Tag Archives: Recreation

Affordable art goes on sale in Battersea Park as 120 galleries gather for the popular spring art fair

The biannual Affordable Art Fair, which returns to Battersea Park this spring, from Thursday 15th to Sunday 18th March 2012, is the leading showcase in the UK for contemporary art under £4,000. A regular feature in Battersea Park since it first appeared in 1999, the fair has become a well-loved institution in London ‘s art scene and anyone wanting to pick up some affordable art can save even more money by booking a cheap London hotel so they can enjoy the fair and stay in London for the weekend.

Gathering 120 art galleries from all over Europe in one place, the fair offers visitors the chance to buy original works of art by up and coming artists without paying over the odds for their name and reputation. Alongside are works by well-known artists at relatively low prices – flower paintings by Marc Quinn, a self-portrait by Sam Taylor-Wood and a dot painting by Damien Hirst all featured in last year’s October art fair.

The price ceiling of £4,000 and the compulsory labelling of all artwork means visitors can see, at a glance, what they can and can’t afford, and the huge array of paintings, sculpture, photography and prints means there is something to suit every taste.

Every fair has an emerging artists’ showcase promoting the work of recent graduates and this spring the theme is ‘Sum of Substance’, an exhibition curated by art and design publishers Jotta featuring 19 artists from well known arts colleges including the Slade, Camberwell College of Arts and Chelsea College of Art and Design among others.

The fair also has a programme of free and informal talks and tours as well as a crèche and an education area, making this an event that all the family can enjoy, even children as young as two years old. For those who prefer to avoid the weekend rush late view tickets, available for Wednesday and Thursday nights, are the best option, giving shoppers the chance to browse the art in a more relaxed setting with a glass of wine to hand.

After a successful inaugural art fair on Hampstead Heath in October last year, the Affordable Art Fair returns to the North London park again this autumn so there will be two further Affordable Art Fairs later in the year: at Battersea, from 25th to 28th October 2012; and at Hampstead, 1st to 4th November 2012. The AAF also has a global presence with ten fairs (and two affiliate fairs) in six countries across three continents.

For more information on the Affordable Art Fair, visit LondonTown.com where you can find the latest information on hotel rooms, availability and prices, all on one website which also gives useful information on London ‘s sights, events and restaurants. If you are bringing the family, you won’t be alone, the website also lists family friendly activities, hotels and restaurants.

Via EPR Network
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Superbreak Gets Ready To Take Part In 3 Peak Challenge

Superbreak, the UK based tour operator, has announced its staff’s biggest challenge yet in aid of the Help for Heroes charity, as they attempt the infamous Three Peaks Challenge.

On the 17th July, 14 staff members from Superbreak will start their gruelling climb as they attempt the National Three Peaks Challenge. The gruelling climb will see the group start at the bottom of Snowdon in Wales, before taking a 4 hour drive to scale the heights of the Scafell Pike in the heart of Cumbria. Both climbs are expected to take the group over 5 hours and the journey doesn’t end there. On the 18th July, Superbreak staff will take on the National Three Peaks’ highest mountain – Ben Nevis.

Founded in October 2007, Help for Heroes offers practical support and help to wounded servicemen and women from Afghanistan and Iraq on their return to the UK. The charity’s message is clear and simple: to help ordinary people doing extraordinary things to live with the consequences of being wounded in the service of their country. The money raised goes towards projects such as funding the new swimming pool and gym complex at DRMC Headley Court to help wounded servicemen and women rehabilitate.

Via EPR Network
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Superbreak Packs In More Customer Experience With Microformats

Superbreak, the short break specialist, has enhanced the hotels and reviews section of its website to support Google’s Rich Snippets.

Rich Snippets give users convenient summary information about their search results at a glance. Google currently supports data about reviews and people so, when users search for a product or service, they can easily see reviews and ratings, and when searching for a person, they’ll get help distinguishing between people with the same name.

Superbreak is among the first in the travel industry to utilise the new Rich Snippets feature and expect to gain new visibility on Google’s search result pages, with Google’s own experiments showing that users are more likely to click through if they see relevant and useful information from the Web page.

With research showing that eight out of ten consumers seek reviews as part of the shopping process, this access to the opinions and experiences of other users is transforming the way that people make purchase decisions.

Via EPR Network
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It’s Turbo Charged at the Petronas F1 Malaysian Grand Prix

It’s the hottest ticket in town when the third race of the year for the Formula One World Championship comes to the Sepang International Circuit from the 2nd to 4th of April 2010. The heat and the screeching sound of tires against the asphalt surface would not deter die-hard fans of the race to celebrate the 2010 Formula One PETRONAS Malaysian Grand Prix. Thousands of spectators from all corners of the world are expected to attend the qualifying races and actual race day itself to watch their favourite team’s drivers battle it out on the track. Kuala Lumpur hotels are ready to welcome and assist their guests in ensuring a hassle-free experience at the race track.

Located approximately 60km south of the capital city of Kuala Lumpur and minutes away from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, the Sepang International Circuit has successfully hosted the 2010 Formula One PETRONAS Malaysian Grand Prix since its inaugural opening in 1999. This year, it would again play hosts to world-class drivers from renowned teams such as Fernando Alonso from Ferrari, Lewis Hamilton from McLaren-Mercedes and Michael Schumacher who’s making a comeback with the Mercedes Benz GP Ltd team. They would pitch their cars and their own expertise on the 5.54 kilometers circuit noted for its sweeping corners, wide straights and one tight hairpin.

