Monthly Archives: January 2015

Parque de la 93: A meeting point in Bogotá

El Parque de la 93 is one of those must visit places when you go to Bogotá.  If you have the good fortune to find accommodation in a hotel situated in La 93, you will be just step away from this emblematic space in the capital of Colombia:  there you will find culture, art, nature, shops and all types of events.

Located between the 11 A and 13 avenues, and 93 A – 93 B streets, it boasts the biggest outdoor art gallery in Colombia: Grün Gallery.  There you can enjoy interesting temporary exhibitions while you have a pleasant walk in the park. Fashion, painting, contemporary sculpture… You can even reserve the space.

Dann Carlton Bogotá Hotel

Dann Carlton Bogotá Hotel

Some of the most interesting plans are the events in Parque de la 93.  The atmosphere is usually cosy, since it offers playgrounds and quiet areas to practice outdoor sports. But, sometime, that quietness is interrupted by parties, shows, performances, collective readings, theatre… There is always place for any show in this natural setting than enlivens the entire area.

One of the key events celebrated every week is the Sunday Brunch de la 93: people of all ages meet here to relax outdoors with many activities including gastronomy, book launches and theatre for kids.

Gastronomy, in fact, is one of the outstanding characteristics of Parque de la 93: there are situated some of the most exclusive restaurants in Bogotá, as well as several fast-food chains, small pubs and urban bars with amusing afterworks, ideal for business travelers in Bogotá.

Accommodations close to Parque de la 93, Bogotá:

Calle 100 Bogotá Hotel

Dann Carlton Bogotá

Parque 93 Bogotá Hotel

 

The hotel trade in Colombia

The hotel industry in Colombia has made a huge leap forward in the last years. The number of hotels has significantly increased and their quality has improved in such a way that it is up to the same standard as the most thriving and visited countries in the world.

More buildings, more safety, more internal mobility, best air connections… It is a perfect environment to create a strong industry, and national and international hotel chains are abreast of this. Nevertheless, it seems that demand numbers are not so positive, especially in the regions situated far from the coast.

At least, that is what the Hotel and Tourism Association of Colombia, Cotelco, says. The average occupancy of hotels located in Santander, for example, does not exceed the 45-50%. A very limited number if we consider that it is an area that covers the famous Ruta del Sol and where there is a strong potential in the MICE and business meetings industry.

Although prices are lower than in 2012, around $132 per night, the main destinations keep their quietness: Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, Bogotá, Medellín, Manizales y Cali. In other cases, such as San Andrés island (an incredible paradise in the middle of the Colombian Caribbean), average prices per night are around $200, similar to the hotel rates in Cartagena.

Hotels in Bucaramanga, which are in the third place in price per night, were some of those that registered an important drop in the average price of the stay per night, with 129 dollars, 27% less than in the previous years. However, in this city we find some of the most exclusive and well-designed hotels in the country. A few 5-star hotels stand out, such as Dann Bucaramanga hotel, specialised in high level tourism and business trips.

Dann Bucaramanga Hotel

Dann Bucaramanga Hotel

 The same hotel chain has hotels in Bogotá with a similar, and even superior, level, such as the emblematic Casa Dann Carlton Bogotá, with spa and services for events in one of the best locations in Bogotá. Along with it, Dann Carlton Bogotá and Dann Norte make part of a range of accommodations in Bogotá, ideal for those in search of rest and service in a luxury space.

Cali, where we can find many rural and eco hotels, or Medellin, are some of the strongest destinations which show a good development in the hotel trade in Colombia.

Taste for classic details

Elegance, spacious rooms, classic design, personalised attention… The characteristics of luxury hotels in Colombia have some meeting points with Europe, but it is more traditional, more focused on the classic elegance with baroque details and court essence, in contrast to the fashion of the Nordic design which has pervaded the most modern hotels in the south and centre of Europe.

A good hotel in Colombia offers professional staff, spacious rooms with tailor-made services, (from the traditional bathrobes and slippers, to the breakfast in the room service, shoe cleaner and luxury welcome amenities), functional spaces such as the dressing room, hall, living rooms, meetings room…

Booking is very easy and most of the chains offer all types of facilities to those who live in the same city or those who come from the US or Europe. Taking advantage of early booking is a good option, although price differences are not as drastic as in the Mediterranean coast.

