Monthly Archives: March 2014

Culinary experiences in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

One of the best known hotels on the island of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the gastronomic hotel Iberostar Grand Mencey, next to the García Sanabria Park. The hotel is part of the prestigious Majorcan hotel chain Iberostar Hotels & Resorts and offers quality service matching its 5 stars.

The gastronomic services provided by this accommodation in the centre of Santa Cruz de Tenerife stand out, specially the restaurant Los Menceyes. It also has another 2 restaurants and 3 bars clearly differentiated.

Culinary Experience in Tenerife

Culinary Experience in Tenerife

Also, the Grand Mencey hosts the Mencey Cookery Classroom, a space designed for maximum enjoyment and provide gourmet experiences for those passionate food lovers.

Both hotel guests and island residents are welcome to the cooking courses organized by the Mencey, led by the executive Chef Juan Carlos Clemente. All the necessary information on cooking courses in Tenerife can be found on the official website of the Cookery Classroom of El Mencey.

Mencey's Cookery classsroom

Mencey’s Cookery classroom

They are normally between 2 and 4 cooking classes every month. These courses can be on a varied number of topics, such as the preparation and elaboration of sushi, chocolate in the kitchen, traditional Canarian recipes, etc.

The Gran Mencey stands out for the quality of its unique features and services, with special attention to detail, with an exclusive and professional service. The Spa of the hotel has a long lasting reputation and is always a good idea to book in advance.

So, if you are planning a luxury holiday in the Canary Island of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the Iberostar Grand Hotel Mencey is the perfect accommodation.

Apartment complex next to the Dunes of Maspalomas

Maspalomas is a tourist enclave that has become a key destination in Gran Canaria, offering a large variety of hotels and an impressive sand dunes range impossible to be ignored. It is a real experience to walk by its dunes, take the watch off  and just let yourself be impressed by the nature.

Tisalaya Park Apartments are placed in this area of Gran Canaria. It is an apartment complex in Maspalomas surrounded by beautiful gardens with tropical plants, where it is a real pleasure to stay and relax with the typical and delicious weather of the Canary Islands.

It is specifically located next to the charming Maspalomas beach and at one step from the famous beaches Las Meloneras and Playa del Inglés. Besides, it is in the heart of the International Maspalomas Golf Course, this is the reason why golfers find it perfect to  combine this sport with leisure activities and tourist attractions.

Tisalaya Park Apartments are ideal for travelling alone or with family, since they offer two types of accommodations: standard apartments and apartments with capacity for up to 3 people. All of them has complete services such as kitchen, living room, bathroom, TV (for a fee), telephone, safety deposit box (for a fee) and piped music. The larger apartments have separate bedroom and private terrace.

These stupendous apartments in the south of Gran Canaria boast a beautiful pool surrounded by tropical gardens, a solarium terrace, à la carte restaurants and half board menu, sport courts, and children’s playground. It also offers laundry service, transfer to the airport and the Maspalomas beach, tickets sale and Internet centre (for a fee).

Visit Cáceres from the Barceló Cáceres V Centenario Hotel

Barceló Cáceres V Centenario is a 4 star rated hotel belonging to the Barceló chain. An ideal accommodation for a leisure trip, since its central location allows you to easily visit the emblematic places of the city. Also a good option for business trips, work meetings and events in general, thanks to its 5 rooms specially designed for this purpose.

Barceló Cáceres V Centenario Hotel is located in Los Castellanos, a quiet residential area at just five minutes from the historic centre of Cáceres, declared World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.

It is one of the best all-inclusive hotels in Cáceres. Its all-inclusive urban concept allows you to lodge at the hotel and enjoy unlimited breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks all the day long.

The hotel has two exquisite restaurants: à la carte restaurant Florence, where you can taste the specialities of the local cuisine, and Grill & Lounge Barbecue, where the grilled food lovers could enjoy its delicious meats and fishes (open only in summer time).

Barceló Cáceres V Centenario is a perfect hotel for events at Cáceres, it has five meeting rooms with different capacity to host all types of business meetings and celebrations. They are all equipped with PA system, projector and screen, lightning system, table microphones, lectern, DVD player, a slide projector, video-conference system, Wifi ADSL connection.

Its rooms stand out for its big spaces where you will have for sure a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere. All of them are well connected and completely renovated. Elegant and cosy, most of the rooms have their own terrace.

