Singapore named top cruise destination

first_imgSingapore named top cruise destinationSingapore named top cruise destinationSingapore has been named top cruise destination by industry experts for the second time in three years at the 10th Seatrade Cruise Awards held on 22nd September in Tenerife. This accolade is another feather in the cap for Singapore, which was voted as the top Asian port of call in the inaugural Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards as well.“We are flattered that Singapore has managed to retain the top spot in the minds of the cruise community as an attractive cruise hub,” said John Conceicao, Executive Director, International Relations & Market Planning & Oceania, Singapore Tourism Board (STB).“It’s no doubt that Singapore’s superb air connectivity, world-class berthing facilities at both the Singapore Cruise Centre and Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore terminals, and proximity to the region’s myriad of cruise offerings have all jointly contributed to this win.”Strengthening Singapore as a cruise hubThe award also caps off years of developmental work that STB, cruise lines and trade partners had collectively done to grow the cruise industry in Singapore. Some of the initiatives include forging more than 10 marketing partnerships with cruise lines and trade partners to drive cruise passenger numbers, training more than 800 travel agents from the UK and India with the help of CLIA Australasia, and widening Singapore’s reach to consumers through multiple media platforms. The Board also actively works with Singaporean trade partners to curate immersive and differentiated pre- or post-cruise experiences to enrich cruise visitors’ stay in Singapore.Developing Southeast Asia as the cruising region of choiceBeing the ASEAN[1] lead co-ordinator for cruise development in Southeast Asia, Singapore also spearheaded initiatives such as the creation of the first Cruise Southeast Asian brand to promote the region in a unified voice, and developed tools such as a regional cruise port and attractions map to help cruise lines develop itineraries.These efforts have proved fruitful, as Singapore experienced a 14 per cent year-on-year increase in cruise passenger throughput in 2015, and major cruise line Royal Caribbean International will have their longest-ever homeporting season[2] in Singapore starting October 2016.In Australia, the Board continues to work with various cruise travel partners not only to promote cruises that begin or end in Singapore, but also creating advertorials on Singapore in order to encourage longer stays pre- or post-cruise.Added Conceicao: “Singapore and Southeast Asia are well-placed to ride the wave of growth for cruising in Asia, and the Board will continue to push the boundaries in establishing Southeast Asia as the cruise region of choice.” Singapore Tourism Board for more information, visitSource = Singapore Tourism Boardlast_img read more

TravelManagers Conference community event raises thousands

first_imgTravelManagers’ Conference community event raises thousands TravelManagers’ annual national conference participants ready to act as ONE in seven-kilometre fundraising walk for Helping People Achieve (HPA)TravelManagers’ Conference community event raises thousands for local not-for-profitDay Three of TravelManagers’ annual National Conference, which was held in Darwin last weekend, saw participants step away from their conference venue for the morning and instead hit the Darwin waterfront to participate in “Steps Towards Capability”.The event was held by “Helping People Achieve” (HPA), a unique, Northern Territory-based, not-for-profit organisation that provides services to people with physical and intellectual disabilities in the Darwin and Palmerston regions. They currently support 68 people with employment and 40 people in accommodation and are 2016 winners of Telstra’s Small Business of the Year Award.NPO’s Suzanne Laister and PTM Bec Harrison enjoying the sunshine on their fundraising walk for HPATravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal, says partnering with a local charity to help raise both awareness and much-needed funds has become an integral part of the company’s national conference agenda each year.“Since the community charity activity was introduced at our Fiji conference in 2012 we have worked with some incredible people over the past six years, who are achieving amazing things, and usually with very tight budgets. This year our partnership tied in really well with our conference theme by giving our people the opportunity to act as ONE in helping out with HPA’s fundraising event.”Always happy to offer a hand: personal travel managers Julie Lunn and Melanie Carter create personalised mementoes of their morningConference attendees were transported by bus to the fun walk start line at Darwin’s Trailer Boat Club and joined members of the Darwin community and disabled community in a seven-kilometre fun walk long Darwin’s picturesque East Point Reserve and beach, which has a lot of Australian military history significance, followed by “Steps Towards Capability” expo where participants had an opportunity to learn about the work of local disability service providers.“It was a great choice of event for us because it was something that everyone could get involved in,” says Gazal. “Those who didn’t want to do the walk were able to help out with aid stations along the route, and at the conclusion of the walk, we were also able to participate in a range of art, dance, music and sports workshops with our new friends.”TravelManagers’ General Manager, Michael Gazal, celebrates a successful ‘Steps Towards Capability’ with Georgina HiggieTravelManagers also created a team fundraising page where conference participants, supplier attendees and friends and family could make donations towards HPA in support of the work they carry out in their community. Participants could also choose to set up their own fundraising pages if they wished to carry out further fundraising on an individual basis.The funds raised by the Steps Towards Capability event will help HPA to continue their valuable work, providing supported employment to people with a disability. They do this because their vision is that through employment and support, people with disabilities can develop confidence, independence and life skills to lead a fulfilling everyday life.TravelManagers’ Nicole Edgar, representative for Narre Warren South in Victoria, has taken part in TravelManagers’ community events for the past six years, and says giving back to differing charities and organisations to help those less fortunate than ourselves is one of highlights of her conference weekend each year.TravelManagers’ Juanita Schaffa De Mauri (left) and Natalie Miller add their contribution to a TravelManagers-themed work of art“What a great way to start the day: a walk in the Darwin sunshine with some really great people, play some chair volleyball, take part in a dance workshop and create some colourful works of art – what more could we ask for? It was such a fun event, and knowing that we’ve contributed financially to their ongoing work was the icing on the cake!”At the end of the morning, HPA’s CEO, Tony Burns, farewelled the TravelManagers participants and thanked them for their enthusiastic involvement in what was a very successful event for the organisation. To date, TravelManagers’ involvement in Steps Towards Capability has raised in excess of $7,598, with final figures still being assessed.“There’s a lot of work by a lot of people that goes into planning each year’s national conference, but choosing an organisation with whom to partner for our community event is one of the highlights,” says Gazal. “There are so many great organisation out there that it can be a really tough choice, but ultimately, it’s very rewarding for all involved.”For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599. About TravelManagersTravel Managers operates in all Australian States and is a wholly owned subsidiary of House of Travel, Australasia’s largest independent travel company which has a forecast turnover of $1.5 billion for 2017. TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel, and has more than 500 personal travel managers throughout Australia with a dedicated support team at the company’s national partnership office in Sydney. TravelManagers places all customer money in a dedicated and audited Client Trust Account which is separate from the general business accounts, ensuring client funds are secure and only used for client purchases.Source = TravelManagerslast_img read more

