The Alliance Bulletin


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The Alliance


Providing key information in a

no-frills format for professionals who travel to write, edit, broadcast or create images.

Mid-December 2014

January 2015

Ashley Gibbins

The Alliance Bulletin

Issue 175 : Mid-December 2014/January 2015

The Alliance press card

The International Travel Writers Alliance Press Card now provides Alliance journalists with formal recognition of their status and standing in the profession and a range of opportunities from Alliance travel partners.

Contact Ashley Gibbins at

Job shop

The International Travel Writers Alliance Job Shop has been created to enable the Alliance’s partners to place - and journalists to receive - information on in-house jobs, special assignments or one-off projects.
Addition services through Job shop
The Alliance’s travel journalists can also :

  • create an anonymous job seeker profile or upload a CV for potential employers to search through

  • set up Job Alerts so as to be notified if a job is posted that matches the journalists skills or interests, and

  • access job searching tools and tips

Visit :

Working with the Alliance

The following travel industry partners and agencies have registered with the Alliance and are keen to work with Alliance travel writers, editors, broadcasters and photographers.
Other Alliance partners and agencies can be found at


Adrian Hoteles
Adrian Hoteles is a family-run chain of three exceptional hotels in Costa Adeje, Tenerife.
The portfolio includes some of the most luxurious accommodations in the south of the island.
Visit : Contact : Polly Martin at

Bradenton, Florida

Comprised of seven communities, each with its own distinct personality, the Bradenton area is united in inviting tourists from around the world to come experience Real.Authentic.Florida.

Anna Maria Island earned a TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award as one of the Top Ten Islands in the United States.
Six of our beaches now have the prestigious “Blue Wave Certification” from the Clean Beach Coalition.
In 2013, the Bradenton Area attracted nearly 2.9 million visitors. More than 980,000 of them stayed overnight enjoying our unspoiled island beaches, seaside villages, charming downtowns, eco adventures and unique experiences.
Visit : Contact : Claire Barrett at
The Hideaways Club
The Hideaways Club has a portfolio of exquisite properties located in some of the world’s most desirable locations, with holidays accessed through a luxury destination and lifestyle club.
Members are successful individuals from the worlds of business, media, sport and fashion, all of whom expect high standards when it comes to their leisure time.
They enjoy the benefits of being able to invest in, and holiday in, a range of luxury homes for all seasons with The Hideaways Club.
Visit : Contact : Annabel Hillary at
Tristar Worldwide Chauffeur Services
Tristar Worldwide Chauffeur Services is one of the world’s leading chauffeur drive companies with a fleet of more than 500 vehicles.
Operating through a network of offices and affiliates in more than 80 countries, Tristar delivers over 500,000 passengers safely to their destinations every year.
Its industry-leading service and performance means that some of the best-known companies and brands worldwide trust Tristar to deliver.
Visit : Contact : Natalie Still at
Yangshuo Mountain Retreat, Yangshuo Guilin, South China

The Yangshuo Mountain Retreat, which is celebrating it's 15th year in 2015, is a flagship property for Yangshuo hotels.

The riverside Retreat was originally conceived as a simple eco-lodge where expat friends could escape from the chaos of polluted mega-cities.
As the grew in popularity, it was necessary to continually upgrade accommodation, add wireless broadband and a restaurant, offering a simple farm-to-table menu with a few western favourites and fine wines and Belgian beers
The Yangshuo Mountain Retreat will be sponsoring river cruises and other events during 2015.
Visit : Contact : Chris Barclay at

Daydream Destinations (USA)
Daydream Destinations offers distinctive, hand-crafted getaway experiences that encompass the character and spirit of awe-inspiring locations, taking care of everything from arrival to departure.
Visit : Contact : Kirsten Michel at
EVA Air is Taiwan’s leading independent airline and the first in the world to give passengers a premium economy choice.
The airline operates daily flights from London Heathrow to Taipei via Bangkok. Numerous onward connections are available throughout Asia and to Australia from Taiwan.
EVA Air uses streamlined, energy-efficient, next-generation aircraft that promise comfortable, safe and efficient flying experiences – recognised worldwide for its warm, friendly service.
Visit : Contact : Sarah Habicht at
Lisbon - Turismo de Lisboa
Portugal’s national capital, Lisbon, boasts one of the longest histories, warmest climates and bustling nightlife of any major European city alongside its dramatic location sprawled along seven hills overlooking the River Tagus and Portugal’s west coast.

Known for its year-round sunshine and beauty, Lisbon’s grand architecture and old-world charm mingles with chic streets, galleries, lively nightlife and a centre which gives way to sandy beaches just minutes away.

It also one of the most affordable capitals in Europe, perfect for a city break or short haul escape.
Visit : Contact : Polly Martin at
The Sarojin
The Sarojin is one of Thailand’s award-winning resorts, located on a secluded 11 km white sand beach in picture perfect Khao Lak.
Designed in a modern Asian style, the 56 guest residence offers easy access to the world-famous dive sites of the Similan and Surin Islands, as well as to five beautiful national parks.
Stylish restaurants, a spa and the opportunity for guests to create their own experiences, such as Thai cooking classes with Chef Jui by a rainbow waterfall, make for a unique stay at The Sarojin.
Visit : Sarah Habicht at
Berlin Convention Office
The Berlin Convention Office is the official representative of the city of Berlin in the field of conventions, meetings, company events and incentives.
The company was founded in 2001 and has since helped to establish the city’s profile as one of the greatest conference and incentive destinations in the world.
Berlin’s combination of excellent infrastructure and value-for-money, along with its rich and vibrant culture, makes it a wonderful convention metropolis and an ideal choice for event organisers from around the globe.
Visit : Contact : Lisa Stewart at

Sue Whitehead –

Tenerife Tourism Corporation
Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and one of the most popular and easily accessible holiday destinations for UK travellers.

Its levels of sunshine, diverse landscapes, beaches and charming villages make the island a year round destination, while its activities include year-round whale watching to Spain’s tallest peak and one of the world’s largest lava tubes.

