Monthly Archives: June 2014

Gastronomic corners in La Cocina del Mencey

La Cocina del Mencey is a gastronomic place belonging to IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Mencey and conceived of to provide a space full of culinary options for good food lovers. There we find Los Menceyes Restaurant which offers a wide menu with traditional dishes from the Canary Islands, as well as a list of regional, national and international wines, dessert menu, gourmet breakfast and tasting menu to delight in the most innovative creations.

Besides, we can visit The Mencey Cookery Classroom, where general, private , theme and tailor-made courses are offered. You can also rent the room to celebrate events and culinary team buildings  with cooking and cocktail making courses. Everything is designed in such a way that the visitors immerse themselves in an atmosphere where flavours and good combinations are the stars.

But this is not all, there are other gastronomic corners in La Cocina del Mencey:

–        Iballa Cocktail  Bar: A multifaceted bar where we find novel and classic cocktails, gastronomic events and cocktail making Master Classes.

Iballa Cocktail Bar

Iballa Cocktail Bar

–        Casino Bar: A space where we can challenge the fortune while we have a good glass of liqueur. There we can take a Black Jack Master Class or an American roulette (with croupier) for small groups.

–        Los Laureles Restaurant and  Terrace: What is better than eating while you contemplate views of nature? This corner gives us that possibility, and we can also rent a hammock and enjoy  the swimming pool for 45€  (gastronomic vaucher included).

Los Laureles Restaurant and Terrace

Los Laureles Restaurant and Terrace

If you are one of those food and liquor lovers, if you love cooking and learning, if you enjoy spaces that arouse the senses…  La Cocina del Mencey is your place!

The best flamenco in Madrid

Some of the best flamenco tablaos of Spain are situated in Madrid. Visiting the Spanish capital is a stupendous occasion for experiencing a show of this centenary art and live the emotion transmitted by every guitar chord and foot-tapping.

If you stay in a hotel in Madrid, we recommend you to visit some flamenco tablaos, they offer shows every night, where besides enjoying the music and dance, you can taste some of the most traditional dishes of the Spanish cuisine or a good glass of wine.

Foto de Flamenco web

Besides, there is a wide offer of accommodations close to the centre of Madrid, from where you can visit the most important flamenco tablaos of the capital. Here you have some of the most traditional tablaos in Madrid.

–        Corral de la Morería: It is a tablao located in Calle de la Morería, number 17, whose decor reminds the first flamenco tablaos. It was opened in 1956 next to Palacio Real and since then it offers to the visitor the best flamenco of the country.

–        Torres Bermejas: This tablao is placed in an incredible room which is a reproduction of Torres Bermejas in The Alhambra, Granada. The great artist Camarón de la Isla performed here for 12 years. Calle Mesonero Romanos, 11.

–        Café de Chinitas: The most representative flamenco artists have performed in this important tablao in Torija street, (number 11). It is located in the ground floor of a XVII century palace in the historic centre of Madrid. It is worth visiting just for its decor.

–        Las Carboneras: This tablao is placed in the ground floor of an old palace of the Count of Miranda and located in MIranda street, number 1, in Madrid. Here we find an exquisite combination of the traditional and most modern flamenco.

–        Las Tablas: Located in Plaza de España, number 9, in this tablao you can feel the emotion transmitted by an authentic top quality flamenco show.

Foto de Mas flamenco radio

If you are looking for a hotel in Madrid for a business trip or for pleasure, we recommend you to check the shows schedule to take the opportunity to live the emotion produced by the flamenco.

The hallmarks of boutique hotels

Boutique hotels are a relatively new business line which is gradually expanding. Although it is still an unknown concept for many people, this type of accommodations is winning faithful clients that do not hesitate to stay in this type of hotels thanks to the advantages they offer by comparison with other types of accommodations.

Boutique hotels are a type of accommodations with a singular style and character.

