on 30,000 acres of pristine land in Wyoming’s Platte River Valley, the 39-room Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch is a popular spot for weddings. Spouses-to-be seal the deal in an outdoor amphitheater or a barn that’s been converted into a chapel.

Western Ways. Brush Creek knows how to keep its guests busy, offering activities such as horseback riding, archery, hiking, and fly-fishing. And because the bookings are all-inclusive, guests have the opportunity to try everything.

The Details. Travel advisors can help couples easily obtain a marriage license from a Wyoming county clerk.

*If you like Wyoming’s secluded scene, try Tennessee. At 70-room Blackberry Farm in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, a chandelier-lit barn is one of several dreamy reception sites.

Countryside Splendor – Tuscany

“A lot of people love tropical weddings,” says Margie Hand, “but some don’t want to deal with the sand and heat, and are looking for more of a cultural experience.” For them, she suggests the Italian countryside. “There’s such a draw around being in Tuscany. You’ve got the great food and wine, the beautiful scenery, and the historic feel. Plus it’s such a romantic destination,” she says.

How (and Where) to Have a Destination Wedding
Vows with a View. At Belmond Villa San Michele, a fifteenth-century monastery outside Florence, couples exchange rings in the lemon garden or amid Renaissance frescoes, followed by celebratory drinks in the Cloister Bar and panoramic vistas from La Loggia Restaurant. With just 45 rooms, the entire property can easily be booked out for a wedding.

La Dolce Vita. Hotel-arranged excursions include hot-air balloon rides, Vespa tours, chef-led pasta-making lessons, and winetastings in the surrounding Chianti region.

The Details. A travel advisor can help sort through the fine print of obtaining an Italian marriage license, which varies depending on the region and the couple’s religious preferences.

*If you like Tuscany’s scenic vistas, try Portugal’s Douro Valley. Located in this vineyard-dotted region along the Douro River, 70-room Vidago Palace’s palatial, belle epoque-style pink facade, grand staircases, and surrounding mountain landscapes make great backdrops for photos.

Into the Jungle – Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

The Arenal Volcano towers over its namesake national park, a central Costa Rican locale blanketed in emerald-green rain forest and enhanced by a soundtrack of toucan calls. It’s a destination ideal for couples looking for their own slice of tropical paradise.

How (and Where) to Have a Destination Wedding. Happy bride and groom kissing and walking on stairs in mountains

Warm Welcome. “For a jungle experience, I love the 35-villa Nayara Springs,” says Pittsburgh-based travel advisor Lynn Ciccarelli. To access the adults-only property, guests walk above a rain-forest canopy via a 250-foot wooden bridge, a feature that makes for stunning bridal-party photos.

Nature Time. Travelers approach their eco-getaway at their own speed, whether they’re indulging in treatments in open-air spa pavilions or exploring the jungle on horseback.

The Details. Visiting couples need only valid passports and two witnesses to hold a civil ceremony, as long as a legal Costa Rican officiant presides over it.

*If you like Costa Rica’s adventurous appeal, try Nicaragua. The new Costa Esmeralda Airport nearby makes the beachfront accommodations of 37-room Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa an attractive destination.

DOS and DON’Ts:

How (and Where) to Have a Destination Wedding

How to navigate the road to a memorable destination wedding
  • DO think about the logistics of a location. Couples may have to ask themselves, “Will my 85-year-old grandma be able to make this trip?” If that’s an important factor, choose a spot that’s easy to get to, such as one that offers nonstop flights from a number of cities.
  • DON’T delay the invitations. Guests need more time to plan for attending a destination wedding, says Susan Moynihan. At least six months’ notice is ideal
  • DON’T take it personally if a guest can’t attend. It may not be easy for everyone to make the trip, despite their best wishes to be there.
  • DO gift local wedding favors. A regionally specific find from a local market is a thoughtful thank-you to guests for making the trip. For a client’s destination wedding in Jamaica, for example, Margie Hand suggested engraved coffee mugs with bags of the island’s popular Blue Mountain Coffee.
  • DON’T check the dress. It’s not worth the risk of your gown getting damaged or – worse – lost in transit. But note: A garment bag is considered one allotted carry-on item.
  • DO plan activities. A destination wedding is a vacation for everyone, and it’s nice to keep guests entertained, or at least suggest diversions. Plus, group excursions give couples more opportunities to spend time with friends and family.

