O2 Lounge Terrace – The Flair of NYC in Moscow

This summer if you find yourself in Moscow and seek a little city chic one evening then there is no better place to head than the O2 Lounge Summer Terrace with its new theme “The Flair of New York in the Heart of Moscow”. The summer concept is reflected both in the venue’s décor and its food and beverages. Despite recent tensions between the USA and the former USSR power caused on the recent discovery of Russian spies in the West, these two mega cities, that have so much in common and yet are located on the opposite sides of the planet, will finally be juxtaposed on the 12th floor of The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow.O2 Lounge Ritz-Carlton Moscow

The summer menu of The O2 Lounge will be enhanced by New York classics and Moscow unbeatable hits: Cobb Salad with avocado, blue cheese, bacon, shrimp and baby salad leaves, Russian Crab Salad, Okroshka Summer Soup and Crab Cake with basil citrus salad and spicy avocado cream. Guests will also be offered grilled dishes such as US Prime Beef Burger, US Prime Rib Eye with cognac pepper sauce, Grilled US Prime T-bone steak and traditional Shashlyk.

While relaxing on the summer terrace, the guests will be able to order American ice cream and traditional New York hot dogs, and the barmen will invite guests for a glass of O2 Cosmopolitan, Traditional Manhattan, Fifth Avenue (Gin, Martini rosato and lavender foam), New York Cheesecake (Vanilla Vodka, Grand Marnier, cream, mascarpone), Moscow Lassie (Vodka, apple juice, Cucumber, mango puree, jog hurt) or Russian Lemonade.

About The Ritz-Carlton

The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow is located just off Red Square, next to the Kremlin, in the heart of the cultural and business center of Russia’s capital. The hotel enjoys the largest guest rooms and suites in the city all fully equipped with cutting-edge technological amenities. The O2 Lounge on the 12th floor offers magnificent views of the Kremlin and Red Square, and the full-service spa by ESPA are among the hotel’s premium amenities. For more information and reservations, contact your travel professional, call The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow at +7 495 225 8888 or visit www.ritzcarlton.com

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The Island – The Floating Dining Room at Ritz-Carlton Wolfsburg

For those seeking rest as well as those who are romantics, a private refuge of a very special kind is awaiting them this summer in form of a green island at The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg. Floating in the inner harbor of the Mittelland canal, The Island can be booked as a one-of-a-kind destination for an outing for two to four persons from June to September. Delicately arranged food and champagne put a perfect finish to the excursion. The island arrangements cost from 120 euros to 395 Euros for each person.

Ritz-Carlton Wolfsberg

The crossing to the floating island itself is an adventure. On board a nostalgic mahogany motorboat made by the traditional Swiss boat builder Pedrazzini, hailing from the 1940s, island guests are greeted by their personal skipper with a glass of champagne. The boat casts off from the hotel’s own pier at the floating outside pool of The Ritz-Carlton. From there, an expedition trip commences that opens up completely new vistas on the buildings along the inner harbor for the passengers. The skipper, meanwhile, explains a few of the intriguing factual details on both the park landscape of the Autostadt and the impressive backdrop of the landmarked VW power station.

After a round tour of the Autostadt, the skipper pilots the boat toward the actual goal in the inner harbor: the largest of the four artificial islands, measuring 13 x 13 meters. On the green float with a surface of more than 160 square meters, three willows arch over a wooden terrace at ground level, furnishing ample shade even on sunny days. Being solidly fixed in the inner harbor, the island hardly moves and is eminently suited for safely stepping on it and spending some time there. Upon the boat’s arrival at the island, a butler receives the guests and places them at a stylishly set teakwood table. There is a choice of four different arrangements for the individual menu depending on the time of day. Two champagne breakfasts are offered for a relaxing morning break—one can pick breakfast either with or without caviar. The Island Tea arrangement is perfect for a private afternoon tea, letting no wish go unfulfilled, with premium loose leaf teas and champagne, freshly baked scones, savory delicacies and the finest patisserie.