Visit : Contact : Enrique Martin at
Travel Indochina
Since its inception in 1993, Travel Indochina has become a world leader in operating small group journeys, luxury river cruises and tailor-made travel to the ‘real’ Asia.
Focusing on intimate group tours with group sizes of 16 people, the company offers a range of itineraries through :

  • Vietnam

  • Cambodia

  • Laos

  • Burma

  • Thailand

  • India

  • China

  • Tibet, and

  • Japan

These smaller groups enable travellers to gain the best from both worlds – greater access to the local culture and plenty of opportunity for independent exploration.

Visit : Contact : Guy Hough at


The Bradenton Area Riverwalk Regatta, Florida.

6 and 7 February 2015

The Bradenton Area will host its first ever Formula 2 (F-2) powerboat regatta along the Manatee River in Bradeton Florida.
F-2 tunnel boats can explode from 0-100/mph in less than four seconds and hit four-plus G’s.
On shore, spectators will be able to enjoy :

  • the Powerboat Superleague

  • HydroDrag jet skiers

  • the Extreme Pogo stunts, and

  • the Zambelli fireworks display.

Visit: Contact : Claire Barrett at

Paradise Beach Nevis, the Caribbean
The Paradise Beach, which opens on the Caribbean island of Nevis on 15 January 2015, will be the only villa option located directly on the beach.
Each villa features hand-woven thatched roofs with 20-foot vaulted ceilings and privacy walls enclosing lush gardens.
Within the resort is an outdoor dining pavilion and a waterfall pool overlooking the Caribbean and neighboring St. Kitts or beautiful gardens. Guests will also enjoy a concierge and butler service and a private chef can be arranged.
Visit : Contact : Cherise Stevens at

A Room With A View, Andaz Liverpool Street, London
Andaz Liverpool Street, East London’s 5 star hotel has revealed One Day Walk by Patrick Vale and Paul Davis - the second in the hotel’s year-long East London street art series, Room With A View.
Following the successful July 2014 launch of the Pearly Room by Chris Price and his wife and collaborator Delisia Howard, Patrick and Paul’s creation was inspired by the notion of being a flâneur in East London.
The hand painted room documents Patrick and Paul’s nine-hour journey that starts with a bacon sandwich, at their favourite breakfast spot, and then leads to the areas iconic monuments including Hawksmoor Church, St Paul’s Cathedral, Brick Lane, The Thames River and Columbia Road.

Guests can experience One Day Walk until July 2015.

Throughout the next 9 months, Andaz Liverpool Street Hotel will play host to two additional distinctly diverse British artists: ILoveDust and Patrick Morgan, who have also been invited to hand paint one of the hotel’s king guest rooms in their own style.
Visit : Contact : Lallie Fraser at
See also : A reason to write about : The Masonic temple at the Andaz.
Backyard Travel, southern Myanmar (Burma)
Backyard Travel, an online boutique travel agency specializing in insider tours throughout Asia is offering a new sailing tour through the islands of the Mergui Archipelago, southern Myanmar (Burma)
Situated along the southern coastline of Myanmar, the Mergui Archipelago – also called the MyeikArchipelago comprises 800 islands, few of which are inhabited. 
Home to the Moken people, the MyeikArchipelago opened to tourism as recently as 2007
The Moken lead semi-nomadic, sea-faring lives, spending the dry season on fishing boats and returning to land for the monsoonal months. 
As such, the islands here remain untouched by development, nurturing richly diverse ecosystems both above and beneath the water. 
Accommodation options in the MerguiArchipelago are understandably limited, and the boutique cruise will be aboard a small luxury yacht.  
Bangkok based Backyard Travel also offers tailor-made tours to :

  • Vietnam

  • Thailand

  • Cambodia

  • Laos

  • Myanmar

  • Indonesia
  • Japan and 

  • China. 

Visit : Contact : Contact : Maeve Nolan at

B&O Railroad Museum, Baltimore
The B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore will be re-enacting President Lincoln’s funeral procession in April 2015 to mark 150 years since his death. 
There will be an exact replica of Lincoln’s casket, as well as music and military and civilian re-enactors. For the remainder of 2015, the B&O Civil War locomotive will be decorated as Lincoln’s funeral train. 
Visit : Contact : Lisa Cooper at


Backes & Strauss and the English National Ballet

Backes & Strauss, the world’s oldest diamond company (est. 1789) is to continue its partnership with the English National Ballet into a second year.
English National Ballet is known for its traditional and contemporary ballet productions that tour across the UK and internationally. 
English National Ballet is committed to making ballet accessible to all, offering tickets from as little as £12 in London and £5 on tour. 
Visit : Contact : Laetitia Hirschy at and Robert James at
Marti Hotels Launches sea plane transfers between Istanbul and Hemithea
Marti Hotels have launched sea plane transfers to get guests between its hotels in Istanbul and Hemithea. 
The Seabird sea plane is available to fly from Istanbul-Haliç to the Martı Marina in Hemithea.
Visit : Contact : Hannah Summers at
Natural Retreats Handpicked – Rock and North Cornwall, UK

Natural Retreats have launched Natural Retreats Handpicked in Rock and North Cornwall, a selection of privately owned holiday homes in some of the region’s most popular holiday spots. 

