Jumeirah Zabeel Saray launches X Factor holiday package in Dubai

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, the Ottoman inspired luxury resort located on Palm Jumeirah, has launched two ‘As seen on X Factor’ holiday packages prior to its debut on UK and Irish TV screens.

The hotel, which provided one of the locations for hit TV series The X Factor, hosted celebrity judge Nicole Scherzinger and her guest judge Ne-Yo alongside TV presenters Dermot O’Leary and Caroline Flack as they filmed one of four parts of the Judges’ House scenes in Dubai.

The Royal and Deluxe holiday packages will give hotel guests the chance to replicate the experience of the X Factor celebrities and contestants and are available as an ‘add on’ to a minimum three nights stay at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray.

The Judges’ House scenes filmed at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray will air on UK TV station ITV and on TV3 in Ireland. During the show six contestants from the boys’ category will be put through their paces as they audition in front of former Pussy Cat Doll Nicole Scherzinger and Grammy Award-winning singer Ne-Yo in the hotel’s Lebanese restaurant, Al Nafoorah. The ‘deliberation’ scene, filmed in the luxurious Talise Ottoman Spa, shows both celebrities faced with the difficult task of choosing three contestants, the news of which will be broken to contestants in an emotional scene in Jumeirah Zabeel Saray’s Vietnamese restaurant Voi.

The Xtra Factor, a spin-off series of the show fronted by TV presenter Caroline Flack, highlights additional scenes as the participants take part in a variety of activities available at the hotel, and will broadcast both evenings on ITV2 following the main show.

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray is one of six Dubai resorts operated by Jumeirah Group.

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Jumeirah Carlton Tower unveils its ‘I Love Paris’ tea menu

Chinoiserie at Jumeirah Carlton Tower continues its partnership with Eric Lanlard by unveiling its new ‘I Love Paris’ afternoon tea. The tantalising menu, inspired by the master patissier’s favourite city, is the third installment in the

‘Afternoon Tea by Eric Lanlard’ series.

The ‘I Love Paris’ menu will feature classic French staples: brioche, macaroons and mini eclairs, all of which Eric Lanlard has elegantly re-invented to bring a touch of Parisian chic to Chinoiserie. “Paris is my favourite city in the world to visit this season,” said Eric. “The inspiration behind this tea comes from the iconic Grandes Patisseries in the city and their unmistakable scents.”

The experience begins with savoury delights such as brioche filled with pâté de foie gras, lemon and poppy seed smoked salmon macaroon and mini quiche lorraine. Then, to satisfy sweet-toothed aficionados, a selection of cakes and pastries including Le Magnum, a dark chocolate mousse based on the famous ice cream, and Crème Brûlée Tonka, a bean infused dessert topped with caramelised demerara sugar and fresh raspberries.

Customers defeated by their tea will be treated to a ‘Take Home Box’ of leftovers on departure, ensuring tea-lovers can take the enjoyment of this experience home with them.

As one of the world’s most renowned patissiers and star of Channel 4’s Baking Mad series, Eric has amassed a global fan base and a dedicated celebrity following.

Chinoiserie at Jumeirah Carlton Tower provides the perfect backdrop for afternoon tea with its sophisticated, classic-contemporary décor. A new twist on the ‘Afternoon Tea by Eric Lanlard’ series will be presented seasonally throughout 2012-2013 for hotel guests and visitors to enjoy.

‘Afternoon Tea by Eric Lanlard’ can be booked by visiting www.jumeirahcarltontower.com or calling +44 (0)20 7858 7181.

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Etihad Airways Celebrates Five Years Of Milan-Abu Dhabi

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has celebrated five years of non-stop services between Milan and Abu Dhabi. The UAE flag carrier operates daily between the two cities.

Flights from Milan commenced in September 2007, and based on strong forward bookings and projections, Etihad Airways is on track to carry almost 140,000 passengers between the two cities in 2012, up 27 per cent on 2011.

Speaking at a media conference in Milan to mark the anniversary, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, James Hogan said: “The UAE is home to almost 7,000 Italians and 200 Italian companies, and as a result, the business and cultural ties between the two countries have never been stronger.

“In five years, the Abu Dhabi-Milan route has gone from strength to strength, being a catalyst for business and leisure traffic between the two countries and the wider Gulf region. We’ve carried 417,000 passengers and 71,000 tons of cargo in that time.

“Our strategy here in Italy, as elsewhere internationally, has been built on the premise of partnerships and we’re proud to have teamed-up with many esteemed Italian names in the rollout of our award winning services.”