Housing Starts Leapfrog Forecasts by 15 in September

first_img Share Agents & Brokers Capital Economics Census Bureau Department of Commerce Home Prices Home Sales Lenders & Servicers National Association of Home Builders Pending-Home Prices Processing Service Providers Treasury Department 2011-10-19 Ryan Schuette October 19, 2011 440 Views Beating forecasts for lower-than-expected housing starts, builders put up 15 percent more new homes on a seasonally adjusted basis than predicted in September, the most since April 2010.[IMAGE]The hitch: Multifamily residential construction drove the numbers.The “”Commerce Department””: reported that “”housing starts in September””: rose above August estimates for 572,000 units, hitting an annual 658,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis. The numbers rose on a year-over-year basis to perch 5.7 percent above starts recorded in September last year.At the same time, permits for privately-owned housing units dropped last month at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 594,000, reflecting a 5-percent fall below August forecasts.The jump in housing starts follows a “”4-point rise in homebuilder confidence””:, reported Tuesday by the “”National Association of Home Builders””: – [COLUMN_BREAK]the biggest gain in sentiment since the expiration of the federal homebuyer tax credit in April last year.Writing in a widely circulated note, “”Paul Dales””:, senior U.S. economist with “”Capital Economics””:, said the spike in starts “”suggests that housing may finally be helping the wider economy,”” adding the caveat that “”household formation is still too low and the excess supply is still too high to warrant a major rise in homebuilding.””He added that the surge in starts may not sustain itself over the long haul, given the slide in mortgage applications to their lowest dearth since 1996 last week. He also forecasted that multifamily starts may well ease over the course of the month.””Ryan Sweet””:, a senior economist with “”Moody’s Analytics””:, tells _MReport_ that “”the volatile multifamily segment has really driven the overall gain in housing starts, with people opting more for renting than buying. People are sitting on the sidelines waiting to sit out the housing correction.””He says that scuttled permits from September signal stilted residential construction over the remainder of 2011 and into next year.””The foreclosure pipeline is still very full,”” he says. “”Until we work off shadow inventory, homebuilders are going to hold off in terms of construction.””””[T]here is a slim chance of a significant and sustained surge in homebuilding when household formation remains low and when there is still plenty of excess supply to be absorbed,”” Dales said. “”The upshot is that the economy will have to continue to cope without much support from housing for some time yet.””center_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Housing Starts Leapfrog Forecasts by 15% in Septemberlast_img read more

Fitch Servicers Would Feel Burn From New CFPB Rules

first_img in Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Fitch: Servicers Would Feel Burn From New CFPB Rules Mortgage servicers would feel the pain if the “”Consumer Financial Protection Bureau””: (CFPB) finalizes new rules it plans to propose this summer, according to “”Fitch Ratings””:[IMAGE]The ratings agency said in a statement that “”increased operational, compliance, and reporting expenses”” would take place if the rules take effect without any modification by the agency.The CFPB issued statements last week that signal its intentions to roll out with new proposals for rules that require more disclosure and transparency from servicers.[COLUMN_BREAK]Under the new rules, servicers would need to notify homeowners of any changes to interest rates for certain adjustable-rate mortgages, maintain transparency about new force-placed insurance policies, and break down monthly payments by principal, interest, and more.Analysts with Fitch said they believe that “”the proposed set of rules could… be less relevant with respect to future underwriting, provided that lenders are more focused on the credit quality and financial resources of the borrowers and stability of home prices.””The move is another in the direction of national servicing standards, according to experts, and continues the work started by the historic $25 national settlement agreed-to in February.””Joseph A. Smith””:, former “”Federal Housing Finance Agency””: nominee and monitor of the settlement, tells us that the CFPB “”certainly [has] jurisdiction”” over servicing standards and that he hopes the “”exercise will contribute to the development of those standards.””Ultimately, I think we’ll have national standards ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô and we ought to,”” he says._Editor├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós Note: To see the full, exclusive interview with settlement monitor Joseph A. Smith, “”click here””: to subscribe to_ DS News _magazine, our sister publication, and request our May issue._ April 16, 2012 416 Views center_img Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Agents & Brokers FHFA Fitch Ratings Investors Lenders & Servicers Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight Processing Regulation Service Providers 2012-04-16 Ryan Schuette Sharelast_img read more