By Kirk Reed Forrester

Originally appeared in the September 2016 issue of Virtuoso Life

For more information
Contact our Travel Advisors:1.877.999.4768

 

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Special offer! U.S. Virgin Islands hotels

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Only for YYZ Travel Group Guests!

Neighborhood: Set within a National Park

Special offer! U.S. Virgin Islands hotels

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily full breakfast, for up to two in room guests served in the Caneel Bay Terrace restaurant from 7:30-10:30am
  • A trip for two aboard our cocktail sunset cruise which sails on Thursdays and Sundays. For those who may not be at the resort on a Thursday or Sunday, A signed keepsake Aerial Photograph of Caneel Bay by renowned nature photographer, Steve Simonsen
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

Special offer! U.S. Virgin Islands hotels Special offer! U.S. Virgin Islands hotels

There is no better antidote to our over stressed lives, than a serene Caribbean getaway where guests can experience a complete “disconnect”, in simplistic natural surroundings and low-key luxury. Caneel Bay, an exclusive resort nestled within the 5,000 acre Virgin Islands National Park on the island of St. John, remains faithful to this vision of founder Laurance Rockefeller since 1956, and his reverence for the environment.

Seven secluded beaches border an expansive paradise of 170 lush acres

In this pristine setting, comfortably elegant resort accommodations showcase beautiful vistas of ocean or gardens, yet the structures artfully built in the landscape are barely in view. Caneel Bay remains purposefully absent of modern glitz as well as digital and electronic distractions. It’s a place where a wake up knock replaces a wake up call and the furious pace of the world at home becomes a remote memory.

Special offer! U.S. Virgin Islands hotels Special offer! U.S. Virgin Islands hotels

The essence of Caneel Bay and it’s genteel staff is to inspire inidividuals to relax and revitalize on all levels to disconnect to reconnect. While you’re here you can sample a different beach everyday for a week, enjoy watercolor lesson, a Thai massage, or Self Centre mind/body session. From a private balcony or patio, take in the breathtaking views of the postcard blue. Experience marine life up close with our resident snorkologist.

Enjoy nature walks with the staff horticulturist amidst 2,000 different varieties of plants. Hike along resort trails or those of the National Park system.Savor a private dinner under the stars in candlelit sugar mills ruins, a sunset champagne picnic on a wind-swept hill over looking the islands, or a private sail on a 65 foot schooner or retreat to your room for a guilt-free siesta with the island’s trade winds flowing through.*

Special offer! U.S. Virgin Islands hotels

*Valid for Travel now Through 17 Dec 2016

 

For more information
Contact our Travel Advisors:1.877.999.4768

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Best Places to Enjoy Wildlife in Costa Rica

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The perfect vacation starts with the right planning. Investigate our selection best places to visit in Costa-Rica to make your dream vacation!

Best Places to Enjoy Wildlife in Costa Rica. Costa Rica Panorama

Poás Volcano National Park

Poás volcano is a strong symbol of the nature forces of Costa Rica. Take a hike to the crater rim, but don’t expect it to fledge with an eruption. The last time when the volcano was active was in 1954. The Poás Volcano National Park is one of the most popular sites of the country. It is situated near the San José city and the international airport.

The weather in this park is cool and humid, with rains and fine drizzle, and the average temperature here is about  15ºC. The climate of the Poás Volcano National Park makes perfect conditions for the fast-growing flora around. The main crater is one of the largest in the world. All the main tours in the park include a hike to the crater rim. But we also suggest you to visit La Paz Waterfall, a beautiful creation of nature in San José.

Best Places to Enjoy Wildlife in Costa Rica. Road to Arenal

Arenal Volcano National Park

One more National Volcano Park located in Costa Rica, is famous for its great variety of attractions for every tourist. If you’re looking for an adventurous encounter with the true natural forces and beauties, this destination is for you.