Etihad Airways has partnered with fashion designer Ettore Bilotta in the design of its crew uniforms and Poltrona Frau for the leather upholstery in its multi-award winning First Class Suites and luxury seating in the airline’s own signature premium lounges.

In addition, the airline has recently extended its partnership with Alitalia which will see the Italian carrier operate four weekly codeshare services between Rome and Abu Dhabi from December 1, 2012.

Mr Hogan added: “Extending our partnership agreement with Alitalia to cover direct Rome-Abu Dhabi flights was a natural next step in our close cooperation with this valued airline partner and we look forward to working together to promote the route at each end and beyond.

“Direct from Rome, Alitalia guests will now be able access the UAE capital, but also connect seamlessly with Etihad Airways destinations across the Gulf, Africa, Asia and Australia.

“The deal also gives Etihad Airways guests direct access into the Italian capital with strong flows predicted from the Gulf region, Australia and Asia.”

Etihad Airways operates a mix of three and two-cabin Airbus A330s between Abu Dhabi and Milan, ensuring optimum connectivity over its Abu Dhabi hub to destinations across Africa, the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent and Australasia.

The Milan route configuration means 3,500 seats a week; 56 Diamond First class, 360 Pearl Business class, and 3,084 Coral Economy class seats.

Mr Hogan concluded: “By year end, Etihad Airways will be a US$4.9 billion business, we’ll have carried more 10 million passengers across our global network, and have 1.8 million Etihad Guest loyalty members.

“Working closely with our Italian partners, the travel industry, the business community and governments, we look forward to further cementing the Etihad Airways brand across Italy and deepening the strong relationship between Italy and the United Arab Emirates.”

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Door2Tour.com announces 2013 dates for ‘Downton Abbey’ Location Tours

Door2Tour.com has revealed its 2013 departure dates for the ‘Downton Abbey’ Location Tours that were such a hit with its customers last year that it struggled to keep up with the demand. The company is now urging fans of the show to book their place on 2013 tours now to avoid disappointment, which many experienced last year.

Since airing on 16 September 2012, Door2Tour.com has noticed a surge in interest for breaks to Highclere Castle which is the setting used for ‘Downton Abbey’. It has seen an increase to date of 370% in bookings for the ‘Downton Abbey’ Location Tours compared to the same period last year. The breaks are even starting to outsell tours to ‘Emmerdale’ filming locations by 22% which shows that customers of Door2Tour.com are enjoying visiting those locations that have featured in their favourite TV shows.

Rachel Jones, Online PR & Marketing Co-ordinator for Door2Tour.com, said: “Our ‘Downton Abbey’ Location Tours have always been a popular choice for our customers, but the hype surrounding the third series has meant that our breaks are flying off the shelves. Literally, as soon as the new series aired, we were inundated with enquiries which resulted in many bookings. I think it goes to show that customers who missed out on the ‘Downton Abbey’ Location Tours that departed this year are taking heed of our advice and booking early to avoid disappointment for next year.”

The success and popularity of ‘Downton Abbey’ is also represented through its many award wins. In 2011, the show walked away with six Emmy Awards while this year saw Dame Maggie Smith pick up the Emmy for ‘Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series’ for her role in the show.

For those who are not familiar with the show, the drama is set in fictional ‘Downton Abbey’, the Yorkshire country house of the Earl and Countess of Grantham, and follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley Family and their servants during the reign of King George V.

Rachel Jones concluded: “At the moment there is plenty of availability on all of our ‘Downton Abbey’ Location Tours but this changes on a day by day basis. As time goes by it will become increasingly difficult to service demand for tours departing in 2013 therefore we are advising customers not to think about it for too long and instead secure their place now with a small deposit and pay the rest of the balance next year.”

Door2Tour.com offer a wide variety of ‘Downton Abbey’ Location Tours including day trips and overnight coach packages which include return coach travel, one night’s accommodation with bed and breakfast, entrance to Highclere Castle and the Egyptian Exhibition, plus excursions to Oxford and Henley On Thames.

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The BFI London Film Festival Celebrates its 56th Anniversary this October

The BFI 56 th London Film Festival is taking to London’s Southbank for 12 days of film screenings, workshops and live Q&As from 10-21 October. Ticket prices range from £7 for weekday matinees to £25 for opening and closing night galas. Every year the festival attracts both heavyweight Hollywood names and indie film makers just starting out on their cinematic careers. The festival is particularly highly praised for its dedication to foreign language, documentary and animated films.

There will be around 200 features and 100 shorts including world premiers, including special screenings of The Artist, We Need to Talk about Kevin and a selection of British films such as Dreams of a Life. The festival will close with the European premier of Great Expectations. One of the most eagerly awaited documentaries, Crossfire Hurricane, a film portrait of The Rolling Stones, will also be released at the Festival and transmitted via satellite to local cinemas around the country.