To ensure a pleasant experience for the guests, hotel puts at your disposal services such as free wifi in all the facilities, car park, bathroom amenities, exterior pool for kids and adults, as well as personalised and kind attention to make of your visit one of the best you ever had.

Majorca, an island for everyone

Majorca is one of the favourite destinations to enjoy your holiday this Easter that, even despite the crisis, continues rising regarding its visitors: in 2013 the flight demand during this holiday time increased a 30% in relation to the last year, and the average hotel occupancy increased by  over 70%, numbers expected to increase, since the season is postponed until the end of April, when practically the entire tourism motor of Majorca is full working.

The good weather conditions offered by the Mediterranean and the wide variety of plans and proposals of the island shape an option easily adaptable to all kind of tourists: families, young people, couples looking for sun, beach and relax.

Although Majorca is not precisely a cheap destination, the consolidation of low cost airlines in the Son Sant Joan Airport added new seasonal routes at a reasonable prices that allow almost everyone escape to one of the most coveted islands by the European tourists.

Barcelo Illetas Albatros hotel

Barcelo Illetas Albatros hotel

Germans and British keep being the majority of visitors each time more various: Nordic, Russian, Italian and French people seems have discovered again the Balearic Islands and in the last years have bet so much on Majorca as on the Pitiusas an Menorca.

The hotels in Playa de Muro are some of the most appreciated accommodations, they have adapted to the best current demand and confirms the prosperity of one of the few sectors que keep seeing numbers with optimism.

For those who travel with family, Majorca is an ideal place to rest and enjoy the nature, because the fun options are almost all out of doors: beach, aquatic parks, zoos, excursions to the mountain… Besides, it is a friendly and safe island for travelling with kids, with first level  medical services and with a long career in service to tourists from all over the world.

Majorca is also a destination for romantic escapes.  Or for travelling alone: spring offers great possibilities for hiking excursions, days in group, trips for singles, adventure sports, sailing and scuba diving courses… Really interesting alternatives and specialised numerous agencies that allow to organise different trips, adapted to every one needs.

It is true that the beach is the main centre of the island, but if you search a little, and make a list of alternative plans to the sun, you will discover a new place, unique.  A destination for everyone, it is worth it!

Get ready for a ecological holiday

The eco experiences are in fashion: holiday committed with the environment, green hotels and sustainable destinations… More and more people prefer this new way of travelling and, to the same extent, the growing offer of ecological hotels, and cities looking for the balance of a sector that has turned a blind eye for years to the reality of its environment, seems unstoppable.

What is green, sells, and many hotel chains have known how to take advantage of this to renovate its establishments and create authentic resorts perfectly integrated in the surrounding atmosphere, and even joining the leisure offer with ecological workshops and environmental voluntary work.

Besides, these ecological hotels always meet a series of basic requirements, such as the installation of energy saving systems, waste treatment, promotion of environmental protection, sponsorship of environmental activities, ecological cuisine and even specialised restaurants in vegetarian food…

Eco Label

Eco Label

Currently there already is a Green Hotels Association that tries to bring together every ecological hotel opening itself up to the world, and to establish the basic guidelines that must be carried out to be considered ecological ones.

As with all things, the  fight against the usurpation is difficult because, realising the exponential growth of the demand for green hotels, many establishments and chains have taken advantage of the concept turning it into a marketing element, but without offering at all an ecological experience or at least having the slightest concern for the environment.

Even so, realising the tourism sector need of moving towards the sustainability have resulted in projects that even though we could not consider them as purely “ecological hotels”, they are a clear advance and an important commitment to the coexistence of tourism and environment.

Ecological destinations

One of the Spanish chains that is working hard in this aspect is the Sandos Hotels & Resorts that now has a hotel in Spain and other resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, where all the travel experience revolves around the nature, the sustainability and the protection of the socionatural spaces where the resort is situated.

Mexico is, precisely, one of the places where the demand for green hotels has substantially increased.  Some of the most outstanding exponents are the Hotelito Desconocido, in Jalisco; the Hacienda Mariposas, in Michoacan, and the Eco Paraiso in Celestun, Yucatan.

Another interesting destination, in Europe, is the Netherlands. In Denmark is found the Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers, regarded as the best ecological hotel of Europe, followed by the Hotel Garden Court of Holland.