Mortgagebot and Avista Announce New Industry Partners

first_img In Utah and Wisconsin, Mortgagebot and Avista have added two new clients for the companies’ technology platforms. Mortgagebot and Avista, both of which share parent company “”D+H””:, will welcome “”University First Federal Credit Union””: and “”Bank of Lake Mills””, to their roster of customers.[IMAGE]In addition to Mortgagebot’s automated front-end point-of-sale program, the credit union and the bank will also deploy Avista’s back-end loan origination system (LOS). By selecting the technology offerings, both financial institutions hope to gain a competitive advantage through the enhanced efficiency and conveniences provided by the platforms.Matt Cotter, Mortgagebot’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, says the first phase of integration of the companies’ products is complete, noting, “”We are pleased to announce that [COLUMN_BREAK]we’ve made tremendous headway and are already operating with full loan-level integration.””The integration of our two companies’ products is a win-win situation for Mortgagebot, Avista, and our respective clients-including our newest clients, University First FCU and Bank of Lake Mills. Together, we will assist in improving their efficiency and profitability, and we look forward to collaborating with and serving other lenders in this capacity,”” added Cotter.Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, University First FCU will use Mortgagebot’s web-based Internet-direct solution to facilitate online support for borrowers. The credit union has also elected to utilize Mortgagebot’s capabilities to equip its branch and call center staff to take complete applications.Bank of Lake Mills, located in Mequon, Wisconsin, will join University First FCU in using Mortgagebot’s Internet-direct platform. Additionally, the bank will count on Avista’s LOS technology to create a “”self-serve”” environment for borrowers seeking to check interest rates, pricing, and fees prior to initiating a mortgage loan.””Using this end-to-end platform to support the mortgage process better positions our bank for the future and for accelerating growth, all at an affordable cost,”” said Lindsay Duncombe, the bank’s compliance officer. “”The system is easy to deploy, and we look forward to using it to further boost productivity and profitability.”” Mortgagebot and Avista Announce New Industry Partners in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology July 16, 2012 407 Views center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-07-16 Abby Gregory Sharelast_img read more

Seneca Mortgage Investments Completes AMS Acquisition

first_img Share February 4, 2014 528 Views Acquisitions Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Servicing Rights Service Providers 2014-02-04 Tory Barringer “”Seneca Mortgage Investments LP””:, a real estate investment firm focused on mortgage servicing rights (MSRs), announced it has closed on its purchase of AMS Servicing.[IMAGE]The acquisition was first announced in September 2013 by Seneca, a joint venture among affiliates of GSO Capital Partners LP, EJF Capital LLC, and Arbor Commercial Mortgage, LLC.””We are very excited to close on this new business venture,”” said Darren Richman, senior managing director of GSO Capital Partners. “”The evolution of the residential [COLUMN_BREAK]mortgage servicing marketplace, along with the strength of this partnership, presents an excellent opportunity for the Seneca Mortgage Companies, as a well-capitalized, non-bank, non-originator, to differentiate itself in the industry as a purchase of mortgage servicing rights, as evidenced by the significant growth we have seen in a short period of time.””The final approval builds on the progress of the last 90 days, during which Seneca has provided funding for AMS to acquire MSRs to assets with an aggregate unpaid principal balance of $9.7 billion. With licensing in all 50 states and approvals from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, all parties involved say the new joint venture “”is strongly positioned for continued growth.””””We are extremely pleased to be joining two very successful partners whose expertise and capital strength will help us collectively execute our core business strategy,”” said Ivan Kaufman, chairman and CEO of Arbor Commercial Mortgage. “”Going forward, this new partnership will certainly maximize our ability to capitalize on the many opportunities we see in the residential mortgage servicing marketplace and will greatly enhance and diversify the AMS Servicing platform.””center_img Seneca Mortgage Investments Completes AMS Acquisition in Servicinglast_img read more

Falling Treasury Yields Drive Mortgage Rates Down

first_imgFalling Treasury Yields Drive Mortgage Rates Down January 4, 2018 615 Views Freddie Mac mortgage rates survey weekly 2018-01-04 Staff Writer Falling treasury yields helped drive mortgage rates down at the beginning of the year according to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey released by Freddie Mac on Thursday.According to this weekly survey, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.95 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending January 4, 2018, down from last week when it averaged 3.99 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.20 percent. The survey noted that the 15-year FRM averaged 3.38 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.44 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.44 percent. The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.45 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.47 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.33 percent the survey indicated.“Despite increases in short-term interest rates, long-term interest rates remain subdued. The 30-year mortgage rate is down a quarter of a percentage point from where it was a year ago and the spread between the 30-year fixed and 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage is the lowest since 2009,” said Len Kiefer, Deputy Chief Economist at Freddie Mac. Kiefer said that there wasn’t much upward pressure on long-term rates at the moment with the FOMC minutes showing continued support for gradual increases in policy rates from many participants and inflation rates remaining low. “Whether that changes due to a tighter labor market and the economic impact of tax reform remains to be seen,” he said.center_img Share in Daily Dose, Featured, Newslast_img read more

Far North QueenslandTourism Whitsundays

first_imgFar North QueenslandTourism Whitsundays Channel 7’s Sunrise team is heading to Airlie Beach to broadcast the program live from the Queensland holiday spot on Friday 5 May 2017.Giving viewers a firsthand look at how the Whitsundays has recovered from Cyclone Debbie and encouraging Aussies to visit to this stunning part of the world, the Sunrise team invites locals and visitors to join them on the Airlie Beach Foreshore for the live broadcast and for a special performance by Shannon Noll.The program will showcase how the whole community has pulled together for the clean-up, with the region now back in business and welcoming visitors. Edwina Bartholomew will be conducting live weather crosses from Bowen and Bianca Stone will be live from Hamilton Island, to really showcase the whole destination. The Outside Broadcast was secured as part of the Cyclone Debbie recovery marketing campaign led by Tourism & Events Queensland and Tourism Whitsundays.last_img read more