Alongside the extensive list of screenings, there will be informal Q&A sessions, guest appearances, workshops and masterclasses. More information about the festival can be found on bfi.org.uk or LondonTown.com, the number on Internet site for London.

To make the most of the extensive list of screenings and events, a stay in the capital is in order. Finding hotels close to the Southbank has never been easier thanks to HotelMap.com. London hotels are clearly displayed on a map of the capital which can be dragged to reveal other locations, landmarks and transport connections. Users can find hotels using the search function and filter based on price and date.

Displayed on each hotel’s icon, accurately marked on a map of London, are price, availability, discount and star rating. Users can also access more hotel information, user reviews and booking, which is carried out directly with the hotel.

One hotel close to the BFI Southbank currently available in October is the four-star Park Plaza Country Hall. Rooms are available at this modern, stylish hotel from £135 per night thanks to a 67% discount achieved exclusively through HotelMap.com.

Alternatively, just across the Thames, the three-star Strand Palace, a beautiful Art Deco hotel in the heart of theatre land, is available from £128 per room, per night. This includes another exclusive discount, this time of 85%.

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London’s Annual Yoga Show Returns to the Prestigious National Hall in Olympia

Over 200 exhibitors are heading to the eighth annual Yoga Show in London’s National Hall in Olympia for three days of yoga heaven. Whether beginner or experienced, everyone will find something of interest at this year’s show. From children’s yoga to the latest yoga trends the entire yoga spectrum is covered.

There will be free classes, more advanced and niche bookable workshops, stalls selling everything from yoga mats to yoga holidays and plenty of advice from expert yoga professionals.

The show runs from 26 to 28 October and tickets cost between £8 and £22. More information can be found at omyogashow.com or LondonTown.com.

To minimise stress and ensure visitors have a blissed-out Yoga Show experience, LondonTown.com is offering discounts on a number of hotels in the vicinity of Olympia.

Amongst the cheap London hotel offers available via LondonTown.com is the Hilton London Olympia Hotel. This four star modern property is now available from £78 per room, per night thanks to an exclusive LondonTown.com discount of 76%. It has 24-hour room service, a fitness centre, in-house parking (from £35) and WiFi (from £14.99). Checkout is at the rather appealingly late hour of 12pm.

The second cheap London hotel LondonTown.com suggests is certain to appeal to bargain hunters. It may only be a two-star property, but family-run Kensington West Hotel Londonoffers great value thanks to an 81% discount from LondonTown.com. Room rates now start at a mere £32 per night. For a location this good, the Kensington West Hotel London cannot be beaten on price.

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LondonTown.com ofrece fabulosas ofertas de hoteles para el 56 BFI London Film Festival

La semana pasada, el director del festival de cine BFI Clare Stewart presentó el programa del festival de cine más emblemático de la ciudad, el 56 BFI London Film Festival, que se inaugurará el 10 de octubre y finalizará el 21 de octubre.

Este año seguirán presentándose grandes nombres del cine internacional en una combinación de grandes galardones y muestras de películas recientes y exclusivos estrenos. Este año el festival comenzará con la proyección de Frankenweenie de Tim Burton, una película animada en 3D con la técnica stop-motion.

La gala de inauguración se transmitirá en directo desde el cine Odeon de Leicester Square al BFI IMAX por primera vez. Los fans podrán ver al mismísimo Tim Burton además de estrellas como Winona Ryder y Martin Short.

LondonTown.com, la principal web de Londres, prepara la acción cinematográfica con fabulosas ofertas y descuentos de Londres hoteles para los visitantes (¡y también los autóctonos!) que quieran aprovechar el festival al máximo y disfrutar de su propia alfombra roja.

Las parejas pueden ahorrar el 70% en un hotel de lujo de 4 estrellas de Pimlico: elDoubletreeby Hilton Hotel Westminster está en el otro margen del río desde el edificio de MI5 y todas sus habitaciones disponen de su propio Apple Mac. Se pueden conseguir habitaciones dobles por 129 libras la noche, un gran descuento del precio estándar de 434 libras.

Para disfrutar del clásico glamour de Londres, el Crown Plaza London St James, a unos veinte minutos a pie del centro BFI en el Southbank, ofrece habitaciones dobles desde 133 libras la noche, un fabuloso descuento del 78%. Construido en 1897, solía ser un hotel clásico para los aristócratas… ¡y ahora tú puedes ser uno de ellos!