Lee Lai Huat, CEO of HolidayCity.com and a fan of Michael Schumacher said, “I’d recommend that anybody who’s a great fan of the Formula One to make at least one trip to watch the race at the Sepang International Circuit. It has a fantastic layout that allows optimum viewing and visitors would definitely enjoy the friendly, festival-like atmosphere.” He went on further to remark, “With great rates for Kuala Lumpur accommodation offered by HolidayCity.com, fans that are coming to the 2010 Formula One PETRONAS Malaysian Grand Prix would certainly be able to put aside their worries on where to stay.”

HolidayCity.com offers attractive rates at the following Kuala Lumpur hotels and many others:

Radius International Hotel Kuala Lumpur (3 star)
Starting rate from MYR160

Vistana Kuala Lumpur (3 star)
Starting rate from MYR180

Cititel Mid Valley Kuala Lumpur (4 star)
Starting rate from MYR210

the ZON All Suites Residences on the park Kuala Lumpur (4 star)
Starting rate from MYR270

The Legend Hotel Kuala Lumpur (5 star)
Starting rate from MYR210

Via EPR Network
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Stars of X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent Appear Live in the Same Shows at Butlins

Butlins is proud to announce that for the first time at a UK holiday centre, and exclusive to them, stars of both X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent will be appearing in the same live shows at the three beachside Resorts, Bognor Regis, Minehead and Skegness, in 2010.

Stars of X-Factor and Britain's Got Talent Appear Live in the Same Shows at Butlins

Many of the stars are from the most recent shows – from X-Factor there will be Olly, Stacey, Danyl, Lloyd, Jamie, Lucie, Rachel and Miss Frank with Stavros Flatley, George Sampson and Faces of Disco from Britain’s Got Talent (stars from the 2010 show appearing from July). Both brands will be represented on weekend and mid-week breaks.

Prices for Butlins UK breaks start from just £59pp per break based on four people sharing a Silver self-catering apartment at any of the three holiday parks. To book a Butlins break call 0845 070 4730 or visit www.butlins.com (The maximum call charge is 2p per minute from a BT landline. Calls from other networks may vary).

Via EPR Network
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Superbreak Sees Success In Theatre Breaks

Superbreak, the UK short break operator, has reported the success of its theatre breaks in 2009. As the year drew to a close, Superbreak made its 50,000th booking for a West End theatre package.

The undisputed hit of the 2009 West End theatre programme was Lionel Bart’s ‘Oliver!’, which drew packed audiences with its clever casting of established big name stars such as Rowan Atkinson and Griff Rhys Jones. Perennial favourites among theatre fans such as ‘Lion King’, ‘Dirty Dancing’ and ‘Wicked’ also proved to be popular.

Superbreak’s Marketing Director, Will Dunnett, said: “I’m certain 2010 will be the year of one or two surprises in the West End. ‘Love Never Dies’ promises to be the show of the year, and I’m certain it will be able to live up to comparisons as a sequel to the ever popular ‘Phantom of the Opera’. Film success and children power combined will also make ‘Shrek’ a sure fire hit at the box office. A London hotel and a trip to the theatre remains fantastic value and, because you will be staying in one of our fantastic selection of London Hotels, when you return f r o m the theatre you’ll get the star treatment yourself.”

Superbreak predicts similar success in 2010 for London theatre breaks. March will see the eagerly anticipated ‘Phantom…’ sequel, Love Never Dies open on the West End while Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-awaited production of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ is also set to debut in 2010. ‘Shrek, The Musical’ is also a highly anticipated show, following its opening on Broadway to rave reviews.

The New Year also sees Superbreak branching out into new territory with plenty of new productions opening. These include ‘Enron’ starring Samuel West and the star studded ‘The Misanthrope’ starring Hollywood favourites Keira Knightley and Damian Lewis. ‘Cat On A Hot Tin Roof’ also opens in 2010 at the Novello Theatre, Aldwych and stars James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashid, Adrian Lester and Sanaa Lathan.

Via EPR Network
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Heliski.com Unveils New ‘Heliski Finder’ Resource

Heliski.com, an online resource for heli-skiing and heli-boarding enthusiasts looking to plan the helicopter skiing trip of a lifetime, has unveiled their new “Heliski Finder” tool to help potential clients browse over 40 heliski operators around the globe.

Heliski.com Unveils New 'Heliski Finder' Resource

Visitors to Heliski.com will notice improved functionality with the introduction of the Heliski Finder tool, which gives heliskiing and heli-boarding fans a way of viewing different operators by geographic region on an interactive map. This is an invaluable tool as travel, accommodations, terrain and group make-up are important aspects for manyhelicopter skiers trying to choose among the over 40 heliskiing destinations. Having the interactive map helps illustrate not only where various operators are located, but also how close they are to city centers, major roads and highways, etc.

The Heliski Finder tool has many other capabilities beyond the map as well. A click on one of the individual operator beacons will take visitors to a custom page with a wealth of detail on their services. The information available includes but is not limited to: location, terrain description, standard pricing and packages, pricing for extra vertical, guests per helicopter, daily trips per group, helicopter type, nearby lodging and dining options, seasonal weather conditions, nearest airports, and unique features and amenities.