Politely declining a nomination in the newlycreat

first_imgPolitely declining a nomination in the newly-created ‘Best Broker Travel Network Agency’ in the 2018 AFTA National Travel Industry Awards (NTIA), TravelManagers’ Chief Operating Officer, Grant Campbell, says that to position TravelManagers’ Personal Travel Managers (PTMs) as ‘travel brokers’ seriously undersells their ‘expertise, knowledge and specialist service’.2018 represents the 9th year that TravelManagers has been nominated in a category for the NTIA, including ‘Best Travel Agency Retail – Multi Location’, and although willing to be involved in the NTIA in the future, should a more appropriate category be offered, or a nomination made in a different category, Campbell says the 2018 category does not reflect the business of TravelManagers, hence the decision to decline the nomination this year.“We don’t consider ‘Best Broker Travel Network’ to be an appropriate descriptor for the TravelManagers business model, in which our personal travel managers design customised holidays that are tailored to their individual client’s requirements.“We very much appreciate the generous support from our industry partner suppliers in receiving this year’s nomination, which we believe reflects the strong relationships we have all worked hard to build and maintain, as well as the efforts made by each individual personal travel manager in maintaining our position as Australia’s leading premium travel network.“AFTA was respectful of our decision to decline and has invited us to suggest an alternative category name for use in future years. In the meantime, we wish them AFTA and the NTIA Events Team all the very best for the upcoming awards ceremony and look forward to once again participating in the future.” IMAGE: TravelManagers’ COO, Grant Campbell AFTANTIATravelManagerslast_img read more

The Council of Australian Tour Operators CATO ha

first_imgThe Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) has announced the introduction of a new Platinum Associate Membership offering, in an innovative development for the recently revitalised association. CATO is an Association representing the land supply sector of the Australian travel industry, and CATO Membership is made up of tour operators and wholesalers as primary stakeholders, along with Associate Members consisting of tourist offices and other travel industry service providers.“It was time to show we are serious about the land supply sector by offering organisations an opportunity to be recognised in the top tier of our Associate Members,” said CATO managing director Brett Jardine.“We are honoured to announce our inaugural Platinum partner as Gow Gates Insurance Brokers.”Gow-Gates Insurance Brokers have been supporting the Australian Travel industry for over 20 years, providing specialist services to leading travel agents, tour wholesalers and tour operators. Over this time Gow-Gates has worked in conjunction with both AFTA and CATO developing solutions for an ever changing landscape.“It is a privilege to work with CATO and support their members with Insurance Solutions specifically designed for their individual members,” said Director of Specialty at Gow Gates, Fred Esteban. “We are delighted and proud to be one of the inaugural Platinum Members and we look forward to working with CATO as it continues to go from strength to strength in representing its’ members.”For more information contact CATOmembershiptour operatorswholesalerslast_img read more

pointsScootSingapore Airlines

first_imgpointsScootSingapore Airlines Corporate members of Singapore Airlines’ HighFlyer program can now earn five HighFlyer points for every S$1 spent if their SIA or SilkAir travel itineraries include a Scoot-operated flight segment ticketed and booked through Singapore Airlines’ corporate booking platform or via an appointed travel agent.Points can be used as full payment, or part payment with cash top-up, for Singapore Airlines and SilkAir tickets, upgrades and selected ancillaries used by employees of HighFlyer program participants. HighFlyer members will also have the option to redeem HighFlyer points for travel on Scoot-operated flights later this year.The new initiative is applicable on tickets issued from 2 May 2018, for eligible booking classes and destinations. last_img

