Monthly Archives: November 2014

Top 5 hotels of 2014

Always talking about hotels, it was bound to happen: we have been asked to make our list of top 5 hotels of 2014. With summer season almost finished, autumn holidays reserved and winter getaways almost allocated, we think that, finally, now it is a good moment to make our short selection I admit in the name of the editorial team that it has been difficult to choose.

But, at the end, we must decide and this is the result of many votes and arguments in favour and against,

Casa Dann Carlton Hotel & Spa

The first in our list of Top 5 hotels of 2014 is a hotel located in Bogotá, next to La 98 Park A luxury hotel targeted at business public and leisure getaways to the capital of Colombia. Modern, with enviable haute cuisine, classic design and innovative spaces. We are captivated by its business services (it has 16 meeting rooms perfectly equipped) and one of the best wellness centres in Bogotá.

→ An extra benefit: its terrace turned into a chill out area, with amazing views of the northern area of Bogotá.

→ A plan: shopping in the most exclusive area of Bogotá.

→ A good opportunity: to organise an important corporate event or celebrate a wedding.

 

 

IBEROSTAR Fuerteventura Palace

It is one of the three hotels in Playa de Jandía that belong to the Spanish chain Iberostar. Next to the two big family resorts in Fuerteventura which belong to the same group –Playa Gaviotas and Playa Gaviotas Park– it is the most targeted at couples with children. It differs from the others in the special services for adults: exclusive VIP area, spa with Jacuzzi and Adults Only solarium, scuba diving club, piano bar, special breakfasts.

 

→ An extra benefit: its location, almost on the sand, just one step away from the Matorral beach.

→ A plan: discovering Morro Jable and its lively ambience of Canary town with fishing tradition.

→ A good opportunity: for a relaxing holiday with children and getting away from it all.

 

 

Sol Mirlos Tordos All Inclusive

All inclusive hotel for children in Majorca which represent, in our opinion, the best example of the famous Flintstones Hotels line of Melià Hotels & Resorts. It is a theme hotel in Palma Nova, almost an amusement park inspired by the cartoon series The Flintstones, designed for kids to be the centre of attention on holiday: restaurants with special Flintstone menu, rooms and games rooms decorated with all the details of the series, as if it really were a town in the Flintstone age.

→ An extra benefit: its professional instructors team and its babysitting service.

→ A plan: taking advantage to know the western coast of Majorca.

→ A good opportunity: to surprise the children, reward their marks and relax.

Barceló Montecastillo Golf

Luxury hotel next to Moto GP circuit in Jerez, with golf course, exclusive villas -ideal for families- gourmet restaurants, spa and wellness area, gym… A destination in itself, just one step away from one of the best wine routes in Spain and at few kilometres from the lively Puerto de Santamaría and its beaches. It offers free and unlimited green fees with the hotel booking, free internet connection and specialised services for weddings and corporate events organisation.

→ An extra benefit: it is one of the few pet friendly accommodations in Jerez.

→ A plan: doing the cherry wine route:  Osborne, Tío Pepe…

→ A good opportunity: to attend the Moto GP Awards in Jerez.

Grand Hotel Budapest

One of the best hotels in Budapest, located in the famous La Libertad Square, in the Pest area. It offers 5-star services in one of the most exclusive points of the city, next to the main public institutions in Hungary, the central offices of the most representative companies, the cultural centres…  It is a hotel targeted at business travellers in search of a select space where they can combine rest, leisure, work, and organise meetings and events. It offers personal concierge service. A luxury.

→ An extra benefit: the restaurant, with Spanish products and a wide cellar with native wines.

→ A plan: touring the river by ship and go up the castle by the cable railway.

→ A good opportunity: for a romantic getaway in Europe.

Dann Hotels, the business hotel chain in Colombia

Dann hotel chain born 45 years ago in Colombia with the opening of its first hotel, Dann Avenida 19 Hotel in the financial centre of Bogotá.  it was built with the objective of hosting many guests who came to the Colombian capital in 1968 because of the visit of Pope Pablo VI to the city.

Although at the beginning the project wast to build apartments in that land, they reconsidered it and took advantage of the religious demand. It was a wise choice. Now, 46 years after, Dann chain has eight hotels located in different cities of Colombia, and a hotel in Quito, Ecuador.

Dann Carlton Quito Hotel business center

Most of them are business hotels in Bogotá.  This chain has specialized in this sector in order to become established in the Colombian hotel trade, which has experienced a strong growth in last years, despite the international crisis. In fact, nowadays Colombia has one of stablest hotel industries in South America.

This chain has clearly turned the business travellers into its main public and, in fact, this sector represents around 85% of the total guests. For this, its hotels are designed in order to meet the needs of this type of public, equipped with facilities or events celebrations, a wide range of services, good restaurants, spa, gym, among others.