Although they all are usually different, there are hallmarks that make them different from the rest. Some of these characteristics are:

habitacion-2-adultos-1-nino-del-mar

  • Urban location: Boutique hotels are usually located in central areas of the city or in areas with special cultural or commercial interest.
  • Personalized attention: One of the most outstanding features of this type of hotels is that they consider the clients to be special guests, this is the reason by which they always give them a preferential and personalized treatment.
  • Not big chains: Although there are boutique hotel chains, usually they do not belong to big hotel groups. And when several boutique hotels are part of the same chain, they have the peculiarity of being different from each other and keeping their own style, in contrast with the big chains where all the accommodations are characterized by having a uniform design.
  • Elegant design: Every boutique hotel has its own style, usually boasting a modern and sophisticated design that make them very exclusive.
  • Few rooms: Although there is not a restriction on the number of rooms, these hotels are usually limited, about 50 to 200 rooms.
  • Private experience: All the previous hallmarks make the experience of the guests warm and private. Cosy spaces, personalized attention and decor allow the guests to feel really comfortable, with a sensation of privacy despite being in a hotel.

desayuno-terraza-del-mar
Del Mar Hotel, a boutique hotel in Puerto de Santa Maria, is a good example of what a boutique hotel is. In this hotel, we can appreciate the features that define this type of accommodations. Personalized attention, exclusive designs, strategic location… All this can be found in this spa hotel in Cádiz.

Things to do in Seville

Visiting Seville is always a pleasure for the senses. For the senses and the soul, because the joy of this Andalusian capital rubs off on every visitor. Maybe it is the nature of its people, the way of life or the beauty of the city, but the truth is that most of the people love to go back there.

If you visit it, the best option is staying in a hotel next to the centre of Seville, because this allow you to comfortably visit the main places of interest. There are many things to see or do in this city, so a short trip could not be enough to see all Seville offers.

Foto de Places on line

In any case, there are some must visit sites if you stay in an accommodation in Seville. In this post, we have some recommendations for you:

    • Go up to La Giralda: One of the emblems of Seville is La Giralda, so you cannot miss the opportunity to go up to it and contemplate the views of the city from the top.
    • Go in the Alcázar: From outside you see a stunning building and from inside is even more stunning, so it is recommended to visit the oldest inhabitable royal palace in Europe.
    • Watch a flamenco show: In the entire city, especially in the centre, flamenco shows are organised at night. You can get tickets in many hotels in Seville.

Foto de El Patio Sevillano

    • Go for a walk by the Triana and Santa Cruz neighbourhoods: Seville has several neighbourhoods with own personality, such as the Triana and Santa Cruz neighbourhoods, where it is worth getting lost to discover the authentic corners with charm.
    • Sit on the banks of the Guadalquivir: In the lovely sunny days is really fantastic to sit a while on the banks of the river to rest and enjoy the landscape. Many people from Seville visit this place in their days off to enjoy the free air.
    • Visit the Maria Luisa Park: It is the green area of Seville and there you can contemplate a large variety of species of flora and relax going for a walk.

Foto de Wikipedia

    • Walk by the Sierpes street: It is one of the most emblematic streets of the city, ideal for shopping or going for tapas.
    • Go for tapas: No one should visit Seville without going  for tapas at least one time, and the thing is that it is a real gastronomic and cultural tradition. Fried small fish, marinated fish, gazpacho… Cuisine for all tastes.

Top destinations in Spain for this summer (II)

We continue with the second part of the selection of the main tourist destinations in Spain for this 2014 summer , among which we find some of the most important classics such as Cádiz, Costa del Sol and alternatives to the sun and beach, such as the lively Barcelona.

Cheap accommodations and amazing natural environments are the keys offered by these destinations, versatile places for travelling with children or for getting lost during a week and forgetting permanently the daily routine.

Barcelona, for city dwellers

If you are one of those who cannot live without wandering about the streets, shops, bars and museums, Barcelona is your place for this 2014 summer: the Catalonian city has plenty of cultural and leisure plans where, besides, we can enjoy the beach. Booking a hotel in the coast of Barcelona or in towns full of charm such as Calella, is one of the most interesting options if you want something different, but close to the city. Nevertheless, if you are looking for city, city, city, you can take the opportunity to choose a hotel near to Plaça de Catalunya or a room near to La Boquería Market and live in the heart of Barcelona for a few days.

The hotels in the centre of Barcelona are ideal for enjoying the city without needing to rent a car (parking in the Catalonian capital could be a real odyssey, so it could be the perfect option if you do not want to complicate). The public transport allow you to arrive to La Barceloneta, Nova Icaria and Sant Sebastià without worry.