Virtuoso has revealed the hotels and hoteliers no

first_imgVirtuoso has revealed the hotels and hoteliers, nominated across nine categories, for its coveted Best of the Best awards, to be announced in August this year. All nominees are part of the Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts program, which boasts over 1,300 hand-selected properties worldwide and more five-star hotels than any other program. The 10th category focuses on sustainable travel and recognises the hotels that most embody the commitment to the three pillars of sustainable tourism: preserving the environment, supporting local economies and celebrating cultures. In the APAC region, both Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley and Kokomo Private Island Fiji are among this year’s nominees.“When evaluating hotels and resorts at this level, the stakes are much higher and it goes beyond the beauty of the hotel or its location,” said Albert Herrera, Virtuoso senior vice president, Global Product Partnerships. “We seek out the hotels that are taking it to the next level, setting trends in their respective areas and offering the guest something they won’t find anywhere else. To us, that’s what being the Best of the Best is all about. The hotels and hoteliers who rose to the top this year set a new standard in an extremely competitive landscape, and it’s that shared commitment to being the best that helps Virtuoso maintain its position as the leader in luxury travel.”Virtuoso travel advisors will cast their votes over the next few weeks. The winners will be announced at the Hotels & Resorts Dinner on August 15, 2018, during Virtuoso Travel Week at Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Virtuoso Travel Week brings together thousands of Virtuoso travel agency members and the globe’s best travel providers for luxury travel’s largest and most preeminent event.Best Achievement in Design• Palácio Tangará, Oetker Collection, São Paulo, Brazil• Sagamore Pendry Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.• The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel, New York, New York, U.S.• The Fontenay Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany• The Silo Hotel, Cape Town, South AfricaBest Dining Experience• Aman Tokyo – Arva, Tokyo, Japan• Capri Palace – Il Riccio, Capri, Italy• Hotel Belles Rives – La Passagere, Antibes, France• Meadowood Napa Valley – The Restaurant, St. Helena, California• The London EDITION – Berners Tavern, London, U.K.Best Bar• Brown’s Hotel, A Rocco Forte Hotel – The Donovan Bar, London• Hotel Hassler – Hassler Bar, Rome, Italy• Mandarin Oriental, New York – The Office NYC, New York• Park Hyatt Vienna – The Bank Brassiere & Bar, Vienna, Austria• The Shelbourne – The Horseshoe Bar, Dublin, IrelandBest Family Program• Hotel Barrière Le Majestic, Cannes, France• Kokomo Private Island Fiji, Yaukuve Levu Island, Fiji• Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Farmington, Pennsylvania, U.S.• Soneva Fushi, Baa Atoll, Maldives• The Ranch at Rock Creek, Philipsburg, MontanaBest Wellness Program• Ananda in the Himalayas, Tehri-Garhwal, India• BodyHoliday Saint Lucia, Castries, St. Lucia• Chablè Resort & Spa, Chocholá, Mexico• The Ranch Malibu, Malibu, California, U.S.• Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence, Büergenstock, SwitzerlandSustainable Tourism Leadership• Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, Wolgan Valley, Australia• Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, Landaa Giraavaru, Maldives• Mashpi Lodge, Quito, Ecuador• Singita Grumeti – Sabora Tented Camp, Serengeti, Tanzania• Six Senses Douro Valley, Lamego, Portugal Best Virtuoso Newcomer• Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort, Vilamoura, Portugal• Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel, Paris, France• Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, Grand Cayman, Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman Islands• The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, Dhaalu Atoll, Maldives• Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills, California, U.S.Best Virtuoso Hotel Ambassador• Andrea Filippi, Belmond• James Baker, The Set Hotels• JoAnn Kurtz-Ahlers, Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates, L.L.C.• Laurence Tafanel, Esprit Saint Germain• Ling Riley, The Palms and The Shore Club Turks and CaicosHotelier of the Year• Aaron Kaupp – Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris, Paris, France• Patrizio Cipollini, Four Seasons Hotels Firenze, Florence Italy• Ulrich Krauer, Halekulani, Honolulu, Hawaii• Hermann Elger – Baccarat Hotel New York, New York, New York, U.S.• Markos Chaidemenos – Canaves Oia Hotel, Santorini, GreeceHotel of the Year• Adare Manor, Limerick, Ireland• Berkeley, London, U.K.• Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel, St. Jean Cap Ferrat, France• One&Only Le Saint Geran, Post de Flacq, Mauritius• Royal Mansour Marrakech, Marrakech, MoroccoIMAGE: Kokomo Private Island Fiji – nominee in Best Family Program category awardshotelsVirtuosolast_img read more

But whatever the role Alexander will not change h

first_imgBut whatever the role, Alexander will not change his approach.“Any time I’m on the field, I’m going to be giving 110 percent,” he said.And for what it’s worth, his versatility on the field though does have its limits.Alexander is not a kicker. “I’m not soft like that,” he joked. And he’s not a quarterback. “I don’t like getting hit,” he said. “I’d rather give the hitting.” Top Stories Over his career, Alexander has played linebacker (his current position), defensive tackle, defensive end, spent some time along the offensive line plus had stints at fullback and tight end.“That’s been my role on my team,” he said. “I was nicknamed the ‘One Man Gang’ and it’s because I can do a little bit of everything. It’s cool. That’s kind of been my niche. It’s not necessarily what I wanted to do coming in the league. You want to be a starter, but in order to play in this league, that’s what I had to do.”Entering his seventh season, Alexander is finally getting that opportunity to be a starter. Through the first five days of training camp, he’s manned outside linebacker opposite Sam Acho.“I’m definitely every excited. I think that’s everybody’s dream,” said Alexander, whose last start came in 2010. “Obviously, special teams is the way I’ve been able to make my living and stay in this league, so it’s something I’m going to still pride myself on while I’m here, being a leader on special teams as well.”The 30-year-old former Cal Golden Bear earned his first career selection to the Pro Bowl last season, voted in as the NFC’s special teams representative after a career-high 31 special teams tackles. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires 0 Comments   Share   GLENDALE – Baseball had Jose Oquendo. Football, apparently, has Lorenzo Alexander.That versatile player who possesses the rare skill and ability to assist their team in whatever fashion they may be called upon.Oquendo is one of only a handful of MLB players to have played all nine positions on the diamond.Alexander hasn’t quite reached that number, but he’s close.“In the Giants game in ’07, I played five different positions,” he said, referring to his first season with the Washington Redskins. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact His prowess in that area of the game is why head coach Bruce Arians believes Alexander, signed to a three-year contract after being a salary cap casualty in Washington, can be a successful linebacker, despite the limited experience.“The energy and passion he brings to the game is something, I think, that is contagious,” Arians said. “Those type of guys — most sacks are effort; and there’s a few elite guys, but the rest that get sacks, it’s just motor. To be the NFC special teams Pro Bowl player that tells you all about the guy.”Of course, now that he’s entrenched defensively, Alexander is going to have to decrease his workload on special teams.“It’s a select few guys that can do that and do that at a high level on both sides because that’s really burning the candlestick at both ends,” he said. “In the past, I’ve been a special teamer that’s helped out on defense. This year, I’ll be an outside linebacker that’s helping on special teams.”Alexander, who has only 13 starts in 92 career games, is out to prove people wrong.“This year my focus is just getting after it. I’m a lot lighter now (244 pounds). I’m more explosive so I expect to be able to get (in the backfield),” he said. “(Being doubted has) never stopped me. I’ve never been the most athletic, but I tend to outwork guys. I’m going to continue to have that type of mentality, blue collar and just grind it out, wear guys down. At the end of the day, the outside linebacker’s job is to create some pressure, create some havoc against the quarterback and make him uncomfortable.” – / 11 The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelolast_img read more