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LondonTown.com offers scene stealing hotel deals for 56th BFI London Film Festival

Last week, the BFI Festival Director Clare Stewart announced the program for the city’s highest profile film festival, the 56th BFI London Film Festival, which opens on October 10 th and runs until October 21st.

This year’s event continues to bring big names from international cinema, combining prizes and showcases for recently-released films along with stand-alone premiers. This year the festival will begin with a screening of Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, a stop-motion 3D animated movie.

The Opening Gala will be live-streamed from the Odeon Leicester Square to the BFI IMAX for the first time ever; fans can expect to catch a glimpse of Burton himself, as well as stars Winona Ryder and Martin Short.

LondonTown.com, the internet’s number one site for London, is already preparing for the action with a wealth of excellent deals and discounts on London hotels for visitors (and locals!) who want to make the most of the festival and enjoy their own bit of red-carpet glory.

Couples can save 70% off a 4* luxury hotel in Pimlico: the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Westminster is the other side of the river from the MI5 building, and every room comes equipped with its own Apple Mac. You can get a room there for £129 per night for a double – down from its standard rate of £434.

For some classic London glamour, the Crown Plaza London St James, around a twenty minute walk to the BFI centre on London’s Southbank, has double rooms from £133 per night, a discount of 78%. Built in 1897, this was a classic hotel for visiting aristocrats – and now you can be one too…!

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The Ski and Snowboard Show is the Best Way to Kick Off the Winter Season

The Metro Snow Ski and Snowboard Show returns to Earl’s Court from 31 October to 4 November. The largest dedicated skiing and snowboarding show is the best place to kick start the winter season with bargain ski trips up for grabs, discounted gear and clothing on sale, tips and advice from the experts readily available, loads of destination information and of course an amazing display of speed, skill and aerial acrobatics from professional skiers and snowboarders.

Although focusing on skiing and snowboarding, The Ski and Snowboard Show also highlights other winter-wonderland snow-based activities such as husky sledding, ice skating, curling and Nordic skiing. Tickets are reasonably priced at £10-£14 for adults with children under 16 entering free. More information can be found on LondonTown.com or the event’s website skiandsnowboard.co.uk.

For those wanting to enjoy a few days ‘on the snow’ exploring every corner of The Ski and Snowboard Show, LondonTown.com points out that it makes sense to book a stay in one of the London hotels in the area. To make life easier – i.e. cheaper – it has reduced rates at a selection of London hotels including the three-star K&K Hotel George and the budget two-star Garden View Hotel London. Discounts are as much as 56% on the regular rate making the capital a much more affordable city indeed.

The K&K Hotel George is a mid-range period property in Kensington, just five minutes from Earl’s Court. There is a cute garden, fitness centre and lounge and an impressive buffet breakfast is available. Room rates now start at £151 per night.

The Garden View Hotel London is located just across the road from Earl’s Court. The hotel is basic but the staff is friendly and helpful and it offers good value for money for the area. Room rates now start at £71 per night.

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Michael McIntyre Returns for a Long-Awaited UK Tour with 14 London Gigs

Putting aside his hosting duties on the Comedy Roadshow, Michael McIntyre is taking on the O2 Arena all by himself as he returns for a hotly anticipated UK-wide stand-up tour. Performing an astonishing eight gigs at the O2 Arena in September before continuing on a UK-wide tour, McIntyre doesn’t stop there. He will return to London to do a further six nights at Wembley Arena in November.

McIntyre will perform at the O2 Arena from 26 September through to 6 October. Tickets are priced at £35 and doors open at 8pm.

Hailed as the best stand-up comedian to emerge from the UK in years, The Telegraph has described him as ‘quite simply, top-to-toe hilarious’. He has risen through the ranks from a jobbing comedian to the host of his own stand-up show, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, broadcast live on BBC One to millions of viewers and he was recently a judge on Britain’s Got Talent. McIntyre’s infectious act is always stuffed with genuinely laugh-out-loud moments and a fun packed show is guaranteed when he returns this autumn with plenty of new material.

Not one for leaving a crowd wanting, McIntyre’s show could well run late into the evening. LondonTown.com therefore suggests a stay in the capital in one of the many hotels in London located close to the O2 Arena.

Two of the best options are the Radisson Blu Edwardian New Providence Wharf and theHoliday Inn Express London Greenwich. LondonTown.com, the number one Internet site for London , has secured exclusive discounts at these and many other hotels in London this year, so rooms at these two hotels have been slashed by 88% and 77% respectively. That brings per night rates to £62 for the Radisson Blu and £57 for the Holiday Inn Express.