If the Poas volcano is considered to be active, the Arenal Volcano is currently in a resting phase. Frequent eruptions run on till 2010 with about 41 eruptions per day. Later, it changes its phase from active on non-active. Among numerous activities offered here, you can experience hot spring pools, hot stone massage, visit Arenal Observatory Restaurant & Bar, enjoy the beauty of bright gardens and unforgettable viewpoints.

Best Places to Enjoy Wildlife in Costa Rica. Waterfall-Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio National Park is located on the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, just south of Quepos on the Pacific Coast, 132 km from San José. Here the natural diversity is very rich and surprises with its great variety and beauty. For the tourists, the Park offers a wealth of curious activities.

The coast of the Manuel Antonio region strikes every visitor with the beauty and calmness. The National Park is closed on Mondays and has three of the most amazing beaches in Costa Rica. It also has forest trails, bordered by a dense rainforest with animal life. In 2011, it was named by Forbes as one of the world’s most beautiful parks. The smallest park in the Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio is worth to visit for even the most experienced tourists.

Best Places to Enjoy Wildlife in Costa Rica. Capuchin Monkey

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Monteverde is translated as a  “Green Mountain”. It is a beautiful reserve of magnificent, green vegetation, with great biodiversity of plants and cloud forests. National Geographic gave it a description as  “the jewel in the crown of cloud forests.” In 2007, Costa Ricans voted the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve one of the country’s seven wonders. This forest is a true miracle of ecotourism in the country.

 

For more information
Contact our Travel Advisors:1.877.999.4768

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The Best Of Costa Rica Independent Adventure (10 Days)

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Explore Costa Rica in a way few others ever see. Experience ten-day independent journey that proves why Costa Rica is world-renowned for its natural beauty. With the amazing adventures in the country with extraordinary landscapes, you have a chance to explore its greatest treasures.

The Best Of Costa Rica Independent Adventure (10 Days). Arenal Hanging Bridges park of Costa Rica

Start with cruising the remote rainforests of Tortuguero (no roads here!) before heading to volcano country in two countries, and explore everything in between. Stay at the foot of Arenal Volcano and explore the rivers, trails and hot springs of the area before chasing sun and sea in Guanacaste, known for its miles of beaches, killer surf and great weather.

Valid for Departures Now Through: 05 Dec 2016

Apply if you want to explore, have a lot of fun and discover the hidden beauty of Costa Rica.

The Best Of Costa Rica Independent Adventure (10 Days). Costa Rica Beach from the Air

Itinerary
DAYLOCATION(S)DESCRIPTION
Day 1San José
Day 1 San José:You will be met at San José International Airport and transferred to your hotel for the night. Included Activities:Arrival DayWelcome Meeting for Independent TripsTransport:Private Vehicle
Day 2San José/Tortuguero
Day 2 San José/Tortuguero (1B, 1L, 1D):In the morning, transfer by road then by boat to the famous canals of Tortuguero. This tropical eco-paradise is home to countless bird and animal species, and you will have many opportunities to view and photograph wildlife. Plenty of opportunity to see a variety of birds, monkeys and other wildlife. Relax at the secluded lodge on a hammock or at the pool or beach. Opt to take a night excursion or go kayaking.Additional Notes:*Please note that the entrance fee of $10 USD per person into the national park is not included.Transport:Shared van (5.00 hour(s))Boat (2.00-3.00 hours)
Day 3Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Day 3 Tortuguero (1B, 1L, 1D):Enjoy a guided tour of the Tortuguero canals. Keep your eyes peeled for toucans, parrots, herons, kingfishers, fishing bats, three-toed sloths, iguanas, and howler, white-faced and spider monkeys. Try to spot the tracks of river otters, collared peccaries, and Baird’s tapirs on the banks of the rivers and canals. Watch for caiman swimming in the waterways.Included Activities:Tortuguero National Park Guided Boat Tour
Day 4Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Day 4 Tortuguero/La Fortuna (1B):In the morning, transfer to your hotel near the Arenal Volcano, arriving mid-afternoon. This area is full of exciting and wonderful things to do: whether it’s checking out the popular hot springs, La Fortuna’s Waterfall, the Venado Caves or the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge. Transport:Boat (2.00-3.00 hours)Shared van (3.00-4.00 hours)
Day 5La Fortuna
Day 5 La Fortuna (1B):La Fortuna is one of the centres of adventure travel in Costa Rica. Options include river rafting, mountain biking, caving, or horseback riding. Don’t forget about the hot springs, heated directly by the lava underneath the Arenal Volcano.
Day 6La Fortuna/Guanacaste
Day 6 La Fortuna/Guanacaste (1B):Travel west through the province of Guanacaste to Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. Spend time enjoying the long stretches of beautiful black sand beaches, considered some of the country’s best for swimming and surfing. Transport:Shared van (4.00-5.00 hours)
Day 7Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Days 7-8 Guanacaste:Spend your day taking in the sun and sea, participating in optional activities such as surfing, fishing, golf, horseback riding, cycling, boating or snorkeling.
Day 8Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Days 7-8 Guanacaste:Spend your day taking in the sun and sea, participating in optional activities such as surfing, fishing, golf, horseback riding, cycling, boating or snorkeling.
Day 9Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Day 9 Guanacaste/San José (1B):Transfer back to the capital for your last night.Transport:Shared van (6.00 hour(s))
Day 10San José  
Day 10 San José (1B):Depart at any time. Departure transfer included.Additional Notes:Transfer to the airport for your return flight.Transport:Shared van

