This year the vacation industry is having a hard time of it as the recession bites deep into consumer spending but Europe’s ski industry seems to be holding its own in the world market. Although not all countries have weathered the poor economy and a few warm winters well, some are still just as popular as ever with the skiing crowd.
France has been the most popular European ski destination for as long as nearly anyone can remember. It features not only the perfect weather for skiing, but breathtaking scenery as well. Whether you are in the Alps, the Massif Central or the Jura, there are hundreds of miles of ski slopes to be found.
As it has for decades, France remained the number one ski destination in Europe last year. While surrounding countries lost a portion of their market share of the ski industry, France managed to make small gains.
Austria falls just after France in the roundup of popular European ski destinations. Austria is the preferred destination for celebrities and royalty, with its luxurious resorts and picturesque scenery.
But there is more to Austria’s ski industry than meets the eye. Not too long ago, it was feared that the entire industry was doomed. Rumors of global warming, coupled with unseasonably warm weather over one or two ski seasons, threatened to drive down the booming business of Austrian ski resorts.
Last year however, things once again began to look up for Austria. There was plenty of snow, and the tourists came in strong numbers. According to industry reports, Austria’s ski bookings were up 2.8 percent from the previous year. The country’s resorts held a 21.8 percent share of the ski vacation market in Europe.
Not that Austria ever broke a sweat over the previous year’s temperatures. The Austrian ski resort Klosters has been a favorite Spring destination for Prince Charles and his sons, Princes Harry and William, for many years. In fact, it was during a ski in Austria holiday at Klosters that the world was introduced to Lady Diana Spencer as Charles’ future wife.
This year, the royal family again took to the slopes for a little springtime recreation. They were joined for the first time by Kate Middleton, an accomplished skier who happens to be Prince William’s girlfriend.
In addition to the British royal family, Austria’s ski resorts hosted the King and Queen of Sweden among many other famous faces. Why Austria above other famous ski destinations?
It could have something to do with the history of the region. Hannes Scheider developed the modern ski technique in Austria at St. Anton’s Arlberg Ski School. His instruction allowed generations of skiers to turn and stop on their skis: two essential pieces of technique. St. Anton remains one of the top destinations for skiers, partly for its beautiful slopes and partly because it is, for all intents and purposes, the birthplace of skiing as we now know it.
Perhaps Austria’s popularity as a ski destination has more to do with the internationally known Austrian hospitality. When you book a stay in an Austrian hotel or ski resort, you know that you will be welcomed as a part of the family. The locals are more than happy to share their knowledge of the area as well as inside knowledge of the best slopes and restaurants.
Whatever their personal reasons are for continuing to ski in Austria, devotees wouldn’t think of taking a ski trip anywhere else. Austrian resorts may not share the same widespread popularity of some French resorts, but patrons wouldn’t have it any other way. When they arrive, they are not overwhelmed by wave after wave of skiers. At most resorts, the slopes are quiet and serene, with just the perfect amount of natural snow.
Austria boasts unparalleled natural beauty and a guest list including royalty and celebrities. But even if the royals stayed home, Austrian ski resorts would continue to bring in a healthy amount of business. This is what Austria is about, and the ski industry there can look forward to the 2010 ski holidays season with confidence.
Sandos Hotels & Resorts has recently announced the launch of its first ever Cancun property, the new Sandos Cancun Luxury Experience Resort, which was formally managed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts prior to Sandos taking over.
The 214-room luxury hotel will re-open its doors to guests on 1st March, 2012 and tourists taking Cancun holidays at the newly renovated resort will be able to enjoy all-inclusive offerings, new gourmet restaurants and culinary programmes.
Jacques De Paep, the director of sales and marketing for the Spanish-owned Sandos Hotels & Resorts, commented: “We are thrilled to open the Sandos Cancun Luxury Experience Resort, offering a boutique all-inclusive experience unlike anything currently available in Cancun.
“Our extremely high service standards, expansive culinary programme, and Sandos’ commitment to spectacular resort locations is sure to delight couples looking for a luxurious getaway.”
Sandos can now add Cancun hotels to their portfolio which currently includes two resorts in the Riviera Maya, Mexico: Sandos Caracol Eco-Resort & Spa and Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa.
During holidays to Cancun, guests staying in one of Sandos Cancun Luxury Experience Resort’s 74 Premium Level suites will be able to enjoy access to private cabanas at the beach and swimming pool; a private concierge service, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
The lobby bar was renovated in December, 2011 and diners can choose from four restaurants at the resort that feature a wide selection of Asian, Caribbean and Avant Garde cuisine.