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Comedian John Bishop Adds a Second Date at the O2 Arena

Due to popular demand, comedian John Bishop has added another London date to his nationwide autumn stand-up comedy tour. John will now take to the stage of London’s O2 Arena for two consecutive nights of side-splitting comedy on 24 and 25 October. Doors open at 8pm and tickets cost £30.

John bowled over 400,000 comedy fans on his UK tour in 2011 and attracted a huge fan base in the process. So much so his DVD was the fastest selling stand-up DVD of all time. He has appeared on panel shows and TV programmes including Skins and Ken Loach’s Route Irish and even had his own BBC One show, John Bishop’s Britain.

Critics love the self-deprecating, sarcastic satire of John’s humour with the Daily Telegraph calling him a ‘comedy superstar’ and the Evening Standard stating he is ‘a gloriously gifted storyteller’.

With the comedy expected to run on into the late evening, LondonTown.com – the number one Internet site for London – is advising ticket holders to book a stay in one of the manyLondon hotels in the area. Aside from attractive discounted rates available exclusively through LondonTown.com every booking receives more than £250 of extra goodies such as free walking tours, guides and two for one attraction passes.

One of the best value hotels near the O2 Arena is the four-star Radisson Blue Edwardian New Providence Wharf. Room rates at this sleek and stylish contemporary riverside property have been slashed by as much as 88% bringing prices to a mere £62 per room, per night. The hotel also boasts a spa and swimming pool so guests can enjoy a truly relaxing break in the capital.

Another value-packed hotel in the area is the three-star Holiday Inn Express London Greenwich. Its room rates have been reduced by 77% so prices now start at £57 per night. Facilities are more basic but the location is excellent and the service is second to none, as expected from Holiday Inn.

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Londoners to see the city become a Speakeasy in October

From October 8 th 2012, London will become a cocktail fan’s heaven, as London Cocktail Week takes over the city for seven days of hedonism, mixology and bus tours that will take in some of the city’s best drinking venues and cocktail spots.

For Harvey Wallbanger worshippers and Cosmopolitan cravers, HotelMap, the interactive hotel finder for London, is coming up with some excellent deals on hotels near King’s Cross for a central base on the great week of Cocktail-related fun.

London Cocktail Week 2012 will be London’s biggest drinks festival, with over 100 bars in the city centre taking place, as well as special buses running from 6pm to midnight which participants will be able to hop-on and hop-off along the way.

The week will be based at the first floor bar in Selfridges, at the end of Oxford Street, which will be transformed into a Speakeasy for the duration of the week. There will be seminars, pop-up bars, tastings, workshops and shaking and making lessons for big cocktail fans.

All of the week’s partner venues will be offering £4 cocktails throughout the week, and participants who pick up their wristband at the start of proceedings will also be able to use the Routemaster bus for free.

If you’re up for making a holiday off it and coming for a few days mid-week, for three nights, from 11th -14th October, HotelMap has found some excellent offers near the King’s Cross area: £76 per night for a serviced apartment with Studios 2 Let Serviced Apartments.

For £134 per night – a discount of 68% – just a few metres west down Euston Road, the 4* Hilton London Euston also has double rooms in its luxury surroundings for visitors to the area.

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The UK Rock, Paper, Scissors Championships Return to the Knight’s Templar Pub

For light hearted fun and good-natured competition the UK Rock, Paper, Scissors Championships are hard to beat. Returning to the Knight’s Templar Pub on Chancery Lane for the sixth time, this year’s event is expected to be more challenging than ever. Around 250 people take part and battle it out with their fists of rock, palms of paper and scissor-like fingers for £100 and much respect.

For those that don’t like to stand in the limelight alone, there is a team competition where teams are allowed to change tactics and game play throughout the event. This informal affair takes place on 30 October. More information can be found on LondonTown.com, the number one Internet site for London.

LondonTown.com also has information on hotels in London close to Chancery Lane and the Knight’s Templar Pub.

First up is the Waldorf Hilton Hotel London. This five-star hotel on Aldwych is one of the capitals most famous properties. It’s a grand, Edwardian property with heated indoor pool, gym, steam room and impeccably furnished rooms. This historic hotel is also a popular spot for afternoon tea, which is a must when in the capital for a few days. Rooms are available from £144 per night, thanks to an exclusive discount of 84% available only through LondonTown.com.

For something truly special, LondonTown.com suggests the Chancery Court Hotel, another five-star period property. This palatial hotel is exquisitely decorated with rich wood and marble and decadent chandeliers. To top it all off, it has an award-winning spa and restaurant. Rooms are more expensive at £225 per night, but the 50% discount gives you an excuse to book now.