Heliski.com CPO (Chief Powder Officer) states, “As heli-skiing continues to experience an explosive growth in popularity, the need for a centralized database offering detailed information about the multitude of operators now available had become critical. However, presenting this information in an interactive and visually appealing manner that is easy to understand is also a challenge. After months of development, we are very proud to make the Heliski Finder available to individual and groups who are looking to empower themselves with the information to plan and book the heliski adventure of a lifetime.”

Some of the operators, mostly located in Canada, that can be researched through the Heliski Finder include: Canadian Mountain Holidays, Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing, TLH Heliskiing, Skeena Heliskiing, and Purcell Helicopter Skiing.

Whether you’re looking for a remote and wild experience, or something more luxurious and laid-back, the Heliski Finder can help you custom-build a heliskiing or heliboarding experience that will leave you counting the months until you can come back and do it all over again.

About Heliski.com

Heliski.com represents most Canadian heli skiing operators and many in Alaska and worldwide. Additionally, you will never be pressured or harassed by Heliski.com. A trip through Heliski.com does not require a premium cost and will probably save you money! Heliski.com also provides get real, objective information and recommendations on helicopter skiing operators. We’ve been there, skied that. We have skied with many of the operators, and can give you firsthand knowledge and advice. By representing so many operators, Heliski.com has no vested interest in any operator, and will provide honest and unbiased information.

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HolidayCity.com Takes to the Skies and Seas at LIMA 2009

Another exciting lineup and a large turnout is expected at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition from 1 – 5 December 2009. The 10th edition of LIMA 2009 promises to be an exceptional podium for manufacturers from the aerospace, maritime and related industries to present their latest technology and products to international buyers.

Strongly supported by the Government of Malaysia, the event attracts thousands of trade visitors such as government officials, military representatives and industry professionals who converge on the island of Langkawi since its inception nearly 20 years ago. Those who make last minute room bookings for Langkawi hotels may be left disappointed with reservations being made months in advance.

Exhibitors at LIMA 2009 would focus on getting their fair share of presenting their wares and products to key decision makers from Asia Pacific countries that are charting exceptional growth in both the commercial aviation and defense sectors. Each year, million dollars business deals would be clinched in addition to the signing of memorandum of understanding. An astounding USD3.9 billion in transactions was recorded in 2007 from numerous business deals, MOUs and letter of offer, and others. This year, over 450 exhibitors are expected to participate with over 80 aircrafts and 70 warships and vessels in attendance. The popularity of LIMA 2009 attracted the participation of 24 countries worldwide and over 40,000 trade visitors are expected to throng the expansive Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre.

Lee Lai Huat, CEO, HolidayCity.com, remarked, “Although LIMA 2009 is mainly catered to the commercial and defense markets, it does not mean that it is not popular with the ordinary folks. The last day of the event is open to the public and events such as aerial and static aircraft display would be held to entertain them.” He further remarked, “The otherwise quiet and peaceful island of Langkawi would suddenly come alive with excitement and festivity. HolidayCity.com is happy to join in the celebration by providing great savings and fantastic room rates for Langkawi accommodation to ensure everybody gets the chance to experience LIMA 2009.”

HolidayCity.com offers attractive rates at the following hotels and many others:

Villa Molek Langkawi (3 star)
Starting rate MYR 575.00

Bella Vista Hotel Langkawi (3 star)
Starting rate MYR 404.00

Holiday Villa Beach Resort & Spa Langkawi (4 star)
Starting rate MYR 480.00

Four Seasons Resort Langkawi (5 star)
Starting rate USD 628.89

Tanjung Rhu Resort Langkawi (5 star)
Starting rate MYR 1,126.00

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The Rezidor Hotel Group Honoured For Profound Growth And Expansion In Africa

The Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the world’s fastest growing hotel companies, has been honoured for its ambitious business development across the African continent at the Hospitality Investment Conference Africa (HICA) in Sandton Sun, Gauteng, South Africa, on 4-6 November.

Andrew McLachlan, the group’s Vice President Business Development for Africa & the Indian Ocean Islands, was given the prestigious ‘Mover & Shaker’ award. The HICA prize is awarded to an individual who through their skills, ingenuity and energy has already had an extraordinary impact in the industry, and recognises his outstanding leadership role and contribution to hospitality investment in Africa.

Between January 2007 and March 2009 McLachlan tripled Rezidor’s portfolio from eight hotels (open or under development) in five African countries to 21 Hotels in Africa (open or under development) across 13 sub-Saharan African countries. Over this period the Rezidor portfolio expanded with properties in nations such as Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Mozambique, Zambia and South Africa under McLachlan’s headship.

The Hospitality Investment Conference Africa, is an annual event on the local and international hospitality and investment calendar. This year’s event was hosted by the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), in association with the conference’s founding partners and the Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism of South Africa.

The event proved to be a big success and was attended by the South African Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk. Mmatsatsi Marobe, CEO Tourism Business Council of South Africa, stated on the HICA website, “His attendance serves as confirmation of his commitment to promoting investment opportunities for South Africa and the continent as a whole. The department’s continued support for the conference, as well as the launch of the South African Tourism Investment Portfolio for 2009 at HICA serves as further confirmation”.

