British Airways launch new flights to Faro and Malaga direct from London City

British Airways has announced the launch of two new routes to Faro and Malaga and added more frequency to the popular destinations of Nice, Palma and Ibiza. This means that British Airways now offers 39 leisure flights per week for this summer from London City Airport to top sun destinations at the height of the season.

The four times a week flights to Faro and the three times a week flights to Malaga are now both in operation and will operate year round.

The existing Nice service has been increased to double daily flights from May until September, and from July to September both Palma and Ibiza flights will be increased from four to ten a week.

Flights are operated by the wholly owned British Airways’ subsidiary BA CityFlyer on the new Embraer 170 and 190 aircraft.

Luke Hayhoe, BA CityFlyer commercial manager said: “We first launched leisure only flights from London City last year in direct response to demand from our customers. They proved so popular, particularly during the summer months that we have decided to expand them further this year.

“The addition of two extra aircraft to the fleet means we can also offer year round services to the summer and winter sun destinations of Malaga and Faro.”

British Airways offers holidays to European cities with a selection of hand-picked 2 to 5 star hotels, ideally suited to budget travelers as well as the urban tourist seeking sophistication. Customers looking for hotels in Nice can stay at the budget two-star Compte de Nice offering great value yet comfortable accommodation. For family atmosphere, travellers can stay at the friendly four-star Splendid located close to Nice’s renowned Promenade des Anglais. For a luxury holiday there is the stylish 4.5-star Le Meridien Nice within strolling distance of the old town. With Cannes being just down the road, the five-star Martinez hotel in Cannes is an established flagship Riviera hotel, ideal for a romantic break as a couple or single travelers away on a celeb spotting adventure.

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Journeys of Distinction secures first travel trade agreements

Hays Travel, American Express and The Global Travel Group have become the latest travel agencies to sign up with luxury touring holiday specialist Journeys of Distinction (, 0161 491 7616) since the company announced its move to trade sales in May.

Journeys of Distinction

Global Travel Group, who have 480 high street agencies nationwide, are the latest to take on the global product range, that features exotic, eclectic and classic tours of Europe, the Far East, Asia, the Americas, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Alaska.

Cherie Richards, Head of Commercial and Marketing for The Global Travel Group said“We’re really excited about working with Journeys of Distinction. A lot of our clients have become more adventurous in their holiday choices but at the same time, they want the comfort and convenience of an organised holiday. Journeys of Distinction’s product range provides that assurance and delivers holiday memories that last a lifetime”.

Sue Copper, newly appointed Agency Sales Manager for Journeys of Distinction, said “It’s been a great start to our move to work with the travel trade and these new agreements are indicative of the fact that at this level, clients appreciate the knowledge and expertise of travel agents. We are really excited about going forwards with our trade agreements and are delighted with these first new partnerships”.

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Hyatt Regency Calgary Awarded Best In Accomodation At White Hat Awards

Hyatt Regency Calgary, a downtown Calgary hotel, has been selected Best in Accommodation, an inaugural category at Tourism Calgary’s 49th annual White Hat of the Year Awards. The White Hat Awards, which were held on Wednesday, May 18th, highlight individuals and organizations, including downtown Calgary hotels, that enhance Calgary’s reputation and presence in the tourism and hospitality industry, while providing outstanding customer service to guests.

Located in the heart of downtown Calgary on Stephen Avenue Walk, Hyatt Regency Calgary’s historic sandstone buildings provide a one-of-a-kind setting among downtown Calgary hotels for more than 10,000 guests annually. Hyatt Regency Calgary offers four high-quality dining options, a renowned spa on location, and access to downtown Calgary’s eateries, shopping centres, and entertainment venues.“Hyatt Regency Calgary is thrilled and honoured to be the recipient of the first-ever Best in Accommodation White Hat Award from Tourism Calgary,” said Herb Rackliff, general manager, Hyatt Regency Calgary. “Hyatt employees are continually striving to deliver the highest-quality of service to guests and Calgarians alike, and it’s a thrill to see our efforts recognized.”

In total, 30 talented individuals employed at Hyatt Regency Calgary were nominated in the 2011 White Hat of the Year Awards, identifying industry professionals who exceed everyday expectations and consistently deliver excellent results.

Sarah Thompson of the Stillwater Spa, located at Hyatt Regency Calgary was named winner in the category Best Spa, Esthetics & Wellness Provider. At Stillwater Spa, Calgarians and guests of the downtown Calgary luxury hotel are pampered with luxurious and innovative treatments; providing a lavish and relaxing downtown retreat.

