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Coolest trends to know for making your air travel enjoyable now

by amit.uniyal 13. August 2015 03:55
Are you a frequent flier visiting for business or leisure to distant destinations around the world? Then, wouldn’t it be the right thing to know the latest trends and goings on in the air travel industry today. Of course, knowing some of the important things beforehand will make your travel hassle free and enjoyable than what it earlier used to be. Here are some of the coolest trends you need to know about air travel trends right now.

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Airport Stays have become more enjoyable

Whether you are travelling in first class, business class or any other travel classes, gone are the days when layovers proved to be a painful experience. Airports these days have a wide range of decent accommodations equipped with various facilities, such as restaurants, spas, swimming pools, bicycle rentals, and of course, well-appointed hotel rooms. So, no worries anymore in case of layovers!

Flying Dreamliners are in-thing now

Dreamliners are the latest in-thing for most airlines, including low-cost carriers. The new Boeing 787 Dreamliners are there for everyone where you will be offered luxurious seats, larger windows and a smoother ride. Apart from these, the engine noise is also less and air quality in the cabins much better. The next time you are planning to purchase business class tickets or consider flying in any other class, do remember to board a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft for an enjoyable journey.

Overhead bins just got much wider

The paucity of space in overhead bins is a real nightmare of modern air travel. But, not any more now! The advent of Boeing 737 aircrafts and other versions in the aviation industry have made the situation less distressing. Today, these aircrafts offer 50 percent more space in overhead bins. This now makes it easier to put your baggage. Whenever planning air travel, flying in a Boeing aircraft is always a good option.  

More options to fly business class at reasonable airfares

Who after all doesn’t want to fly business class, especially when it comes at a reasonable price tag? Today, even low-cost carriers like JetBlue Airways and all-business class French carrier La Compagnie have made it possible for you to book business class flights at much lower rates than what is currently offered by major international airlines. Don’t worry, these low-cost carriers also offer similar facilities offered in business class cabins on other airlines.

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travel guide

Experiencing Turkey's unique history and cultural wonders

by amit.uniyal 11. August 2015 05:52
Turkey, which is at the crossroads of Europe and Asia (popularly called Eurasia), is a unique land by itself. This country with its rich history, varied culture and natural attractions is a veritable paradise for millions of tourists from world over. Why not plan a vacation to Turkey now and get a fascinating insight into this land of constant contrasts where East meets the West? Visiting Turkey will undoubtedly turn out to be an indeed memorable experience for you.

Istanbul – Home to iconic attractions

Istanbul, the capital city of Turkey, is a treasured wonderland. It is home to many iconic attractions. The Aya Sofia and the Sultanahmet are the two most attractive ancient mosques in the world. These huge architectural marvels stand on the either side of the Sultanahmet Park and are at the core of Istanbul's ancient city. Hearing the call to prayer is a mesmerizing and unforgettable experience. The Aya Sofia or Hagia Sophia has now been converted to a museum. The converted religious symbols from the past and uncovered frescoes in this incredible monument offers a glimpse into its past as a Christian Cathedral and later on converting to a mosque and finally to a museum. However, another iconic attraction the Sultanahmet mosque is still functional. It is popularly known as the Blue Mosque because of the blue hued tiles covering the interiors of the enormous building. Tourists are permitted free entry only after removing shoes and women covering their heads. 

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Apart from these two religious places, the Topkapi Palace is a must-visit place in Istanbul. It has a rich history. Here you can see the sprawling grounds and immaculately preserved harems. The palace offers a glimpse into the lavish lives of the Ottoman emperors and how the sultan used to live with his concubines.  The Topkapi Palace is one of the greatest examples of Ottoman architecture, where you will find many ornate artifacts. All these historic sites are situated close by and can be accessed quite easily.