About The Rezidor Hotel Group
The Rezidor Hotel Group is one of the fastest growing hotel companies in the world. The group features a portfolio of more than 380 luxury hotels in operation and under development with 81,700 rooms in almost 60 countries including luxury hotels in London, Manchester and Edinburgh.

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HolidayCity.com Sails Down the River at Singapore River Regatta

The normally peaceful and serene ambiance of the Singapore River would be replaced with the grunts and groans of both men and women in sleek dragon boats as they race to the finishing line during the 27th Singapore River Regatta from 21 – 22 November 2009. Participants would be required to complete a short dash of 300 meters between the Elgin Bridge and Cavenagh Bridge. Thousands of spectators are expected to line the riverbanks to watch their favourite teams battle it. With visitors from the neighbouring countries expected to join the festivity, Singapore hotels could certainly look forward to a roaring business.

Participation in the 27th Singapore River Regatta is via 10- and 20-crew teams. This year, several categories are offered for each team type such as the National Championship, Tertiary, Public Service and Corporate. Up to 100 dragon boat teams are expected to participate in the regatta with the majority coming from private clubs in Singapore. Amateur paddlers would come face to face with seasoned racers, ensuring an exciting and entertaining time throughout the 2-day event. Organized by the Singapore Dragon Boat Association in partnership with the People’s Association and the Civil Service Club, Singapore River Regatta certainly not for the faint-hearted as it can be particularly challenging both physically and mentally.

Lee Lai Huat, CEO, HolidayCity.com, remarked, ‘The Singapore River Regatta is not-to-be-missed especially by those who like speed. It’s quite amazing to see participants in colourful uniforms paddle with all their strength all the way to the end.’ He further said, ‘The rhythmic beating of the drums is quite mesmerizing and further adds to the air of excitement and festivity. With thousands of spectators coming from near and far, HolidayCity.com is pleased to offer best deals and discounts for Singapore accommodation. After all, they shouldn’t be worrying about where to stay and instead focus on getting the best spots to cheer their teams to victory.’

HolidayCity.com offers attractive rates at the following hotels and many others:

Broadway Hotel Singapore (2 star)
Starting rate SGD90

Albert Court Hotel Singapore (3 star)
Starting rate SGD120

Victoria Hotel Singapore (3 star)
Starting rate SGD111

The Elizabeth Hotel Singapore (4 star)
Starting rate SGD180

Orchard Parade Hotel Singapore (4 star)
Starting rate SGD210

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Family Forest Fun for Peter Andre at Center Parcs

On 16th October, Center Parcs welcomed Peter Andre and his family to Elveden Forest, Suffolk to enjoy a short break with his family at the forest retreat. We asked him about his experience at Elveden Forest to see if it lived up to his expectations.

Family Forest Fun for Peter Andre at Center Parcs

Have you ever been to Center Parcs before this visit?

No, this was my first time to Center Parcs. I loved every minute of it, with so much for families to do.

Did you enjoy your weekend break at Center Parcs?

It was amazing, there was so much choice in the way of activities. You could never get bored and whatever the weather, there is always lots to do as a family.

Were there any activities you particularly enjoyed?

We loved the bikes. Junior had his own little bike, and Princess was in a little buggy on the back of mine. My brother Mike and I had such a laugh with the kids cycling through the forest.

What did your children enjoy most during your break?

I think the children enjoyed the ‘messy play’ the most. They were both covered in paint and spaghetti by the end of it!

Did you like your accommodation?

The accommodation was perfect for us. We were very comfortable there with loads of room and we had a pool table – so what more could you ask for? It was great space for entertaining in – we had the whole team in the lodge whilst we were filming. My manager Claire cooked dinner for us in there as well – which was great.

Would you bring your family back to Center Parcs?

Definitely, hopefully soon!

During their stay, Peter Andre and his family enjoyed an evening meal at Center Parcs’ American themed diner, Hucks, lunch at the Pancake House and afternoon meal at Foresters Inn.

After exploring the forest on bikes, Peter, Princess and Junior took part in the Messy Play and Lets Make It activities at the Time Out Club. Peter also used the gym facilities and had a relaxing massage at the Aqua Sana Spa

To take a look at what you and your family could do on a Center Parcs’ short break visit: www.centerparcs.co.uk.

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Hostels on HostelBookers Offer Christmas Presents, Free Meals and Parties to Christmas Shoppers

HostelBookers are offering customers the ultimate Christmas gift – cheap Christmas holidays in the most magical cities in Europe.

The cities of London, Berlin and Prague are all perfect for a bargain city break this winter. Home to some of the best Christmas markets in Europe , travellers can get their shopping done in style and soak up the authentic atmosphere of a traditional holiday.

Berlin and Prague’s markets have hundreds of stalls selling traditional crafts and delicious treats like warm mulled wine and roasted chestnuts. London’s Shopper’s Markets, the ‘Winter Wonderland’ Ice Rink in Hyde Park and famous lights on Oxford Street also bring plenty of festive spirit.

Going away at Christmas may seem expensive, but hostels offer an affordable alternative for aChristmas holiday . And to really bring good tidings this year, HostelBookers have teamed up with three of the best hostels in each city to offer guests some top Christmas gifts.