The “Total Gourmet Experience” offers a fantastic all-inclusive programme that visitors can take advantage of throughout their Cancun holidays at the resort. The package includes all meals and beverages (including imported drinks), evening entertainment and a wide choice of exciting activities such as tennis, snorkelling, windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, plus access to the fitness centre and three swimming pools.
Other additional activities are available at an extra charge including lavish spa and beauty treatments, motorised water sports, scuba diving excursions and golf at the nearby Playa Mujeres Golf Club.
The Sandos Cancun Luxury Experience Resort is situated upon a stunning white sand beach, just a short distance from Cancun International Airport and Cancuns tourist attractions, bars, night clubs and shopping areas.
Travellers planning holidays in Cancun from March, 2012 will be able to stay at the luxury all-inclusive Cancun hotel from $383 per night (based on double occupancy).
The official Caribbean hurricane season stretches from June 1 – November 30. It’s rare to see a large storm in either June or November and most major hurricanes occur between August and October, with the peak season usually being September.
The upside is that prices are lower for the Caribbean during this time and resorts are less crowded. So what do you do if you want to get away during hurricane season?
Buy Travel Insurance
You must buy the trip cancellation insurance before the storm is announced, otherwise it will be deemed a pre-existing condition, so always purchase insurance the same day you book your trip to be safe. Most travel insurance policies will cover a trip disrupted because of a hurricane when you are forced to arrive late or leave early for your trip, but you’ll be reimbursed only for the affected days until the airport or resort reopens. You will usually be reimbursed for the days you are forced to stay at a resort during a hurricane, but be sure to always read the fine print on your policy to make sure you know what they will actually cover.
Try to Avoid the Storms
Track hurricanes online with weather websites during the season. Some good sites include:
The National Weather Service – National Hurricane Center
Hurricane & Storm Tracking for the Atlantic & Pacific Oceans
Hurricane News and Information
Weather.com Tropical Storm Center
Pick Your Location Well
When planning a trip to the Caribbean during hurricane season, it is good to know that hurricanes are less likely the further south you go. The islands of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and St. Vincent, including the islands below them, are the least hit by hurricanes. However, as Grenada discovered in 2004 with Hurricane Ivan, never say never and keep in mind that hurricanes are unpredictable.
Go on a Cruise
The good thing about cruises is that they can usually sail around the worst of a storm. And today’s ships are extraordinarily safe and with the advanced weather tracking available today, bad weather is something they can avoid. The downside is that the cruise line always reserves the right to reschedule port calls and change itineraries for weather-related reasons and therefore you may not get to visit the places you had hoped to.
Pick a Resort That Offers a Hurricane Guarantee
Recently, many of the largest resorts and resort chains, have started instituting a hurricane guarantee, offering guests their money back for days lost to bad weather. For example, in the unlikely event that hurricane force winds (as defined by the U.S. National Weather Service) directly hit the Sandals or Beaches resorts while you are a guest, interrupting the use of all the included activities, Sandals or Beaches Resorts will offer a free replacement vacation to be taken at any Sandals or Beaches Resort of your choice. Go to http://www.best-family-beach-vacations.com/caribbean-hurricane-season.html for more resorts that offer hurricane guarantees.
Make the Best of It.
If you do get caught on vacation during a hurricane, try to make the best of it. As long as there is no danger present, relax indoors and focus on other activities.
My husband and I got caught in the Mayan Riviera, Mexico during hurricane Keith in 2000. He was still my boyfriend at that time and unbeknownst to me, he planned to propose on our second evening there. We got dressed for dinner and arrived at the hotel restaurant to find it boarded up. We saw the line up in the hotel lobby, everyone was being evacuated from the hotel to one farther up the coast. We ran back to our room, packed and got on the next bus out – not the evening my husband had planned!
When we checked into our room at the new hotel a few hours later, he still had the engagement ring burning a hole in his pocket. The winds were blowing and it was raining so the romantic walk on the beach he had been hoping for was out. He couldnt put it off any longer so he dropped to one knee and proposed then and there. It was definitely a memorable evening, hurricane and all!
Looking for a golf included, scuba included vacation? Or how about an all inclusive luxury resort providing all these facilities in the middle of the beautiful pristine waters of the Caribbean? The Sandals All inclusive luxury resorts provides the perfect getaway! Golf, scuba diving and water sports galore. If youre looking for an adventure filled holiday, Sandals is the perfect spot for you!