Ottoman era comes alive at Safranbolu town

A visit to the beautiful small tourist town of Safranbolu would seem as though you are walking down the memory lane into a massive working historic park. The town, which fell into a state of decay and disrepair in the 1970s, was recognized by the Turkish government as a cultural and architectural gem, and finally became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. Strolling down the narrow cobblestone streets between red roofed buildings brings alive the former Ottoman era glory and offers a fascinating glimpse into the country's rich history.

The historic  Safranbolu town looks simply amazing. You will find artisans working in small shops still practicing Ottoman era trades. You can also relive the ancient city's cultural past by relishing Ottoman era food, which are available throughout the town. Many of the Ottoman era's wealthy mansions can also be found, which have now been converted into guesthouses and hotels. In fact, the town's rich history and splendid architecture is aptly reflected in its shops and outdoor market.

Turkey is replete with historic and cultural wonders. These are only amongst the important few described here. You need to at least visit this beautiful country once to enjoy and experience its varied attractions.

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travel guide

Must Visit inspiring art Hotels to Recharge Creative Batteries

by amit.uniyal 10. August 2015 06:31

You might have visited hotels which offer stellar mini bars, complimentary Wi-Fi in lounges and rooms, and latest technological upgrades. But, do you find all these exciting or inspiring. I think they don’t. Then, what after all the hotel of your dreams should be that you will find inspiring. Art hotels might just be the answer where you can rejuvenate your senses and recharge your creative faculties. Let’s take a look at some of the awe-inspiring art hotels around the world.

Must-visit inspiring art hotels

The Embassy Row Hotel, Washington D.C. (USA)

The Embassy Row Hotel in Washington D.C. is exquisite and magical. Just wander around its premises and you will find art weaved all over. The street artists can be seen creating murals inside and outside the hotel. The restaurant’s candles are handmade by the restaurant manager. Guests visiting the hotel can look forward to enjoying a weekly Art Fusion event pairing a DJ and live music with painting. They can also entertain themselves with a weekly silent disco on the rooftop as well.

Hilton Anatole Hotel, Dallas (USA)

The Hilton Anatole is home to one of the largest art and antiques collections found in any hotel in the United States today. Art can be seen everywhere – throughout the entire hotel as well as its onsite sculpture park, where you will discover more than 1,000 pieces ranging from those of the Berlin Wall to 19th century Asian sculptures. Apart from all these, the hotel also offers art pairing dinners, art scavenger hunts and art-infused fitness walks.

Hotel Matilda, Mexico

Get ready to be welcomed by the dazzling Nacho Rodriguez Bach piece as you set your foot inside the hotel premises. The hotel’s design also has mesmerizing Spencer Tunick’s tasteful nudes, Daniela Edburg’s metaphorical photography and Spencer Tunick’s tasteful nudes. The hotel also regularly organizes art-centric film showings, artist receptions and art exhibits. You can also look forward to attending the hotel’s annual spring SMART arts festival fusing art, dancing, tequila and more.

Gladstone Hotel, Toronto (Canada)

The Gladstone Hotel is housed in a Victorian building belonging to 19th century. The hotel offers 37 rooms to its guest, with each room being individually designed by renowned Canadian artists. The Snapshot Room here can be seen portraying embedded images of Toronto’’s High Park in fall into the furniture and walls. The Felt Room here offers more of a textural experience. The art gallery in the hotel holds rotating exhibitions such as “”In The Playroom” and “That’s So Gay: On the Edge”. Among other part of creative programming here include regular events such as karaoke, crafting workshops, dance classes and artist receptions.

Swatch Art Peace Hotel, Shanghai (China)

Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai is the place where you will discover art and artists everywhere. This unique hotel offers free accommodation to artists who create their art works, with some of them being displayed in the hotel’s exhibition spaces and art galleries. The suites and rooms in this hotel are also individually-designed portraying astounding creativity. The walls can be seen lined with canvas, and so are the hanging birdcage beds.