The Riviera Dinner rounds off the island experience to perfection. With a vista on the brightly illuminated Autostadt and The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg, in the evening, the sunset can be thoroughly enjoyed while being served an exclusive three-course dinner of select seafood such as lobster, mussels and oysters, as well as a pitcher of premium champagne.

With the floating island group, a new staging evolved as part of the Autostadt’s Four Season concept, connecting nature in the park with technology and culture in an artistic fashion. Each island is planted with one of four tree species each: alder, willow, water chestnut and pine; this way, the greenery of the park continues and is extended to the water. Connected to the foundation at the bottom of the inner harbor, the three smaller island plateaus, measuring 7 x 7 meters each, are allowed to drift freely and move with the rhythm of the wind within a radius of around twenty meters. In conjunction with the larger island, a picture of living movement emerges, which integrates the cuisine of The Ritz-Carlton by means of the green dining room.

Reservations for all island arrangements are accepted by telephone or email: Tel +49 5361 607091 ; email ccr.wolfsburg@ritzcarlton.com

About The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg

The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg has 174 rooms and suites and is located in the centre of Autostadt, the world’s first custom-designed celebration of automotive innovation encompassing architectural originality, scientific advancement, artistic inspiration and lifestyle aspiration. With its impressive open circle architecture, The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg has won numerous awards. It offers nine conference rooms, the restaurants Aqua – honored with three Michelin Stars – The Grill, Hafenterrasse and the Newman’s Bar as well as the Kraftwerk spa with its floating open air pool. More than six hundred works of art, with a focus on photography, shape the ambience of the hotel, as do the modern-classic furnishings by renowned French interior designer Andrée Putman. The hotel is just an hour from Berlin or Hamburg by ICE high-speed train. Additional information and reservations may be obtained by calling +49-5361-607000, toll-free within the USA or Canada at (800) 241 3333, toll-free from the UK on 0800 234 000, or at www.ritzcarlton.com/wolfsburg.

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Highlights from Austria’s Idyllic Ischgl

Idyllic Ischgl, located in the Austrian Tyrol, is renowned for its ski slopes and apres-ski nightlife.  However, it also makes an ideal destination for a luxury summer holiday.  The picturesque mountain backdrop, with valleys and waterfalls, is the perfect place for adrenaline junkies, whether you love mountain biking, hiking, rafting or canyoning.  The best bit?  There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy a little pampering at the numerous spas and luxury hotels.  Check out the highlights below…

Traditional Music in the Mountains

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For more information about Ischgl visit www.paznaun-ischgl.com

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5-star Sound for Luxury German Hotel Kameha Grand in Bonn

The new Kameha Grand hotel in Bonn, defines new standards in luxury hotel architecture and boasts an installed sound system to match.

Kameha Grand Bonn Germany

Nestling discretely into its site by the Rhine, the recently opened Grand Kameha Bonn is a stunning example of the classic ‘Grand Hotel’ concept re-interpreted for the modern era, with cutting edge architectural design by Bonn-based architect Karl Heinz Schommer and acclaimed designer Marcel Wanders. Within its softly curved glass envelope, the Grand Kameha has a total of 254 rooms, including 63 suites, and a multi-functional 2,500 capacity event space, making it well placed to attract both private travellers as well as the high end corporate/business market. As a direct result of both the building’s unique modern design, with the acoustic challenges that this often presents, and the hotel’s objective of meeting the most demanding business and conference needs, the A/V facilities required special attention – with the resulting system setting new standards for this type of project.

At the centre of the new building is the huge 1,800 sq. metre multi-function hall – covered by a glass roof canopy up to 21 metres high at the highest point of its arc. Large halls such as this, with their vast expanses of highly reflective surfaces including the tiled floor and extensively glazed envelope, suffer from the disadvantage of very high reverberation times – often this can often render a space impractical to use for large events due to horrendous intelligibility, and give people the impression of being in a train station or airport. Consequently, the audio solution required to deal with such a challenging acoustic problem, would naturally be quite complex and as such the client brought a consultant onboard to address this at an early stage in the development.