Catch Restaurant & Oyster Bar was selected as a finalist in the Best Restaurant category, White Hat of the Year Award. Catch offers tourists and locals their Jet Fresh seafood commitment; flying in seafood from both coasts so customers can savour the freshest cuisine.

For more information on Hyatt Regency Calgary or to make a reservation at the downtown Calgary hotel, please visit

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Summer Driving Safety Tips

Now that summer is officially with us, it’s time to remind ourselves to drive safely and to be alert.

Summer time is peak driving time. In the U.S. vehicle miles travelled (VMT) peaks in the summer months. VMT represents the total number of miles driven by all vehicles within a time period and geographic area. (U.S Bureau of Transportation Statistics, U.S. Department of Transportation). The total estimated number of miles driven in the U.S. 2008 was 2.922 trillion, according to the U.S. DOT and the American Public Transportation Association.

In 2008, there were almost 6 million car accidents in the U.S., with more than 37,000 deaths. In fact, auto accidents, tragically, are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of three and 34 in this country. (“Top Ten Safe Driving Tips,” by Ed Grabianowski,

Surveys from Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and ROPER ASW indicate that teens indulge in even “riskier in vehicle behaviors during summer months that lead to crashes, serious injuries, and sometimes death than during the school year.”

Optotraffic’s laser speed sensor systems have a proven track record of reducing both the number of speeders, and the speed of autos, in high-risk school zones, reducing traffic accidents, injuries or fatalities and increasing public and pedestrian safety at school crosswalks.

The Optotraffic units are calibrated daily and tested to within one mile per hour – – in annual tests by independent laboratories and periodically by the police departments of local municipalities. Optotraffic’s automated speed enforcement system measures the speeds of passing vehicles with an accuracy of +/- 1 mph. Less than 0.2% of all issued Optotraffic citations have been contested in a court hearing.

According to New Jersey’s Palisades Insurance Company, “when you think about being ‘extra careful’ when driving, you usually think of driving in snow and ice. However, Spring and Summer present their own driving challenges.” Beyond slowing down, here are some quick, brief tips to remember when driving in the summer:

• Don’t text, dial and drive.
• Double check your vehicles safety systems for those fast moving heavy rainstorms – – including wiper blades, brakes, emergency flashers, head and parking lights, tire pressure and tread wear, as well as fluids for brake, transmission, power steering and window washer systems.
• Don’t for a minute leave children (or pets) in a car unattended. Even when it is only 72 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can quickly rise to 116 degrees.
• Make sure your child seat is installed correctly. Always make sure the driver and all passengers buckle up.
• Beware of other drivers. Summer road trips means more people driving in unfamiliar areas. Be extra cautious.
• Remember where speed enforcement zones are – and slow down. They are located there for a reason – – these areas, school zones and highway construction zones, require extra caution.

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Brits Splash the Cash for Summer Holidays

Brits are still spending lots of money for their impending summer holidays – despite finances being tight – to ensure they look their best while on the beach. The news comes via a recent survey carried out by, the leading money off voucher site.

Over 50% of the people that took the survey said that in order to look good on holiday, they would spend up to £500, and those that would spend up to £1,000 amounted to 12%. For those who live in London with high living costs, they wouldn’t spend more than £2,500 although 10% of people would spend more than £2,500 who lived in East Anglia.

The Only Way is Essex (or TOWIE), Made in Chelsea and Geordie Shore might be the reason for people being more concerned about their looks. The cast members in TOWIE say, “No carbs before Marbs”, before their trip to Marbella for a summer holiday.

The voucher website,, has found using the survey that out of 700 people, 50% of them would get a hair cut, more than 20% would ensure they look their best by visiting a beauty salon, and 83% always buy shoes or clothes before their holiday. More than 50% would buy swimwear in advance for their vacation.

Before unveiling their bodies on the beach, one in five said they would kick-start their tan at a sun bed shop or use fake tan, and one in five would join a gym to trim some pounds and tone up and begin dieting.

Those that are most likely to use tanning salons before a holiday and visit a hairdresser are those from the North East of England, although they wouldn’t get treatments at a beauticians. The leading discount website’s Managing Director, Doug Scott, said: “With people still struggling with their finances during the recession, and trying to cut their energy bills and fuel costs down, it’s surprising to hear that more than half would spend £500 to look good for the beach.

“Despite cutting back on many things, Brits aren’t letting money stop them from looking great for their holidays.”

24% of people in the North West said they weren’t as prepared for their holidays as they’d hoped, while 25% said they would ‘work out more’ and 60% said they would ‘lose weight’ to make themselves look better before a holiday.

Responses from the Scottish, Welsh and those from London was they would ‘stop drinking so much’, and those from the South West would ‘improve their dress sense’.