If you visit it in summer, the key is to take advantage of the aforementioned beaches and its coastal towns, as well as of the outdoor festivals of music, the artistic activities filling the streets in this season, the outdoor dinner, the breakfasts surrounded by that Mediterranean light…

Cádiz beaches

Another of the classics is again one of the star destinations in Spain for this 2014 summer: its wonderful beaches and coves, ideal for those travelling with family and for groups of surf lovers looking for going up the most impressive waves of the Atlantic, are an attraction that has turned Cádiz and its coast into a place worth visiting again. Cuisine and culture join this combination and create the perfect destination, however you are and whoever you travel with, Cádiz will captivate you.

There are 2 disparate alternatives to book an accommodation in Cádiz: to opt for staying in Cádiz city, enjoying this bustling and pleasant historical city, its funny people and its bars and restaurants, or to opt for booking a hotel in Calas Conil, one of most impressive swimming areas in the province, where nature and cuisine form a more than interesting trip option.

Costa del Sol

Talking about Costa del Sol is talking about summer. And this 2014 is not the exception, since the hotels in Fuengirola, Torremolinos or Estepona have almost filled all the bill for July and August. Although they are very traditional destinations, its excellent price, its always perfect beaches for swimming and its good connections with the entire peninsula make of this coast one of the most visited during the summer months.

Booking a hotel in Costa del Sol could be difficult due to the wide offer of accommodations: hotels for families in Malaga, beach resorts in Marbella, golf hotels in Estepona. Prices are really affordable, specially in 3 and 4 star hotels, where services are very complete and rates are economical.

Costa del Sol offers plenty of possibilities according to the destination you choose. In Malaga, the called Golf Valley is one of the must visit places for those who love this sport; Mijas and Benalmádena, two of the favourite enclaves for those travelling with family, and Sierra de las Nieves, the destination of nature, mountain and adventure sport lovers.

The best areas for booking a hotel in Benidorm.

Benidorm is one of the most tourist areas in Spain, and its offer of hotels is huge.  There are accommodations for all tastes and all budgets offering from basic and cheap rooms to the most exclusive services in rooms with awe-inspiring views of the Mediterranean.

The hotel choice depends on the user’s tastes and needs.  There are hotels in the entire city and in its surroundings but, obviously, some areas are best prepared for the tourism than others.

Foto de Benidorm Spot Light

Benidorm has more than 6 km of coast, whose bigger extension covers its two main beaches, Poniente and Levante.  Almost in the middle, both beaches are divided by the centre of the city where are situated a considerable part of the hotel offer.

One of the best area for booking a hotel in Benidorm is the city centre.  This area is right in front of the Levante and Poniente beaches, so if you book a hotel in the centre of Benidorm, you can easily go to both beaches.  Another advantage of the city centre is that it allows to complement the sun and beach days with walks by the historic quarter and by the rest of the city in order to know this beautiful city of Alicante.

Foto de Benidorm Spot Light 2

You can also stay in a hotel in the historic centre of Benidorm.  The old quarter is made up of a framework of picturesque small streets, ideal to get away from it all and let yourself be astonished by its small bars, restaurants and shops.   Now, car parking in the centre and in the old quarter is difficult, so the most recommended is to stay in a hotel with car park.

If you prefer a beach hotel, one of my suggestions is to opt for a hotel in Poniente beach.  It is one of the quietest areas of Benidorm, this is why it is an appropriate option for families or people wanting to be in a peaceful atmosphere, away from the most noisy places.

Foto de Benidorm Live

 

Poniente beach occupies an extensive coastal area from the centre to La Cala. There is a promenade along the entire beach, it is a real pleasure walk it at the end of the afternoon, contemplate the sunset and enjoy the ambience.

Other of the recommended options is choosing a hotel in Levante beach. This area is packed with restaurants, bars and pubs.  Its atmosphere is quite lovely during the whole year, especially in summer. There, the leisure offer is plentiful. If you do not want to be in the middle of the hubbub, you can also book a hotel in Cala Almadrava, close to Levante beach and to the centre, but in a quieter area.

Business tourism in Andorra

In the last years, Andorra has been developing an infrastructure that has turned this principality into one of the best destinations for business tourism. The geographical location of the country, along with its good connections and its excellent facilities, make of Andorra a perfect place for the organisation of corporate events.