The properties range from two to six bedrooms, in locations on the Atlantic coast of North Cornwall such as Rock, Polzeath, Port Isaac and Roserrow.
Visit : Contact : Hannah Summers at
YTL Launches Kasara Brand
YTL Hotels has announced the launch of the KASARA brand, a collection of exclusive luxurious hotels, resorts and residences in exotic locations in Asia.
Destinations include Hokkaido, Japan; Koh Samui, Thailand and Pulau Tiga in Borneo. 
The first property, which opens in Opening in December 2014 is the  KASARA Niseko Village Townhouse, located within Niseko Village, Japan the group’s ski resort.
Visit : Contact : Emily Wilson
The New Look Royal Palm Mauritius
Beachcomber Hotels has reopened the its flagship property Royal Palm Mauritius after a complete refurbishment.
 To mark its 30th anniversary, the Royal Palm has upgraded its communal areas, restaurants and suites and introduced 15 new Ocean Suites.
Visit : Contact : Emily Wilson

Greater Yarmouth Tourism & Business Improvement Area
The new Greater Yarmouth Tourism & Business Improvement Area (GYTBIA) 2015 campaign highlights 21 projects geared to helping grow Greater Yarmouth’s £530 million tourism industry by 12% with an additional £63 million a year and 1200 more jobs by 2020.
Currently 29% of the working population in the borough is supported by tourism, comprising more than 10,000 equivalent full time jobs.
These include a number of fireworks displays and :

  • beach volleyball and soccer on the sands

  • a Martham Scarecrow Festival
  • Brush with the Broads (bringing artists to the Broads for a painting festival), and

  • an Eating Out campaign

With 65,000 bed spaces, nearly a third of all holiday nights spent in the UK county of Norfolk are tourists staying in Greater Yarmouth.

Visit : Contact : paul dickson at
Haute Montagne Alpine Estate, Switzerland
Luxury ski operator, Haute Montagne has launched its new Alpine Estate in Verbier, a two challet mountainside retreat. 
Visit : Contact : Emily Wilson at
ME Ibiza
ME Ibiza is the result of a complete renovation of the former s’Argamassa hotel and is located on Nikki Beach.
ME London 
ME London is located in the original headquarters of the BBC and was designed by the world famous architects Foster & Partners. 
Meliá Villaitana
Meliá Villaitana resort, formed of The Level at Meliá Villaitana and the Meliá Villaitana, has two 18 hole golf courses designed by the prestigious firm Nicklaus Design. 
Visit : and Contact : Sophie Kelk at
Hudson's and Signpost sponsor BOBI
Hudson’s, the publisher of heritage and tourist information in the UK, and Signpost Hotels, the UK’s longest established hotel guide, are to be major sponsors of the Best of Britain & Ireland Show 2015
The leading event for domestic tourism and venues industry takes place at the NEC Birmingham from 11 to 12 March 2015. 


Hudson’s and Signpost Hotels will be sponsoring a dedicated ‘British Heritage Zone’ for heritage attractions and ‘Hotel Lobby Zone’ for independent hotels to exhibit at a cost effective rate.  


BOBI brings together 300 exhibitors with 3,000 targeted decision makers responsible for organising tourist itineraries for domestic and international visitors. 

Visit :, and Contact : Tanya Aspinwall at

Zagreb named second best destination in Europe
Croatia’s capital city, Zagreb, has been named as the second best destination in Europe according to the European Best Destinations Organization.
Zagreb was praised for its many entertainment and culture activities, including music and theatre concerts, museums and sporting events. 
The city was also commended for its wonderful architecture, making it a  place for a pleasant walk.
Visit : Contact : Sarah Taylor at
Horseshoe Casino opens in Downtown Baltimore
The new Horseshow Casino in Downtown Baltimore has 100 table games, thousands of slots and a 25-table World Series of Poker room. 
The casino is now the second largest in Maryland, including a 20,000 square-foot ‘Baltimore Marketplace’, which offers food outlets, premier restaurants and lounges. 
Visit: and Contact : Lisa Cooper at
Meliá Hotels
ME Ibiza, ME London and Meliá Villaitana, operated by Meliá Hotels, have won their national categories at the annual International Hotel Awards 2014-2015. 
Each hotel received a 5 star award, the highest category of award given at the event.


Backyard Travel in Bhutan 


Backyard Travel, an online boutique travel agency specialising in tours throughout Asia, has added Bhutan to its portfolio of Asian destinations.


Located high in the Eastern Himalayas, Bhutan is one of Asia’s most beguiling kingdoms. 

Known for its dzong fortresses, towering peaks and lush valleys, this land-locked agrarian country offers travellers a serene and spiritual experience. 
The country’s isolation from the rest of the world has helped it foster a distinct cultural identity, seemingly untouched by the ailments of modern life.


Backyard Travel’s Bhutan launch comes in time for ‘Visit Bhutan 2015’, celebrating the 60th birthday of the former King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck with a programme of festivals and unforgettable events.

Backyard Travel's eight-day Camp, Trek Explore Bhutan tour showcases the Himalayan wilderness, as well as Bhutan’s dzongs, and on their ten-day Prayer Flags over Bhutan: A Pilgrimage tour travelers will seek the counsel of monks, visit scared sites and have time for meditation and reflection.


Visit : Contact : Christian Sutton at

The island of Flores, Indonesia 
The island of Flores in Indonesia has been named one of the world’s top ten regions to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015 yearbook.
Flores was recognised for its beaches, diving, lush tropical forests, smoking volcanoes, hiking opportunities, exotic cultures and unique wildlife experiences, including the chance to get up close to Komodo dragons.


Travellers to Flores can island hop around tiny islands, trek Mount Kelimutu with its three coloured lakes and spotting the dragons at Komodo National Park.


In addition, Flores offers new tourist offices, cafes and guesthouses, as well as upgraded roads and newly-improved airports which receive daily flights from Bali. 

Visit : and Contact : Sarah Habicht at /

Bicycle Adventures first to offer cycling vacations to Taiwan


Bicycle Adventures is the first international bike company to provide guided tours by bicycle of Taiwan, an island nation little known outside of Asia.

The gateway city is Taipei and a ride on a high-speed train to Kaohsiung City, which brings cyclists to the southern end of the island to begin the tour northbound.


The itinerary averages about 74 kilometers a day of biking with guests stopping in aboriginal villages where people still live as they did hundreds of years ago. 

Visit : Contact: Sara Widness at
The Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Virginia


The Birthplace of Country Music Museum, which opened in August 2014, honours the legacy of the 1927 Bristol Sessions that Johnny Cash referred to as “The single most important event in the history of country music.”

