Atlantis Hotel

When the visitor to Melbourne is searching for an apt and appropriate place to stay, location is quite an important factor which should be taken into due consideration while he or she is weighing up the possibilities.

If one is looking at hotels which render the guests who stay at them with some good value for money, it is more than likely that he or she would come across the Best Western Atlantis Hotel which is located very well for any purpose of visit; as it is located in the CBD itself. Any person visiting for the purpose of business really need not worry about being stuck in traffic as he or she is likely to be within walking distance of the place he or she needs to go to; as long as it is located in the CBD itself.

It is likely to be fair to assume that even if one is visiting the city of Melbourne on business, he or she would have his or her curiosity piqued to a sufficient extent so as to wish to head to Collins Street, which is where one can get some fashionable stuff while shopping in Melbourne and it is good to know that this place is not located far away from the hotel.

When one is driving into Melbourne, it can be hard to find a place which is safe enough to park in the city but one need not worry at all as for a $15 fee; there is parking at the hotel itself. This is likely to provide the guest at the Atlantis Hotel with as much peace of mind as the steam bath will cause him or her relaxation!

Replete with high-speed internet access, the hotel is all one can want when paying a visit to and staying in Melbourne.

Renting A Party Bus

Plan in Advance

Party buses are quite popular in the here and now. If you going to attend a public event, such as a concert or sports event, you won’t be the only one looking for a bus. Therefore, it’s important that you book a vehicle in advance. Ideally, you may want to book the bus at least two weeks before the big day.

Opt for the right Vehicle

The first thing that you need to consider is the number of people who are going to attend the event. This is really important as you don’t need a vehicle that can’t accommodate all the people who want to go with you. Before you pick one, make sure count the heads.

Plan your Destination

While this is obvious, make sure you plan your destination ahead of the day. You need to let your driver know about it. This will help the driver choose the best route so you can get to the destination as soon as possible. After all, you don’t have a lot of time to waste.

Figure out the total Cost

Before you rent a bus, don’t forget to understand the hourly rate. Most people rent a vehicle as a group in order to divide the cost. Therefore, if you are the group leader, make sure you know the total cost. Once you have the figure, make sure you let everyone know about it.

Take beverages with you

If your group consists of only adults, chances are that you are going to enjoy adult beverages as well. If you are in Pennsylvania, for instance, know that the company won’t provide the drinks. Therefore, you should bring your own beverages.

Select Guest Friendly Hotels

As you hunt for hotels online, it is advisable that you take your time and that you do not select the first option that you come across. There are some factors that you should consider so as to ensure that you settle for the best hotel:

  • Reviews: visit the site to check the experiences and ratings that other people have left behind. This is one of the best ways in which you can find out what kind of hotel you are looking into.
  • Take a look at the website: by looking at the website, you will have an idea of the hotel in very many ways. Usually, there should be pictures and it’s up to you to decide whether the facilities are up to your standards.
  • Location: the hotel should not be situated in such a way that makes it hard to connect to other areas like the city. This takes care of the commuting issue that may arise, especially if located in areas that don’t have any public transportation.
  • Compare: it is important to compare hotels in the area of interest. This ensures that you get the best facilities for accommodation at the same rate. Take your time choosing a hotel.
  • Offers: before booking a room, take time to check for discounts on offer. Some hotels offer last minute or early bird discounts.

Some of the best characteristics of a good and the guest friendly hotel include:

  1. Cleanliness: a good hotel should be clean and tidy. This should be a place where you can easily relax and enjoy a good sleep before anything else. A hotel need not be a five star to be clean and tidy.
  2. Wi-Fi: in this day and age, a reliable internet connection is very important. You should be able to stay in touch with the world, regardless of where you are. The Wi-Fi connection needs to be available and accessible regardless of where you are within a hotel.
  3. The bathroom space: a good hotel should have adequate bathroom space. This will allow guests to feel at home and relaxed. It should be spacious enough to set up a few things that you need to use often.