La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa, New Mexico (USA)

The La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa is a part of the renowned Starwood brand. The hotel provides a stunning look with a gallery prominently featuring a collection of American painting and sculpture being showcased in every nook and corner of the hotel. These art collection and sculpture are available for purchase at studio prices. The buyers are also provided incentive by being offered a half-price stay on a return visit. Among other activities here include guided property art tours by curator Sara Eyestone, painting classes and opportunity to watch her live painting every Thursday in the hotel lobby from 5 to 6 pm.

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Hotels

The Best Wine Festivals for Wine Lovers

by amit.uniyal 7. August 2015 06:22

Wine, often described, as the ‘nectar of the gods’ is a much-loved beverage. France is widely acknowledged to be the home of wine. The country is the world’s largest producer of wine, followed by Italy and Spain. The wines that hail from these established European countries bear the classification of ‘Old World Wines’.   

However, nowadays, aside from Europe, wine is produced in various other countries around the world. Countries like the USA, Argentina, South Africa, Australia and even China produce significant amount of wine and the wines made by these countries are fittingly called ‘New World Wines.’

Regardless of where wine is produced, it is fêted around the world. These wine-themed events attract hordes of wine enthusiasts, some of whom travel great distances to be present at these fetes.  Listed below are some popular wine festivals, which if you love wine should pencil in for your travel bucket list.

 

Vienna Wine Hiking Day, Austria

Wine has been a part of Austria's heritage for centuries. Wine growers based around the Austrian capital city of Vienna have been producing and selling wine since the Middle Ages. Currently, more 630 producers practice their craft in the lush vineyards that dot 1680 verdant acres around the city.  White grapes like the native Grüner Veltliner along with Reisling and Chardonnay make up much of the harvest. Visitors can access these vineyards by tram or then on foot, but they often need to make an appointment before they can get access to the vineyard. However, every year for one day in autumn the Vienna Wine Hiking Trail is open to the public. During this annual celebration, visitors can visit the many vineyards around Vienna to sample the wines and soak in some gorgeous views of the lush countryside.

Sula Fest, Nashik, India

India has in recent years joined the wine-growing club. The city of Nashik, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, is the wine capital of India. One of the best-known Indian vineyards belonging to Sula Wines is located here. Every February, the vineyard throws open its gates and hosts a well-attended festival over a weekend called Sula Fest. Sula Fest features music, fashion, gourmet eats and the entire repertoire of Sula wines.  Festivalgoers usually stay over for both days of the festival as they camp on the grounds of the winery or stay at hotels located close to the vineyard.


Bordeaux Fete de Vin, Bordeaux, France

Wine is grown in almost every region in France. Bordeaux, a port city on the River Garonne in South Western France, is perhaps the most famous wine destination in France.  Located within Bordeaux are some of the most renowned growers of wine like Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, Chateau Latour, Chateau Margaux and many others. The town of Bordeaux hosts a mega wine tourism event every two years. Scheduled for the summer season, the Bordeaux Fete de Vin is a celebration of wine, food, and culture.  

Extending over twelve acres in Bordeaux on the banks of the Garonne, the festival features eighty pavilions offering samplings of wines from Bordeaux and the Aquitaine regions along with culinary treats and cultural events.  Approximately 300,000 wine lovers make it a point to attend the festival, which spans four days.

La Percée du Vin Jaune, France

The region of Jura situated between Burgundy and Switzerland, in the western foothills of the low Jura mountain range in Eastern France is the smallest wine-growing region of France. This little enclave stretches from the town of Arbois to Lons Le Saunier, and it produces a few distinctive wines under five appellations. The wines of Jura have a cult following and each year the region celebrates a grand wine festival called La Percée du Vin Jaune which takes place over the first weekend in February. The event marks the release of the latest vintage of vin jaune; a wine, which is processed like a sherry. The festival annually attracts 50,000 wine enthusiasts and features wine tastings, auctions of notable wines, processions, and ceremonies. The festival is held in a different town or village of the region every year.
    