Sir Toby’s Hostel in Prague is offering special Christmas rates for all bookings made through the HostelBookers website . One of the top-rated Prague youth hostels, the staff are hosting a Christmas Eve buffet with all the trimmings.

Celebrate Christmas at The Journey’s Hostel Kings Cross in London. Beds booked for the 20 th -27 th December are a bargain £10 per person , and come with a bumper batch of Christmas presents. Guests can enjoy free entry to top local clubs, free drinks vouchers in a local pub, and 30% off food in a cool London restaurant . There’s even a Christmas party with live singing carols.

The Generator Hostel in Berlin has some real treats in store for guests this December, with a free traditional Christmas dinner , welcome drink and Christmas party on the 24 th . The Generator also offers a VIP Christmas Package Deal through HostelBookers, with three nights in a shared room including dinner, for €49.

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Butlins Big Weekend – 29th -31ST January 2010 ROCK & BLUES

Every year, over the last weekend in January, in that post-Christmas malaise – a remarkable music festival takes place at Butlins, Skegness in Lincolnshire.

Fast gaining an impressive reputation on the music lovers festival circuit and as hotly anticipated by the artists as the fans (who regularly travel from the length and breadth of the UK), the weekend has hosted an incredible range of some of Rock and Blues’ most exciting and influential artists, alongside fiery ‘new blood’, too.

2010 is no exception to the high quality & value threshold and this year, the event returns to its roots by presenting separate BLUES and ROCK stages.

BLUES fans will be delighted at a line up that includes – former ROLLING STONES and JOHN MAYALL guitarist, MICK TAYLOR, boogie piano king, BEN WATERS & HIS BAND (who recently had both Charlie Watts of the Stones and Jools Holland as HIS guests!); JOANNE SHAW TAYLOR, MAGGIE BELL & DAVE KELLY, THE BLUES BAND, ANIMALS & Friends, CHANTEL McGREGOR, OLI BROWN, STAN WEBB & CHICKEN SHACK, JAY TAMKIN, THE YARDBIRDS, NINE BELOW ZERO, SNAKE DAVIS & JIM DIAMOND and from THE ALARM – DAVE SHARP…

The ROCK stage hosts the magnificent NAZARETH, with Special Guests THE DEBORAH BONHAM BAND; OLIVER-DAWSON SAXON, (featuring Saxon founder members Graham Oliver & Steve Dawson); MARTIN TURNER’S WISHBONE ASH; JOHN COGHLAN’S QUO; TYGERS OF PAN TANG, PRAYING MANTIS, CARVIN JONES and from the Lynyrd Skynyrd ‘family’ – SKINNY MOLLY.

Finally, a rare performance from former WHITESNAKE guitar supremo MICKY MOODY with his band, who promise “some originals, some covers and some Whitesnake”.

And there are even more artists to be announced!

To book the Rock & Blues break at the family holiday parks call Butlins direct on 0845 070 4750 open daily (The maximum call charge is 2p per minute from a BT landline. Calls from other networks may vary).

Prices for Rock & Blues are £72 per person for the full weekend UK breaks based on four people sharing a silver self-catering apartment (all guests must be aged +18 years) including accommodation, all live entertainment and many free activities.

Butlins reserves the right to change the entertainment programme for Butlins Family Breaks.

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HolidayCity.com Doesn’t Judge a Book by Its Cover at the Munich Book Show

Writers, publishers and book lovers alike are set to congregate in Gasteig, Munich from 12th to 29th November 2009 and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the popular Munich Book Show. One of the more successful book shows in the world, this year’s event is expected to attract about 300 publishers from Germany and other German-speaking countries. About 160,000 visitors had been converging here in the last few years and this number is expected to increase in 2009 with many famous and renowned authors making their appearances.The city would certainly be an exciting and busy place for the entire 18 days with roaring business expected for Munich hotels.

Authors and publishers from all over the world would make a beeline for the book show with special evenings organized for readings and special presentations. Among them would be Spanish writer, Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Gioconda Belli from Managua, and John Harvey and Robert Harris from the United Kingdom. Other respected authors that are scheduled to attend include Hans Küng, Frank Schätzing, Anselm Grün, Hans-Peter Dürr, Alfons Schuhbeck and Wladimir Kaminer. Other exciting programmes have also been planned to further attract the crowds. They include special evenings with Thorsten Havener who would demonstrate his amazing mind reading ability, and readings by Juli Zeh that would also feature the rock group, Slut. The book show is also a great opportunity for some of the authors who would get the opportunity to talk about their new books with the listeners of the Bavarian Radio.

One of the main goals of the Munich Book Show is to promote reading especially among children. With this in mind, children and parents can look forward to book readings, discussion and exhibitions. Especially noteworthy events would be readings by Cassandra Clare (with Claudia Engler) who would read from her book, ‘City of Glass’ and Zizou Corder (with Axel Milberg) for ‘Lee Raven’. Another not-to-be-missed event would be the appearance by Lucy Hawking, daughter of astrophysicist Stephen Hawking.

Lee Lai Huat, CEO, HolidayCity.com, remarked, “Book lovers are going to have a great time at the Munich Book Show. Not only would they be able to check-out the latest offerings from the literary world, they would also get the rare opportunity to get up close and personal with their favourite authors and attend special readings and other exciting events.’ He further said, ‘It’s a great place to bring your children and cultivate a love for books and reading. With thousands expected to attend the book show, HolidayCity.com is more than happy to offer great savings and discounts on Munich accommodations to make their trip more memorable.’