Golf And More Golf
If youre looking for a vacation filled with a whole lot of golf, then Sandals challenging golf courses in Jamaica and St. Lucia will have you sweating it out! These green globe certified luxury resorts. The Sandals Golf and Country Club is huge, with 18 holes and a yardage of 6502!
Its scenic location at a height of 750 feet among the hills of the Ocho Rios makes it a perfect place to admire natures beauty AND play your favorite sport! If youre looking for a golf included vacation, then this is definitely up to the mark, to say the least! Oh and did I mention that tipping is completely optional?
Theres more golf from Sandals at St. Lucia too! This course however is smaller with just about nine holes and a yardage of 2475.
But in no way is it any less challenging because it is set among rolling hills and challenging fairways! If youre a Sandals guest, green fares is included for you! So when I said golf included, I meant it! There are also complimentary PGA golf clinics on the properties of these all inclusive luxury resorts!
Scuba Included Too!
Luxury included vacations at the Sandals all inclusive luxury resorts are made even more special because they come with scuba included packages. You can enjoy he most amazing dives in the Caribbean and all with the help of the guidance of certified professionals, not to mention high quality equipment! In fact, if youre a newbie, you can also learn diving to a depth of 30 ft underwater!
You have to pay a fee for this lesson of course!
Not just scuba diving, Sandals offers a whole range of water sports for your comfort and pleasure. These include snorkeling, kayaking, sailing, waterskiing, hobie Cats, windsurfing and even Aquastrikes. However, do keep in mind that water skiing and glass bottom boats are not available at all properties. This can however be overcome if you go in for their Stay at 1, Play at 7 offers, which allows you to enjoy the facilities of ALL resorts even if you stay at just one property!
At the Sandals Luxury included vacations are beautifully done and the staff goes out of their way to ensure that you have a pleasant stay at Sandals all inclusive luxury resorts!
Sandals Resorts has launched a new incentive programme and competition for qualified travel agents to boost the sales of upgraded wedding packages at its Caribbean resorts.
The Sell and Celebrate incentive will see agents receive a 50 high street voucher for every upgraded package sold for destination weddings at Sandals Resorts.
Agents who sell the upgraded packages can send the information to their local Sandals Business Development Manager with details on the booking and any tips and advice for other travel agents. These entries will then be entered into a national draw with a fantastic prize of a seven-night break at any Sandals Resort up for grabs.
Sandals Resorts are a popular choice for couples getting married abroad and the company has a wide choice of properties that offer all inclusive, upscale accommodation and picturesque Caribbean settings.
Beach weddings are a favourite and these can be enjoyed at any Sandals Resorts across Jamaica, St. Lucia, The Bahamas and Antigua.
Brides and grooms who are looking to splash out for their weddings abroad can choose from a range of themed Sandals Weddings by Martha Stewart including Flutter of Romance, Seaside Serenade, Island Paradise, Vision in White and Chic & Natural.
Couples can also choose the customisable Sandals’ standard WeddingMoon package which offers the perfect excuse to extend the celebrations of Caribbean weddings and stay on for a romantic honeymoon while enjoying all inclusive programmes, luxury facilities and fu activities at Sandals Resorts.
Destination weddings can be tailor-made to suit the individual requirements of the bride and groom and with the help of the wedding guru Martha Stewart, they can choose everything from the resort destination, the idyllic setting for their ceremony, accommodation, wedding dcor, cake, flowers, and the colour scheme.
Travel agents have until 31st May, 2012 to take advantage of the incentive and in addition, Sandals Resorts will be launching the Catch the Bouquet competition where one beautiful floral arrangement will be given away each week between 29th March and 31st May, 2012.
All agents have to do is spot the wedding bouquet, which is hidden in a picture in the I DO magazine supplement that will be delivered to travel agencies from 2nd April, 2012.
Many people think going on holiday in the Maldives is only for the wealthy, but in fact, there are many excellent places to stay for us budget travelers. The Maldives’ island chain is located about 700 kilometers south-west of Sri Lanka and is comprised of 90,000 square kilometers with 1,192 coral islets, and it is among the most diverse and sparsely populated regions on earth.
Because of the fact that it is surrounded by pure white beaches and azure sea; no matter which way you turn, the scenic beauty is abundant in every direction. Add to this the fact, that the Maldives is a tropical nation with temperatures ranging between 24 C and 33 C, all year round. Now add to this the fact that you can also find excellent budget-priced accommodation, which makes the Maldives the best choice for your holiday destination.