Boost Hotel Direct Revenue

Pay attention to the review sections

Travellers often read online reviews before choosing their properties. Constantly monitor the review sections on the OTAs’ sites as well as review websites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor. You should try to respond to as many reviews as possible, and as soon as possible, regardless whether they are positive or negative.

Utilise OTAs to drive direct bookings

You should consider OTAs much more than booking engines in your marketing strategy. A large number of travellers use OTAs as a tool to do research and plan their trips. 52% of them will eventually visit your website after seeing your hotel on an OTA, according to Google. Therefore, you need to make sure the information on your website and on the OTAs are consistent.

Follow the next practices to ensure that once they land on your website, they will stay and book instead of going back to the OTAs’ sites.

Make the booking process easy

Ensure that your booking engine is easy-to-use and accepts a wide variety of payment methods. You can use the OTAs’ booking processes as a benchmark. Pay attention to your call-to-action i.e. the “Book Now” button. Make sure that it is clearly visible and placed in a prominent position on every page of your website. Make sure your website is friendly to mobile devices as mobile web access will soon exceed access via desktops.

Offer the same rates on your website as you do on OTAs

Getting the customers to visit your website would mean little if they are not provided with the best deals. Many hotels, surprisingly, still offer cheaper rates on OTAs than on their own websites. Most travellers are price-sensitive and would not book through your website if the rates are not comparable with the rates on OTAs. So ensure that the offered rates are identical across channels. You could also throw in some extra perks such as free breakfast, Wi-Fi or tickets to sweeten your direct offers without violating the rate parity agreement.

Hotels in Hillingdon

Arora Hotel

The 4-star Arora Hotel brings free charged airport transfer with the public buses, long parking, classic equipped rooms and even soundproofed option in the rooms as well. TVs, private bathrooms and luxurious beds in the rooms makes this hotel one of the best in Hillingdon. The hotel offers 350 rooms to people.

Premier Inn

The Premier Inn is only 1.6 KM away from the Heathrow Terminal and offers a lot of modern accommodations to the customers. Every room is filled new technology equipment as well. There is a Thyme restaurant in the hotel which offers a wide range of cuisine menu to its customers.

While customers enjoy outdoor eating under a great view, they can also relax by enjoying drinks from the bar. There are 400 rooms offered by the Premier Inn. The hotel belongs to the hotel chain of Premier Inn.

Crowne Plaza

When you are off the M4 highway, you will find the 4 star Crowne Plaza Heathrow after a 10 minute drive from the airport. The hotel offers 24 hour front desk, new fashioned food eat-out and a recreational club as well.

Belonging to the hotel chain of Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts, this 4 star hotel offers air-conditioned rooms which have free internet and minibars in rooms. The rooms also have free toiletries, fluffy robes, luxurious bathrooms and TV set with the on-demand movies.

Explore Exotic Russia On A River Cruise

The places that you must see include the ‘Hermitage Museum’, which was once the Winter Palace and houses one of the finest collections of art in the world with works by Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt and Matisse. ‘Catherine the Great’s Palace’ is next on the must see list as it features a 298 metre white, gold and blue façade and is crowned with golden onion domes and ‘St Isaac’s Cathedral’ is quite simply stunning, with its marble walls embossed with an array of semi-precious stones.

Mandrogui is set upon beautiful parklands on the banks of the Svir River and is littered with a whole host of colourful buildings. At this port of call you can discover an array of shops, arts and crafts workshops. And a lot of the river cruise ships offer Russia lessons when you get back on board so you can learn a little something along the way.

Kizhi is the next port of call and is the place to see an array of churches, temples and historical sites. This UNESCO World Heritage site is also home to ancient wooden buildings which fascinate everyone that visits. After this you can head to the Russian settlement of Goritsy. Situated near the famous St Cyril Monastery you can enjoy a whole wealth of exploring during your time here.

Russia’s capital Moscow is always a firm favourite with river cruise travellers. You can visit the onion domes of St Basil’s Cathedral, the legendary Red Square, the famous Kremlinm, Novodevichy Convent and enjoy incredible scenic views from the Sparrow Hills. You can explore fascinating European art in the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum, take a stroll through the ever so beautiful Gorky Park or even shop for some bargains at the Izmailovo Flea Market. There really is something everyone in Russia’s capital.