In early 2015, ‘Ortohophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisted’, a two-set CD featuring remakes of 16 original Bristol Sessions songs, will be released. 
Visit : Contact : Lisa Cooper at


Richmond, Virginia an LGBT-Friendly Travel Destination

Following a LGBT letter campaign, Richmond, Virginia has been named as a LGBT-Friendly Travel Destination. 
During September and October 2014, a campaign was launched for the residents of Richmond to write coming out letters. 
The website is a place where LGBT travellers can learn more about the city – finding LGBT-friendly businesses, entertainment and events. 
Many LGBT travel writers highlighted the city as a travel destination with  appeal for LGBT tourists.

Visit : Contact : Lisa Cooper at

Portugal Nature Trails 
Portugal Nature Trails is offering an eight-day, self-guided, hiking adventure along Portugal’s Douro River, a wine-producing region.
It is scheduled for March to June and again from September to November (grape harvest).


Portugal Nature Trails guests hike from eight to 16km each day through this micro climate on the Iberian Peninsula where grapes, olives and almonds are profuse. 

The grapes historically have been coached into Port wine. There are opportunities enroute for optional wine tastings.
Portugal Nature Trails is an adventure travel tour company offering guided and self-guided walking, hiking and cycling tours. 
Visit : Contact: Alexia Nestora at
Anantara Matemo Island, Mozambique 
Matemo Island is one of the islands amongst the 32 islands of the Quirimbas Archipelago, Mozambique.
The island is just 8km long and 3km wide and, located  among palm trees,  Matemo Island Lodge is a 24 chalet lodge complete with activity centre and restaurant. 
The property will become an Anantara property after conversion in 2015
Visit : Contact : Thea Harley at
School of Life Retreat at Spa Village, Tembok, Bali
The School of Life is a 4, 5 or 7 day spa retreat at the Spa Village Tembok Bali, introducing guests to a holistic lifestyle.
Before arriving at the retreat, guests receive a questionnaire asking where they are in their life and what they want to achieve after the retreat so a personalised itinerary can be created especially for them. 

During the retreat, daily activities include yoga, martial arts, candle, tonic and scrap making, herbal baths and cooking classes. 

Each meal is specially prepared for School of Lifers by the Executive Chef (who trained in a Buddhist monastery).
After the retreat, guests will be sent home with ‘Detox in a Box’ which includes all the tools they will need to carry on their positive change once home. 
Visit : Contact : Hannah Summers at


Global Volunteering 

Global Vision International (GVI) has new volunteering abroad programmes launching for 2015, including Womens’ Empowerment programmes launching in three countries, and projects specifically suited to older volunteers. 
Visit : Contact : Emily Wilson


Taste Portugal


Taste Portugal London is a series of luxury gourmet pop-ups, taking place in some of the city’s finest establishments through until March 2015.

These will highlight the best of Portugal’s cuisine and wine, showcased by a host of Michelin-starred chefs.


Classic dishes and ingredients will form a central part of the events with cataplana, clams, percebes and sea urchins.

Portugal’s finest Bacchanalian offerings of port and wine will also be part of the events, allowing participants to sample a new range of produce little known in the UK. 
Visit : Contact : Hannah Summers at


Wilderness Safaris to open Linkwasha Camp, Zimbabwe

Wilderness Safaris is to open the new Linkwasha Camp, in May 2015,  in a game-rich private concession in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.
Visit Contact : Nicole Lovett


Hotels for Carnival in New Orleans, Rio or Buenos Aires with


Travel Junction has recommended three hotels for taking in carnival in New Orleans, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana 

(Around) Tuesday 17 February 2015

During Mardi Gras festival in New Orleans, where people take to the streets to celebrate and indulge before the onset of Lent.
The historic, 4-star Hotel Le Pavilion was built in 1907 and is situated next to the French Quarter.
Visit :
Rio Carnival, Brazil

13 to 17 February 2015


During Carnival the streets of Rio come to life with outlandish costumes, bright colours and music.

The Mercure Rio De Janeiro Botafogo is located close to the city centre and a few minutes away from the Copacabana beach.
Visit :
Buenos Aires Carnival, Argentina

7 to 17 February 2015

With over 112 musicians and 37 parades, the Buenos Aires carnival is one of the most vibrant in celebrating the best of Argentinian culture. 
The Mayflower Suites is located in the heart of Buenos Aires.
Visit :
Visit : Contact : Kelly Adams at

What’s on

Events in Mallorca
The Festival of San Sebastian, Palma and Pollensa

 18 to 24 January 2015   

The annual Festival of San Sebastian in is one of the biggest events of the year in Palma, celebrating its patron saint.  
There’s music, pop up bars & street entertainment, spectacular fireworks and a Big Fiesta Party .  

Hotel tres

A place to stay in the heart of the city is the boutique Hotel Tres 

Visit : and


Pollensa Half-Marathon Race

5 May 2015
Visit :
In Polensa
Patron Saint of Puerto Pollensa, Virgen del Carmen

July 2015

Celebrations for the saint include Concerts, parades, sports and art events also featuring maritime processions. Culminating in a firework display on the beach on the last Sunday night.


Pollensa’s Fiesta

26 July to 2 August 2015
A week of dancing, concerts and exhibitions held in Pollensa ending with the simulated Moors and Christians Battle on the 2 August. 
The procession starts in the main street continues through the town to the outskirts of Lluc
Fiesta de Nuestra Señora de los Angeles

2 August 2015

This fiesta in Pollensa celebrates the historical battle between Joan Mas and the pirates who attacked the island.
Cala d’Or, Verge de la Mar

15 August 2015  

This event features a fisherman’s procession with traditional dancing


Visit : and

Contact : Cathryn Hicks at

Red Bull X-Alps 2015 
Thirty-one men and women from 18 countries will compete in the 2015 Red Bull X-Alps.
This will be the seventh edition of, what is billed as, the world's toughest adventure race in which athletes must hike or paraglide approximately 1,000km across the Alps from Salzburg to Monaco in the fastest time possible.
The event

The race takes place in July 2015 and can involve hiking up to 100km of mountain terrain in a day – or flying at altitudes in excess of 4,000m. 