For more information
Contact our Travel Advisors:1.877.999.4768

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Alaska

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Located in the northwest of the North American continent, Alaska is the largest state of the USA. Alaska was joined to the USA in 1867, and only in 1959 it has become a 49th U.S. state. The capital of Alaska is Juneau. Alaska was named a “Seward’s Folly” after U.S. Secretary of State William Seward, who managed a purchase of the land from Russia.

Alaska. Beautiful landscape with Rocky Mountains and famous Moraine Lake

There was a lot of critics of this deal because this land believed to be not rich, but that was before the discovery of the gold in the 1890s. Alaska is washed by the Beaufort Sea and the Arctic Ocean from the North; it is bounded by the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific Ocean from the south, the Bering Strait and the Bering Sea from the west; and the Chukchi Sea from the northwest. It is surrounded by the Canada and British Columbia from the east. The capital of Alaska is Juneau.

“Did you know” facts about Alaska

Alaska. Boats on Smooth Resetrection Bay Seward Alaska Harbor Marina

  • Did you know that two islands of Alaska, Attu, and Kiska, were occupied by the Japanese for 15 months during World War II?
  • Did you know that the territory of Alaska was under Russia’s control till 1867, when the land was taken on lease by the USA by Secretary of State William Seward for $7.2 million?
  • Did you know, that the lowest temperature here was -80 degrees Fahrenheit at Prospect Creek Camp in 1971?
  • Did you know that Alaska is a seismically active zone, as its territory experience around 5,000 earthquakes every year? The strongest one happened in March of 1964 and had a magnitude of 9.2.
  • Did you know, that 17 of the 20 highest peaks in the USA are located in Alaska?
  • Did you know about the April Fools’ joke in Alaska in 1974 made by locals? Hundreds of motor tires were burnt in the vent of the dead volcano Edgecumbe so that everybody thought that the volcano awoke
  • Did you know, that some areas of Alaska the sun doesn’t set for 84 days? The furthest city of Alaska, Barrow has almost three months’ period with no sunsets.

To visit Alaska,
Book a Alaska Family Multispot Tour

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Alaska Family Multisport Tour (6 Days)

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Girdwood, AK, United States To Homer, AK, United States
Valid for Departures Now Through: 31 Dec 2016

Wildlife and Wilderness on the Spectacular Kenai Peninsula

Alaska Family Multisport Tour (6 Days). Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska

Once upon a time, there was an outdoor-loving family seeking an action-packed vacation. A clever bunch, they decided on Alaska. And as soon as they arrived and witnessed the dramatic peaks of the Alaska Range, they knew they’d chosen wisely. The kids hiked to the face of Exit Glacier; parents ascended to the Harding Icefield. They all raced through the woods on a thrilling dogsled ride, spotted moose and eagles during a river float trip and watched salmon swimming upstream. And to this day, they all agree: it was the best family vacation ever.