HolidayCity.com offers attractive rates at the following hotels and many others:

Creatif Hotel Elephant Munich (3 star)
Starting rate EUR65

Germania Hotel Munich (3 star)
Starting rate EUR99

Deutsches Theater Hotel Munich (3 star)
Staring rate EUR109

Holiday Inn Munich – Schwabing (4 star)
Starting rate EUR116

Platzl Hotel Munich
Starting rate EUR192 (4 star)

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Nation To Decide New Crop Of Redcoats

For the first time ever, Butlins is launching an X-Factor-style search for the next generation of its famous Redcoats. The nation can play Simon Cowell by looking at the would-be Redcoat’s audition videos online and voting for their favourites.

Current TV stars Stephen Mulhern and Naomi Wilkinson got their first break at Butlins and now hopeful Redcoats are being urged to upload their audition videos to YouTube with the best 300 applicants being put through to the next round of interviews.

What to do
1. To vote log on to www.youtube.com/user/wearebutlins and visit the ‘I Want To Be A Butlins Redcoat’ playlist to view the videos
2. To enter log on and upload a video before 15th November 2009
3. Keep up to date with all the latest news at twitter.com/redcoataudition or by joining the ‘I Want To Be A Butlins Redcoat’ group on Facebook.

Known for world class family entertainment, Butlins Redcoats are famed for their high energy, lively personalities and ability to entertain parents and children alike. The holiday company receives thousands of applications for the 20 new Redcoat positions created each year.

Butlins Head of Entertainment Mike Godolphin said: “It’s time for the Redcoats to go online! The Redcoat auditions are always an important time of year for us and we’ve now truly embraced the social media phenomenon and invited the nation to become part of the process. We’re even on Twitter! Hopeful Redcoats are about to become internet stars for the first time.”

HOW TO ENTER
1. Film your audition piece on a video camera, camera phone, or webcam, keeping it to no longer than one minute in length. Please bear in mind that submissions featuring nudity, profanities or anything that may be offensive to our viewers will NOT be accepted

2. Save your video in a compatible format (WMV, 3GP, AVI, MOV, MP4, MPEG, FLV and MKV are all acceptable)

3. Create a YouTube account or log in to your pre-existent account at www.youtube.com and upload your audition video

4. Here’s the very important bit: When you’re editing the video description, add the tag ‘redcoataudition’ and set the privacy to ‘share your video with the world’. This will help us to find your video and add it to our YouTube channel

5. Your video should shortly appear on our YouTube channel under ‘I Want To Be A Redcoat’ in our ‘Playlists’ section

6. After the competition closes on 15th November 2009 Butlins will shortlist 300 entrants, based on their video submissions, who will then be invited to a second round face-to-face audition at Butlins. Should you make the shortlist, please make sure we can contact you through a private message on YouTube by unchecking the option ‘Allow only friends to send messages or share videos’ on your privacy option

The Butlins Redcoats
• Redcoats were the first type of “coat entertainers” or “Reps” in the holiday industry at UK holiday parks.

• There are approximately 150 Redcoats across Butlins three UK Holiday Resorts

• More than 1.5 million guests are entertained by the Redcoats each year

• Previous Redcoat jackets have been designed by Zandra Rhodes and Jeff Banks

Butlins has three beachside Resorts, Bognor Regis (West Sussex), Minehead (Somerset) and Skegness (Lincolnshire) and welcomes around 1.5m guests per year. Although it mainly offers family breaks it also offers around 50 Big Weekend breaks – music themed breaks for those aged 18+.

Butlins Family Holidays is part of Bourne Leisure Ltd which also owns Warner Leisure Hotels and Haven Holidays and was awarded Best Travel Company 2008 by Travel Trade Gazette. Bourne Leisure was also voted second in the Best Big Company to work for award in the Sunday Times’ list out on 8 March 2009.

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HolidayCity.com Gets Festive at Madrid Autumn Festival

The city of Madrid comes alive this November as the locals and visitors alike welcome the much anticipated Autumn Festival. The month-long event, which takes place from 4th to 29th November 2009, would certainly be exciting news for those who are planning to visit or book Madrid hotels during this time of the year. Organised by the Vice-presidency, Department of Culture and Sport and Government Spokespersons’ Department, the festival attracts thousands from the surrounding areas, Spain and other countries far and wide.

Madrid Autumn Festival, which is celebrating its 26th year, promises world-class performances from 32 companies that would be coming from all over the world. They bring with them quality entertainment and performances which include theater shows, dance and music concerts and contemporary circus productions. Visitors and locals alike would certainly enjoy the packed programme which includes exciting and progressive theatre productions such as ‘Isabella’s Room’ from Jan Lauwers & Need Company, ‘Médée’ from Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers and ‘Pénélope ô Pénélope’ from Tera.

Those who are more interested in the dance and musical performances will not be disappointed with offerings from Rosas with ‘Rosas danst Rosas’, Shiro Takatani with ‘La cámara lúcida’ and the exciting pairing of María Pagés and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui with ‘Dunas’. Taking the stage would also be the Whale Watching Tour and Hanne Hukkelberg from Norway. Contemporary circus shows include ‘Chouf Ouchouf (Look and Look Again)’ from the talented team of Martin Zimmermann, Dimitri de Perrot and 12 acrobats of the Groupe Acrobatique de Tanger. The performances are scheduled to take place in numerous venues in the city including Teatros Del Canal Sala, Teatro De La Abadía and Teatro Español.