Main Tourist Attractions in Paris

Since the Age of Enlightenment, Paris, the City of Light, has been attracting fashionistas, artists, history buffs, and writers, all of whom are inspired by the bohemian culture and the abundance of museums and grand boulevards. Paris is like no other place on earth. To quote Owen Wilson, “… from way out in space you can see these lights, the cafés, people drinking and singing. For all we know, Paris is the hottest spot in the universe.”

The unique heartbeat of Paris casts a spell on the hearts and minds of those who have ventured to this dramatic city. Even travel writers fall under the allure of the tangled streets, outdoor cafés and inspiring boat cruises along the Seine. With its Champs-Élysées and Place des Vosges, Latin Quarter and Montmartre, Paris is the original model for other major world capitals, all claiming their own prototype of grand elegance and sophistication.

But where do you begin? Whether this is your first time, or your next time, there is so much to see and experience you likely will find yourself bedazzled and even a bit overwhelmed. Start with these top six iconic attractions: two museums, two monuments and two churches. Plan to travel about on the Seine, whenever possible, using the fun little Batobus, with its glass roof and convenient range of stops at most of your top-pick attractions. This will make the getting there as much a part of your travel adventure as the arriving.

Two Museums: Louvre & Orsay

You likely already know which two museums to put at the top of your “to do” list for any trip to Paris: the Louvre and the Orsay. Even if you already have visited these museums on past trips, do return to them again this time, and every time, you are in the city. Show some mercy to yourself though, and plan to visit only one of these colossal edifices per day.

The Louvre. There’s not much that compares to the Louvre. Even walking into the courtyard will elicit a gasp as you face I. M. Pei’s grand pyramid of glass. Photos simply do not do it justice. The pyramid stands as a puzzling backdrop to the half-sized version of the Arc de Triomphe, a companion piece to Napoleon’s other arch at the opposite end of the Voie Triomphale (the “Triumphal View”). This smaller arch is topped with the bronze horse-drawn chariot from Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Venice that Napoleon pilfered in 1798 (the chariot has now been returned to its rightful home and replaced with a copy). As you stand in this courtyard, the vast building that surrounds you dates from old to older, containing a 12th-century castle fortress within a 16th-century palace.

To reach the Louvre, take the Batobus and hop off at the Louvre stop. Look across to the other side of the river for a stunning view of the Orsay, the former train station, now turned art museum, that you will be visiting on another day. Have a solid plan before you enter the Louvre through the pyramid. And, certainly, have a pre-purchased Paris Museum Card so you can skip the lines.

As you walk this former palace, you will be following in the footsteps of the Kings who roamed these same halls and galleries, reveling in their priceless collections of paintings and sculpture. Look around, up, down and out the windows at the lavish palace itself, as well as at the artwork it contains.

Save time during your visit for Winged Victory, the Mona LisaVenus du Milo, and the Gallery of Apollo (where the Sun King, Louis XIV, held audiences). Visit the Salle des Caryatides to see the Roman copies of Greek sculptures collected by the French royals, including four Caryatides, female forms that serve as columns, balancing the musicians’ gallery atop their heads. Locate the subterranean medieval tower and moat from King Philippe’s 12th-century fortress. These ruins were uncovered during the archeological dig to remove and preserve matchless artifacts prior to the construction of the pyramid.

Stand in the glass-roofed, sun-lit, Marly Courtyard, with the magnificent and powerful Marly horses and other sculptures from the gardens of Château de Marly, the country palace on the Seine where the Sun King entertained his close acquaintances towards the end of his reign. Stop for a break at the Café on the landing of the Mollien Staircase. Sit on the terrace overlooking the Napoleon Courtyard and the pyramid.

