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Posts Tagged ‘hotels’

Bordeaux,France

January 24, 2010

Bordeaux, France, Wine Region

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En route to the city of Bordeaux from Bergerac, France, where Belingard is located, is the impeccably preserved medieval town of St. Emilion. Its winding, cobblestone streets are lined with expensive wine shops, all tout­ing “worldwideshipping” in English and Japanese. Here you can descend into the cramped hermitage where the monk, Emilion, received pilgrims in the 8th century. The disciples who followed Emilion herewere the ones who started a wine trade in earnest. 

At Chateau Franc Mayne, a nearby vineyard, it’s possible to tour the former limestone quarries whose pale ochre innards were used to build the town. The quarries beneath this and many other St. Emilion chateaux are now wine caves-happily, they possess the perfect conditions for aging wine in oak barrels. A tour guide points out a skylight punched into the roof of Franc Mayne’s cave. It shows the cross­-section of limestone that gives St. Emilion’s mostly merlot and cabernet franc grapes their character, along with the stories of Roman poets and monks and queens, of course. 

In Bordeaux, the busy Place de la Comedie is the city’s social center. Mayor Alain Juppe launched an ag­gressive clean-up and modernization initiative when he was elected in 1995, and today the city is an obvious “after.” A sleek tram makes it easy to get around, and the bulk of 8th ­century facades have been sandblasted to remove centuries of built-up dust and grime from the porous yellow limestone. The broad avenues gleam, and the tiny squares at the ends of the St. Pierre quarter’s narrow streets are packed with students, young couples and families, caffeinating, kissing and splashing in fountains. 

On the banks of the Garonne River, many plaques adver­tise the offices of negociants, or wine merchants. Negociants have been trading from this port since the mid-r2th century, when Eleanor of Aquitaine married Henryof Plantagenet, the future Henry II of England, which led to many trade exchanges between Bordeaux and England and the golden age of claret. 

That tidbit is imparted duringatwo-day course called “Bordeaux Wine Tasting, from A to Z” at L’Ecole du Vin de Bordeaux, a few blocks from the Regent Grand Hotel. After this crash course in a classroom with white-slab countertops and chrome spit-sinks, it’s practically required to apply the new knowledge downstairs at the posh Le Bar a Vin. More than go wines by the glass are available, and little foldout maps on each table pinpoint where each wine originat­ed. The servers are well equipped to steer people toward clarity when the breadth of choices becomes overwhelming.


Florida,Orlando

December 28, 2009

Accomodations in Orlando

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In Orlando, accommodations offer much more than a place to sleep after an exciting day at the theme parks. Destinations unto themselves, Orlando’s hotels and resorts boast an array of entertaining amenities includ­ing championship golf courses, world-class spas, boutique shopping and plenty of dining options, not to mention lazy rivers and zero-entry beach pools, splash parks and waterslides for the kids, and even children’s recreation programs.

With more than 450 hotels and 115,000 guest rooms, Orlando offers a multitude of lodging options, from budget and moderately priced hotels to all-suite proper­ties, bed and breakfast inns, and numerous AAA-rated hotels and resorts. Larger families and groups will find a home-away-from-home in one of the area’s numerous vacation home rentals, while those who choose the “great outdoors” can take their pick of campgrounds.

Yet Orlando is constantly opening new hotels to serve future demand. The Hilton Orlando, adjacent to the Orange County Convention Center, is opening in September 2009. Then there is the Bonnet Creek complex. Consisting of the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and the Waldorf Astoria Orlando, which are adjacent to each other and surrounded by the Walt Disney World® Resort, the properties will open during October.

 


Machu Picchu,Peru

October 14, 2009

Machu Picchu

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MACHU PICCHU NEARLY OOZES MYS­TERY DRAWING THOSE WITH A BOLD SPIRIT UNQUENCHABLE CURIOSITY OR A STRONG INHALER TOWARD THE CAP­TIVATING RUINS. MAYBE IT IS MACHU PICCHU’S ANCIENT CHARM THAT TURNS PEOPLE INTO WORLD-CLASS CLIMBERS, OR IT’S SENSE OF MYSTERY AND PLACE. ENIGMATIC BY NATURE, LEGENDS SHROUD THIS CULTURAL LANDMARK. SHAMAN MYTHS EVEN SUGGEST MACHU PICCHU IS A SORT OF PORTAL TO THE SPIRIT WORLD- A PLACE WHERE OLD MEETS NEW IN A SUPERFLUOUS UNION.

For the world-class traveler, Machu Picchu-situated 7,000 feet above sea level-does not disappoint. Hike the Inca Trail for an adventure that lasts any­ where from two days and one night to eight days and seven nights. After days in the sun, where donkeys bear­ing human cargo scale teetering lodges and helicopters hover over the landscape to offer you breathtaking views, unwind in a five-star hotel conveniently located in Cusco, the historic capital of the Inca Empire. To the joy of history buffs and the jet set elite, these hotels boast a union of old and new that is sure to entice. For thousands of years, the sacred site has been the desti­nation of pilgrimages and long spiritual journeys, and even today, mystery radiates from the ruins. Machu Picchu is one of the rare places where an undeniable sacredness coexists in the midst of all that is thoroughly modern. It is this integrity and ancient charm that unleashes the world-class hiker in all of us, coerces out endurance we never knew we had and makes us appre­ciate such natural marvels in our world.

HOTEL MONASTERIO

Boasting expansive archways and architectural ingenuity, Hotel Monasterio was founded in the consecrated San Antonio Abaci seminary and is a national historical landmark. The building was restored and a chapel was added after an earthquake in 1650. The Baroque-style hotel features gold-plated frames and paintings of the life of San Antonio Abad by the most innovative artists of the Cusquenian Art School. Relax in your Spanish-style room and enjoy nature in the hotel’s courtyard, which features a soft fountain and 300-year-old cedar trees, gardens and stone cloisters. Enjoy a buffet breakfast and Saturday Inca dinners at the hotel’s El Tupay Restaurant or visit the Main Square/Courtyard for lunch and dinner. Conde Nast Traveler named this luxury hotel Best Hotel in South America in 2008. Calle Palacios 136, Plazoleta Nazarenas, Cusco, Peru, +51-84-60-4000