Where you stay in this magnificent island chain is completely dependent upon your personal interests; but, either way, there are literally hundreds of high quality resorts and hotels within everyone’s price-range. If city life is your thing, there are a great many economy hotels in Mal, all conveniently located near the National Museum, Theaters, Bazaars, parks and the like.
Why not try the Holiday Inn Inn Kandooma Fushi in Mal, and go diving in the nearby Indian Ocean? Total price is only ca. $227.00 per night.
For those wanting to get away from it all, the Velidhu Island Resort on the northern Ari Atoll offers air-conditioned rooms, beach front and over-water bungalows, and can be had starting at only $192.00 per night.
Another great option for budget visitors is Hostels with prices sure to please. The Cokes Surf Camp located on the North Mal atoll on Thuludhoo Island includes breakfast and linen for the low price of $85.00; it’s equipped with air-conditioning, TV and fan.
For something totally different, why not check in at the Floating Hostel Princess Aifa, also located on Thuludhoo Island which is right near the main hub of the surfing action. This hostel features air-conditioning, internet, guest kitchen, restaurant and bar.
Weekend Getaways Delhi
Beat your week days hangover by planning a weekend getaway in Delhi. Spend a memorable family weekends at Weekend Getaways Delhi away from city glamour to some fabulous destinations. Delhites can take weekend getaways to relax and unwind themselves. There are several options for the weekend getaways from Delhi to some enchanting serene destinations.
Weekend Getaways near Delhi
Delightful Delhi, the beautiful capital city of India, has traditionally been the seat of administrative power of India. Weekend Getaways near Delhi are full of fun and excitement. There are many beautiful Weekend Getaways near Delhi destinations around Delhi or Camping near Delhi etc. Overnight stay option around Delhi, picnic spots around Delhi, One nights stay places Around Noida, or Around Gurgaon, Around Faridabad are available.
Many beautiful resorts are located near Delhi like Shiva resorts Behror, Golden Huts Gurgaon, Resort Country Club Gurgaon, Heritage village Manesar, Country Inn kosi, Club Paltinum resorts, Splash water park, Asauda, Damdama lake etc. People come from far flung places to enjoy the weekends here.
Weekend Getaways from Delhi
There are many beautiful weekend getaway destinations from Delhi. Quick weekend break far away from the hustle and bustle of Delhi Rejuvenate your mind, body and soul with weekend getaways packages that take you the best weekend getaways from Delhi. Weekend Getaways from Delhi include many popular tourist spots to off beat destinations, various vacations getaway places from Delhi are excellent destinations to relax, to enjoy with friends and family, All India weekend getaway packages include accommodation, meals, sightseeing and other interesting weekend activities. So pack your bags and get ready to travel to the perfect weekend getaways from Delhi with your friends and loved ones.
There are some famous and excellent Weekend Getaways from Delhi at a distance of 5-7 hours which offers you a quiet environment with a slow and relaxed life far away from hustle and bustle of Delhi .The getaway spots are as follows-
Fort Nalagarh near Chandigarh, Parkwoods Shoghi (Shimla), Kasauli Resort Himachal Pradesh, Chokhi Dhani Jaipur, Pushkar Rajasthan, Ranthambhore, Rajasthan, Jim Corbett
Wildlife Sanctuary, Saat-tal near Nainital, Ranikhet Kumaon Hills, Bhimtal Near Nainital, Nainital Kumaon Hills, Fort Unchagaon Garh Mukteshwar, Ramgarh Fort near Panchkula
Sariska Palace Rajasthan, Alwar Bagh Rajasthan, Kanatal near Mussoorie, Kikar Lodge near Chandigarh, Palampur in Himanchal Pradesh and Dharamshala in Himanchal Pradesh. So you can always plan a short duration trip with your near and dear ones and spend some memorable time.
One of St Lucias most coveted boutique properties has just earned a top ranking position on Travel + Leisure magazines annual Worlds Best Awards 2012 Readers, a prestigious recognition the resort earned thanks to the outstanding quality of the holiday experiences they offer to guests. Having appeared in the magazine’s prestigious list of Top 10 Caribbean Resorts for the second year running, this time around the Ladera Resort managed to steal the number one spot.
To the surprise of no one and giving credit to the thousands of travellers who choose this spectacular luxury hotel as their number one destination for pampering St Lucia holidays, once again, the Ladera has been named one of Travel + Leisures favourite Caribbean resorts, thus marking 2012 as the seventh year in a row that the exclusive property has been singled out for praise by the discriminating and well-travelled readers of said travel magazine, one of the most popular in the industry.