The Orsay. As essential as it is for you to visit the Louvre, it may be even more important to reserve ample time to explore the Orsay. The collections here are so stunning they will imprint themselves on your mind for all time. As you wander this vast former train station, built to impress the masses of visitors who flocked to the city for the 1900 Paris World’s Fair, you will pass through room after room of priceless artwork by iconic Impressionists like Monet, Renoir, van Gogh, Dégas, Cézanne and Toulouse-Lautrec. Exquisite sculptures are spread about at the level of the former train tracks and on the balconies, now sculpture terraces, where travelers once stood to await their trains.

Just inside the entrance to the museum is a 1/16-scale model of the Statue of Liberty that was gifted by France to the US in 1876 to honor the centennial of American independence. Plan ahead (and make reservations) to eat lunch in the former dining room of the turn-of-the-century Grand Hotel that once adjoined the train station.

Two Monuments: Tower & Arch

Of course, any trip to Paris must include visits to the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. These are the quintessential Parisian monuments, one built as the entrance to the 1889 Paris Exposition Universelle, and the other designed to glorify Napoleon, and commemorate his victories. From atop each of these, you will have glorious views out across the city.

Eiffel Tower. Make your reservations to the Eiffel Tower well before your visit to ensure yourself entry at a specific time. Consider making a wonderful splurge by combining your tower visit with either lunch or dinner at the 58 Tour Eiffel Restaurant on the 2nd level. While you are on the 1st level, walk out onto the glass floor and look down, if you dare. Ask someone to snap your picture as proof.

If you do take the elevator all the way to the top, pause for a glass of champagne as you look out across Paris from what was the tallest building in the world for over 40 years. If you feel the tower swaying slightly in the wind, you will have even more of a story to tell once you return home.

Arc de Triomphe. At the Arc de Triomphe, take the tunnel under the frenzy of traffic circling the monument, and spend some time reading the inscriptions. Possibly climb the 284 steps to the top for another unsurpassed view across Paris. Even better, climb to the top at night to experience Paris aglow.

From your vantage point atop this triumphal arch, look back along the Voie Triomphale to the smaller arch in the courtyard outside the Louvre where you stood earlier. This will provide you some perspective of the magnitude of Napoleon’s self-admiration. Look up towards Sacré Coeur Basilica in Montmartre, perched high on its hill overlooking Paris. Gaze out along the Champs-Élysées, with its dazzle of shops and shoppers. If you are so inclined, use this opportunity to spot a few prime fashion emporiums and make a side visit to them later to see what you can find.

Two Churches: Notre Dame & Saint-Chapelle

Finally, on your list of “must visits” are two churches, a cathedral and a chapel, both located on the larger island in the Seine, Ile de la Cité. This island is where the Parisii first settled in the 3rd century BC, giving the Paris its name. Two centuries later, in 55 BC, the Romans destroyed and sacked the Parisii settlement, then rebuilt the town to their own design, complete with Temple, Colosseum, Forum and Roman Baths.

Notre Dame. The first of these necessary visits is to Notre Dame, built on the site of an ancient Roman temple. This massive architectural masterpiece took over 200 years to construct, beginning in 1160, and has stood all these many centuries despite revolutions and wars, neglect and renovations. Now it has been grievously damaged by a tragic fire that brought its spire crashing down onto its already flaming roof.

Notre Dame remains majestic even in its compromised state. It will be years before visitors can once again walk inside to sit peacefully, gazing up at the rose window. For now, you only will be able to view it from the front, back, and each side. Give yourself some time with this remarkable edifice. Cross the bridge to the Left Bank and find a floating boat-bar moored along the quai. Select a table beside the handrail and order a glass of wine. As you look across the river at Notre Dame, marvel at its remarkable life story, from its construction during the Middle Ages, before the benefits of modern tools and technologies, through to its rescue from total destruction by the 400 fire fighters who flocked here to save it from the blaze.

Sainte-Chapelle. Saving one of the best for last, walk to the opposite end of the island from Notre Dame to sit awhile in the ethereal Sainte-Chapelle, hailed as one of the greatest architectural masterpieces of the Western world. Worshipers in the Middle Ages considered this chapel to be a “gateway to heaven.” Surrounded on all sides by some of the loveliest stained-glass in all the world, amazingly preserved for over 770 years, you will be bedazzled by the intensity of the color and light. If you can arrange tickets for a concert in this exquisite setting, do so. You will remember this for life.