Kameha Grand Hotel Bonn Germany

ThomNet Media Engineering were appointed to consult on the design and specification of the audio system covering all public spaces within the Kameha, including the huge hall (called the Kameha Dome) which posed the most difficult problems. After a competitive comparison test between 3 manufacturer’s products, Tannoy’s QFlex digitally steerable loudspeaker system was found to deliver the best performance in the huge event space, with the minimum impact on the building’s aesthetics – all critical to its status as a 5-star luxury hotel. A pair of QFlex48 columns were all that was required to provide even and controlled coverage of the full hall, mounted discretely on the steel frame of the building envelope – high above the main entrance, aimed back across the hall floor. This is where QFlex’s ability to steer multiple beams of acoustic energy across several planes, and at quite extreme angles if necessary, really proved to be invaluable. It allows audio to be focused on a specific area of the hall, without worrying too much about indirect sound reaching other areas (such as when the hall is divided into multiple uses) and ensuring very high intelligibility in the desired listening areas. The ability to maintain effective beam control at much higher steering angles than alternative systems allows for much more discrete (higher) location of the loudspeakers – up and out of sight, but still able to fire right down as well as out across the hall depending on specific uses of the space.

Away from the main hall, in the restaurant, brasserie and bar areas, the brief for the audio system was just as demanding. The designers specified a need for a system that provided zonable coverage, with uniform BGM coverage throughout the various zones and a system capable of delivering first class clarity and intelligibility while also being suitable for higher volume applications such as a New Year’s party or large corporate entertainment event. All of these requirements were met with in-ceiling systems. In total, over 100 Tannoy CMS 801DC Dual Concentric(tm) driver equipped loudspeakers were installed, delivering premium audio quality with the minimum of impact to the design aesthetics of the themed bars and restaurants as well as throughout the various corporate, meeting rooms and the spa and sauna facilities.

The entire in-ceiling audio system was powered by a rack of Lab.gruppen’s C Series installation-dedicated amplifiers. Chosen for their flexibility and ultra-reliability in fixed installation applications like this, a mix of the Swedish manufacturer’s 4-channel C10:4X and 8-channel C10:8X were specified at Grand Kameha. With the ability to make individual adjustments to maximum voltage peak output and gain per channel, as well as bridge-mode operation selectable per channel pair and advanced NomadLink® networking with remote monitoring and control facilities, the choice was a straight-forward one. No other amplifier platform delivers this level of control and continuous peace of mind where fixed installation is concerned, and with superb sound quality to boot.

Completing the 450,000 euro A/V installation, Biamp Audioflex provided DSP control, while Panasonic and Crestron video products were specified throughout the conferencing and meeting rooms, making Grand Kameha a stunning example of true A/V integration within the hotel market. Bonn-based CEE Media handled the installation of both audio and video throughout the new hotel.


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Naturidyll Hotels – Austria Doing Good

Respecting nature and working tirelessly to preserve harmony between man and its surroundings is the main aim of Naturidyll Hotels; not just aiming for, but committing to sustainable tourism development.

Naturidyll Eco Hotels Austria

The Austrian hotel network Naturidyll Hotels, a fusion of 27 independent family-run hotels, are at the forefront of ecologically-sound holidays in Austria. The name says it all, Naturidyll is devoted to sustainability. A promise of sincere care, as respect for natural resources is committed at every turn. All hotels have been awarded the Austrian Ecolabel since 2009, a guarantee for implemented environmental efforts, and are quality monitored every second year.

Since the repositioning of the brand last year, a significant increase in enquiries has been recorded. Quality characteristics such as authenticity, hospitality, comfort, beautiful landscapes and a healthy climate, play a key role. Guided nature walks or bike tours, culinary highlights of regional specialties and delicacies of their respective cultural destinations. “Practice makes perfect” is the motto, ensuring visitors have a unique experience of nature, which then lingers on in memories.