Business accommodation in Madrid

Madrid is the nerve centre of the most important business fair made in Spain. The IFEMA trade fair begins the year with the long itinerary through different productive sectors which set the economy rhythm in Spain, starting with one of the most important fair, the international tourism trade fair (FITUR) to the international promotional gift trade fair (Promogift). Both of them taking place at the end of January, moving to the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid and the international contemporary art fair (ARCO), in February

Besides these almost immediate events, Madrid fair schedule is full of alternatives and business sectors of all kind: gastronomy, weddings, ecology and renewable energies, games, sanitary services, etc.

Business hotel in Madrid

Business hotel in Madrid

To this big fair activity we can add as well the congress and business conferences that choose Madrid as their host city. The capital advantages as for connections, the presence of some of the major companies in Spain and some international companies plus a complete offer of places for events and business accommodation in Barajas, Arturo Soria, Ciudad Lineal or even the centre of Madrid, making the city an ideal place  for business trips and company meetings

If we analyse the business accommodation in Madrid we will see how in the past years, first limited to well consolidated big hotel chains to the arrival of specialized hotels and new hotel companies that have practically invested in this traveller segment only.

The results of this specialisation are hotels more adapted to the requirements of an specific public with his own rhythm and demands. More flexible food schedules,hotels with restaurant in the centre of Madrid, rooms with free wifi next to El Retiro or the great way, accommodations for groups in Puerta del Sol, business accommodations next to Las Cortes

Nowadays is possible to find a suitable business hotel without having to pay out the amount that was paid before for a quality accommodation. With an average of 65 euros per night,  hotels with meeting rooms in Madrid have become one of the best option for those who are on business trips. Some of them even offer special rooms with computers with ADSL connection, wide desks or meeting rooms, stationary bike, hydro massage shower, trouser press… specialized for business.

For those who are willing to assist to any of the fair at the IFEMA, we suggest to make a reservation as soon as possible in any of the hotels near Barajas or in the Linear city and Arturo Soria, since these are the ones with the best city connections, giving you comfortable options to move from the hotel to the event place with public transportation (metro and bus). In the same way, almost all these hotels have direct shuttle to the airport and also the centre of Madrid.

Advance reservation is the best decision if you are willing to choose an accommodation with affordable prices. Many hotels offer a discount for those who made a reservation beforehand, while others maintain the regular price but instead they offer extra services such as breakfast included or extra comfort.

Choosing wisely and picking always the most complete option can really make the difference in a business trip, in addition Madrid has the advantage of combine the best of business activity with a great cultural agenda and its nocturne and gastronomy offer. Not all should be just work…right? 🙂

Child friendly hotels

Planning a family holiday that really feels like a holiday is no easy feat… However, it can be also an enjoyable experience. Hotel chains in Spain have understood the needs of new traveller parents and have reinvented their facilities during the last years, in order to offer a more complete and specialized service for those who travel with the little ones. That is how themed hotels for children were born.

One of the pioneers in this type of hotels in Spain is the family hotel chain of Melià, Sol Hotels. Thanks to them we can now enjoy the Flintstones hotels, inspired by the renowned cartoons series: special restaurant for kids, themed miniclub as if it were the stone age, pools designed as water parks, sport and game areas just for children, professional teams, entertainment with the series characters…

Hotels for children Sol Hotels

Hotels for children Sol Hotels

After these hotels, many other have been created: family hotels in Lanzarote or Tenerife which receive a lot of family travellers.  Although they are not as wonderful as the previous ones, they far exceed the expectations of parents travelling with children. For the, children are as important as adults, and satisfying them is their priority. At the same time, these hotels offer services and complimentary plans for parents to make the most of their time while kids are having fun.

Some urban family hotels have followed of the family resorts in Tenerife, Majorca or Andalusia and have created, as far as possible, spaces conceived for family travellers: largest rooms with special furniture for children, themed amenities, gastronomy for kids, pushchairs, free bike rental for all the family…

Winter plan: a wellness escape

Winter is one of the best times to prepare for a beach holiday. Besides offering the advantage of organising easier plans, it is one of the most suitable seasons of the year to take care of ourselves as for diet, skin and toning up. Starting with small changes in our habits, beginning to do an outdoor sport or personalised exercises in a gym and, dedicate a couple of days to rest and pamper yourself.

If you also want to take advantage of those moments to enjoy a getaway and travel, weekend breaks to rural or spa hotels are the best options to satisfy your yearning for holiday and prepare for summer.