The best piece of advice for Brits jetting off on holiday this summer was to ‘wear more sun cream to stop them burning in the sun’.

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World Dog Show Arrives in Paris

The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) World Dog Show comes to Paris from July 7th-10th, bringing with it the finest pedigree dogs around.

The event, which will take place at Parc d’Exposition Paris Nord Villepinte near Charles de Gaulle Airport, sees each entrant assessed by industry experts, who will determine which of them represents the best example of their breed.

Unlike other dog shows, the dogs do not have to ‘perform’ for the judges, they simply have to exhibit the characteristics that a perfect example of their breed should possess.

Last year’s competition took place in Denmark, while such is the popularity of the event, the next three years have already been allocated to Austria, Hungary and Finland respectively.

However, for the moment, all eyes are on Paris as owners travel in the hope that their pedigree dog takes them all the way to the top prize.

Visitors can find plenty of boutique hotel options at, including the delightful Pershing Hall.

To find out more about the World Dog Show,

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Experience the Tour de France on the Champs Élysées

You do not have to be a cycling fan to know that one of the most iconic images in sport is the sight of the triumphant rider crossing the finish line of the Tour de France at the end of the Champs Élysées.

Parisians line the street every year to witness the franctic sprint finish that sees one rider enter the sporting history books. Frequently, the overall tournament winner is yet to be decided going into the final day, which makes for an even more exciting finish.

Whereas many stages of this iconic race involve scaling daunting mountains or taking on gruelling treks across the country, here the focus is on a flat run to the line. The Champs Élysées is of course an attraction in its own right, with the beautiful Arc de Triomphe certainly a sight worth seeing.

This year, the riders will arrive in Paris on July 24th, so you can enjoy Paris in the summertime alongside this momentous sporting occasion. has a number of quality boutique hotels to choose from that will allow you to make the most of your visit. Establishments such as Pershing Hall can really make this a visit to remember.

For more information on the Tour de France and its many stages, visit

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Enjoy a Film Outdoors at Parc de la Villette

Every year, Parc de la Villette on the outskirts of Paris plays host to a month of film screenings.

However, the difference here is that the cinema is outdoors, meaning you can enjoy lounging on the grass as you enjoy the programme of classic films and modern blockbusters on show on any evening between July 19th and August 21st.

The fact that this has become an annual event gives you some idea of its popularity. The park is a lovely setting, home to the entertaining Cite des Sciences museum and the striking Gode theatre.

“Cinema en plein air” is an extremely family-friendly event, both in the convivial atmosphere and the fact that attendance is free.

Many films are shown in English, while the park is served by two Metro stations, Porte de la Villette and Porte de Pantin.

This would be an ideal way to spend an evening if you are visiting Paris, and offers plenty of cheap hotels to use while you are here, including the pleasant Helvetia.

If you would like to know more about Open Air Cinema at Parc de la Villette, visit

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Diamond League Athletics Returns to Paris

As part of the Diamond League Athletics tour, on July 8th the world’s finest athletes return to the Stade de France in Paris.

So far, the League has visited Doha, Shanghai, Rome, Eugene, Oslo and New York, and will call at Lausanne in Switzerland before arriving in St Denis.

Last year’s event saw Usain Bolt pip Asafa Powell in the 100m final by less than a tenth of second, while home favourite Renaud Lavillenie triumphed in the pole vault and the Great Britain & Northern Ireland team clinched the 4x100m relay.

Bolt will be returning to attempt to add the 200m to his Diamond League roll of honour, and French sprinter Christophe Lema™tre will hope to challenge him. After a fifth-place finish in the 100m last year, Lema™tre has recently claimed the French record with a time of 9.96 seconds. If he can produce a similarly strong performance over the longer distance, he could well finish in the top 3.

The new track at the stunning Stade de France provides a fitting setting for these champions to compete in, while the field events ensure there is something for everyone. has a selection of marvellouscheap hotels across Paris, which would serve as an ideal base for any spectators. In particular, Helvetiais a popular well-run establishment offering excellent value for money.

For more information on the Diamond League, visit

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Jumeirah Restaurants Announces Opening of The Ivy

Jumeirah Restaurants has announced that the highly anticipated Ivy restaurant is set to open its doors in Dubai, taking forward the long-standing tradition of the international brasserie in London.

The Ivy in Dubai will share the same standards of food, ambience and service as The Ivy in London, but will also take on board the best that Dubai has to offer. Located on the ground floor of The Boulevard, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, which is one of Jumeirah’s Dubai hotels, The Ivy has been welcoming diners since 9 June, 2011.

