“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

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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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