Additionally, the company boasts two different business lines. On one side, the Dann hotels, with which it was born and started to expand, and on the other side, Dann Carlton Hotels, characterised by offering elegance and luxury to the guests.

Dann  Carlton line is made up of four hotels situated in Colombia, with the exception of Dann Carlton Quito Hotel, a modern business hotel located in Quito, capital of Ecuador,

More than 40 years of experience endorse this chain which has never stopped its expansion project, which will probably continue in next years with the opening of new markets in other countries.

 

 

 

The Grand Experience

Luxury, exclusiveness, VIP trips… 5 Star tourism is fashionable, so we have decided to make a post about those companies and chains which are investing on this type of tourism targeted at travellers with higher purchasing power.

The first review is dedicated to The Grand Collection line which belongs to Iberostar Hotels & Resorts. It is working since several years ago and, gradually, becoming a reference among luxury resorts in Spain. It is a small group of 5 star hotels in Tenerife, Budapest and Cuba managed by Iberostar. It offers that additional value that more demanding travellers seek.

Iberostar Grand Hotel Trinidad

Iberostar Grand Hotel Trinidad

The first surprise from Iberostar’s Grand Hotels is that they are not just luxury accommodations in Costa Adeje, Santa Cruz or Budapest, but that every one offers a unique and very different experience to the guest. Taking the best of the destination where they are located and appropriating it, analysing the advantages of the environment and relating them to the hotel services and, especially, investing on a high quality professional staff.

One of the most emblematic hotels in this peculiar luxury portfolio is Grand Hotel Mencey, an historic hotel in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, specially recommended for haute cuisine lovers. Besides being one of the most appreciated restaurants in Santa Cruz, it has a unique cookery classroom in the Canary Islands where we can learn all the knacks of Canary cuisine, some of the most exclusive international dishes and delicious desserts.

Grand Hotel Budapest is, however, a urban hotel in Pest, an accommodation full of class and refinement, targeted at business travellers and cultural getaways in the Hungarian capital. Although it also offers a detailed food, its most appreciated value is the location and personalized attention guaranteed to all the guests.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Grand Hotel Trinidad is an invitation to know one of the most important colonial cities in the new continent with a luxury attention and 5 star services, without giving up to provide a hotel that has preserved all the essence of the old city where it is located, belonging to its big monumental heritage.

IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Rose Hall

IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Rose Hall

Grand Hotel Mirador and Grand Hotel Salomé, two luxury hotels in Costa Adeje, are the most similar in all this portfolio. They are 5 star resorts in Playa del Duque and Fanabe Beach created under the concept of Adults Only Hotel in Tenerife.

Both have a spa with an area of 1000 m², sport areas, VIP area for the most exclusive guests, detailed architecture and complete restaurant service: from gourmet and à la carte restaurant, to Sunday brunches, Chill Out sessions and theme restaurants.

Prices in these Grand Hotels are variable according to the season of the year and the type of accommodation (from Room Only to Half Board). In high season, for example, 5 hotel nights for 2 adults in Tenerife could cost around 1100 euros.

Andalusia, an all year round destination

When someone asks which is the best time of the year for visiting Andalusia, we could even choose any month of the year.  Except for Seville in August, which is one of the places with higher temperatures on summer in all Spain, almost all the Andalusian region offers a delicious weather. 300 days of sun during the year, temperatures usually not lower than 16 degrees, really gentle and not very rainy winters.  A pleasant spring filling with life its streets, bars and numerous squares.

With a territory of 87.268 km², eight provinces and very different landscapes such as Sierra Morena or Tabernas desert in Almeria -the only one in all Europe-, Andalusia offers all types of plans: leisure, relaxation and culture, creating a perfect white canvas for filling in it with the most diverse experiences.

We can find active tourism plans in Andalusia during the whole year: hiking tours throughout Sierra Blanca, Sierra Nevada, Grazalema, ornithological tours around the wetlands and Isla Cristina marshes. Sports holidays include long sunsets on a windsurf board, or intense days skiing, golfing or horse riding.

If you want to organise a getaway to Andalusia, the first thing you must bear in mind is the type of experience you want to live.  So, for those who want a gastronomic weekend in the heart of this region, we recommend a hotel in Jerez, close to one of the best wine routes in Spain, or a hotel in Seville, or a holiday hotel in Fuengirola, where you can enjoy the delicious and traditional Espeto from Malaga in the best atmosphere.

Hotel in Seville

If you are one of those who look for beach, sun and water sports, the ideal plan is a resort in Cádiz beaches, La Barrosa, Roque coves, or a hotel in Calas de Conil, close to schools and centres of scuba diving, surfing and sailing. Cabo de Gata and Huelva coast are also very suitable for these plans, although Cádiz winds are unbeatable.