In Spain, the rural tourism and the cottages have taken on this concept and have integrated it into its own definition and essence, so that the offer is wide but is not so focused on the green hotel concept as on the rural and traditional hotel.

Sandos Caracol Eco Experience Resort

Sandos Caracol Eco Experience Resort

In the big capitals like Barcelona, you really realise that this new type of hotels is excelling, standing out establishments such as the Grand Hotel Central where the Green Thinking Holidays are presented as an added value experience.

Other hotels in Barcelona not exactly considered as ecological hotels but that are making an effort in this sense are for example the Opera Garden Hotel in Las Ramblas, with hundred year old trees in its interior garden, and the Barceló Raval, an innovative hotel in the Raval that has bet on the revival of this mythic neighbourhood of Barcelona.

In Madrid, the most known ecological hotel is the Radisson Blu Hotel Madrid Prado, of the Rezidor group, that has more than 200 ecological hotels all around the world.

Ecological hotels must meet the following requirements:

  • Energy efficiency and saving systems implanted.
  • Respect for the biodiversity and the social traditions of the surrounding environment.
  • Commitment to renewable energy sources: solar panels, wind…
  • Environmentally friendly building materials taking the most of the resources.
  • Restaurant service based on organic products.
  • Having the Ecolabel logo.

Europe’s highest hotel

¿Which is the Europe’s highest hotel and where is located?  This trivial question has an answer that will, surely, surprise many, since the highest hotel in the European continent is the Bali Gran Hotel, a 4 star rated hotel in Benidorm, with around 100 feet high, located next to the Poniente beach.

It is not entirely strange since Benidorm is one of the European cities having a really characteristic skyline: if you look from the sea at the coast, you will see dozens of giants appearing in front of the beaches and boasting thousand of shapes and colours. Among them, 22 emblematic buildings of the city, authentic monuments of a ripe destination that has marked a milestone in the Spanish Mediterranean.

The highest hotel in Europe

The highest hotel in Europe

The Bali Gran Hotel is one of those historic buildings. Well-known all over the world as the highest residential building of Europe, it is the flagship of the Bali Group hotel chain, offering a viewpoint just a few steps from La Cala beach, in the Poniente area of the Costa Blanca Capital.

Visiting this great flat roof is one of the essential experiences in Benidorm, since the panorama from its 524 feet shows the true history of this sun and beach city. The Bali Gran Hotel viewpoint  is on the 45th floor, access is for a fee:  guests (1 Euros) and general public (5 Euros). In the Empire State Building style.

Views of the Benidorm city and mountains surrounding it make worthwhile paying this admission: from the high you can watch the great Puig de Campana and the mountain range protecting Benidorm, Serra Gelada, Serra Grossa, Serra Cortina and Serra Bernia. Besides, access is by a panoramic lift, allowing you to see in only one minute the entire orography of the city.

Modern, with luxury suites with views to the Poniente beach and an interior artificial lake, the great Bali Hotel is one of the establishments that can be considered an attraction in itself, a place to live a different holiday experience that does not depends on the destination.  In total, building takes up around 645,000 sq ft and took 14 years to be completely built.  Designed by the architect Antonio Escario, its big spaces are usually scene of the great global  events and sports competitions.

The magic of the Boqueria Market

The Mercat de Sant Josep, better known as  La Boqueria Market, is one of the most desirable places to visit and enjoy during a trip to Barcelona. Colours and smells combine in a spiral of sensations that exhales a unique Mediterranean fragrance that transports the visitor to a different time and space, where what really seems to matter is the essence of things, the soul of the most authentic products.

Stepping into the spectacular building and walking down its aisles with your eye set on every post, tasting here and there, buying some fresh fruit or stopping to take a break and savour some good tapas… The visit to La Boqueria Market is a ritual for many who visit Barcelona and to those who return from time to time to the city. It’s a way to feel once again a part of it.

The history of the market is well known in Barcelona. Originally, it was like every other market of its time: a great whirlwind of street vendors, wooden boxes, bags and cardboard exposed outdoors, in the so called Pla de La Boqueria. In this pla was exactly where once stood the convent of Sant Josep. Later, they built the current structure, work that casually finished the day of St. Joseph, which now gives its name to the market.

Today, the structure remains the same, with its beautiful porches, but the seller and their posts have become rows of multicoloured meat, vegetables, fruits, teas and spice stands… All meticulously organised, where the products on display seem to be there more to be photographed and admired than for purchase.