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Michael McIntyre vuelve 14 actuaciones en Londres parte de su esperada gira del Reino Unido

Dejando a un lado sus obligaciones de presentador del Comedy Roadshow, Michael McIntyre actuará en el O2 Arena en la vuelta para su esperada gira por el Reino Unido. Con ocho actuaciones en el O2 Arena durante septiembre antes de continuar su gira por el Reino Unido, McIntyre no para ahí. Volverá a Londres para otras seis actuaciones más en Wembley Arena en noviembre.

McIntyre actuará en el O2 Arena desde el 26 de septiembre hasta el 6 de octubre. El precio de los tickets es 35 libras y es a las 8 de la tarde.

Considerado el mejor cómico que el Reino Unido ha visto en años, según describe el periódico The Telegraph se trata de un humorista de la cabeza a los pies que ha pasado de ser un cómico esporádico a convertirse en presentador de su propio show, Comedy Roadshow de Michael McIntyre, que se transmite en directo por la cadena televisiva BBC One a millones de telespectadores, además de haber sido juez recientemente en el programa Britain’s Got Talent. La divertida actuación de McIntyre siempre está replete de momentos de ingeniosas carcajadas y la risa está asegurada cuando vuelva en otoño con nuevo material.

Como acostumbra a satisfacer a su público hasta el final, quizás la actuación de McIntyre termine tarde por la noche. LondonTown.com recomienda alojarse en la capital en uno de los muchos hoteles de Londres ubicados cerca del O2 Arena.

Dos de las mejores opciones son el Radisson Blu Edwardian New Providence Wharf y elHoliday Inn Express London Greenwich. LondonTown.com, la web número uno de Londres, ha obtenido exclusivos descuentos en estos y otros hoteles de Londres para este año, así que el precio de las habitaciones de ambos hoteles se ha reducido un 88% y 77% respectivamente. Así que el precio por noche es de 62 libras en el Radisson Blu y 57 en el for the Holiday Inn Express.

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Jumeirah Emirates Towers named Best Business Hotel in the Middle East by UK Business Traveller Magazine

Jumeirah Emirates Towers, the luxury city hotel and a Dubai landmark, was presented with the award for the Best Business Hotel in the Middle East at the Business Traveller Magazine Awards. Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts were also awarded Best Business Hotel Chain in the Middle East.

The Business Traveller Magazine Awards are judged independently by the magazine’s readers and are widely recognised as the leading accolades in the business travel industry.

On receiving the award at the ceremony held at The Royal Garden Hotel in London, Imran Changezi, Hotel Manager of Jumeirah Emirates Towers, said: “We are delighted to win this award, even more so as it is the 11th consecutive year that we have been named Best Business Hotel in the Middle East. It is a testament to the consistency of our service standards, and demonstrates that we are still the hotel of choice for business travellers to the Middle East.”

Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts have also been recognised as the Best Business Hotel Chain in the Middle East on several occasions, most recently in 2011.

An iconic landmark where business meets pleasure, Jumeirah Emirates Towers hotel in Dubai is located in the heart of the city, within a few minutes’ walk from Dubai International Financial Centre. Offering everything that a business traveller would need, the 400 rooms and suites luxury hotel recently underwent an extensive renovation, refurbishing all of its rooms as well as the signature steak restaurant The Rib Room and Al Nafoorah restaurant, specialising in Lebanese cuisine. In addition, Jumeirah Emirates Towers recently opened Alfie’s restaurant in the Boulevard, the award-winning shopping destination connecting Jumeirah Emirates Towers Office Tower and Hotel Tower.

Its business facilities are what set Jumeirah Emirates Towers apart from other business hotels in the region. The hotel’s conference and business facilities are second to none – 12 boardroom style Congress Rooms are situated on Level 1-5 in the Hotel Tower and level 3 is occupied by a fully equipped Biz Pod business centre, with state of the art life-size video conferencing system, along with three intimate boardrooms that are open 24 hours daily.

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Eurostar 2013 Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel Opens For Entries

The search is on for the best sustainable travel initiatives in Europe as the 2013 Eurostar Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel opens for entries.

The Award, which is free to enter, recognises pioneering sustainable travel schemes from Belgium, France and the UK that are leading the way in encouraging people to adopt more sustainable forms of travel, helping improve quality of life, reducing congestion and pollution, and cutting CO2 emissions.

Entry to the Award is open until the 30th October 2012, and up to two winners will be awarded with a share of the £30,000 prize money at a prestigious ceremony in London in June 2013. In addition to prize money, winning the Award offers access to a package of benefits including a platform to promote the organisation’s work and introductions to policymakers, potential funders and investors, as well as access to the prestigious Ashden Alumni network.

