Category Archives: Sin categoría

Hotel for tech lovers

Travelling is not like before. We want more and more. Needs change and our demands and requests too. We don’t only see prices –which is unavoidable- but also services offered by every destination and accommodation. We look for places that give us different experiences and, at the same extent, hotels, hostels and apartments that allow us to live them. So, we are usually prepared to pay more if service is important for us.

This is the case of tech lovers, those who cannot live without being connected to Internet and those who experience a real drama if Wifi is not working. Businessmen, business travellers and adventure lovers want to share experiences even with people who is not travelling with us.

Petit Palace Barcelona Hotel

Petit Palace Barcelona Hotel

Many hotels in Spain have noticed these needs. Especially urban hotels in Barcelona, Madrid or Valencia –as well as other capitals in Spain– have worked during the last years to create spaces where technology is conceived to offer maximum comfort. We are not talking about impersonal hotels, filled up with devices turning the accommodation into a spacecraft, but about hotels, as many hotels in the centre of Madrid or Barcelona, where you can enjoy a good Wifi connection, computer, business corner to work in case of unexpected events, or iPad to organise your activities and routes for every day.

Certainly, there are not many accommodations like these, but there are more and more hotels in the centre of Seville, Salamanca, Bilbao or Valencia that have understood how important is this market. The best hotels are combining new technologies with a design conceived to surprise, please and give the most complete comfort to their guests.

Nowadays is relatively easy to find rooms with free Wifi in Barcelona, hotels with business facilities in Madrid, accommodations with spaces to relax and organise small informal meetings… Prices are still higher than in the rest of the hotels that do not provide these services, although they are more and more adapted to the average expenses of travellers.

Most of these hotels are located in big cities –as the previously mentioned ones– but there is still so much work to do in holiday resorts in Fuerteventura, Tenerife or Majorca, where most of them are still charging a fee per Wi-Fi hour.  This is eventually counterproductive, since the best time to ask for an online review to a client is when s/he is in our hotel.

Allowing a guest to stay connected for free in exchange for a comment, review or feedback is a good solution offered by many accommodations in Spain. Nevertheless, many are the hotels that still think a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush and prefer 5 Euros for daily internet connection than a strong online reputation work. Reviews made in the hotel, right in the moment guest is enjoying the stay, have an incalculable value, but many hotels haven’t seen it.

Madrid Hotels on their way to conquer a high quality tourism

There are two ways to run a business: the hard way, large investments, low prices, small profit barely noticeable when selling large quantities, or the easy way, which is improving the product quality, offering a high standard or more exclusive service or product, therefore more expensive, making a small sale significant in capital recovery and even make a profit. The second option is the one that some hotels in Madrid are applying, especially the hotels in the historical centre of Madrid, that used to rely on a tight market with rates lower than the ones in Barcelona, they have begun to realize that giving the guests a few amenities, with a more customized services and furnishings, they can be more efficient and earn the customer’s fidelity.

Madrid is a getaway trip, break holiday, business trip or touristic destination, many people enjoy the city during their flight layovers.  The touristic offer has gone further than the historical heritage attraction or the fact of being the Capital city. When we see Madrid as a destination, it has become more interesting and attractive nowadays, not only thanks to the public sector investments, but the private sector concern as well, that reads between the lines and realizes that people is willing to pay for something that really worth, despite the current recession.

Therefore, while you can make a reservation in a cheap second or third class hotel to spend a couple of nights, the hotel tendency, especially in the centre of Madrid, is to provide a place to live new experiences beyond resting. We are not talking only about high category hotels, but hostels, inns and guesthouses as well, they’re remodelling their premises, giving a new air, more functional, more of Scandinavian style (still trendy year by year).

However, the leading voice are the big hotel chains, the 4 star accommodations in Madrid (included some 3 star hotels, some boutique hotels and some business and luxury hotels that have grown in this quality tourism in the capital).

Within the improvements being made by the hotel industry in Madrid, we must highlight the reuse and restoration of antique buildings in landmark spots around the city that were abandoned or misused. The Petit Palace chain outstands with its proposal. The Basque company we’ve been talking about recently in the matters of hotel design since it’s a country pioneer that bets into turning every hotel a living experience inside the building, not excluding the facilities but making it the leading part in this whole new experience.

Catalonia Las Cortes Hotel

Catalonia Las Cortes Hotel

One of the most interesting examples is the Petit Palace Posada del Peine, which presumes of being the oldest one in Madrid, a city legend from past times with the perfect location in the Plaza Mayor square. With an innovating modern design that make the most of the structure, since it’s not very spacious due the antique design, a national heritage jewel.