Naturidyll Eco Hotels AustriaNaturidyll Holidays – individual, authentic and pure
Whether spending a holiday quietly relaxing or busily adventuring, nature is your constant companion at the Naturidyll Hotels, and gives energy for your daily routing.

However, the hotels are also family friendly, offering spacious apartments, baby sitting with structured play for children, and specialist leisure activities parents from the hotel door.

A Naturidyll holiday is not just a place to refresh the mind, it is also a place to refresh the body. Almost all hotels boast in-house health spas, beauty treatments and massages. The culinary delicacies come from local producers and our breakfast buffets include a bunch of regional products. Have a lie-in and enjoy breakfast in bed, sample a glass of wine or dine outdoors beside a moonlit Austrian lake.

Most importantly a holiday at Naturidyll is the ultimate refuge for everyone who wants to escape the stresses and strains of daily life by getting out into fresh air. If a view alone is not enough, experience the meadows, woods and mountains first hand. All hotels provide comprehensive information and detailed maps covering walks, marked hiking routes and the best Nordic walking trails, as well as day-by-day weather reports.

This year the group announced the opening of Hotel St. Oswald in St. Oswald / Bad Kleinkirchheim in Carinthia. Nestled amidst the gentle landscapes of the Nockberge, a holiday paradise awaits. Be it spring, summer, autumn or winter, here at 1,400 metres above sea level, an oasis greets you that will far surpass every expectation. Open yourself to the enchantment of pristine countryside, healing thermal waters, the clean air and people who couldn’t be more endearing. St. Oswald is an 800-year-old village with wooden houses and traditional farmhouses featuring their own unique architecture, located above Bad Kleinkirchheim. The Nockberge, with their glorious high meadows and gardens of alpine flowers, encircle this idyllic town – one of the most beautiful areas in all of Austria. The sunny plateau provides year-round holiday paradise with virtually boundless opportunities for active holiday makers, such as mountain biking, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, golf, horseback riding, … and it’s also a great place simply to relax and unwind. The Hotel St. Oswald offers spa fans featuring a large indoor pool, sauna, steam bath, hot tub, plunge pool, tanning beds and a Kneipp spa.


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Learn to Sail in Romantic Rovinj, Croatia

Discover your sea legs and romantic Rovinj this year, with a luxurious sailing break in Western Istria, Croatia. The recently opened five-star Monte Mulini is offering couples the chance to learn a new skill, and more about each other, during a five-night stay which includes a 3-day sailing excursion along the lively coast of Rovinj.

Western Istria is a sailor’s paradise with crystal-clear waters and huge variety of flora and fauna make this coastline a natural paradise. For three days you can explore the 22 islands and islets on your own personal sailboat, complete with English-speaking skipper to coach you through the sailing basics. By the end of the trip you will know how to lift, lower and trim the sales and honed your skill at other essentials, including simple manoeuvres and weighing and slipping anchor.

At the end of a long day on the water, the Hotel Monte Mulini is a luxurious haven for couples. The true romance of its location is evident immediately on arrival, as its dramatic glass wall over three levels greets guests as they check-in with undisturbed views of the sea. The remaining public areas are similarly designed to maximise natural light and all guest rooms benefit from balconies offering fantastic views of the chic pool area and the surrounding bay and nature reserve.

For a bit of well-earned pampering, spend some time in the Hotel Monte Mulini’s spa. Set over two levels with reception and treatment rooms on the upper level, above the pool and sauna area, the Monte Mulini Wellness Centre includes a VIP Salon with zones which can be booked by individuals or couples for individually designed treatments which last for up to four hours.

Gourmet couples are well catered for at Hotel Monte Mulini. Mediterraneo is the hotel’s à la carte restaurant with 54 seats in a spacious terraced area for alfresco dining and relaxation on warmer days. While guests sample delicious Mediterranean fusion cuisine they can enjoy fine views of the pool area, the bay and romantic sunsets. On cooler evenings a further 118 covers are available inside, but guests still benefit from the views.