The winners of this year’s first ever Eurostar Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel were the City of Ghent in Belgium and UK car-sharing website liftshare.com. Eurostar CEO Nicolas Petrovic presented their Awards at a prestigious ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society in London on 30 May.

Paul Teerlink, Ghent City Manager and Daniel Termont, Mayor of Ghent said: “We see this Award as confirmation of our long-term efforts to make Ghent an enjoyable cycling city. The prize money will be spent on new bicycle projects and initiatives and will help us in reaching our final goal to be carbon neutral by 2050.”

Speaking at this year’s Ashden Awards, Eurostar CEO Nicolas Petrovic said: “Participating in the Ashden Awards has been a great experience and it has been particularly exciting to hear from so many people who are so passionate about sustainable travel. We look forward to coming back next year.”

The Eurostar Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel is part of Eurostar’s Tread Lightly programme to reduce the business’ impact on the environment and encourage people to switch to more sustainable modes of transport. To apply for the 2012 Award visitwww.ashden.org/travel_awards.

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Etihad Airways set to expand in South America

Etihad Airways is keen to expand its footprint in South America, said President and Chief Executive Officer, James Hogan.

Mr Hogan said that the airline is currently in discussions with South American-based carriers about potential commercial partnerships.

Etihad Airways currently has 38 codeshare partnerships with airlines around the globe, resulting in a combined network of 323 destinations, more than any other Middle Eastern airline.

Beyond its own organic growth, codeshare partnerships and equity stakes are a significant and growing part of the airline’s expansion strategy. Etihad Airways holds a 30 per cent stake of airberlin, 40 per cent of Air Seychelles, 3 per cent of Aer Lingus and 10 per cent of Virgin Australia.

The airline will launch its first route in South America on June 1, 2013, with daily non-stop flights between Sao Paulo, Brazil and its home base of Abu Dhabi, the capitol of the United Arab Emirates.

Etihad Airways’ service will also provide seamless connections from Brazil to the airline’s global network, offering connectivity over Abu Dhabi to markets in the Gulf Co-operation Council, the Indian Subcontinent and Asia.

Mr Hogan spoke of the significance of the new route, in particular the economic impact.

Brazil is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, now ranking as the sixth largest since overtaking the UK in 2011. Bi-lateral trade between Brazil and the UAE is valued at nearly US$3 billion annually, with authorities aiming to lift this to US$10 billion within five years.

“There are 25 major Brazilian companies with offices in Abu Dhabi. Mubadala, the development company of the Government of Abu Dhabi, last year signalled its intent to begin investments in Brazil, valued at up to US$13 billion.

“According to the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Brazil trade volumes with the Arab world grew by 28 per cent in 2011 to reach US$25 billion. This is forecasted to grow by a further 10-15% this year.

“In addition to supporting the growing ties between Brazil and the Middle East, this new route complements Etihad Airways’ recent expansion in North Asia, including the recent introduction of services to Chengdu and Shanghai and the upcoming increase to daily Tokyo services with connections to Nagoya from April 2013.

“With some of the fastest connecting flight times to China and Japan, Brazil’s largest and fifth largest trade partner, respectively, Etihad Airways is providing vital air links between the world’s major emerging markets.”

Mr Hogan was in Sao Paulo late last week to meet prominent local diplomats, travel industry executives, media and corporate representatives.

Via EPR Network
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Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel Shanghai opens the first Talise spa in China

Talise Spa, the signature spa concept from the Jumeirah, opens its door for the first time in China at the Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel Shanghai. At Talise Spa, all treatments are personalised to cater to a guest’s individual needs, transforming mind, body and soul on a journey to self-discovery.

Talise Spa in Jumeirah’s five star hotel in Shanghai is an oasis of Oriental healing combining traditional wellbeing wisdom perfected over centuries in China, Asia and the Middle East with the latest international high-tech products and spa luxuries. Located beside the uniquely designed Fitness Centre on the 7th Floor of the hotel, Talise Spa sits at the base of Jumeirah Shanghai’s Yu Cong Atrium, a 14-storey feng shui passageway ‘linking heaven and earth’. Designed according to Chinese feng shui philosophy, every detail in Talise Spa is carefully placed to ensure an ambience of peace and harmony.

The Talise Spa at Jumeirah Himalayas features three treatment spa suites: the Dubai Suite, the Shanghai Suite and the Himalayas Suite, with elements inspired after Dubai, Shanghai and the Himalayas. All the treatment Spa Suites are en-suite with their private showers, whirlpool bathtubs and steam rooms.