Alaska Family Multisport Tour (6 Days). Lake on Alaska

Itinerary

DAYLOCATION(S)HOTELMEALSDESCRIPTION
Day 1Girdwood, AK United States Alyeska ResortBreakfast

Alaska’s dramatic landscapes on a single astonishing peninsula.  Kick off the trip with a spin along bike paths leading you out of Anchorage and onto the gently rolling Tony Knowles Coastal Trail – keep your eyes open for moose!

Day 2Seward, AK United States Seward Windsong LodgeBreakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

Get up close with Alaska’s wild residents at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, which rehabilitates injured and orphaned animals and returns them to the wild.  Journey south to the Kenai Peninsula, a wonderland of rugged mountains, glaciers, fjords and lakes.  Hike the beautiful Ptarmigan Lake Trail through Sitka spruce forest and past crystal-clear Ptarmigan Creek, where red sockeye salmon spawn in summer.

Day 3Seward, AK United States Seward Windsong LodgeBreakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

In Kenai Fjords National Park, kids hike to the face of Exit Glacier and explore the fascinating Alaska SeaLife Center, home to sea lions, harbor seals, Alaskan king crabs, puffins and other marine wildlife.  Meanwhile, adults embark on a once-in-a-lifetime trek with spectacular views of the vast Harding Icefield.  Meet some of the famed Iditarod race’s canine participants and experience the excitement of racing on comfortable wheeled dogsleds.

Day 4Homer, AK United States Land’s End ResortBreakfast, Lunch, Snack

Explore Homer, one of Alaska’s most beautifully situated towns.  Take in jaw-dropping views of Cook Inlet and the volcanoes of the Alaska Range.  A scenic bike ride leads to a viewpoint overlooking Grewingk Glacier and Homer Spit, a narrow finger of land in picturesque Kachemak Bay.

Day 5Homer, AK United States Land’s End ResortBreakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

Circumnavigate Yukon Island by kayak, watching for harbor seals, porpoises and sea otters.

Day 6Homer, AK United States NoneBreakfast

Got your camera ready? During a leisurely float trip on the glacial waters of the Kenai River, you’ll likely spot eagles, moose and Dall sheep.

 

To visit the Alaska,
Call our Travel Advisors:1.877.999.4768

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Barcelona

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Barcelona, one of the most popular Spanish destinations, is famous for its tourist-friendly atmosphere, cosmopolitan worldview, and very welcoming people. It has a great and old history, beautiful nature, fascination architecture, amazing tourist attractions and a lot of captivating places to visit. No one would refuse to visit beautiful beaches in La Costa Brava, amazing Romanesque churches, peaceful Parc de la Ciutadella, romantic Montjuïc Castle, an unusual architectural approach of the Montjuïc castle? There are only a few of the numerous sites that you can visit in Barcelona.

Barcelona. Placa Espanya in Barcelona and National Palace

Placa Espanya in Barcelona and National Palace

Barcelona is the capital of the autonomous community of Catalonia. With its population of more than 1.5 million people, it’s a second most populous municipality in Spain. Barcelona is also the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea. It is located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 meters (1,680 feet) high.

It’s impossible to imagine the city of Barcelona without its beautiful beaches, the favourite place for the rest for the tourists. Many parts of resorts are located on the Costa Brava and Costa Dorada.

Costa Brava

is, no doubt, one of the most picturesque places in Spain. Costa Brava is located on the northern coast of Catalonia, from the French border to the Blanes city. It owes its name of “wild coast” of “the coast of the brave” to the soleness of the unusual confluence between mountain and sea.
Every year hundreds of tourists come here to enjoy a pleasant rest on the amazingly beautiful beaches. Stunning nature, mild climate and rich history, the brightness of its ports and unusual villages have been enough to create a worldwide positive reputation.

Barcelona. Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona at sunrise

Costa Dorada

is situated in the south of Barcelona. It is a rayon of Mediterranean coast, which is translated as “the golden coast”. It owes its name to an incredible beauty of the golden sand on the local beaches. One of the best holiday destinations in Spain, Costa Dorada attracts thousands of tourists with its fabulous landscapes, pleasant climate, clear sea air and unique nature. You can also find a lot of modern entertainment centers.