Within the recent openings, one of the design hotels in Madrid under the label of Iberostar Hotels & Resorts, it’s their first bet for an urban hotel in Spain. This Majorcan Company is specialized in beach hotels, Caribbean family resorts, but they also have some deluxe hotels in the centre of the main capitals of Europe, they never lean towards to this segment until now, and according to the customer reviews they’re not bad at all. The IBEROSTAR Las Letras Hotel named after the neighbourhood where is located, in the Gran Vía, is close to the Spanish congress and the Paseo del Prado, boasts a beautiful design and a gastronomic menu for which is listed in the gastronomic hotels of Madrid, and of course, a wonderful terrace view.

These terraces are, precisely, one of the main hotel delights here in Madrid, aside from the best accommodation. Hotels are also trying to get the attention of the most sybarite travellers though their culinary menus, bars, chill out areas and even spa and wellness services. Years ago the hotel services were strictly reserved to guests, but now these are open to everybody that comes to Madrid, they’re trying to reduce costs in staff, furnishings and others, gathering more customers this way.

These new open services are not a regular thing. They all are high cuisine restaurants, and trend bars destined to become city hot spots for the best of Madrid, and the most exclusive travellers, creating a unique lovely environment that worth visiting, new places to visit that any traveller should enjoy here.

Golf in Isla Canela

Huelva is a natural paradise ideal to enjoy an active holiday doing all types of sports, from surfing and sailing to playing golf, since this Andalusian province hosts some of the most complete golf courses in the south of Spain. Specifically, Isla Canela, El Rompido and Islantilla are some of the places of reference for this sport that every day has more and more fans in the entire world.

Booking an all-inclusive accommodation in Isla Canela with golf course or a beach resort in El Rompido could be an interesting plan for those who want to spend some days in the open air, doing sports and relaxing. Golf is perfect for this: it is not too demanding, you can do it at any age and you set the pace of the sessions.

Most of the golf courses in Huelva offer wonderful landscapes, because they are located in unique natural spots, such as the marshes of Isla Cristina, in Costa de la Luz, or the marshes of El Rompido, where we can contemplate one of the most beautiful pristine beaches of this part of Andalusia.

Another of the advantages of opting for a golf holiday in Huelva is that golf courses are usually large circuits, allowing you to organize long days with different levels of difficulty. Most of them have academy, so you have the opportunity to have an introductory lesson with professional instructors.

Some of the most renowned golf courses in Huelva are:

  • Isla Canela Golf: It is located next to the beautiful marshes close to Ayamonte and to the border of Portugal, 5km away from Isla Canela Hotel, managed by Iberostar Hotels & Resorts chain. It is built on a flat surface, so it boasts a privileged view of the surroundings and the Atlantic waters.  It has a golf school offering lessons in English, German and Spanish, and it has a 18-hole circuit.

Iberostar hotel in Isla Canela

  • El Rompido Golf: This golf club is one of the most appreciated by the travellers that stay in the hotels next to Flecha del Rompido, because of its nearness, green versatility and amazing views of the Atlantic Sea.
  • Islantilla Golf: It represents the most suitable option for professional golfers. It is a special course because it is designed to play in crags and small hills. It is amusing because of its difficulty and offers very complete services. Hotels situated in this part of Huelva are very oriented to golf tourism, so it is very easy to directly book golf sessions in the accommodation you choose and even get discounts.

Golf and wellness in the Canary Islands

The Canary Islands are, along with Costa del Sol and the Balearic Islands, one of the main European destinations for golf tourism. They offer supplementary spa and wellness services that turn the archipelago into a privileged destination all the year round. These islands have 23 golf courses that stand out for their high quality facilities, varied rounds and good locations, close to the sea and situated in unique natural spots.

All this, in addition to the wonderful temperatures all the year round, have turned golf into one of the main products in the tourism industry of this island. Many hotel chains have took advantage of this and have refurbished complete resorts targeted at golf lovers, among which stand out the golf hotels in Costa Adeje, All Inclusive hotels in Lanzarote, and beach resorts in Fuerteventura.

According to the studies and strategies managed by the public institution Promotur Turismo de Canarias, golf is an essential tourism product in the islands, since it doesn’t depend on the seasons and, generally, golf tourists have a high purchasing power. They state that high season for golf tourism is, in fact, winter, in contrast to the Mediterranean and Eastern areas of Spain. The challenge is to compete with these destinations in summer, because the Canary Islands are not really the favourite ones for golf lovers in this season.