Now you have made a good beginning in Paris. But there is more, much more. Paris is a city to which you will need to return over and over again. Each time you revisit, you will fall a little bit more in love.

Galapagos Cruise

Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido)

This vertical rock off the northwest coast of San Cristobal juts up approximately 500 feet straight out of the water. As you approach from San Cristobal it will have the appearance of a boot, giving it the name “Kicker Rock”. As you get closer and cruise around towards the north face, you will have the opportunity to spot blue footed boobies, masked boobies and magnificent frigate birds.

Genovesa (Tower Island)

Located in the far north east of the archipelago, Genovesa is home to some of the most spectacular bird watching in the Galapagos. Most visits include a stop at Prince Philips steps and Darwin Bay. Both locations are superb for viewing the abundance of birdlife, including swallow-tailed gulls, storm petrels, frigate birds and tropic birds. At times the sky seems filled with birds. You will also see Red Footed Boobies which, like the frigate bird, nest in the branches of the low lying shrubs. (Breeding Season is from September to July.) Aside from birdlife, Genovesa is also a great place for snorkeling. With small cliffs lining the bay, there is a diverse array of sea life that lives around these rocky outcroppings as well as on the sandy bottom.

Fernandina

Fernandina is the westernmost island in the Galapagos, located just a short distance from Isabela. One of the youngest islands in the Galapagos, Fernadina remains one of the most highly active volcanic islands, with its main crater approximately 6.5 kilometers wide. Due to its young age and lack of precipitation, it does not have the rich flora that other islands such as Santa Cruz or San Cristobal do. This allows only a certain group of animals to thrive here, most notably the flightless cormorant. Punta Espinoza is the main area of visit, offering great contrast between the green mangroves, black lava flows, and turquoise waters. The island is also home to the largest colony of sea iguanas in the Galapagos.

Isabela

Formed by joining of six lava flows, Isabela is the largest island in the Galapagos. Located on the western side of the archipelago Isabela stretches approximately 100 kilometers north to south.

On its western coast you will find Tagus Cove and Urvina Bay, popular destination for cruises that make the journey to Fernandina and the west coast of Isabela. On a short walk around Tagus Cove, past walls scrawled with graffiti dating back to the 1800’s, you’ll enjoy views of a saltwater lagoon named Darwin Lake. Throughout this hike you are sure to see several different kinds of finches, including the woodpecker finch. Once you reach the summit of this hike, you will also be able to see both Darwin and Wolf Volcano. A short boat ride along the cliffs of Tagus Cove also reveals Galapagos Penguins, flightless cormorants, blue footed boobies and marine iguanas.

Urbina Bay

Urbina Bay is located south of Tagus Cove on the western coast of Isabela and is largely known for a 5 kilometer section that was uplifted some 4 meters in a geological event in 1954, leaving sea life stranded above the ocean. From Urbina Bay you will also have the chance to cruise through large Mangroves as well as search for Giant Tortoises.

Santiago

Santiago is located in the heart of the Archipelago. On the western side of Santiago the two main sites include Puerto Egas and James Bay. Puerto Egas was once an area of salt mining, although in current times it is known more for the 30-40 thousand fur seals that make their home here and the inter-tidal pools that support a large variety of sea life. The black sand beach of Puerto Egas also serves as a great place to snorkel, with good chances to swim with sea lions and sea turtles.

Bartolome

Bartolome is where you will find the iconic Pinnacle Rock, one of the most recognizable landmarks in the Galapagos. A visit to Bartolome will include a hike up a series of stairs to a lookout point that peers across a martian landscape towards Pinnacle Rock. At the base of this rock you will find beautiful white sand beaches with sea lions and Galapagos Penguins. The south side of this island is where sea turtles will come to lay their eggs from January to March.

Chicago Hotel Deals

A lot of experts recommend staying in “The Loop”, or downtown area, as it is close to much of the action in the city. Some of the affordable hotels in downtown include Central Loop Hotel, River Hotel, Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront, and Hotel Felix.