The names of the men and women who will take on the Red Bull X-Alps, powered by Powertraveller are :

  • Paul Guschlbauer (AUT1)

  • Gerald Gold (AUT2)

  • Stephan Gruber (AUT3)

  • Pascal Purin (AUT4)

  • Thomas de Dorlodot (BEL)

  • Alex Villa (COL)

  • Stanislav Mayer (CZE)

  • Ivan Colás (ESP)

  • Clément Latour (FRA1)

  • Antoine Girard (FRA2)

  • Nelson de Freyman (FRA3)

  • Gaspard Petiot (FRA4)

  • Steve Nash (GBR)

  • Michael Gebert (GER1)

  • Yvonne Dathe (GER2)

  • Sebastian Huber (GER3)

  • Manuel Nübel (GER4)

  • Aaron Durogati (ITA)

  • Chi-Kyong Ha (KOR)

  • Ferdinand van Schelven (NED)

  • Nick Neynens (NZL)

  • Pawel Faron (POL)Toma Coconea (ROU)

  • Stephan Kruger (RSA)

  • Christian Maurer (SUI1)

  • Samuel Vurpillot (SUI2)

  • Michael Witschi (SUI3)

  • Erik Rehnfeldt (SWE)

  • Honza Rejmanek (USA1)

  • Gavin McClurg (USA2)

  • Dawn Westrum (USA3)

The 2013 edition was the fastest on record with 10 athletes reaching Monaco. It was won by Christian Maurer (SUI) in 6d 23hr 40m.

Powertraveller designs, develops and manufactures a range of portable power and solar chargers for electronic devices


Visit : Contact : Simon Boddy at

Events in Val d’Isère, France
22nd Classicaval Music Festival

20 to 22nd January 2015 and 10th to 12th March 2015

Frost Gun Invitational

10 to 12 February 2015

3rd Annual Winter Golf

25 to 29 March 2015

The 19th International Adventure & Discovery Film Festival

20 to 23 April 2015

3rd Annual Yoga Festival

1 to 3 May 2015


Visit : Contact : Emily Wilson

IWM London : February and March 2015
IWM London, IWM’s flagship branch, tells the stories of those whose lives have been shaped by war.
It marks the Centenary of the First World War with new permanent First World War Galleries and a new Atrium with iconic large object displays. 
Fashion on the Ration: 1940s Street Style

5 March – 31 August 2015

Fashion on the Ration explores how fashion survived and even flourished under the strict rules of rationing during the Second World War.

Men and women of Britain found new ways to dress, from adopting more casual styles to demonstrating amazing ingenuity in renovating, recycling and creating their own clothes. 

Fashion on the Ration will display fashion, uniforms and textiles from wartime Britain to look at the impact of the war on people’s lives – on what they wore, their sense of identity, and how they coped with the demands and deprivations of shortages and austerity.  
IWM Contemporary: Hew Locke

19 February – 4 May 2015

The latest show in the IWM Contemporary programme features new works by artist Hew Locke, exploring naval power. 
The show will feature a large scale cord and bead wall drawing created especially for the exhibition, a transformed ship model, and a unique painted photograph of HMS Belfast, the Second World War cruiser on the Thames.
IWM's other branches are :

  • IWM North

  • IWM Duxford, an aviation museum and Britain's best preserved wartime airfield

  • the Churchill War Rooms, housed in Churchill’s secret headquarters below Whitehall, and 

  • the Second World War cruiser HMS Belfast.

Visit : Contact : Rosie Linton at

March and April in Cape Town, South Africa 
The Autumn season is perhaps the most spectacular in Cape Town with day time temperatures averaging  23 °C and a range of events and activities.
Cape Town Gay Pride

27 February – 8 March 2015

A celebration of LGBTQI rights with a round of rainbow-coloured parades, parties and pageants over 10 days of festivities. 
The highlight of Pride is the big march in Cape Town’s CBD and the De Waterkant festival that follows, with many other events taking place throughout.
Visit :
Cape Town Cycle Tour : Cape Town to Green Point

8 March 2015

The Cape Town Cycle Tour (previously known as the Cape Argus) is a 109km route that takes in a spectacular scenic circle around Cape Town, sporting significant mountain and ocean views. 

Local entries are full, but international participants are able to enter up until a week before race day.

Infecting the City

9-14 March 2015

The 8th annual Infecting the City public arts festival brings new artworks out of theatres and galleries and into public spaces.  
Presented by the Africa Centre, ; vsitors can expect a blend of local, national and international artists popping up all over the streets of Cape Town. 
Visit :
Cape Town Carnival

14 March 2015

The Cape Town Carnival is a glamorous celebration presenting a colourful parade of large scale floats accompanied by over 2000 costumed dancers, musicians and performers. 
There’s a variety of food vendors, stalls and festive hospitality areas with well-known DJ’s to entertain.
Visit :
Cape Town Jazz Festival

27 & 28 March 2015

Affectionately referred to as “Africa’s Grandest Gathering” the Cape Town International Jazz Festival is the largest music event in sub-Saharan Africa.
The two-day event has a line up of well-known jazz musicians from around the world with different stages and entertainment areas.
Visit :
Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra and Half Marathon

3- 4 April, 2015

Marketed as the world’s most beautiful marathon, this 21km and 56km road race follows a scenic route all along the ocean and mountains for which Cape Town is known. Many other smaller fun runs are also available. 
Discovery World Triathlon Cape Town, V&A Waterfront

25 and 26 April 2015

The ITU World Triathlon Series takes place in the best locations in the most iconic cities in the world.