For a weekend trip to Barcelona or a group trip, we leave a selection of some hotels close to La Boqueria Market:

Hotel Petit Palace Opera Garden

Hotel Petit Palace Boqueria

Hotel Petit Palace Museum

Apartments Flats Club

Seville from the other side of the Guadalquivir river

Tomares, San Juan de Aznalfarache, Bormujos, Castilleja de la Cuesta… Seville at the other side of the Guadalquivir river offers a group of districts and neighbourhoods which are like small towns with about 24.000 residents. There, the art of this lively capital mixes with the daily life, local and business environment.

Just 15 minutes from the Plaza de España in Seville, you can find this business area, with services specially focused on those who must travel for work and need an accommodation in a quiet area in Seville, close to the business centres but without giving up the good connections with the city centre.

In the same way, close to San Juan de Aznalfarache and Tomares, 3 industrial estates are concentrated (Manchón, Serviasa and Aljarafe), the well-known Herba rice factory, several business hotels in Seville, the Zaudín golf course and all types of restaurants and pubs typically Andalucian where you can taste from the set menu to the delicious traditional dishes, cooked in the old-fashioned way.

TRH Alcora hotel in Seville

TRH Alcora hotel in Seville

Here is also located the regional television head office and big shopping centres; in addition, it is really easy to go to the centre of Seville by the tube, and so, it is considered for many one of the main dormitory areas of the capital of Seville.  From San Juan de Aznalfarache and, specially, from the monuments zone located in the old hill, you can enjoy one of the best views of the entire city of Seville.

It should be pointed out its Parque de los Pitufos (as the Minas de Cala park is commonly known), considered one of the most lively places of the area, where many out of doors activities are celebrated all year round: markets, games and sports championships, cinema, art exhibitions…

A tour by the Ibiza coast: Cala Nova

Our routes by the Ibiza coast lead us to one of the beaches of the Es Canar and Santa Eulària des Riu seaboard that still keeps almost intact that charm which made this magical island famous all over the world.  Surrounded by a typically Mediterranean forest, with golden sand and crystal-clear water, Cala Nova is a perfect place to get away for some days this spring.

Although in summer it could still be a marvellous destination, as often happens in Ibiza, from June it is difficult to find the real peace: wherever you go, you will find people, liveliness and festive atmosphere,  which is not bad if you look for a holiday with a little of everything.  Now, if you want to escape of the world to a paradise place, nothing better than visiting Cala Nova during May, June, September and October.

Hotels in Ibiza

Hotels in Ibiza

You can find accommodation in Cala Nova for good price and with very complete services: restaurants, stunning infinity pools with views to the Mediterranean, solarium terraces, special parties… Even some hotels offer miniclub in Cala Nova, a good choice if you decide to travel with children without giving up your time, your peace and your space.

Near to Cala Nova, you can also find cheap hotels in Es Canar and connections between both areas are very comfortable and easy.

The Cala Nova beach in itself is far from being one of the most extensive areas of Ibiza:  273 yards long by 32 yards wide, that is, a typical cove of Ibiza where in summer towels are always overbooked.  Nevertheless, it is well-known for having better atmosphere, even in those months when there is more tourists.

It is a quiet, inviting sandy area, surrounded by Mediterranean pines, and not very deep (that is why it is a very recommended place for a getaway with your partner and your children to Ibiza) Besides, for those who want to relax under the sun, it offers hammocks and sunshades, pedaloes to enjoy a short trip on the sea, a small beach bar and some nearby restaurants.

To get around, as in the entire city, it is better to have a private car (rental cars are for a very good price in summer.) The most recommended zone is that on the Sant Carles side, in the Cala Llenya area.

Barceló Punta Umbría Mar Hotel

The Barceló Punta Umbría Mar hotel has a unique location in the coastal area of the fishing village of Punta Umbría, Huelva. It is a beach hotel ideal for family trips or trips with your friends to the extraordinary Reserve of the Odiel Marshes.

The services of the Barceló Punta Umbría Mar Hotel include a complete entertainment programme for adults and children, miniclub for the youngest members of the family and a spa for the comfort of our clients.

 

 

And after a long day of family activities, resting in the rooms of the Barceló Punta Umbría Mar seems tempting, with wide and well-lit spaces, functional furniture and a design with the best finishes 

Enjoy a beach hotel with spa in one of the best natural areas of Andalusia.