Usually, golf tourists who visit the Canary Islands are foreigners, mainly from the UK, Germany, Sweden and Norway. They are golf lovers in search of quietness, quality services and facilities that meet their needs and refined tastes. This is how the spa and wellness tourism becomes stronger, not as a particular sector, but as a part of this package offered to the new tourists choosing the Canary Islands to play golf.

A spa hotel in Fuerteventura is perfect for those travelers who prefer top quality services rather than big spaces. Although it seems easy, offering golf facilities in family hotels in Costa Adeje could be very difficult and expensive for hotel managers.  This is why many of them have preferred to not get involved in this challenge. Even though, few hotels have stayed behind, and many have invested in the specialization of their hotels: more and better gastronomy, attention to detail when designing and decorating the rooms, amenities and hotel gardens… Any change or refurbishment could be essential at the time of choosing a specific accommodation.

Ole Tropical Tenerife Hotel

Ole Tropical Tenerife Hotel

Investing in golf tourism in the Canary Islands means to attract one of the most sought after travellers nowadays: German travellers with high purchasing power. According to the data provided by the Tourism Department of the Canary Islands, more than the half of German golf lovers travel abroad at least once in a year in order to enjoy this sport and expend an average of 2600 Euros in every trip. These are very significant and

Health tourism, a travel option on the rise

Health tourism or medical tourism is one of the new products for travellers that the industry has on sight. As well as investments. Many hotel chains, mainly the ones that count with hotels located in the centre of Madrid and accommodations in Barcelona for long stays close to the main hospitals and districts close to health resort, have decided to make the most of this motivation which, after the last european directives regarding to health measures, has opened a new path for the hospitality industry.

The hotels in the centre of Madrid have been welcoming tourists  for years travelling to the capital to make the most of a few relaxing days and receive health or beauty treatments in one of the most prestigious clinics in the country. Cosmetic surgery, medical check-ups or second opinions, participation in patients conferences… The motivations for health tourism are increasingly varied.

Nevertheless, it is very important not to confuse it with active or healthy tourism, which have been one the main poles of attraction for travellers in Spain. Healthy tourism is based on all the packages of sports activities, gastronomy and spa escapes attracting all types of travellers. Medical tourism, on the other side, hides a clear sanitary motivation and the traveller, in this case, organizes the whole trip around a medical appointment or concrete health treatment.

Palma, a privileged sanitary destination

With some of the best plastic surgeries and fertility clinics of the country, Palma has been at the top of the Spanish sanitary destinations for years. Many hotels in the centre of Palma have been specializing in this segment, offering special packages for accommodation near to clinics such as Rotger, Juaneda, IBI or Palma Planas.

It allows them to break up with the excessive seasonality of tourist activity of the capital of the Balearic Islands, which tends to concentrate its greatest amount of visitors during summer months, as the major part of the travellers related to health tourism prefer winter or spring seasons to get treated. The decrease in activity of the clinics and specialists during summer months could also explain this trend.

Barcelona and Madrid

Even if Palma is a special case being a major holiday destination as well as an important destination in the european medical tourism map, Madrid and Barcelona are still the top ranking cities in health tourism.They have the most renowned public care centres in Spain, some of the cutting-edge research centres and clinics of all types, capable to attend any health condition.

“Health travellers” usually plan their stay in one of the hotels in the centre of Madrid and Barcelona, to be as close as possible to the hospital or clinic where they are getting treated, but also because it allows them to be near museums, recreation and leisure areas and all means of public transports: patients and the people they travel with agree that both medical and recreational motivations matter when planning their stay.

No clear numbers

Talking about health tourism was still taboo a few years back, being seen as a way to take advantage of Spanish public health service in order to access unauthorized medical treatments in their home country or at a prohibitively high price. But, with the change in european politics, the Spanish government started to see it as a competitive asset and as a new niche for the touristic sector, most important driver of economic growth.

For now, according to various studies and reports coming from the administration, there are no concrete numbers to measure the extent of health tourism over the global tourism sector and what it could represent in the future of hospitality industry in Spain (and its complementary offer).

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

 

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.

Winter sun destinations: Jerez

We continue travelling around Cádiz province. In this occasion we visit Jerez de la Frontera to enjoy its cultural and gastronomic richness. Unlike other southern destinations, Jerez offers many leisure alternatives for winter and cold months without needing the beaches: tours around the cherry wine cellars, delicious food, some of the best golf courses in Andalusia and, of course, one of the most famous motorcycling circuits in Europe. If you want to travel to the south and make the most of the sun in winter, without giving up a trip full of varied proposals come with us to Jerez.