Visit :
Absa Cape Epic, from Durbanville to Stellenbosch

15 to 22 March 2015

An annual mountain bike stage race for elite professional mountain bikers covering more than 700 km and lasting eight days - a prologue and seven stages. 
Spectators can enjoy spectacular views along the route.
Visit : Contact : Nicole Biondi at
Sani Resort Gourmet Festival

8 to 17 May 2015

The 2015 Sani Gourmet Festival will be Cuisines of the World: the Silk Road.
Michelin-starred guest chefs from different countries, including China, India, Turkey, Greece, Italy will present their contemporary dishes in Sani’s restaurants. 
Visit : Contact : Hannah Summers at
UCI World Road Cycling Championships, Richmond, Virginia

19 to 27 September 2015

Richmond, Virginia will be hosting the 2015 Union Cycliste Internationale World Road Cycling Championships. 
The nine-day event is expecting to attract around 1000 cyclists from all over the world to compete in three different disciplines – the traditional Road Race, the Individual Time Trial and the Team Time Trial. 
Visit : Contact : Lisa Cooper at

Reasons to write about

The Masonic Temple at the Andaz Liverpool Street, London

The Andaz Hotel, Liverpool Street has its own Greek Masonic Temple with Grade II listed marbles.

When the hotel was sold to the Andaz group, it was so run-down the previous owners had never discovered the temple as it was boarded behind a fake wall!
The Temple was built in 1912 by Charles Barry junior (son of Charles Barry – architect who was responsible for the Houses of Parliament) and cost £50,000 (the equivalent of £4 million today).
Inside of the Masonic Temple there are 12 types of marble, all from Italy, and the grandiose throne-like chairs are heavy mahogany.

Many believe Jack the Ripper was a Mason and if so would have attended this temple as it is closest to his hunting ground. The Masons helped fund the Temples construction.

Concealed by heavy, studded doors & accessed via a winding staircase and a spacious mahogany-panelled anteroom, the Grecian-style Temple is one of London’s best-kept secret.
The century-old room was considered one of the grandest Masonic temples of its time, with marble columns and a splendid zodiac ceiling.
The Temple was first Chaired by Grand Master Duke of Connaught (cousin to Queen Elizabeth).
The Temple also features rare marble set in three different types around the room offset by both Doric and ionic columns.
The space, now completely restored to its former glory, is now used for fashion shows, product launches, wedding receptions & cabaret dinners.
Visit : Contact : Lallie Fraser at

Luxury Travel with a Conscience, New Zealand
New Zealand In Depth has launched a luxury travel concept this week that brings together the country’s best luxury lodge hospitality, cuisine and activities, with support for local conservation projects.
The independent lodges in the initiative are actively supporting the protection of local wildlife or regeneration of local habitats. 
Eagles Nest

This  luxury hotel & retreat is set within a 75 acre estate atop its own private ridgeline offering views of the Bay of Islands.


By staying at Eagles Nest, guests will support and be a part of the lodge’s vital work to conserve rare local wildlife living on the property including the North Island brown kiwi.


Treetops Lodge
Treetops Lodge offers the ultimate in world-class luxury accommodation in the heart of New Zealand’s unique forest close to the thermal wonderland and cultural capital of Rotorua.


By staying at Treetops Lodge, guests will learn about the ancient Maori connection with New Zealand’s native forest and play a part in protecting it for future generations.


Bay of Many Coves
Located deep in the Marlborough Sounds, Bay of Many Coves is a five star luxury resort that offers seclusion in a pristine natural environment.


By staying at Bay of Many Coves, guests will be supporting a project that provides homes and habitat for the local population of blue penguins, the world’s smallest penguin.


Hapuku Lodge
Located 30 feet above the ground in the canopy of a native Manuka grove, Hapuku Tree Houses have views of Kaikoura’s dramatic mountains and surf-washed Pacific coastline.


By staying at Hapuku Lodge, guests will be supporting a project that is assisting the restoration of local native forest whilst having the chance to learn about Maori culture in the region.


Blanket Bay
Blanket Bay’s is located amid rugged snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps on the shores of Lake Wakatip. 


By staying at Blanket Bay, guests will support a project that is helping to protect one of New Zealand’s unique and most endangered birds, the mohua.


Fiordland Lodge
Fiordland Lodge has views out across Lake Te Anau.


By staying at Fiordland Lodge, guests will be helping the local community to protect native wildlife in one of the world’s outstanding wilderness areas.


Visit : Contact : Mark Hayward at

Plas Dinam private museum, Llandinam, Wales
The rich history of a Mid Wales country house and the people who have lived there has been captured in the new Plas Dinam private museum.
Plas Dinam in Llandinam, near Llanidloes, has been home to descendants of Victorian railway and mining entrepreneur David Davies for five generations.


When the owners, Lord and Lady Davies, downsized to smaller accommodation in the village in 2011, their daughter, Eldrydd Lamp and her family decided to return from near Perth, Australia to breathe new life into the historic property.


Their decision has received the endorsement from Visit Wales, the Welsh Government’s tourism arm, who have given Plas Dinam a five star grading.

The museum will primarily be for the benefit of Plas Dinam guests but will also be open it to groups by private appointment when the house is not occupied. 
Surrounded by 12 acres of gardens, lawns and woodland, Plas Dinam has a tennis court, outside lawn games, stabling for up to five horses and kennels. 
Overlooking the scenic upper Severn Valley on the edge of Llandinam, the Grade II Listed house has 15 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms.


Visit : Contact : Duncan Foulkes at

Clam Picking at Conrad Algarve, Portugal
Guests of the Conrad Algarve resort are invited to rise with the sun, just as local fishermen do, accompany the head chef, and arrive early at the clam picking marshes  in the Ria Formosa National Park. 
On the drive to Olhão or Faro Marina, the fishing towns from where the marshes are reached, guests will enjoy a glimpse of traditional life. 

Upon arrival to Olhão or Faro Marina, a catamaran takes guests to the fishermen who are already busy at work. 