A large number of hotels in the principality have adapted their facilities to meet the needs of more and more companies looking for hotels to hold a function in Andorra. To this effect, the accommodations must provide a series of essential services for the celebration of events, such as different sized meeting rooms, video and audio equipment, spacious car park area, among others.

Sant Gothard Hotel Rooms

Likewise, most of these accommodations have refurbished their facilities in order to satisfy the people who travel for business, so they have created business rooms in Andorra with specific services such as wifi, desk or work area, wake-up call, etc..

Additionally, there is also a series of meeting and conferences centres located in the principality, placing the country at the forefront of top quality and professional business destinations. This tendency has been reinforced with the creation of the Andorra Convention Bureau, which strengthens the interest of the principality in this business sector.

Cosmos Hotel Meeting Room

Andorra is also a very interesting destination for business tourism thanks to the complementary value provided by its landscape and environment, as well as to the activities we can do there. This allows us to marvellously complement a business trip with different leisure options for groups.

Fun in the heart of the nature in Naturlandia

For those who do not know it yet, Naturlandia is the most important adventure park in Andorra, which is located in Sant Julià de Lòria Parish. It is a place with plenty of different leisure activities for all the family where there is always a common characteristic: the direct contact with the nature.

Adults and kids have fun in the attractions of Naturlandia surrounded by a so wonderful environment as forest and valley can be. Those who want can stay in a mountain hotel in Sant Julià de Lòria to take advantage of the park without worrying about nothing else but having fun.

Naturlandia

Throughout the entire park, there are a series of attractions and services for all publics. There, for example, we find the “Tobotronc”, the longest Alpine slide in the world with 5.3 km long. Those who love the heights can also climb the “Airtrekk”, the largest sky trail in Europe which features a structure of ten towers and 13.5 metres height.

Horse lovers can also take advantage of the facilities of Naturlandia to do a tour, as well as other activities such as driving buggies and quads, playing mini golf or archery.

Naturlandia 2

And to make the most of the day, they also offer restaurants, coffee shops with terraces, shops, playground, infirmary, equipment rental, wifi, etc…

Naturlandia has also an animal park where we can enjoy watching different species from the Pyrenees, such as bears, wolves or Iberian ibexes, among others. It is a complete circuit where we can discover the mountain animal world in a natural environment.

If you love the nature, the adventure and the fun, do not hesitate to look for a hotel close to Naturlandia in Andorra and discover what this park offers you.

All inclusive in Ibiza

Is it worth booking an All inclusive hotel in Ibiza?  Yes or no?  Well,  it depends. Booking an All inclusive in Ibiza, as in any other destination, entails a series of advantages and some disadvantages. Although, regardless of what one might think, choosing an All inclusive accommodation is usually cheaper than opting for Room Only or Half Board, especially in expensive destinations, as it is the case of Isla Blanca, where the complementary offer of restaurants has a medium-high price range. It is the most complete option, prices are usually affordable and, if hotels have 4 or 5 star rating, the quality and attention are more than guaranteed.

In general, the All inclusive of the hotels in Ibiza is quite complete, although we must  be careful when we read the fine print, since there are clauses and exceptions  which can entail unexpected expenses if we do not know well what they really offer in their accommodation packages.

Fiesta Club Palm Beach

Fiesta Club Palm Beach

What must we bear in mind when choosing an All inclusive hotel in Ibiza? Some of the important things to keep in mind when deciding, besides the already mentioned hotel category, are the equipments, extra services and facilities offered by the accommodation: swimming pools, gym, sport courts, guided courses, games, nanny, miniclub and activities for children, variety of restaurants, bars and terraces for shows and theme parties…

Ibiza is a place with ideal beaches where the most usual is to spend the day outside the hotel. In this case, it is necessary to keep in mind that an All inclusive package is conceived for those who want to make the most of their time in the hotel, without giving up, of course, the destination. This is why it is essential to pay attention to the meal time and its flexibility: if you want to be outside the hotel for as long as possible and cross the island without being worried about the meal time, the best option is to opt for booking Room Only and eating where you had decided to spend the day..