Designed by Martin Brudnizki, the restaurant will serve as an ideal place for lunch, dinner or simply a drink at the bar. Housing a private dining room and a 60 seat terrace, The Ivy will offer a brasserie-style menu with a selection of classics, such as its world famous shepherd’s pie, Dover sole, and Scandinavian iced berries with hot white chocolate sauce. Dishes from around the world such as sashimi and Thai-baked sea bass are some of the other favourites The Ivy will offer.

Phil Broad, managing director of Jumeirah Restaurants, said: “The opening of The Ivy in Dubai has been highly anticipated by patrons for whom dining at the London brasserie has become a custom. It is a welcome addition to the Jumeirah restaurant portfolio. With its sophisticated décor and delicious food, The Ivy is set to become a landmark in Dubai. Similar to The Ivy in London, we are confident that delivering a gourmet experience and great value for money will keep our customers coming back to the Dubai restaurant.”

Owned by the parent company Caprice Holdings, The Ivy is one of London’s favourite restaurants; a uniquely British institution known throughout the world. An extensive refurbishment in 1990, with oak panelling, stained glass and site-specific commissions from leading contemporary artists, re-established The Ivy in London to that of its early-20th century heyday. It continues to be a staple with the pre and post-theatre crowds, and boasts a devoted clientele from the arts, media and beyond.

The critically acclaimed and hugely popular Rivington Grill, located at The Souk Al Bahar, Level 3, Old Town at Downtown Burj Khalifa, is the sister restaurant of The Ivy. The first Caprice Holdings restaurant to open in Dubai under the management of Jumeirah Restaurants LLC, Rivington Grill’s immense success is a testament to what can be expected from The Ivy.

Jumeirah Restaurants is a company of successfully developed restaurant concepts that are licensed globally. An important and strategic addition to the Jumeirah Group portfolio, the company’s mission is to set up and license innovative restaurants worldwide. The noodle house was the first restaurant brand to be created and is the flagship of Jumeirah Restaurants. Other concepts include Sana Bonta, Urbano, AllFreshCo, Rice plus Spice and The Flaming Revolution.

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New Theatre Breaks From Newmarket Holidays!

The unrivalled quality and diversity of productions in the West End has made London the theatre capital of the world. From perennial favourites like Les Miserables, to modern gems such as Legally Blonde The Musical, there’s something for everyone. And what better way to enjoy your favourite show than on one of our London theatre breaks? With so many treasures and attractions in one place, the capital is the ideal place for a weekend getaway.

Specialist tour operator Newmarket Travel offers a fantastic choice of London theatre breaks. With superb-value theatre break packages starting at £92, there’s no better way to experience London’s Theatreland! Departing from a multitude of pick-up points throughout the UK, Newmarket’s coach-inclusive theatre trips cater to theatre-goers from all over the country and offer convenient travel from local areas.

Combining guaranteed tickets to a top West End Show, a relaxing stay in a well-located hotel, and the chance to experience the sights and sounds of the capital, Newmarket’s London theatre coach trips offer the perfect short weekend break. They also make a memorable special gift, so why not book one for a loved one’s birthday, anniversary, Christmas or Valentine’s Day present and make it an occasion to remember?

Newmarket’s theatre breaks include trips to some of London’s greatest entertainment venues, from the famous London Palladium featuring the enchanting Wizard of Oz, to the art deco Cambridge Theatre, home of London’s sexiest musical, Chicago.

Priced from £99, Newmarket’s coach theatre breaks include return travel from a selected pick-up point, one night’s bed and continental breakfast accommodation at a four-star hotel, and return hotel-to-venue transfers. With coach transfers into central London also included in the price, the theatre breaks offer plenty of time to visit the capital’s iconic landmarks and its lauded restaurants, and for shopaholics to seek out bargains along Oxford Street.

Newmarket’s theatre coach breaks offer tickets to some of London’s best shows, including the critically acclaimed War Horse. Featuring stunning life size puppets, the stage adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s celebrated novel leads the audience on a gripping journey through the First World War. For those wanting a good old-fashioned love story, Ghost – recently opened at the Piccadilly Theatre – provides romance, drama and suspense in spades. Featuring stunning new music and lyrics, it promises to be an unmissable tear-jerker.

For brilliant family entertainment, look no further than Shrek The Musical. Turning the world of fairytales upside down, this all-singing, all-dancing spectacular new production brings the characters of the well-loved film to life. With a cast of stars led by Nigel Lindsay and Amanda Holden, this must-see musical features brand new songs as well as the cult Shrek anthem ‘I’m a Believer’.

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Jumeirah Burj Al Arab announces new spa menu and The Ultimate Fitness Retreat

Jumeirah Burj Al Arab, The world’s most luxurious hotel, has announced the re-design of its Assawan Spa and Health Club menu of treatments and services coinciding with the launch of The Ultimate Fitness Retreat.