Dürkheimer Wurstmarkt, Germany

The spa town of Bad Dürkheim located in the district of the same name sits on the eastern edge of the Rhineland-Palatinate region. The German Wine Road, a picturesque road traverses through the district as it borders some of the best vineyards in the Palatinate region. The Mittelhaardt area of the region is renowned for its excellent Riesling hence it’s hardly surprising that the town of Bad Dürkheim each year hosts one of the largest wine festivals in the world, the Dürkheimer Wurstmarkt.

The festival spans nine days and showcases the award-winning wines and sparkling wines at its wine village and festival tents. Other events include a beauty pageant to choose the Bad Dürkheim Wine Princess, live music, rides and theme nights. The festival is held in September each year and attracts more than 600,000 wine lovers from around the world.

Haro in La Rioja, Spain

Wine festivals are rather civilized affairs the world over. However, the wine festival in the town of Haro situated in the Spanish wine region of La Rioja in the northern half of the country is a rough and tumble, raucous affair. Slated for the last weekend in the month of June each year, the festival takes the form of a rowdy wine-fight. The event, which is known as La Batalla de Vino de Haro starts off with a grand street party on the evening of 28th June. The next morning the revelers head to the top of a mountain located 5kms away. Once at the summit of the peak, the party resumes as the merrymakers douse each other with wine procured from water trucks filled with wine. Buckets of wine, wine-filled water pistols, and wine barrels all feature prominently in this mother of all battles.

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World’s best coach class airlines worth considering flying

by amit.uniyal 5. August 2015 02:23

The privileges and top notch services in first class and business class is well known.  In today’s day of travel, coach class amenities and services seem to be slim to none.  But are they?

However, this is an era of intense airline competition. Coach class airlines are listening to their customers and are gearing up the competition with conveniences and services to keep you flying happy. Many international airlines have ramped up their services and proving the best possible comforts in the coach class as well. Let’s take a look at some of the best coach class airlines in the world renowned for offering top-quality services to their customers.

 

World’s best coach class airlines

 


JetBlue Airways

JetBlue Airways is presently considered to be the best overall coach class airline in North America. The customers are offered extra legroom than any other airline. The fee it charges for a checked bag is also less than what is usually charged by most other airlines. The airline is also renowned for offering complimentary satellite-based Wi-Fi service. The speed is however slow, but enough bandwidth is available for streaming movies at a small fee per hour. The seats in the airline’s Airbus fleet are also comfortable and an inch wider than on its rivals’ Boeing 737 aircrafts.

Allegiant Air

Allegiant Air is presently the best coach class airline offering ultra-low-fare in North America. The airline is renowned for offering the only low-fare mainline service to several communities where travellers essentially had to otherwise depend on regional flights to nearby hubs.  Even, communities as small as those in Stockton, South Bend, Provo, Owensboro, Missoula and Hagerstown are heavily dependent on their travel by Allegiant Air.

Norwegian

If you are planning to travel to trans-Atlantic destinations, then there is no better airline than Norwegian today. The airline is considered to be the best low-fare coach class airline offering trans-Atlantic flights. The U.S. destinations being currently served by Norwegian from Scandinavia includes Los Angeles, New York, Baltimore and Boston. The airline’s Boeing 787 offerings are on par with its big rivals.
 
Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines is considered to be the best coach class airline for offering intercontinental flights. The airline has unveiled its newly-designed Sky Wider economy class seats providing enough legroom one would ever find on any other international airline presently. Japan’s national carrier is known to offer eight-across seats in its Boeing 787 aircrafts and nine-across seats in its Boeing 777 economy class. The airline is thus offering one seat less in each row than is the current standard with other airlines. Among other amenities provided by the airline include top-quality onboard catering service, private 10-inch screens, and satellite-based Wi-Fi on its new Boeing 777s and 787s fleet.

Southwest Airlines

If you are a senior citizen residing in North America then the best coach class airline to fly with is undoubtedly Southwest Airlines. It is presently the only airline in the United States offering senior fares for travellers aged 65 and above. These fares though have to be booked much in advance. The unrestricted senior fares offered by Southwest Airlines are usually much low than any-age fares.

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