Talise Spa offers a wide range of facials including some using high-tech marine products from French brand Phytomer; and all Talise Spa massages will use 100% bio-organic essential oils by Austrian natural cosmetics company STYX. The signature and exclusive Talise Spa treatments include “Impressions of the Himalayas” and “Luxury Arabian Gold Bliss”. Along with Talise Spa’s highly experienced spa therapists, a licensed Master Therapist of Traditional Chinese Medicine is available for pre-booked healing sessions.

Before or after their treatment, guests can get their mind to a calm, Zen tune by admiring the landscaped Relaxation Garden from the Spa Lounge whilst savouring traditional Chinese medicinal teas and tonics. Guests can also complement their spa experience with fresh and healthy flavours from the Talise’s Spa menu including fresh juices, healthy smoothies and tasty high-nutrition snacks that are low in fat, salt and cholesterol.

Guests of Talise Spa have access to the 24-hour Fitness Centre of Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel, located on the same floor and fully equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, trained instructors, and a 20-metre indoor swimming pool. The Fitness Centre may also provide a whole range of services tailored to guest’s desired results.

To celebrate the opening, Talise Spa is offering a special promotional package at RMB780 net for a 2 hours and 15 minutes treatment which includes a 90minutes deep relaxing body massage with organic essential oil, a unique self-heating sea mud for back followed by a mini facial. The regular price for this package is RMB1,350 net. This promotion is available until October 31, 2012 and cannot be used in conjunction with other promotions.

For inquiries and reservation, please contact Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel Fitness Centre at (86 21) 3858 8888 ext. 7200 or email jhhspa@jumeirah.com.

Via EPR Network
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Dorothy’s red shoes land in London

From 20 th October 2012, some of Hollywood’s finest outfits and most famous looks of the silver screen will be animating SW7, bringing California movie-star history and glamour to the Victorian halls and corridors of one of London’s most popular old museums.

From Dorothy’s Wizard of Oz dress and shoes to Jonny Depp’s infamous Jack Sparrow get-up as part of The Pirates of the Caribbean, the Hollywood Costume exhibit is a highlight of the V&A autumn/winter displays.

The V&A, originally built in 1852 with the précis to inspire British designers and manufacturers. The museum continues to develop a line along this heritage with many of its major temporary exhibitions taking in textiles, fashion, haberdashery and material design principles of the last two centuries.

LondonTown.com website is encouraging cinephiles and fashion fans keen to make the trip up to London for the exhibition to use the company’s online services to find cheap London hotels near the SW7 area.

The V&A is part of a larger complex of some of London’s major Victorian museums and galleries, forming a triangle with the Natural History Museum and Science Museum.

LondonTown.com secures huge discounts on London hotels, from 5* luxury apartments to big-brand chains and travel inns. For example, visitors coming up for the exhibition’s second weekend, 27 th -29 th October, can get up to 81% off rooms at the Copthorne Tara Hotel Kensington, starting at £76 for a double in this 4* property.

Or four £137 on the opening weekend – 20 th October – get 85% off the luxury town house property Fifty Four Boutique Hotel, which also offers free cancellation as part of the deal.

Via EPR Network
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Run to the Beat in London this October

London’s ‘music half marathon’ is back for its fifth year this October 21st, and with over 18,000 runners expected to turn up, 2012’s Run to the Beat is set to be a crowd-pleaser, as well as a good work-out.

Taking on a 13-mile course which begins at the 02 Arena in Greenwich, and takes on a south-eastward bent towards Woolwich Arsenal before bending around underneath Charlton, up and around Maze Hill and then back towards Greenwich, runners will be accompanied by some great live acts along the way.

But the beauty of Run to the Beat is the music. Not only are iPods allowed, they are actively encouraged, and the event will also house up to 12 stages along the route with live music selected by City Showcase.

The main stage will be at the start and finish line, where supporters and runners alike can warm up (and down) with some of 2012’s one-to-watch acts. There will also be stages and iPod stations along the way for a musical pump-up, should it be necessary.

Last year’s event included acts such as Calvin Harris and Annie Mac, with Tinie Tempah welcoming home the runners in 2010. LondonTown.com, the number one internet site for London, is on hand to help out visitors and locals who want to make the most of the weekend, with some deals on hotels in London for this mid-October weekend.

Four star Radisson Edwardian New Providence Wharf, located near Canary Wharf, is available for just £62 per night, a discount of 88% – the perfect way to prepare in peace and quiet. On the other side of the river, in Shoreditch is the RE London Shoreditch Hotelwith prices starting at £91 for the same night.

Via EPR Network
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