 Barcelo Montecastillo Golf & Resort

What to see in Jerez?

With a long bullfighting and equestrian tradition, an incredible Moslem legacy and wonderful vineyard areas, Jerez boasts a thousand places to visit and contemplate. In the centre of the city of Jerez, you must visit the neighbourhoods which belonged to the old Arab medina quarter, such as San Lucas and San Mateo, with the small streets and churches; the famous Plaza del Mercado, where are now located the Archaeological Museum of Jerez, Riquelme Palace and, of course, Alcázar de Jerez, Jardín de los Olivos y the Arabic Baths.

Another must visit place in Jerez is the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art, where you can attend a unique dance show with some of the best Spanish horses.  Besides, it is located in a beautiful palace, created by the same architect of the Paris Opera, where you can find renaissance and baroque touches.

Where to sleep in Jerez?

The centre of Jerez is full of life, so it is easy to find an affordable accommodation, especially if you want to live the ambience and take the opportunity to know its night-life, tours and local customs with all services within reach. Nevertheless, if you are planning a relaxing family trip, it is better to opt for a hotel in the outskirts. There are several possibilities, but one of the best recommended ones, if you want comfort and good price-quality relationship, is choosing a good resort next to the Jerez circuit, with golf course and perfectly connected to the rest of the Cádiz province. In this case, the advantage is that you can easily visit the surroundings and different areas every day, without giving up the comfort of an accommodation with 5-star rooms and villas in Jerez.

What to eat in Jerez?

Besides the traditional delicacies you find in the entire province of Cádiz, it is advisable to know what to eat in Jerez, since there is a series of home-produced dishes which are essential if you have a good palate. Berza jerezana, ajo caliente, torrijas with wine, oxtail with chickpeas, chikpeas with prawns, tocino de cielo… All this accompanied by the best wines in the world.

 Xerez, cherry or txerry is one of the finest wines. The most famous wine cellars in Jerez have created a complete wine tour worth trying. Osborne, Domecq or González-Byass offer wine tasting, special events, breakfasts, brandy selections…

 

Winter sun destinations: Cádiz

Now that we have arrived to Andalusia, we cannot miss the coast, La Tacita de Playa and its wonderful beaches. There is not better winter sun destination than Cádiz, a perfect place to enjoy its magical light, its coves and sandy areas full of waves delighting the kitesurfing lovers, the meeting point of fans of humour, the ideal city to taste what the sea offers us… Cádiz is unique

What to see in Cádiz

Cádiz, the streets, the people, the magic of its everyday life.  This is why the best way of discovering this city and its surroundings is by travelling with the eyes wide open and improvising. Nevertheless, there are must stops: the market in the centre of the city, a breakfast with hot chocolate and churros in the famous Plaza de las Flores, visiting the Poniente Tower of the Cathedral, renting a car and travelling the coast as far as Calas de Roque, where you will find some of the best beaches in the world, almost pristine.

If you have the possibility, the most suitable is to book a couple of nights at an accommodation in the centre of Cádiz and, then, drive to the area of hotels in Calas de Conil, the perfect place to disconnect from routine and enjoy the sun that shines all year long in this Andalusian coast.

Confortel Calas de Conil Hotel in Cadiz

Where to sleep in Cádiz

One of the most famous holiday areas in Cádiz in La Barrosa beach. There is really easy to find accommodation at a good price. There is a wide variety of hotels, guesthouses, campsites and apartments. A good option is to stay in a resort in La Barrosa beach, it is more comfortable and offers good services, especially if you travel with children. The spa hotels in Chiclana are also an interesting alternative as for price-quality relationship. Recommended if you travel with your partner.

What to eat in Cádiz

You cannot organise a trip to Cádiz without planning what to eat. The gastronomy from this province is so extensive and delicious that you must establish tours and try to taste a bit of everything. The best, undoubtedly, are the tours throughout the traditional bars of Cádiz,  such as Casa Manteca, where you will find all types of tapas made with top quality products. Among the traditional dishes, it is worth mentioning el cazón en adobo, the rices, especially those prepared with shellfish, croquetas del puchero, retinto… And a great many exquisite proposals that you can almost in any restaurant in the centre of the city or in the coast at really affordable prices. Because eating in Cádiz is good, delicious and cheap

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… 🙂