Barcelona

 

To Visit Barcelona,
Book a Gimme Gastronomy Tour or call us: 1.877.999.4768

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Busan Christmas Tree Festival

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Busan Christmas Tree Festival

Photo: Christmas tree at Seoul Plaza in 2015 (left) / Scene from last year’s Busan Christmas Tree Festival (right)

Hands up if you are curious of where the magnificent and tall Christmas trees are located in Seoul or Busan!

The ‘Korea Christmas Festival’ will be held at the Seoul Plaza, along with a tree lighting ceremony on November 27. This year, the Christmas tree will be lighted up in blue lines of LED lights and surrounded by LED roses beneath.

On the other hand, the Busan Christmas Tree Festival will kick off on November 26, at areas around Gwangbok-dong Cultural & Fashion Street. This year’s festival is themed “Happiness of Birth”, thus a huge ornament in the shape of a birthday cake will be hung on the gigantic Christmas tree, as well as other decorations and artificial snow are added to bring up the whole Christmas atmosphere.

More Info

Korea Christmas Festival
☞ Event period: November 27, 2016 / 18:00-19:00 (Christmas tree lights display will be available till January 8, 2017) * Main event is subject to changes without notice.
☞ Venue: Seoul Plaza
☞ Directions: City Hall Station (Seoul Subway Line 1,2) and Exit 5 or 6. Walk for about 1-2 minutes.
☞ Inquiries: Dasan Call Center +82-2-120 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Mongolian

Busan Christmas Tree Festival

Introduction

The Busan Christmas Tree Festival, Busan’s annual winter event, will be held in the Gwangbok-ro area of the Jung-gu District in Busan.

To add a more festive atmosphere, there will be concerts, a tree of wishes, street performances, collecting love coins, a photo and video contest, and many more.

Programs

[Stage event]
– Daily concert, collaboration-concert, Christmas music concert

[Citizen’s participation event]
– Carol song contest, etc.

Admission/Participation Fees

Free

Additional Events

– Wish tree for the New Year
– Merry Christmas time (scene of snow)
– Auction event
– Discount event of Gwangbok-ro sellers

 

About Korea

Korea has four distinct seasons, with each offering unique and beautiful landscapes. In the spring, forsythia, cherry blossom, azalea and many other flowers are in full bloom; in the summer, people travel in numbers to the coasts to enjoy their vacation on the beach; in the fall, the mountains put on a fascinating coat of crimson leaves; and in the winter, the land is covered with snow.

South Korea can come across as inscrutable at first glance. It’s a land of stark contrasts and wild contradictions; a place where tradition and technology are equally embraced; where skyscrapers loom over ancient temples; and where the frantic pace of life is offset by the serenity of nature. The country’s unique customs and etiquette can seem like a trap laid for foreigners, but arrive with a smile and a respectful attitude and you will be welcomed with open arms by some of the friendliest folk on the planet.

Koreans are fiercely proud of their country, and with good reason. The Korean peninsula has a storied history and this colourful heritage is woven into the fabric of this land. The capital, Seoul, is home to a number of historic highlights, including the spectacular Joseon-era Gyeongbokgung Palace, “the great south gate” of Namdaemun and the eerie Seodaemun Prison – all tucked away amid gleaming offices, giant shopping centres, world-class restaurants and hipster bars.

The rest of the country is also littered with fortresses, temples and palaces

Visitors will enjoy the grassy burial mounds of ancient kings in Gyeongju, the Seokbulsa Temple in Busan, which has been carved out of a rock, and the infamous demilitarised zone, a biodiverse no-man’s-land separating South and North Korea. It is a scary place, where acres of barbed wire are patrolled by heavily-armed guards on both sides, yet the tension is so trumped up it feels like you’ve stumbled onto a Hollywood film set.

But it’s not all about history. When it comes to nature, South Korea is wonderfully diverse, with spectacular national parks, remote sandy beaches, hot spring islands and rugged mountain peaks. Gastronomes are well catered for, too, but you may have to open your mind before your mouth; local specialities include kimchi (pickled cabbage) and makgeolli (rice wine).