Top Stories

first_img Top Stories Cornerback Jerraud Powers said Lynch is a threat running and receiving the ball, and called him one of the best backs in the league. Powers elaborated Wednesday on the defense’s game plan against Beast Mode, who has 487 yards and five touchdowns on the ground in six games this season to go along with 13 receptions for 174 yards and one score.“With his running game, you’ve got to respect it. So you’ve got to put guys in the box to stop it,” the fifth-year cornerback said. “If we can stop their running game early and make them just come out and throw the ball, that’s kind of like the game plan and that’s what we want to do.” The Arizona Cardinals’ run defense has been quite formidable in 2013. The team has given up the eighth-fewest yards on the ground (544) in the league, and it is tied with Cleveland for fourth-fewest yards per carry (3.5) allowed. The unit has also given up only two rushing touchdowns on the year.In the Cardinals’ last game, Frank Gore of San Francisco became the first rusher this season to break 100 yards against Arizona; he reached 101 yards on 25 carries. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Comments   Share   The Cardinals’ next game will be another big test for the their run defense. The Seattle Seahawks come to town, and Arizona will have its eye on shutting down star running back Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch.When the two teams last met, Lynch torched the Cardinals for 128 yards and three touchdowns on a mere 11 carries. The Seahawks barely needed his services, as they recorded a 58-0 blowout win over Arizona in Week 14 of 2012. Lynch also gained 85 yards on 21 carries when the Cardinals beat the Seahawks 20-16 in Week 1 of last season. If you’re doing the math, the Seahawks running back put up 213 yards on 32 carries against the Cardinals on the season — good for an average of 6.7 yards per tote.“His nickname is not the ‘Beast Mode’ for nothing,” said Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson on Wednesday. “That guy, he’s a workload. For us to be successful against him, I believe all 11 Cardinal hats have to be surrounding him once he has his hands on the ball, because he runs so tough.”Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said he’s long been a fan of watching the 27-year-old Lynch run the ball.“You love watching him play because he’s having a lot of fun out there,” the Cardinals coach said. “And he plays the game like a young guy. I’ve always loved watching him play; he’s a hard-nosed runner, and he’s a real football player.” Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

They basically turned the facility over to us an

first_img“They basically turned the facility over to us, and it wasn’t just being able to use their fields,” Byrne said. “They did all the little things. There were banners as the team drove up welcoming the University of Arizona and that was throughout the facility.”The Cardinals also painted Wildcat logos in an end zone and gave the team access to the training room and the equipment room. Byrne said that if some Wildcats players weren’t Cardinals fans before, they for sure are now. LISTEN: Greg Byrne, UofA athletic director Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The team wasn’t going to be able to practice unless it traveled somewhere else. University of Arizona Athletic Director Greg Byrne told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Friday that he decided to reach out to the Arizona Cardinals in case there was a chance the Wildcats could use their training facility in Tempe.Byrne called up Cardinals GM Steve Keim, who told him he’d try to figure something out. About 10 minutes later, Cardinals’ president Michael Bidwill was on the phone asking Byrne what the organization could do to help the Wildcats out.“They had stepped up and welcomed the Arizona Wildcats into the Valley,” Byrne said. “We had a great two days up there and just they were completely first class all the way around and we cannot thank the Cardinals organization enough for what they did in a very challenging time for our university and our program, and just wanted to take time and say thank you.”Bidwill, who said giving the Wildcats access to the facility was “an easy decision,” went above and beyond to make sure the team from Tucson had everything they needed. Because of that, Byrne said the Wildcats felt right at home. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Before practice, @Greg_Byrne & @CoachRodAZ thanked Cards President Michael Bidwill for his amazing hospitality.— Arizona Football (@ArizonaFBall) August 11, 2016“Just an absolute first-class organization,” Byrne said. “Michael and Steve and everybody from the organization deserves all the credit in the world.”Byrne added that despite moving the team to Tempe for a couple days and figuring out all of the practice plans, the hardest thing he had to do all week was talk to Hemmila’s family about Zach’s death. Somewhere in those conversations, plans were already put into motion on how to recognize the offensive lineman. The Arizona Wildcats didn’t suffer a defeat on the field, but the football team was dealt a big loss this week when offensive lineman Zach Hemmila passed away in his sleep early Monday morning.Hemmila, who was entering his senior year, was no stranger to the Valley as he was a product of Chandler High School.Then, as the Wildcats were grieving the loss of someone in the family, pouring rain came down in Tucson on Tuesday morning, making the practice fields unplayable. Top Stories Your browser does not support the audio element. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires “We talked to his family already, and this is a unique set-up for us, obviously,” Byrne said. “We have our first game of the year in the Valley against BYU out at the Cardinals’ stadium. It’s kind of ironic, and then we have our first home game the next week against Grambling, and so we’re actually already planning to do a recognition at both games, especially since Zach is from the Chandler area and then with it being our first home game the next week, we’ll do a recognition at both games.“And I think it’s going to be good to have Arizona fans both in the Phoenix area as well as down here in Tucson an opportunity to recognize and say thanks and give a chance to support and rally around each other. We’re very fortunate during this time that we have the community and the family that we have that we can all do this together.” The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 0 Comments   Share   last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Cachet Hotel Group