Burj Al Arab’s Assawan Spa has partnered with PTX Performance Training to bring an exclusive programme of hospitality, high impact performance training, physical fitness instruction, healthy dining and personal mentoring to deliver The Ultimate Fitness Retreat.

The programme, devised to be physically and mentally challenging, will be delivered over a four day, three night cycle that includes five star accommodation and full board at Burj Al Arab. Additional days can be booked at the request of guests.

Under the expert guidance of the PTX team, guests will be led through a dynamic and exhilarating journey of personal discovery designed to renew, rejuvenate and inspire individuals to embrace and sustain a positive change in their lives. Guests will reach heightened levels of personal performance through the programme which is centred on three core elements – body, mind and spirit.

As part of ‘body’, and under the guidance of PTX instructors, guests will be put through a rigorous personal training schedule combining both group and individual sessions that focus on fitness, nutrition and performance.

They will be given plenty of time to recuperate, enjoy a daily full board dining programme of healthy and nutritious meals, drinks and snacks and make use of the dazzling array of activities and amenities on offer at Burj Al Arab.

For the ‘mind’ section of the programme guests will learn a number of new life skills to hold them in good stead as they prepare to embrace life after the retreat. Activities for the mind include early morning sunrise yoga sessions and daily food demonstrations by the Resort chefs to guide them in the preparation of shakes, snacks and meals with optimum nutrition for a healthy body. There will also be daily talks from PTX experts covering Nutrition, Fitness, Health & Wellbeing and the opportunity for private mentoring sessions in order to establish and achieve personal health goals.

And finally the ‘spirit’ will ensure that the stunning Burj Al Arab provides the ultimate sanctuary from which to embark on the journey of self-discovery. Daily 45 minute massages, Pilates and unlimited access to the spa facilities ensure guests relax, unwind and soak up everything that the hotel has to offer.

Packages can be tailored exclusively for men and women with male or female only trainers delivering sessions in separate* training facilities which include a Wellness Gym, training studios, swimming pools and extensive spa facilities.

In addition to the programme, the Assawan Spa and Health Club menu has been reinvigorated to include a selection of Memorable Occasions, such as a Romantic Moonlight Swim, Bridal and Wedding Packages as well as a new concept called ‘Wellbeing for Life’ – a combination of nutritional therapy and fitness assessments and programs especially designed to address inner health and wellness.

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Choice Hotels Adds Two New UK Hotels In June

Choice Hotels International (NYSE: CHH), the global hotel group behind the Comfort, Quality and Clarion brands and one of the largest and most successful lodging franchisors in the world, has announced that two more independently-run UK hotels have joined its network; Comfort Hotel Luton and the Clarion Collection Croydon Park Hotel.

The award-winning Croydon Park Hotel has been re-branded as the Clarion Collection Croydon Park Hotel. Located in the heart of Croydon town centre and only a short walk from East Croydon Station, it provides both business and leisure travellers with excellent transport links to both Central London and Gatwick Airport. The four-star hotel has 211 rooms located over five floors that include executive rooms, club rooms with big seating areas and family rooms. Guests also benefit from free parking as well as access to a health and fitness centre that boasts a pool, separate children’s pool, hot tub, sauna, solarium, gym and squash court. The hotel also offers conference and banqueting facilities for up to 220 people.

The Royal Hotel Luton, now the re-branded three-star Comfort Hotel Luton, has been re-furbished doubling the number of bedrooms available. Located in Luton’s centre and close to Luton Airport, it now has 44 en-suite bedrooms and offers free wireless and internet access throughout as well as tea and coffee making facilities. 14 complimentary parking spaces are also available for guests’ use.

Both previously run as independent hotels, they are now operated under franchise agreements with Choice Hotels Europe. The Clarion Collection Croydon Park Hotel is owned and operated by Kasterlee UK Ltd while Landlet Hotel Group owns and operates the Comfort Hotel Luton.

Duncan Berry, UK CEO, Choice Hotels Europe commented: “We are delighted to see the Clarion Collection Croydon Park Hotel and Comfort Hotel Luton join our global network of more than 6,100 hotels.”

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Special Offers on Summer Theatre

If you enjoy musical theatre, there is a lot in store for you this summer. Chicago and Dirty Dancing – The Classic Storey on Stage are closing soon so you’ll want to catch them while you can. South Pacific (August 15th to October 1st, 2011), Mexican Hayride (July 17th to August 7th, 2011) and London Road (April 7th to August 27th, 2011) will only be playing for a short time so you should be careful not to miss them. Julie Atherton: No Space for Air (June 26th only) and Meow Meow in Concert (June 23 to June 25th) are other reasons to mark your calendar and get tickets.