South Korea can sometimes seem like the most foreign place on Earth; an unfathomable destination of curious customs, strange food and jarring paradoxes. Ultimately, that’s what makes it so exciting.

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Gimme Gastronomy Tour. Spain (10 Days)

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Barcelona, Spain To Bilbao, Spain

Valid for Departures Now Through: 18 Dec 2016

Wine and gastronomy tasting tours are the unique opportunity not only to travel the authentic Spain but also to experience wine tasting, gourmet food, art, and history.

Our tours include the best of Spain’s traditional food and wine along with numerous activities. You will have a great chance to visit of tapas bars, experience cooking classes,  visit private gastronomic clubs, and try a wine from the top vineyards.

Gimme Gastronomy Tour. Spain (10 Days). A table full of Spanish tapas.

A table full of Spanish tapas

Plan:

3 Nights – Barcelona  

2 Nights – San Sebastián  

2 Nights – La Rioja

2 Nights – Bilbao

 

Details:

● A tour focusing on the city’s finest tapas and wine (Barcelona).

● Private “epicurean tour” of the city’s best foods (Barcelona).

● A comprehensive tour of Barcelona’s one-of-a-kind Modernista architecture (Barcelona).

● A Basque culinary day, exposing you to the best that the region’s cuisine has to offer (San Sebastian).

Gimme Gastronomy Tour. Spain (10 Days). Barcelona - August 21: customers seated at a tapas bar at La Boqueria market in Barcelona, Spain on Augut 21, 2014. The market is one of the oldest in Europe and a popular tourist attraction.

Itinerary

DAYLOCATION(S)HOTELMEALSDESCRIPTION
Day 1Barcelona, SpainCasa FusterNone

We will arrange for you to be whisked around Barcelona this evening, to some of its culinary hot spots, for tapas.  

Day 2Barcelona, SpainCasa FusterBreakfast

Your “epicurean tour” of Barcelona will include the best mild Spanish cheeses, many varieties of the world-famous jamon (Iberian ham), hand-roasted hazelnuts, and plenty of salted cod!

When you’ve digested your food, head to the Sagrada Familia, as well as other fantastical works by Modernista architect Antonio Gaudi.

Day 3Barcelona, SpainNoneBreakfast

You will have today at leisure.

We recommend heading to the Born district, the hippest area now for avant-garde shopping, or to check out Barcelona’s chocolate museum.

Day 4San Sebastian, SpainMaria CristinaBreakfast

Enjoy your train ride to San Sebastian.

We will make you reservations at one of this small city’s fine restaurants tonight.

Day 5San Sebastian, SpainMaria CristinaBreakfast

Spend today absorbing the many delights of Basque country’s cuisine, from the region’s unique hard ciders to its mouth-watering seafood dishes.

Day 6La Rioja, SpainMarques de RiscalBreakfast

Enjoy your ride to the Rioja wine region.

Highlights of your day:  taste wines at one of the country’s oldest wine producers, as well as wines from some of its finest new vineyards.  We recommend lunch at the restaurant of the Marques de Riscal winery, designed by architect Frank Gehry.

Day 7La Rioja, SpainMarques de RiscalBreakfast

You will have today at leisure.

Combined with local grapes, these techniques produced deep, oaky red wines that have made La Rioja a draw for wine lovers from around the world.

Try the Vinotherapy treatments at the Marques de Riscal’s spa, where the essence of the grape is used for skincare.

Day 8Bilbao, SpainGran DomineBreakfast

Enjoy your ride to Bilbao.

Highlights of your day:  tour the iconic Guggenheim Museum. The collection includes works by major modern and contemporary artists, such as Kandinsky, Klee, and Warhol.

Day 9Bilbao, SpainGran DomineBreakfast

You will have today at leisure.  

We suggest you take in some of Bilbao’s phenomenal architecture. We will provide you with a list of our favorite buildings.

Day 10Bilbao, SpainNoneBreakfast

Depart.

 

To Book a Tour,
Contact our Travel Advisors:1.877.999.4768

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