The beautiful Ladera Resort, small, cosy and chic, yet legendary because of its dramatic location atop a panoramic hill. It has long been praised for its pioneering openair architecture, luxury services, superior quality of hospitality and ecofriendly practices at 1,100 feet above the Caribbean Sea.
The property is currently celebrating its 20th Anniversary Year in 2012 and to mark the special ocassion the resort’s pampering guests with unique specials. During Laderas 20th Anniversary Year, the resort is unveiling four additional connecting luxury onebedroom Hilltop Dream suites on Paradise Ridge, opening in October 2012.
“Each new Hilltop Dream Suite will feature the famously breath-taking vistas from the open living room and will include private infinity pools, says Olivier Bottois, Laderas Vice President of Marketing & Operations.
The openair bedrooms are designed and appointed with furnishings and fixtures consistent with Laderas sustainable practices.
The resort’s awardwinning Dasheene restaurant is recognised as one of the top tables in the Caribbean, serving innovative West Indian cooking for even the most discerning of foodies. Ladera also features the intimate Ti Kaye Pose Spa and a spectacular 1,200 square foot Paradise Pavilion, where new outdoor Couples Massages are offered overlooking the Caribbean Sea and Pitons.
Ladera is honoured to continue its legacy as a T+L reader favourite, said Olivier Bottois, Laderas Vice President of Marketing & Operations.
We strive to provide our guests with the most authentic St. Lucian experience, whether they come here for a wedding, a honeymoon, a sunset dinner, or simply the vacation of a lifetime. Were thrilled that Travel + Leisure readers have recognised Ladera among the very best.
If all this wasn’t enough to entice more travellers to plan deluxe holidays in St Lucia at the resort, the Ladera is also launching a new Peak to Beach Package Collection elevating the holiday experience for guests with the Best to Even Better Two Hotels, Three Luxury Package Experiences under a Single Easy Net Rate Cap Maison & Ladera Resort, St Lucia.
After the resounding success of the original Peak to Beach joint holiday package, the islands 2 iconic luxury hotels, Ladera and Cap Maison, have partnered again to create the innovative, threetiered Peak to Beach Package Collection. The trio of unique sixnight packages provides guests with amazing holidays to St Lucia staying at two legendary St Lucia hotels located on opposite ends of this tropical island paradise and, depending on preference, an array of adventures and luxurious extras, all organised under a single, easy price.
Wants to spend a refreshing and regenerating time out from the busy and hectic life then country vacation resorts is the best option. The main motive of country vacation resorts is to provide luxury, leisure and entertaining vacations to the people to rejuvenate and refresh them. The Country Club India Limited is the biggest and largest growing family resort group who presents large number of resorts in different national and international locations. The club has around 50 owned resorts and around 155 franchise resorts. The country family club presents the affiliation to more than 4000 other resorts to membership holders. The member list of the club includes well established corporate such as Microsoft, Brooke Bond India Ltd, CMC Ltd. and Dr. Reddys Labs. Being a member of country club you can enjoy the enjoy living in all the luxurious resorts whether owned, alliance and affiliated with the country club. This facility can be availed through point system of the club.
Country Vacation Manali well known part of country club resorts presents exotic range of resorts like Country Club Orchard Green, Country Club De Vivendi Resorts, Country Club River Country Resorts and Country Club Snow Valley Resorts. You can enjoy the splendid and exciting vacations in Manali resorts in the summer of April June and after monsoon in September to October. People fond of snowfall can enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of Manali in December and January.
Country Club Orchard Green of Country Vacation Manali is full of gorgeous locations and excellence of living. The resort is just 585 km away from Delhi and 315 km from Chandigarh. The resort is covered with beautiful sceneries and presents excellent facilities to the guest.
Country Club De Vivendi Resorts is a home away from home providing privilege experience to every guest. The name of the resort reflects the Italian meaning of Manner of living and offers cosy atmosphere to the guest. The resort is located at the main highway of Manali.
Country Club River Country Resort of Country Vacations Manali is an exclusive and elegant resort situated at the famous Mall Road. The beauty of the resort highlights with the natural light reflecting in the lobby area from windows. The reception area is full of wooden sculptures and show pieces. Three exotic restaurants of the resort serve delicious eatery to the guest.
Country Club Snow Valley resort is surrounded with the lush green area of deodar trees and bright apple plants. The sun shines over the resort throughout the day giving warm welcome to the guests. The rooms of the resort provide the excellent view of mountains covered with snow. Various adventurous facilities of fishing, paragliding, horse riding, water rafting and skiing can be availed.