The traditional Croatian Wine Vault restaurant on the lowest level is a fine dining restaurant with 60 seats serving French delicacies, with an extensive wine list including the best labels from Croatian and around the world.

Rovinj itself is Croatia’s Blue Pearl of the Adriatic with its cobbled streets, Venetian architecture, natural forest parks and beautiful churches and chapels is a short stroll along the marina from the hotel and offers endless opportunities for aimless wandering. One of the most picturesque towns in the Mediterranean, the old town is perched on a narrow peninsula high up on a hill, crowded with terracotta-roofed houses and crowned by the 18th century Church of St Euphemia, the  bell tower of which dominates Rovinj’s skyline. A central square is edged with lively cafés and restaurants spreading out on to a charming harbour crammed with sailing and fishing boats – all in all perfect for watching the world go by.

The Hotel Monte Mulini’s luxury sailing break is available between 15th May and 11th June and costs €2,750.00 for two people. Included are five-nights accommodation in a deluxe room, with a full buffet breakfast, and a 3-day charter of a private yacht and skipper.


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Budapest Spring Festival Holiday Offer

Nigel Kennedy
Nigel Kennedy

Budapest’s premier cultural event, the Budapest Spring Festival, takes place this year from 19 March until 5 April, which still gives visitors chance to take advantage of the special hotel and flights deals through the Budapest Winter Invitation.

There are 50 city centre hotels that are offering free nights up until 31 March, ranging from 3* to 5*, making Budapest a great choice for an early spring break. The festival is one of the top cultural festivals in Europe with programmes ranging from exhibitions and classical concerts to opera, ballet and contemporary dance performed at amazing venues throughout the city.

Highlights this year include Nigel Kennedy and the Danubia Orchestra Obuda presenting a unique evening of Bach and Ellington on 26 March at the Palace of Arts; the magical Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía at the Thalia Theatre on various dates; Wagner’s Parsifal at the State Opera House on 2 April and the Royal Danish Ballet at the State Opera House on 19 March and Palace of Arts on 20 March.

There is also the chance to see Danish ‘nomadic theatre group’, Hotel Pro Forma on 22 March whose productions move across the genres of theatre, opera, visual arts and concert and are offer audiences a unique and exciting experience. They will be performing Operation: Ofero – a visual opera in three movements drawing upon the myths of Orpheus and Eurydice.

Read more…

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Park Inn Lipetsk set for 2010

Park Inn Lipetsk
Park Inn Lipetsk

The Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the fastest growing hotel companies worldwide, has announced the Park Inn Lipetsk in Russia is under construction.  Lipetsk is located 450 km south of Moscow and has a population of 500,000.  It is the capital of the oblast’ and the administrative, industrial and cultural centre of the area.

The Park Inn hotel will be located on a prime site south of the city centre and 300 m from the River Voronezh.  Besides 237 rooms it will feature an all-day dining restaurant, a Paulaner micro-brewery, two bars, and the city’s finest conferencing and leisure facilities.

The hotel is scheduled to open its doors in 2012.

For more information visit www.rezidor.com

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Doubletree to make Debut in Romania


It has been announced that Doubletree by Hilton is to make its debut in Romania when the upmarket brand opens in Oradea, the capital city of Romania’s Bihor Country , close to the Hungarian border,  in September next year.  It will be the home to only the third property owned under the Hilton umbrella in Romania.

Located 1km from Oradea’s city centre, it is expected that the hotel will boast 147 guestrooms plus meetings facilities for up to 350 delegates.  Other features will include a restaurant, bar, spa and swimming pool.  The hotel will join the Hilton Sibiu, opened in July this year, and the Athenee Palace Hilton, Bucharest, Hilton’s first Romanian property which launched in 1997.

Hilton have also said they are in discussion regarding further projects in Romania and throughout Eastern Europe.

For more information visit doubletree.com

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