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >Cachet Hotel Group (CHG) has announced the debut of its first resort development, Cachet Corazon, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Owned and developed by Cabo Villas Beach Resort and Spa (CBVR), the project will mark CHG’s first resort destination project in the world.With stunning panoramic views of the Sea of Cortez, Cachet Corazon will be located on the famous Medano Beach, within walking distance to the Cabo San Lucas Marina, the Puerto Paraiso Mall and multiple nightlife and entertainment venues downtown.The resort will be a Cachet Beach and Cachet Deluxe dual-branded hotel development, scheduled to open in late 2016 and early 2018, respectively and will include multiple restaurants, pool terraces, a beach club and expansive meeting and events spaces.“We are very excited to partner with CHG to bring the renowned global brand to Cabo,” said Ilda Ledesma, developer of CVBR. “Cachet will bring a new level of innovation and offer the best of hospitality, design and nightlife that will appeal to a new generation of leisure travellers. The launch of this resort is revolutionary for the main beach of Cabo and will transform the landscape, leading the hospitality market place with a smart, efficient and well-designed resort.”Christopher Erickson, developer of CVBR comments, “This is many years in the making and a true collaboration and team effort between our amazing staff and ownership. ‘La Familia Cabo Villas’ and the Cachet Hotel Group are very proud to deliver this iconic project to main beach Cabo, as well as to our loyal member base.”Designed by Rabago Artiquitectors & Consultores in tandem with Cachet Interior Design (CID), the interiors will draw inspiration from the myths and legends of the Sea of Cortez. The sea serves as a creative landscape to weave an eclectic mix of Mexican folk art, cultural patterns and bright colors into the architecture and design of the hotel.CHG will renovate an existing tower into a 77-room Cachet Beach. Construction is also under-way for a ground-up new hotel tower to debut as Cachet Deluxe in January 2018. The new development tower will include 204 guestrooms and suites, ranging in size from 57.9sqm to 59.9sqm configured in bungalow style clusters of 3 units each. Guestrooms will feature state-of-the-art technology and entertainment as well as private terraces, including some with outdoor Jacuzzis.Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Belmond announces a 20

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterBelmond announces a 20 Year Anniversary cruise on board the Grand Dame of the Ayeyarwady River, Belmond Road to Mandalay, on 1 October 2016. Marking two decades of exploring the magical rivers of Myanmar, the special four-night, five-day journey follows the route of the inaugural cruise from Bagan to Mandalay. With special thanks to the communities along the rivers that have generously welcomed Belmond’s guests for 20 years, five per cent of the ticket price for this anniversary cruise will be donated to the Belmond Myanmar Foundation, to support the opening of a new hospital facility in Bagan.The festivities begin with a traditional dance ceremony and cocktail reception on the banks of the river with an additional option to choose a ride above the temples and pagodas with ‘Balloons over Bagan’ or take a journey in a traditional horse and cart to visit the gilded Buddha statues.At Taung Be village in Bagan, guests are invited to visit the free clinic where, Dr Hla Tun, the ship’s Doctor and inspirational leader of Belmond’s Myanmar Foundation, treats hundreds of patients in his free time. To mark Belmond’s 20-year Myanmar anniversary the foundations for the new hospital facility will be laid with a traditional Buddhist blessing performed by local monks.Sailing aboard Belmond Road to Mandalay guests can relax and enjoy the hypnotic rhythms of the great Ayeyarwady River and the views of golden stupas dotting the riverbanks; take a dip in the swimming pool and enjoy alfresco dining in the newly launched Bar & Grill serving local cuisine on the ship’s teak Observation Deck – the largest open space on the river. For health and wellbeing, guests can check into the spa for a traditional Burmese massage or join a sunrise yoga session.The cruise culminates in Mandalay, with the first ever ‘Belmond Road to Mandalay Rally’ that will see guests try their hand at traditional Burmese skills and activities including driving an Ox and Cart, rolling Cheroots (cigars) and learning a Burmese dance. A prize giving ceremony will take place at the Gala Anniversary Dinner served under the stars.Belmond’s 20 Year Anniversary cruise prices start from £3069 per person including two nights at Belmond Governor’s Residence in a Deluxe Garden room including breakfast, transfers to the hotel and onwards to Belmond Road to Mandalay based on two sharing Deluxe Cabin.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Luxury Thai resort Kata