Lee Lai Huat, Chief Executive Officer, HolidayCity.com, remarked, “Madrid should really be on everybody’s list of places to see. Noteworthy destinations include the Royal Palace of Madrid, built in the Baroque style and Reina Sofia Museum which currently houses Pablo Picasso’s Guernica. Madrid is also the best place to see bullfighting that is held at Plaza de Toros, the largest bullring in Spain.” He further added, “Madrid Autumn Festival is definitely a great time to visit the city as it embraces and celebrates the beauty of art in its many forms. Visitors need not worry about where to stay as HolidayCity.com offers great savings and discounts on Madrid accommodation for their convenience.”

HolidayCity.com offers attractive rates at the following hotels and many others:

Hotel Hostal Apolo Madrid (3 star)
Starting rate EUR42

Hotel Tryp Alondras Madrid (3-star)
Starting rate EUR95

Hotel Amura Alcobendas Madrid (4-star)
Starting rate EUR123

Hotel A.Gaudi Madrid (4 star)
Starting rate EUR89

Hotel Gran Melia Fenix Madrid (5 star)
Starting rate EUR195

Via EPR Network
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Independent Holidays in Cairo Beat Cheap Egypt Package Holidays this Winter

HostelBookers can reveal that Egypt is a top backpacking destination for Winter 2009. According to statistics from the budget accommodation website, the number of independent travellers booking a holiday to Egypt is rising year on year.

This new breed of backpackers are shunning cheap package deals for a more authentic travel experience, choosing Cairo and Dahab over traditional package holiday favourite Sharm el Sheikh.

Cairo is the booking site’s most popular destination year-round in Egypt, with its mix of ancient relics, buzzing bazaars and lively nightlife. Temperatures are at a pleasant 25 degrees in November, ideal for sightseeing and exploring this exotic city.

HostelBookers have hostels close to all the main attractions downtown, so travellers can save money and see the real Egypt at the same time on a Cairo Holiday.

The top six hostels in Cairo were rated at 90% or higher by HostelBookers customers. Recommended for being safe, clean and away from downtown noise, travellers also rated their Cairo hostel for arranging personalised tours around the city and sharing essential travel tips.

With rooms starting at just 5 Euros per person per night for a shared room, here are some of the best Cairo Hostels:

WakeUp Hostel Cairo

Wake Up is popular for its plum location smack in the heart of downtown. Rooms have views of the Nile and Old Cairo, and there’s a kitchen and common room with internet access.

A guest writes:

“We loved Wake Up! Small and cosy, the staff were more helpful than words can describe. Always ready to write out directions, phonetic translations, or just plain hang out with you. The Room had Air Conditioning and was mosquito free – a very tough thing to find in Egypt!”

Meramees Hostel

The Meramees has a laid-back atmosphere and homely touches like fresh flowers, comfy sofas and art on the walls. In a safe and central location, it’s easy to explore the city on foot. There’s even free airport pickup, and a travel desk offering cheap tours.

A guest writes:

“The staff were absolutely wonderful! Rooms are large and clean…Great location for wandering through downtown and very helpful staff for arranging tours and drivers. I would recommend to anyone travelling on a budget.”

Luna Hotel and Hostel

Another downtown favourite, the Luna’s rooms are clean and secure, with comfortable beds and air-conditioning. The facilities and hospitality are second to none- there’s a professional tour advisor on site, authentic Egyptian breakfasts, 24-hour room service, and a ‘Bedouin Corner’ for chilling after a day of sightseeing.

A guest writes:

“Here, unlike most of the hotels, you can learn Arabic, taste Egyptian cuisine and get familiar with Egyptian culture. With the help of professional tour advisers, you can organize great, unforgettable journeys to places like Aswan, Luxor and many others”

Via EPR Network
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Run the Marathon in Auckland with HolidayCity.com

Get ready to put on your running shoes and participate in the Auckland Marathon 2009 this November 1. This popular road race event, that typically attracts just over 10,000 runners from all corners of the world, was first held in June 1936 and became a yearly attraction since the 1960s.

The Auckland Marathon 2009’s route would take the runners through some of Auckland’s more famous locations before it finishes at Victoria Park. The starting point is at Devonport on the North Shore and continues through the shopping district of the North Shore City and a few other significant landmarks such as the Harbour Bridge, Westhaven Marina, the Viaduct Harbour and Auckland City’s waterfront before it ends at Victoria Park. The initial stage of the course would be more of a challenge than the second half with the hilly terrain expected to give some of the runners a rather tough time.

Auckland Marathon 2009 offers 5 categories which include the Marathon, Half Marathon, Quarter Marathon, the 5km Walk and the Kids Marathon. The top 3 winners of the Marathon and Half Marathon would take home a total of NZ$5000 and NZ$2900, respectively. Meanwhile, the jackpot prize money has increased to NZ$20,000 this year and this can be won by the persons that clock-in a better course times for both men’s and women’s categories as determined by the organizers prior to the event. Walking is a fantastic way to maintain and improve your heart’s health. What better way than to join in the fun Heart Walkers 5km Walk and make a charitable donation to the Heart Foundation at the same time? For children age 7 – 12, they get the chance to participate in the full marathon through a 8, 10 and 12 weeks training programme that would see them race the final 2.195km of the distance on the day of the Auckland Marathon.