The fishermen then educate guests on the skills it takes to coax the clam out of the sand.
After the picking is done, the Chef demonstrates how to create a lunch with the freshly caught clams.
Visit : Contact : Emily Wilson


Eastern European resorts for a low-cost skiing holiday

Spindleruv Mlyn, Czech Republic
Located  in the powdered peaks of the highest mountain range in the Czech Republic, Krknose (meaning The Giant Mountains), the  Spindleruv Mlyn, is one of four main resorts in the area. 
From kid-friendly runs to a snow-stacked terrain park and miles of unspoilt cross-country trails, Spindleruv Mlyn is a serious bargain. 
The surrounding National Park is a UNESCO classified biosphere reserve. 

Jahorina, Bosnia


Home to the women’s skiing events of the 1984 Winter Olympics, the resort of Jahorina attracts downhillers in search of a taste of international snowsport standards. 

Standing among the tallest Dinaric Alps of Bosnia, Jahorina’s wide slopes are crisp and inviting – towering over a small town of traditional chalets and foothills coated in fir trees. 
Bialka Tatrzanska, Poland


Zakopane is Poland’s biggest and most recognised resort. However those wanting to ski on a budget, head to the village of Bialka Tatrzanska. 

The resort’s wide, sweeping, tree-lined slopes are family-friendly - and best for beginners and intermediates.
Jasna, Slovakia


One of Slovakia’s best kept secrets, located in the Demanovska Dolina Valley, Jasna has pistes thatbcut through wilderness, and backcountry skiing through national parkland. 

Whilst Chopok peak lures its fair share of adventure-seekers, with its 1,000m vertical drop and multiple freeride areas, newcomers can opt for  the ski schools.

Kranjska Gora, Slovenia


Located in the Julian Alps, the family-friendly Kranjska Gora offers gentle, well-groomed runs, compact nursery slopes and cross-country trails. 

It also offers a World Cup black run that has been testing slalom stars from around the world for more than 50 years. 


Popova Sapka, Macedonia

Standing higher than most Eastern European resorts, Macedonia’s Popova Sapka, is located  in the rounded peaks of the Dinaric Mountains. 
Momondo's Trip Finder lets users find and explore new destinations based on as many or as few preferences as they like within budget, season, continent, weather and travel interests.
Trip Finder ski destinations have been selected by momondo’s team of experienced travel writers.
Visit : Contact :
New accommodation in the Florida Keys
In the coming year nine new Florida Keys properties, accounting for more than 1,000 new rooms, and a number of renovated lodgings will welcome visitors.


Playa Largo Resort and Spa, Key Largo

The Playa Largo Resort and Spa, the newest hotel to join Marriott’s Autograph Collection, set to in summer 2015. The 14-acre waterfront resort features 144 luxury rooms and suites.


Visit :


In Islamorada, four leading properties now make up the Islamorada Hotel Company :
Postcard Inn Beach Resort at Holiday Isle La Siesta Resort Pelican Cove Resort & Marina, and the Amara Cay Resort


Particularly notable is the late 2014 relaunch of the Islamorada Resort as Amara Cay Resort, an upscale boutique hotel. 

Visit : 


Also in Islamorada, and after a year-long multimillion-dollar renovation, the Islander Resort has joined the expanding collection of Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts. 

The small collection of Guy Harvey Outpost resorts and lodges showcases Harvey’s marine wildlife art, scientific research and conservation advocacy. 
Visit :


Faro Blanco Resort, Marathon

The Faro Blanco Resort has been a Middle Keys landmark since the 1950s. 
Earlier this year construction began on the Faro Blanco Resort & Yacht Club, which incorporates the Faro Blanco lighthouse and will open in December 2014.


With the original lighthouse as its “beacon” the new property features an upscale 125-room Hyatt Place hotel.

Visit :
Key West 


At the southernmost tip of the Keys island chain lies eclectic, artistic Key West.

The new Gates Hotel Key West, which will open in February 2015, is a 100-room boutique hotel.
Visit :
The Marker Waterfront Resort
The Marker Waterfront Resort, a two-acre luxury property which opened in late 2014, is located at Key West's Historic Seaport.
Visit :
The 125-mile Florida Keys island chain offers a rich natural environment, flourishing creative community, subtropical climate, and a laid-back vibe.
Visit : Contact : Jo Thomas at
Jean-Michel Gathy
With over 30 years’ experience designing luxury hotels, Jean-Michel Gathy is the architect behind many of the most idyllic hotels in the world. 

His projects are all designed by hand with most recent hotel openings including Aman Canal Grande Venice in Italy, Cheval Blanc Randheli in the Maldives and Chedi Andermatt & Residences in Switzerland.

Aman Canal Grande Venice, Italy 
This building dates from the 16th century and combines the elegance of this  city with Aman style.
Visit :


Cheval Blanc Randheli, Maldives

LVMH Hotel Management’s Cheval Blanc Randheli consists of 45 contemporary villas on the conserved atoll of Noonu, 40 minutes north of Malé. 


Chedi Andermatt & Residences, Swiss Alps

Chedi Andermatt is located in the alpine resort of Andermatt and 
Visit :
Visit Contact : Nicole Lovett at
New tours in Lisbon, Portugal
Street art tours
The 50km Street Art Tour gives visitors the chance to get a closer look at Lisbon’s urban culture, plus an opportunity to photograph the city’s most interesting pieces of street art.
Visit :  


Tagus cruise

A new and different way to see Lisbon is by taking a river tour along the Tagus, the longest river on the Iberian Peninsula. 
The Belém Tower (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the Parque das Naçoes (the most modern parish of the city, characterised by its futuristic buildings) and the Christ the King Statue are some of the monuments visitors will be able to enjoy on the two different routes available.
Visit :


Helicopter tours

Lisbon Helicopters offers two different flight routes above the city centre (‘Discoveries’ and ‘Imperial Lisbon’) and another above the towns of Estoril and Cascais. 
Tailor-made excursions and trips for special events are also available.
Visit :


The 28 eco tour

The Tram 28, which passes through Lisbon’s main tourist spots, has been joined by the 'twizy' electric car. 
Onboard a twizy, visitors have the opportunity to drive along the same route as the tram while learning about the buildings and monuments thanks to the vehicle’s GPS audio guide.
Visit :