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterLuxury Thai resort Kata Rocks has introduced a series of wellness immersions at its world-class Phuket property, allowing guests to select tailored programs embrace maximum health and reset their system for long-term nourishment.Kata Rocks’ Wellness program aims to welcome guests to a relaxing environment where they can switch off from daily stressors and reinvigorate the mind, body and soul. Guests can choose from one of three wellness packages, all offering personalised spa treatments and massages with the option of add-on treatments throughout their stay for amplified results.Each of the three-night packages include accommodation in one of Kata Rocks’ One-bedroom Sky Pool Villas; a program of spa and massage treatments; morning yoga; daily breakfast; seasonal juices and tonics; daily steam and sauna sessions; one wellness-inspired cooking class; daily blood pressure checks; program assessment; and home care remedies.Energise Wellness is the perfect combination of treatments to recover a tired body and mind. Leaving the busy world behind, it has been designed to help restore energy levels and revitalisation. Treatments of Marine Flora Immersion (120 minutes) and Bio-Energy Mud Wrap (90 minutes) work to re-energise the body and deeply remove toxins, promoting profound healing in the body’s energy. The Energise Wellness package offers a Prana Vitality massage (60 minutes) and Thai massage (60 minutes) to complement the energising treatments. Both massages are performed to heal the body through ancient techniques of rhythmic compression, pressure point and Marma therapy, enhanced with the use of essential oil leaving the mind, body and spirit re-energised and sparkling with vitality.Detox Wellness provides deep rejuvenation within the detoxing treatments. This package combines treatments of Chromo Therapy and Marine Flora Immersion (120 minutes) to extract deep toxins and cleanse the body, improving overall wellbeing. Both treatments are designed to benefit the body, mind and spirit through deeply cleansing the lymphatic and immune system through mineral-rich ingredients. The Prana Vitality massage (60 minutes) and Thai massage (60 minutes) are also used in the Detox Wellness package to support the benefits from the Chromo and Marine Flora treatments. Both massages leave guests feeling emotionally centred, physically refreshed and cleansed of effects from inner and outer toxins.Glow Wellness combines a selection of holistic treatments to heal, re-energise and rejuvenate the body, while restoring harmony in the mind and leaving the spirit glowing from within. The Glow Wellness package offers two styles of restoring treatments. Chakra Wellbeing, a bespoke experience focusing on the muscles, lymph and nervous system as a whole. Each ritual within this treatment involves subtle healing of the chakras and the pouring of warm oil to restore and relax every sense. The Marine Flora Immersion assists in enhancing the benefits of Chakra Wellbeing by re-energising the mind and nourishing the skin with rich nutrients and the stimulation of collagen production. Complimentary Siam Classic (120 minutes) and Thai Massages (120 minutes) are offered within the Glow Wellness package to assist in recovering a tired body and mind. A combination of subtle stretching, rhythmic massaging and compression creates balance and stimulates energy flow. Stimulation of blood circulation assists to energise the body and mind while providing the additional anti-inflammatory benefits of antioxidants. Guests are left feeling rejuvenated and glowing from the inside and out.Treatment add-ons include a Vitality wrap experience, Sleeping Pod Experience, Energy Pod or Detox soothing bath, each of which is priced on top of the wellness package.Kata Rocks is a design-driven luxury resort and residence, located directly on the oceanfront at the southern end of Kata Beach, along Phuket’s sunset west coast. Comprising 34 private and spacious one- to four-bedroom Sky Pool Villas, each light-filled space offers its own private infinity pool, expansive living and dining, and superbly positioned bedrooms and bathrooms styled with Italian furniture and technologically savvy features throughout.The first of the Kata Rocks Wellness Packages are available now until November 2018 and start at THB 82,000 per room.For further information, visit www.katarocks.comGo back to the enewsletterlast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Reservations for SeaDre

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterReservations for SeaDream Yacht Club’s 2021 Mediterranean season are now open. For the first time, SeaDream will sail to Israel’s bustling town of Ashdod, which provides easy access to Israel’s most important cultural hubs, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Itineraries include six new ports of call to destinations in the French and Italian Riviera, Greek Isles and the Spanish coast.For SeaDream’s first visit to Israel, SeaDream II will depart from Piraeus, Greece on an 11-night voyage with calls in Israel, Cyprus and Turkey. When visiting Ashdod, guests can easily access Tel Aviv to explore the White City as well as the walled Old City of Jerusalem, which is filled with countless religious and cultural treasures. In Haifa, guests will be dazzled by the beautiful Bahá’í Gardens, also known as the Hanging Gardens of Haifa.Guests can look forward to discovering new destinations in the 2021 season with SeaDream, including: Ksamil, Albania; Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer, France; Otranto, Italy; Ashdod and Haifa in Israel; and Agios Nikolaus, Greece. To meet rising demand for itineraries in Greece, the twin luxury mega-yachts, SeaDream I and SeaDream II, will spend more time than ever before in the Adriatic Sea.All 2021 voyages include at least one overnight call in each itinerary, allowing guests ample time to explore the Mediterranean’s most fascinating destinations and immerse themselves in the region’s rich culture. Each new destination will introduce exciting Yachting Land Adventures, ensuring guests have the most authentic and exceptional experiences with options that appeal to every kind of traveler.To view the complete, newly released 2021 season, see www.seadream.comStarting price for Voyage #22120 (which departs from Piraeus, Greece, on an 11-night voyage with calls in Israel, Cyprus and Turkey) is US$6,670 per person (based on double occupancy).Go back to the enewsletterlast_img read more

Cheap flights carriers in India are gaining passen

first_imgCheap flights carriers in India are gaining passengers at the expense of full-service carriers such as Air India.Experts have said that premier airlines such as Air India and Jet Airways are losing passengers, while less expensive rivals SpiceJet and Indigo are gaining them, AFP reports.According to analysts, these carriers have benefited by appealing to India’s ever-increasing middle classes, with many having coped relatively well in the global financial crisis.There are at least seven cheap flights airlines operating over Indian skies, which enjoy an approximate 40 per cent share of the market.This percentage is expected to rise markedly over the forthcoming months.Speaking to the news agency, chief executive of the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation Kapil Kaul said: “By December-end, we estimate this to rise to 70 percent.”Air India, Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines have all reported billion-rupee losses recently, with fears that these are not sustainable.SpiceJet is one of the leading players in India’s cheap flights market and was voted the best low-cost airline in the South Asia and Central Asia region by Skytrax in 2007.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedJet2 beats off low-cost rivalsA new poll has rated low-cost carrier Jet2 the best ‘no-frills’ airline for customer serviceJet expands codeshare to ManchesterJet expands codeshare to ManchesterEtihad signs codeshare with India’s JetUnited Arab Emirates flag carrier Etihad has singed a new codeshare agreement with India’s Jet Airwayslast_img read more