 FS_torre_azul_1

Today we will talk about some spa hotels or beauty centres of Iberostar (one of the few hotel chains with last generation services) so that you can plan a wellness escape these cold months. Destinations we have chosen offer good temperatures, comfort as for transport connections and complete services.

1. Spa hotel in Fuerteventura: The Canary Islands and, specifically, Fuerteventura, are the perfect place to escape from winter and enjoy a long weekend or a quiet holiday as a couple. This island has the advantage of being one of the most active ones as far as tourism is concerned and its weather is exceptional: temperature is always spring-like and sun shines as if it were summer. One of the most complete accommodations for a wellness escape is Playa Gaviotas, a hotel in Playa de Jandía designed for families, but also offering special services to those who travel without children and look for peace. Its spa offers modern facilities and a wide range of personalised treatments.

2. Hotel with jacuzzi in Tenerife: The southern area of Tenerife is one of the most recommended ones for January and February: it has still a good atmosphere, cultural and leisure plans are varied and hotels are very affordable. For a wellness escape as a couple, our proposal is Bouganville Playa, a beach resort in Costa Adeje with gym, beauty centre, near golf course, solarium terrace, roof solarium, jacuzzi…

3. Spa hotel in Playa de Palma: Now we recommend you a hotel in Majorca, in one of the most visited areas close to Palma, perfect to combine a relaxing trip on the seashore with a cultural escape to one of the most cosmopolitan cities of the Mediterranean. Royal Cupido is a resort in front of Palma beach, recently refurbished and turned into one of the most exclusive hotels with Adults Only rooms in Majorca. In addition to a wonderful lounge terrace where you can contemplate beautiful sunsets on Palma bay, it offers a wellness centre, Beach Club, special events during the whole year, rooms with sea views… Everything you can need.

2015 Summer hotels

Many are those who think that it is too early to talk about summer, but, dear readers,  let me tell you that this is the best time to do it. Now, in January, accommodation prices are more affordable and there are more flexible and varied possibilities to choose from Many travellers of the European continent take advantage of the Early Booking offers and get the best of every destination at promotional prices, leaving the rest to those who book on March or April.

As I don’t want you to have the leftovers, I will call your attention with several options to book in advance and get a bargain. Especially dedicated to those who have large families: travelling with groups of 4 or more people requires a bigger effort in almost everything: patience, organisation in advance, and of course, price. Booking in the first months of the year will guarantee affordable prices and good quality options.

My first recommendation is that you, first and foremost, analyse which destination you want to visit this summer. The wide variety of plans offered by the Spanish peninsula and its Islands will allow you to visit Spain without squandering and to invest your budget in accommodation and activities you want to enjoy during your stay.

Iberostar Grand Hotel El Mirador

Iberostar Grand Hotel El Mirador

The coast of Barcelona or the Balearic Islands are some of the best options for those who have to organise a family holiday. Both places offer complete services and complete cultural plans, besides the advantages of the good Mediterranean beaches for children. Finding a hotel in Calella at good price or a family resort in Majorca is relatively easy, especially when you opt for booking directly online on the official websites of the hotel chains. They usually offer 30% discounts on the final rate of the accommodation for all the family.

Hotels for children in Minorca are also a good destination if you travel with kids, since they are designed as theme parks and children campsites. They are bit more expensive than traditional family hotels, but they are worth it and, additionally, what you save when you book in advance could even compensate the difference.

If you prefer the Canary Islands, we could also take advantage of the early booking discounts in January: almost all the hotel chains in the island have these deals on their official websites. There you can choose a beach resort in Puerto del Carmen, a family hotel in Costa Adeje, luxury hotels in Playa del Duque, resorts in Jandia, 4-star accommodations in Corralejo.

Some of the most affordable areas to enjoy the summer in 2015 is the coast of Málaga, from Torremolinos to Fuengirola, where we find all types of accommodation at good prices and the perfect environment to enjoy the sun and, of course, the nights of Malaga. For example, nowadays, booking a holiday resort in Fuengirola could cost around 40 Euros per night with 4-star services.

Huelva is another good alternative if you want a quiet family holiday to enjoy nature, sea and sport. Very close to the coast, we find several hotels in Islantilla with children entertainment, golf courses, paddle and tennis courts, and all you can imagine to spend a couple of days plenty of amusing plans.

Prices of this type of hotels, with 4-star category, are around 55 Euros per night when you book on the official website. Beware of deceptive deals from third parties that, at the end, cheap things work out expensive in the long run.