Scooter tours

Visitors can rent a scooter, design their own itinerary and discover Lisbon at their own pace. 
Alegria Ride also delivers and collects the bikes from a preferred location.
Visit :


Visit : Contact : Polly Martin at

A place to stay

Ellerman House, Cape Town, South Africa
Guests at Ellerman House, Cape Town can enjoy 1000 works of art, which are exhibited throughout the hotel, dating from the mid-19th Century to the present day.
These offer a rare insight into the huge cultural and social shift South African art has experienced over this period.
The collection has been gathered over three decades and features a uniquely South African twist and hugely diverse works; from portraits to sculpture, historical paintings to contemporary art. 
Visit : Contact : Emily Wilson at
Park Hyatt St Kitts
The Park Hyatt St Kitts, which opens in 2015, will be a 5 star resort hotel located on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts & Nevis. 
Visit : Contact : Lucie Earle at
The Gainsborough Bath Spa, Bath, UK 

The Gainsborough Bath Spa, which opens in 2015, is YTL’s first UK Classic Hotel.

Three Spa bedrooms will have direct access to the thermal waters, with a special tab in the bathtub allowing guests to enjoy the waters privately. 
Visit : Contact : Miles Harris at


Conrad Hotels and Resorts

Conrad Hotels & Resorts has a number of new properties opening in 2015 including Conrad Mecca, which will overlook the Grand Mosque in the centre of Mecca, and new oceanfront residences at Conrad Fort Lauderdale.
Visit : contact : Charlotte Rous at
Park Hyatt Zanzibar 
The Park Hyatt Zanzibar, which opens in 2015, will a beachfront location in Stone Town and will feature 67 guest rooms including 11 suites.
Ocean front rooms feature views of dhow harbours and the Indian Ocean.
Visit : Contact : Emma Powell at

Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort & Spa, Mozambique 

The new Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort & Spa is located on a tiny private island in the Quirimbas Archipelago off the northern coast of Mozambique.
Visit : Contact : Emily Wilson at


Conrad London St James

The Conrad Hotels & Resorts has opened in St James, central London, following a franchise agreement with Supreme Hotels LLP.  
The 256 guest room hotel has joined the Hilton Worldwide portfolio of 23 existing Conrad hotels and resorts worldwide, including :

  • Dublin

  • Dubai

  • Istanbul, and Portugal.  

Conrad London St James, located between Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace 

Visit : Contact : Hannah Summers at


Bohemia Suites & Spa, Gran Canaria

The Bohemia Suites & Spa is a five-star boutique hotel located on Gran Canaria in the Spanish archipelago of the Canary Islands.
The islands enjoy a micro climate offering sunshine all year round. 
The hotel has enjoyed a recently completed a £30 million, three year refurbishment.
The is a short walk to the sand dunes of Maspalomas and there are also hillside walks, hikes, cycle routes, and horseback riding. 
Visit : Contact : Nadia Walford at
Hotel Mimbelli, Orebić, Croatia
The Hotel Mimbelli has opened in the port town of Orebić in Dubrovnik-Neretva County. 
The hotel, which is located in a 19th Century building in the centre of the historic town, includes four double rooms, one suite and a restaurant. 
Orebić, on the southern coast of Pelješac Peninsula, has some of the best beaches in the region and also has great hiking opportunities around Mt Ilija. 
Visit : and Contact : Sarah Taylor at
Canal House, Amsterdam
Comprised of three 17th century merchant’s houses and overlooking the Keizergracht Canal, the Canal House greets visitors with works of Dutch painters such as Rembrandt and Vermeer.
Located in the heart of the Jordaan, the cultural centre of Amsterdam, Canal House is a 23 bedroom boutique hotel.
Visit : Contact : Alexandra Stone at
L’Hotel, Paris


A hotel  for the past two centuries and one of the original Hip Hotels, L’Hotel is one of the most famous hotels in Paris. 

Home and final resting place to Oscar Wilde, this opulent, boutique hotel on Paris’ arty left Bank boasts a Michelin star restaurant, a bar frequented by the Parisian style set and a glamorous subterranean pool.

The design for all 20 rooms has been inspired by a famous visitor to the hotel. 
The Mistinguette Room, for example, is an art-deco boudoir featuring the actresses’ own bed. 
Smaller double rooms look out over Rue de Beaux Arts and are characterised by their Napoleon II style decor and gold damask wall coverings. 
Visit : Contact : Alexandra Stone at
Loews Regency Hotel, Manhattan
Loews Regency Hotel, a newly renovated luxury hotel on Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, has added six designer-inspired Signature Suites, marking the culmination of the hotel’s $100 million transformation earlier this year.
Visit : Contact : Claire Mans at
The Holste, Norfolk
The Hoste is a four-star luxury hotel in the centre of Burnham Market, in the heart of the royal coast of North Norfolk.  
A hotel since 1651, it  was originally built as a manor House and also a court house.


Today the 17th Century boutique hotel comprises a 2 AA Rosette Restaurant serving seasonal, locally-sourced food with an extensive wine cellar and a luxurious beauty salon.


The salon has expanded and includes two new treatment rooms; a new manicure and pedicure bar, an additional ‘side by side’ treatment room and hairdressing facilities. 


Visit : Contact : Daisy Simpson at

QHotels has added six former De Vere Hotels and De Vere Luxury Lodges to its portfolio. 
The six hotels, located across the UK include the luxury 5-star Cameron House in Loch Lomond and the Elizabethan-style Dunston Hall in Norfolk. 

They will join the existing QHotels portfolio of 21 hotels.

The former De Vere Hotels, joining the QHotels portfolio, are : 

  • Cameron House, Loch Lomond

  • Dunston Hall, Norwich

  • Oulton Hall,  Leeds

  • Mottram Hall, Macclesfield, Cheshire

  • Slaley Hall, Hexham, Northumberland

  • Belton Woods, Grantham, Lincolnshire

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