Relaxation, night leisure, glamour and luxury are concentrated in Marbella.  If you want to pamper yourself, do not hesitate: a good spa resort in Marbella, just one step away from Puerto Banús, or an All Inclusive hotel in Torrox Costa. If you are a golf lover, another interesting plan in Andalusia is to visit Huelva: along with Marbella is one of the tourist areas with more golf courses in Spain, distinguished by its excellent quality in design and services, a golf hotel in Isla Canela or a spa hotel in Islantilla could be the best choice, especially if you travel with family.

Granada and Córdoba means culture, leisure and gastronomy; Almería is nature, Mediterranean and landscapes -some of the most striking in the entire region are located in this province-; Seville is history, museums, monuments, heritage, party and flamenco passion…  Each one of them offers thousands of possibilities for visitors, regardless what time of the year it is.  So, don’t put off until summer what you can do today… 🙂

Pet Friendly Hotels for your trips with for paws friends

There is more and more demands, more and more hotels. It seems that this industry has begun to understand that there is a growing number of people wanting to travel with their pet and, indeed, it represents a new market. In spite of countries like the United States or a considerable part of EU where pet friendly hotels is a common reality, in Spain it is not so common and, until recently only a few hotel chains offered this service, as well as rural accommodations.

Unfortunately for many travellers, Spain is still one of the most backward European countries in this sense, and just 23% of accommodations accept pets, and just 3500 of them are included in the hotel category.

However, numbers increase, especially in communities in the north of Spain (Galicia, Castilla and León, Cantabria…) and also in the capital, with the emergence of entire hotel chains in Madrid accepting pets, such as Petit Palace and its different boutique hotels in the centre of Madrid: all its accommodations offer pets admittance and even a cot kit and drinking bowls for our four paws friends.

Pet friendly hotels

Other hotel groups, on the contrary, have stopped admitting pets to their guests: the Spanish hotel chain Confortel Hotels, for example, has decided to remove this accommodation option in their entire hotel, including hotels in the centre of Madrid, in Barcelona, Girona, Valencian Community and Andalusia, among other destinations.

Pet Friendly Destinations

Catalonia is the autonomous community with higher number of accommodations with pet admittance, with almost 700 according to the last figures provided by Affinity foundation.  Andalusia is the following with 600, and Castilla y León with more than 300. These three regions are characterized for having a big nature richness and a tourism mostly targeted at enjoying these spots which are, precisely, the most attractive for those who travel with pets.

In the annual report made by Affinity, one of the most important figure is about the Balearic Islands that, despite of being one of the most visited communities of the country, is really limited in relation to accommodation facilities for pets. Besides, as we can see in the last memory, the number of accommodation and hotel accepting pet has reduced in the Balearic Islands. Even though, this tendency is changing in the islands, as Fergus Hotels demonstrate which, recently, has announced that its hotels in Majorca and accommodations in Barcelona coast, are suitable for travellers with pets.  Now, you have a limit of 8 kg and, of course, you guarantee to follow the cohabitation rules in the whole hotel, especially in common spaces.

How should pet-friendly hotels be?

The first thing a pet friendly hotel should do in clearly defining its identity in order to avoid surprises.  As we find people who love cats and dogs, there is a high number of people who feel uncomfortable when close to these animals or even suffer allergies.  For everyone’s satisfaction, the ideal thing is to reflect these characteristics in clear way.

Another necessary question is about the facilities and spaces in these hotels where pets can have fun without needing to stay only in the room and always accompanied for their owners,  Hotels in the middle of the country such as the golf resort in Jerez of Barceló chain, are a good example, since it offers the possibility of booking family villas next to the motorcycle circuit in Jerez, with direct access to the garden, terrace… Likewise, this 5 star hotel in Jerez offer special services like a pet box, with bed, drinking and eating bowls, feed package, a list of veterinary clinics and the possibility of hiring a pet companion. The basic service costs around 20 Euros per day, but the services including a pet walker, rises 75 Euros.

Hotel staff must also be prepared for understanding the needs of their four paws guests  and for helping traveller and their pets to comfortably enjoy the diverse spaces and accommodation services, without affecting the environment and general well-being. Their objective must always be a guarantee of top level cohabitation among people and animals.

General conditions

Most of the hotels with pet admittance in Spain usually include a series of restrictions focused on guaranteeing the best stay for both animals and guests. Thus, almost all pet friendly hotels use to define a size and weight limit for accepted pets (generally, between 6-8 kg), a characteristic that does not happen in rural tourism or rural houses, where,  rooms are generally wider and more adapted common areas, size has not reasons for representing a problem.

Animal education is basic.  They should not belong to dangerous races, they must always be tied and with their owner beside, not to bark so much, be specially respectful with children…

Besides, every animal must have its vaccination record, the owner must tell to the hotel staff if pet needs something special and stay always under surveillance of its master, at least in common areas.