You’ll definitely want to visit the “Magnificent Mile”, which is the best place to shop in IL. There is no shortage of name brand shops, luxury boutiques, discount stores, and more. If you are interested in the Chicago Blues scene, consider staying south of the Loop. During June, the Chicago blues Festival fills Grand Park.

You might want to look into Chicago hotel deals at historic buildings like the Whitehall Hotel, Staypineapple at The Alise, The Drake, and Warwick Allerton. These hotels have been around for at least 100 years and offer the perfect mix of historic Chicago with modern amenities. The Palmer House (Hilton) also has a romantic touch and features two popular restaurants, a health club, and spa. It’s also very close to other restaurants and shopping.

A stay near Grand Park might be worth your while if you want to visit sites like the Museum Campus, the Art Institute, Buckingham Fountain, Soldier Field, Shedd Awuarium and Adler Planetarium. A few budget hotels to consider include Chicago’s Essex Inn, Virgin Hotel, Jaslin Hotel, and Holiday Inn Chicago. There are literally 100+ accommodation options within a 2-mile radius around Grand Park, so you shouldn’t have any problems finding Chicago hotel deals in this part of the city.

No Chicago accommodation guide would be complete without mentioning Wrigley Field. If you want to see the Cubs play, a few suggestions include Hotel Versey – Days Inn, Villa D’ Citta, Hotel Lincoln, or The Majestic Hotel. While there are others, these are the ones that offer budget accommodation.

Baseball season isn’t the cheapest time to visit Windy City. If you’re flexible with your dates and don’t mind missing out on seeing the Cubs play, you might want to wait until winter to visit, unless there is a convention in town. The months of January – March tend to be the best times to find Chicago hotel deals. Whenever you decide to book your trip, consider opting for a vacation package that also includes airfare.

Mediterranean Cruise Adventure

A glimpse into the Western Mediterranean

In the Western Mediterranean you’ll discover beaches, bustling cities and island resorts. When setting sail on a Western Mediterranean adventure, cruise ships usually leave from awe inspiring places like Barcelona, Palma, Genoa or Rome.

Mainly bordering Italy, France, and Spain, on a Western Mediterranean cruise you’ll sail to ports of call like the Balearic Islands (including Majorca, Ibiza, and Menorca & Formentera). Italy is another destination – it is here you can explore fascinating historical destinations including Pompeii, Rome & Pisa. Western Mediterranean cruises also can include stops in Portugal, Morocco, Monte Carlo, Malta and Croatia and Dubrovnik.

Something for everyone, a Western Mediterranean is a firm holiday favourite with families and couples alike.

Example of Eastern Mediterranean itinerary

Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas has a 12 night cruise from Barcelona to Florence, Venice, Rome and Naples.

One of the top things to do:
Admire Gaudi’s architectural works of art in Barcelona, such as Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia Church.

The Eastern Mediterranean

An Eastern Mediterranean cruise calls at the ports that stretch from the Aegean Seas to the Adriatic. Main ports of embarkation and debarkation in the Eastern Mediterranean include Athens, Greece; Istanbul, Turkey and Venice. On your Eastern Mediterranean journey, you can explore the ancient cities like Olympia in Greece or Ephesus in Turkey. Other popular cruise destinations in the Eastern Mediterranean include Dubrovnik and Corfu – found on the Croatian coast. TheGreek Islands such as Mykonos, Rhodes and Santorini are sought after cruise destinations too.

Example of Western Mediterranean itinerary

Norwegian Cruise line’s Jade has a 7 night cruise from Venice, Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos and Katakolon.

Now you need to decide which ship you want to go on your Mediterranean voyage with. If it’s your first time visiting the Mediterranean, your best bet will be a larger ship as these cover more ‘major’ ports of call. There’s a good selection to choose from too, including Royal Caribbean, Costa, Carnival, Celebrity and Holland America. And, of course, going on a larger ship you have more to pick from when it comes to on-board facilities, entertainment, places to dine and so forth.