There is more exciting news. As you will see on theatre is more accessible for all of us than ever before. An evening at a West End show is anything but ordinary and you can enjoy the best of London theatre and shows on a regular basis. Kelkoo Select offers daily deals on London theatre, attractions and more. Kelkoo Selcet chooses the best plays, shows and musicals in London and helps you get great seats at a great price. You just have to sign up for their email offer alerts and you’ll be clued in to their many exceptional theatre deals in London.

Lately it seems like everyone is looking for ways to cut back. As a result, luxuries such as theatre and fine dining are usually the first things to get cut from the budget. But with Kelkoo Select, you can manage your finances and still enjoy the finer things in life.

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Hyatt Regency Atlanta Hotel Midway Through Major Transformation

Hyatt Regency Atlanta is at the half way point in a $65 million transformation designed to update the downtown Atlanta landmark hotel for the new demands of business meeting and convention attendees.

The downtown Atlanta hotel, known as a center for business and group meetings, began modernizing its Centennial Ballroom – the largest hotel ballroom in the Atlanta market – in April. That work follows months-long updates to Hyatt Regency Atlanta’s Atrium lobby, entryway and food and beverage concepts. Other renovations, including updates to the hotel’s Atrium Tower guest rooms, will begin this fall.

“The design and facilities transformation, expected to be completed in December 2011, was initiated to meet the new demands of today’s group attendee – a professional who is more pressed for time, who expects to be able to work from anywhere and who believes networking before and after meeting sessions is as important as the meeting itself,” said Joe Hindsley, Hyatt Regency Atlanta’s General Manager and current president of the Atlanta Hotel Council.

“Meeting guests today want a destination that’s open, user-friendly, time efficient and built for his or her needs,” Hindsley said. “That’s why we’ve designed Hyatt Regency Atlanta’s public spaces to be more accommodating for business and networking. We’ve made our check-in more intimate and user friendly and our new food and beverage concepts are designed to help guests work, meet and network before and after their event.”

Key to this strategy is Twenty-Two Storys, Hyatt Regency Atlanta’s new lobby bar. Scheduled to open May 14, Twenty-Two stories provides a comfortable space for guests to work, get a bite to eat and meet with associates and clients in the heart of downtown Atlanta. Hyatt Regency Atlanta’s new food and beverage offerings also will include a new full-service restaurant and a grab-and-go market option.

Other key updated features include the Atrium Lobby space, which rolled out a new front desk, wider revolving entrance door, new escalators and large tile flooring, making it cleaner and easier for guests to pull luggage across this surface.

The hotel’s main entrance, off Atlanta’s Peachtree Street, has also received a fresh new look with the addition of marble columns, an expanded front drive and a new, larger revolving front door, enhancing guests’ sense of arrival as they enter the hotel.

At the front desk, all natural walnut wooden pod-style desks were installed on a radius, designed to provide a more intimate, personalized and efficient check-in experience. The backdrop behind the front desk showcases a novelty display of brass key fob replicas from the original Regency Hyatt House – cleverly used pieces of the hotel’s history were fused to make this exceptional piece of art.

All 737 Atrium Tower guest rooms also will be redesigned with 32” LCD flat panel TVs, iHome Dual alarm clock radios, new wall coverings, drapes and artwork, energy efficient fixtures and a signature carpet design inspired by the legendary Flora Raris, the sculpture located in the Atrium Lobby. New tile flooring, low-flow toilets, energy efficient lighting, granite vanities and fresh lighting will be upgraded in the guest room bath areas.

Designed by famed architect John Portman, Hyatt Regency Atlanta has long served as a leader in the Atlanta hospitality industry. Ideally located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, Georgia, the hotel property boasts a total of 180,000 square feet of function space, 1,260 guest rooms and is renowned for unparalleled guest service.

The latest $65 million transformation of the downtown Atlanta hotel is intended to ensure the hotel’s continued position as a leader in the local, regional and national meetings and convention market, Hindsley said.

“Hyatt Regency Atlanta has played an integral role in Atlanta for more than 40 years, serving as a central gathering place for local Atlantans and a meeting venue for travelers across the globe,” Hindsley said. “This major transformation speaks to our commitment to ensure the hotel continues to be an innovative destination for years to come.”

The hotel will remain open for business throughout the duration of the project; the transformation was strategically planned in stages as to not disrupt guests’ experiences.

For more information about Hyatt Regency Atlanta and its Atlanta, Georgia downtown hotel transformation, please visit

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Macdonald Burlington Appoints New General Manager

Macdonald Burlington on New Street in Birmingham has appointed 38 year-old Derek McDonagh as General Manager.