Grand Palladium Palace Ibiza Hotel

Grand Palladium Palace Ibiza Hotel

Many hotels, nevertheless, offer a picnic to their guests to enjoy the advantages of the All inclusive  inside or outside the accommodation. This system consists of booking the meal one day before the excursion. It is usually a cold buffet dish, from sandwiches to salads, even with the possibility of choosing.among several options. They also make special picnics for children, with funny food and healthy desserts. The variety is so wide, but it is important to make sure that it is included in the price, since some beach resorts charge it as a supplement.

Another of the matters that we must bear in mind is what the All inclusive includes beyond the meals and drinks: we must pay attention because some drinks (cocktails, beers, name brand drinks) or special dinners are excluded. The ideal is that the package covers everything, since the advantage of the All inclusive is really to forget about paying during the holidays and to avoid surprises of endless bills at the end of the stay. Likewise, the special facilities (spa, sport courts, beauty salon…) must be considered: most of the All inclusive hotels do not include them.

Top destinations in Spain for this summer (I)

The main tourist destinations in Spain for this 2014 summer are working in full capacity: new hotels, sun terraces and new fun and adventure plans are waiting for us to enjoy one of the best times of the year.  Andalusia, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands keep setting the standard for this summer holidays in our country, along with the always visited Levante coast. Choosing a destination in these areas is always a wise choice, especially if you are one of those who prefer sea to mountain.

Canary Islands, of course

Booking a hotel for families in Tenerife or opting for a resort with Only Adults area in Fuerteventura is still one of the classics of the summer. The Canary Islands have sun for sure, something that no one wants to give up in summer. The north is pushed into the background in this sense and travellers keep being faithful to the archipelago, to its long paradise beaches and its landscape full of exoticism.

One of the star islands for this 2014 summer is Lanzarote. The hotel area in Puerto del Carmen is the favourite one. There you can find from cheap All Inclusive family rooms in beach resorts to exclusive suites for a romantic getaway. Among the must visit places is the wonderful group of islands of the archipelago: Chinijo and La Graciosa, Punta Mujeres, Los Volcanes Natural Park… Another interesting option is to book a villa in Montaña Roja, one of the most attractive coastal and mountain areas of Lanzarote, right next to Playa Blanca: there you can combine everything, from adventure sports to the most exquisite relax.

Majorca or Ibiza? Well… Minorca!

The dilemma in summer is usually between holidays in Majorca or in Ibiza, leaving Minorca as that small redoubt almost reserved for British tourists with a medium-high purchasing power and about 50 years old. But for this 2014, those who want to book a hotel in Majorca or Ibiza should consider it and bet on a change: book your holidays in Minorca and let you be surprised by the natural landscapes of this Mediterranean island declared Biosphere Reserve thanks to its large richness of fauna and flora.

Besides the classic Ciutadella and Maó, Minorca offers unique spots: Fornells and its incredible beaches and coves with turquoise waters, S’Albufera des Grau park for the most adventurous ones; Camí de Cavalls, which allows you to cross the island by all its coastal perimeter through an old path full of history…

The best areas to find accommodation in Minorca are Cala den Bosch, the surroundings of  Maó (Es Castell, Cala Llonga, S’Algar…) and Ciutadella (Sa Caleta, Cala Blanca…). It is essential to rent a car if you want to really enjoy the entire island. Thanks to its comfortable size, not very large or very small, you can see the entire Minorca in a week without hurry.

I was already in Benidorm

At least once. Or twice. We all should say that, in any moment, we lived the experience of spending some days in the sun in Benidorm. Bustling and riddled in summer with foreign tourists of all kinds and styles, the capital of Costa Blanca is one of the places that is recovering in the last years, becoming a perfect destination for combining cheap holidays in the Mediterranean with fun, beach and adventure. Groups of friends and families are the main visitors of this mature tourism area in our country that this summer promises to be one of the most visited destinations by those who look for sun and affordable prices.

There are accommodations in Benidorm for all tastes, as well as hotels in Torremolinos and other areas with a long tourist tradition. In the last years, many of them have opted for specializing in different types of travellers, as it is the case of the hotel for music lovers located in the centre which has been opened this season by  Marconfort.

If you prefer Benidorm, it is essential to take the opportunity to visit some day one of the many theme parks or to plan an excursion to the wonderful Serra Gelada.  Altea, Alfás del Pi, Finestrat y Villajoyosa are other of the must visit places of interest if you organise your holidays by car to Benidorm.