Lee Lai Huat, Chief Executive Officer, HolidayCity.com, remarked, “Auckland is a modern, vibrant city that has many wonderful attractions to keep first-time visitors occupied and repeat visitors the opportunity to truly appreciate the New Zealanders’ zest for life. They also need not worry about finding a place to stay as there is a good selection of Auckland hotels to choose f r o m.” He further added “The Auckland Marathon 2009 is another fantastic event that attracts thousands of runners and visitors f r o m around the world. This year’s event is set to be another record-breaking event with 9000 runners expected to compete in the marathon and full marathon events. And HolidayCity.com is more than happy to offer great savings and discounts for our Auckland accommodation”.

HolidayCity.com offers attractive rates at the following hotels and many others:

The Langham Auckland (5-star)
Starting rate of NZ$171

Duxton Hotel Auckland (4-star)
Starting rate of NZ$129

Mercure Hotel Auckland (3-star)
Starting rate of NZ$129

City Central Hotel Auckland (3-star)
Starting rate of NZ$85

Arena Hotel Auckland (2.5-star)
Starting rate of NZ$84

About HolidayCity.com
HolidayCity.com offers online hotel bookings for more than 20,000 hotels in 900 destinations. Our customers are assured of great rates all year round, broad accommodation range, easy-to-use websites and friendly customer service 24-7, together with thousands of hotel reviews f r o m our guests. For more great deals for Auckland hotels, go to http://www.holidaycity.com/aucklandhotels/. Also check out http://www.holidaycity.com/ for more deals you can’t resist as well as amazing promotions at http://www.holidaycityeurope.com/.

Via EPR Network
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People Still Love To Browse Through A Brochure, Say Haven Holidays

Despite the rise in on-line bookings it seems more people than ever are requesting holiday brochures. ‘This year we had 25% more brochure requests from new customers than we received the previous year,’ said a spokesperson for the brand. ‘Even people who have already booked a holiday via our website often ask for our literature to be sent to them as well. Whilst people like the ease and convenience of booking on-line and love the videos of our parks they also enjoy the more tactile experience of reading the brochure and sharing their holiday plans with all the family.’

The research into brochure request figures was released soon after the Haven Call Centre was declared industry favourite in Britain’s biggest call centre awards. The Call Centre, which is based in Haven’s Head Offices in Hemel Hempstead achieved ratings of more than 90% in extensive mystery shopper surveys, despite answering 6% more calls than the previous year.

Whilst it’s possible to book a holiday via the internet, over the counter in a Travel Agency or by post – it appears that people still love to flick through the brochure and then follow it up with a chat on the phone!

Haven’s new 2010 brochure will be mailed during the first week of November and the new website goes live on November 6th.

They both feature 35 family holiday parksaround the UK all offering good value for money holidays and some excellent half price early booking deals. Family Spring breaks at a wide choice of parks start at as little as £99 for a family of four in Superior accommodation.

Next year even more family activities are included in the price and the entertainment package promises to be even more extensive with professional cabaret, comedy, tribute bands, stage-shows, variety nights, pantos and circus performances.Call 0871 230 1900 or click on www.haven.com.

About Haven Holidays:

Haven specialise in UK holidays and have a range of different types to suit all. Camping HolidaysFamily HolidaysCaravan Holidays and Touring Holidays throughout England, Scotland and Wales.

Via EPR Network
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Warner Leisure Hotels’ Call Centre Joins UK’s Top Ten

The Bourne Leisure group’s three call centres based in Hemel Hempstead for Warner Leisure Hotels, Butlins and Haven have collectively reached the Top Ten in latest research from the Top 50 Call Centres for Customer Service.

The combined achievements of Butlins Holiday Resorts, Haven Caravan Parks and Warner Leisure Hotels placed them seventh, with a score of 90.67%, and gave them the accolade of most improved member, moving up 16 places from last year. Bourne Leisure was also recognised as The Best Call Centre for Customer Service in the Entertainment and Travel sector.

The study was commissioned by the Top 50 Call Centres for Customer Service and organised by Call Centre Focus magazine, which aims to raise customer service standards in the call centre industry. The research consisted of 17,000 mystery shopper enquiries to over 50 of the UK’s leading call centres.

Overall the Top 50 Call Centres for Customer Service Initiative, sponsored by Genesys and Noble Systems, showed that call centres are getting the basics right: 96% of customers got through to the call centres on their first attempt and a staggering 94% of customer enquiries were resolved by the initial call. In addition, 86% of callers were either satisfied or extremely satisfied with their call experience, 68% said they were likely or extremely likely to recommend the organisation and 70% said they were likely to start or continue to use the organisation.

“This is absolutely right”, said Julie Howe, call centre manager of Warner Leisure Hotels, stressing the importance of exceptional Customer Service. “For potential and existing guests, phoning our call centre is the beginning of their holiday journey. We offer friendly, efficient and knowledgeable support, delivered with a problem solving attitude, recognising that the guest experience is paramount to our success. I am delighted to share this accolade with my team.”

Via EPR Network
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