His appointment to the 115-bedroom hotel in Birmingham that boasts one of the largest conference facilities in the city reflects the hotel’s determination to firmly position itself as the number one choice for corporate, conference and leisure visitors to the UK’s second largest city.

Dublin born McDonagh, who assumes responsibility for over 80 staff and conferencing space for up to 500 delegates (Horton Room), said of his appointment: “The Macdonald Burlington Hotel is a hidden gem that over the years has established an extremely good reputation for service.

“I wanted to get back into the 4-star hotel market. Macdonald Hotels & Resorts leads the way in its delivery of guest hospitality including a commitment to serve fresh and locally sourced food. It also has a fantastic career structure in place for management and staff, so when the opportunity to take the helm at the Macdonald Burlington arose I jumped at the chance.

“My priority is to raise the profile of the Macdonald Burlington and firmly establish the hotel as the leading hotel in Birmingham. With one of the largest conference facilities in the city and mindful of the fact Birmingham is home to both the International Convention Centre (ICC) and NEC, the staff will be working hard to regain market share by appealing to discerning visitors, including in the corporate business tourism sector.”

McDonagh’s appointment comes at a time the business hotel in Birmingham is investing over £1million in the refurbishment of its comfortable and spacious bedrooms. The beautifully appointed Victorian building, dating back to 1871, originally opened as the Midland Hotel. Located just two minutes’ walk from the main New Street railway station and in the heart of the city shopping district and offering business travellers meeting rooms in Birmingham, the Macdonald Burlington Hotel is an ideal choice for busy executives and leisure guests alike.

McDonagh assumes his new role with Macdonald Hotels after 14 years with Jurys Inn – the past 9 in the West Midlands. In 1999 at the age of 26, he became the youngest general manager ever to be appointed by Jurys.

The family man and keen distance runner (he competes in the annual Birmingham half-marathon) started his career in hospitality in Dublin at the age of 15 where he washed glasses within the city’s Green Isle Hotel. It is also where he met Clara, his future wife. Having found his calling in hospitality, the former Gaelic football player would go on to undertake a 4-year course in Hospitality Management in Dublin with placements in Germany (Bochum) and Galway.

Since 2005, McDonagh has sat on the executive of MARCHE, the Midlands Association for Restaurants, Catering, Hotel and Entertainment venues.

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Rezidor Announces Development Of The Radisson Blu Hotel, Istanbul Sisli

The Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the fastest growing hotel companies worldwide, announces the Radisson Blu Hotel, Istanbul Sisli. The new built 305-room property is scheduled to welcome the first guests in Q3 2012.

“This business and leisure hotel is our 4th property in operation and under development in greater Istanbul and brings our total number of rooms to almost 1,000. This clearly underlines how strategically important the Istanbul market is for our company”, said Kurt Ritter, president & CEO of Rezidor. Rezidor already operates the Radisson Blu Bosphorus Hotel in the city centre and the Radisson Blu Conference & Airport Hotel near Istanbul, and has the Radisson Blu Hotel, Istanbul Asia under development.

Dilek Holding, the owner of the new hotel, is planning to actively expand its business within the 5-star hotel sector – the company also plans to develop a 130-room hotel in Istanbul, in the Pera district.

Istanbul is a true cultural capital: In its long and illustrious history, it has served as the capital city of the Roman Empire, the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, the Latin Empire, and the Ottoman Empire. The architectural and cultural legacies of these fallen empires remain, as the city was chosen as joint European Capital of Culture for 2010. The upmarket Sisli district is known for its grand avenues and modern commercial offices. It is also home to the Istanbul Cevahir Shopping and Entertainment Centre, which is the largest shopping centre in Europe and among the largest in the world.

A future landmark, the Radisson Blu Istanbul Sisli will offer 305 spacious and contemporary guest rooms featuring signature services such as free high speed internet access. Food and beverage facilities will be extensive and include 2 restaurants, a ballroom, and 20 meeting rooms with a total meeting space of around 2,000 square meters. For recreation, an outdoor swimming pool and a luxurious spa are planned.

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Voyages Jules Verne Launches Enhanced Service For Autumn 2011

Voyages Jules Verne has announced the introduction of scheduled flights to its popular programme of escorted tours in Jordan.

Replacing the charter arrangement from Gatwick to Aqaba, clients will now fly from Heathrow to Amman with British Midland International (bmi), enjoying a number of additional benefits that include Saturday departures, an extended season (which means a wider choice of departures over a longer peiord), free connecting bmi flights from Manchester (supplement for other regional airports) and an upgraded flight option where customers can fly in even greater comfort in Business Class (additional cost).

Travelling on scheduled flights will also extend the duration of each itinerary, enabling Voyages Jules Verne clients to spend an extra night in Jordan, staying at an additional location. For example, VJV’s 15-night Grand Tour of Jordan itinerary now includes a stay at the luxurious Evason Ma’in Hot Springs & Six Senses Spa as well as an upgrade to its standard accommodation in Tala Bay, which is now the five-star Radisson Blu Resort. The eight-night Discover Jordan tour now features a night at the Dead Sea – staying either at the four-star Holiday Inn Resort or the new five-star Mövenpick Resort & Spa (additional cost).

Whilst it would be understandable to expect all these extra benefits to incur an additional cost, Voyages Jules Verne has managed to maintain prices across its Jordan programme – reinforcing the company’s reputation for offering the best possible value to its clients. And there’s even better news on the budgeting front in the form of an Early Booking Offer as customers can now reserve their place on a Jordan tour by 30 June 2011 and enjoy a £50 pp reduction on advertised prices.

2012 promises to be a big year for Jordan, as it celebrates the 200th anniversary of the re-discovery of Petra by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt as well as the 50th anniversary of the filming of Lawrence of Arabia. And, with the country currently experiencing a temporary drop in tourism, there really is no better time to see Jordan ‘while the tourist crowds are away’.

Voyages Jules Verne’s 2011/12 Jordan holidays programme offers a choice of four itinerates including Petra to the Pyramids, Jordan’s Red Sea & Petra, Discover Jordon and Grand Tour of Jordon.

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Summer Nights at the Paris Jazz Festival

It is the last stop on the Paris Metro Line 1, but there is a reason the service travels as far as Chateau de Vincennes. As well as the entertaining castle, the stunning Parc Floral plays hosts each summer to a packed programme of some of the world’s finest jazz music.

Every weekend from June 11th to July 31st, visitors to the park can sit among the attractive flower arrangements and foliage and be treated to an eclectic and entertaining collection of inventive jazz music from around the world.

The festival will showcase everything from the familiar ‘big band’ style to funk, soul, circus music and Latin jazz, performed by an esteemed list of global artists, as well as some of France’s favourite practitioners of the art.

Each of these themes will be afforded their own weekend, allowing you to easily pick and choose which style of jazz to enjoy.

In addition, the Garden of Jazz will host exhibitions on subjects such as the craft of instrument-making and photograph collections.

While the event is free, there is a small fee charged to enter the park itself, but it is certainly worth it.

For the best Paris hotels to suit your requirements during your stay, visit for a full range of wonderful boutique hotels, including the delightful Pershing Hall.

If you would like to know more about Paris Jazz Festival, visit

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Thomson Launches Couples

Thomson Holidays has officially launched Thomson Couples, an all-new adults-only holiday experience aimed at couples who want to spend time abroad in a child-free environment. With the first Couples customers flying out in June, Thomson is the first mainstream travel company to offer 100% child-free holiday resorts worldwide.

News of the launch of the adult-only holidays will be welcomed by more than three quarters (79%) of all those questioned for a Thomson Holidays survey who admitted their holidays were affected by other people’s children, while 31% said that unruly youngsters have actually ruined a well-earned break.

What’s more, one in three UK adults (35%) said they agreed unequivocally with the statement “Hell is other people’s children on holiday”.

For more than half those questioned (55%) the main complaint about children is their behaviour in the hotel restaurant, while nearly half (48%) find the “general noise and whining” made by kids on holiday irritating. Another major gripe was noise from children in the room next door (45%), while for a third (32%) over-tired youngsters can also spoil an evening’s entertainment.

The hotel swimming pool is a flashpoint too, where 41% are irritated by the noise from excited children. Being splashed while sunbathing around the pool was annoying for nearly a third (30%), while 21% said they dislike being splashed by children while they’re swimming in the pool.

Interestingly, the problems are not solely confined to other people’s children. Some 40% of parents say their own kids affect the enjoyment of their holiday, while 4% of these say they can even ruin it completely.

The research went on to show that many people would like to see adult-only areas in hotels. More than half (55%) believe the bar should be a no-go area for kids, while 42% would like part of the swimming pool cordoned off for adults to swim quietly.

The subject of adults-only holidays is explored in greater detail in a ‘White Paper’ commissioned by Thomson Holidays. The paper includes interviews with people taking both Thomson child-free and child-friendly holidays in Cyprus during last October’s half-term holiday.

Luke Gaskins, Head of Product Development at Thomson Holidays, explained that Thomson Couples holidays is part of the company’s commitment to designing holidays around the differing needs of its customers, and would complement its hugely popular Thomson Families resorts.

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