January 2, 2009

Amsterdam being the capital of Netherlands has been the stuff of fairytales and stories. Besides its contribution to the world of children’s stories, this inimitable destination is a well loved place when it comes to the numerous tourist visits per year. What is even more enticing is that fact that this locale offers so much more than the average holiday when it comes to the many attractions and venues that have historical and cultural significance. Venture in and experience a holiday that could be described as being mesmerizing and pleasurable. In a place like this there is much to do and experience especially if one does plan to visit with family and friends.

Whilst Amsterdam may be according to many an oasis of sorts, it should be stated that one of the best areas to stay is the Dam Square Amsterdam. The latter is essentially an area that is both cosmopolitan and international sin terms of quality standards. There are as expected in a place such as this a wide and enticing array of shops, cafes and boutiques that sell a plethora of goodies and trinkets, some of which are of local manufacture. Besides this obvious expectation, there are also many other historical and cultural venues that would call for a mandatory visit by any tourist.

The unique and cosy Dam Square Amsterdam is also known for the many accommodation spots that dot the entire area. There are many hotels and accommodation spots that offer an adequate and decent stay with typical Dutch hospitality. Of course, there are also many other hotels which are of a high standard and do offer many superlative and enviable facilities and amenities which has the comfort and pleasure of guests in mind. While there are many accommodation spots that could be regarded as being “adequate” to being “posh”, there are also many hotels that would comfortably sit in between these two extremes.

For example,the NH Krasnapolsky Amsterdam is a much loved accommodation unit which does offer its guests a fabulous and entertaining stay. Located in the heart of the Dam Square Amsterdam, it is one of the most ideal spots to stay in. Once settled in, tourists would be well advised to visit the many charming places that this area offers. A notable event that takes place is the Queens Day or on Christmas there is a huge funfair in this town square. With lots of merry making, food and drink adding to the mix of things, there is much jollity and entertainment during this festive period.

Home to the NH Krasnapolsky Amsterdam, the Dam Square Amsterdam is also part of much history and culture. Throughout the many years, the Dam Square Amsterdam has made its claim economically and socially. Besides being an economic hub of sorts, this area could be even seen in many famous and old paintings. A stock exchange, namely the Beurs van Zocher was built in 1837. While the Zocher building in the area was done away with, in its place since 1914 the De Bijenkorf department store has made its steadfast claim.

As explained earlier, there are many things to see and do in this particular area in Amsterdam. Home to the fascinating NH Krasnapolsky Amsterdam, there is no shortage of accommodation options. There are also many shops, boutiques and restaurants appealing in turn to those who are materialistic to those who are connoisseurs of food. Indubitably this would be one of the most exciting places to stay especially is one is visiting Amsterdam for an entertaining vacation filled with fun, frolic and loads of memories.


Tips on Alicante Airport

January 2, 2009

If you are heading to Alicante or even to the lively resorts of Benidorm or Torrevieja, then sooner or later you are going to find yourself at Alicante Airport.

Here are just a few tips which could make your journey all the more enjoyable.

After having collected your luggage you will have to choose your mode of transport. The cheapest (around 0.90 Euro) way to get to downtown Alicante is by way of the C-6 Alicante Airport Bus (Bus Stop 30) which stops across the road from the arrivals terminal. The bus normally arrives every 45 minutes and journey time is around 40 minutes. While there is also a direct bus service to Benidorm (Bus Stop 29 – 30), other transport options include hiring a car at one of Alicante Airport’s car rental desks (Avis, Europa, Hertz, etc.) or taking an airport taxi.

In the event of your baggage getting lost when you arrive at the Airport, head to the lost luggage counter and fill out a standard form (available in English) and remember to tell the staff where you are staying so that your luggage can be delivered to you. Also ask for a “survival package” which should see you through till your luggage arrives.

There can also be the rare occasion when your luggage could have got damaged (wheels, handles, etc.), in which case remember to take it to the luggage claim desk (near the luggage claim belt), where you will get a form which you need to send to your airline.

One final note for those checking-in at Alicante Airport; since the airport is small, things can get a bit hectic and it is better to check-in at least 90 minutes before departure time (during summer). Happy travels for 2009.


Universal Studios Hollywood

January 1, 2009

If you love the movies and the thrills and spills of an amusement park, then Universal Studios Hollywood is a must visit when you come to California. The park is 10 minutes from Downtown Los Angeles and you will need to spend the whole day if you want to enjoy the many rides and shows on offer.

Some of the more interesting and exciting rides are “The Mummy” which is a roller coaster type ride coupled with some cool special effects, “Back to the Future” which takes you on a dizzying trip back and forth through time (a must for fans of the movie!), “Terminator 2: 3D” minus Arnold though with some great effects and “Jurassic Park” the ride where you will come face to face with a menacing T-Rex along with a heart stopping surprise which will get you wet..you’ll see! Smaller children will enjoy the new “Shrek 4-D” cinematic show.

Also not to be missed is the live action “Waterworld” show which is truly amazing (get there about 15 minutes before the scheduled time). The sets are huge, the stunts are awesome and the thrills guaranteed..especially when “something big” (it’s a surprise) comes hurtling towards you!

If you want to learn more about the movies then definitely take a Studio Tour. New attractions on the tour include sets of CSI, War of the Worlds and parts of Skull Island (from King Kong). If you are pressed for time then it is probably a good idea to buy a “Front of Line Pass” (online or at the gate) which gives you quick access to the rides and the shows.

Universal Studios Hollywood is a not to be missed experience which will keep the kids enthralled and give grown ups a chance to be kids all over again.


Free things to do in New York City

December 30, 2008

Who ever said, that nothing in this world is free got it wrong! New York City offers lots of fun family attractions and activities which are absolutely free of charge and gives one a true feel of the ‘Big Apple’.

Here is a list of things I picked up from around, that you can do for free in New York City:

Big Apple Greeter Tour
Especially tailored to help “out of towners” who are unfamiliar with New York, these free guided tours are led by friendly local volunteers who know their way around the city. Each tour covers one of the city’s five boroughs and is a great way of discovering some hidden treasures of New York which lie off the beaten path. A tour usually lasts between 2 to 4 hours and group sizes are small (2 to 6 people). If you wish to organise a Big Apple Greeter tour or get more information, the local number to call is (212) 669-8159.

Staten Island Ferry
I am told that a ride on the Staten Island Ferry which travels between Staten Island (St. George Ferry Terminal) and lower Manhattan (Whitehall Terminal) is something definitely not to be missed. This free 25 minute (approximately) ferry ride gives you a chance to just relax and take in some breathtaking views of New York City, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Do remember to take your camera for some photographs to show off to your neighbours!

Alliance for Downtown New York
Alliance for Downtown New York is another free tour service where visitors are taken on a 90 minute walking tour of the lively Downtown area. Stops along the way include Custom House, the Trinity Church, Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange. The Downtown New York tour takes place every Thursday and Saturday and departs from the front steps of the US Custom House (One Bowling Green) at 12:00 PM (noon). Those travelling in groups will have to reserve ahead (contact (212) 606-4064 for details).

Sony Wonder Technology Lab
The hi-tech world of the Sony Wonder Technology Lab (56th Street and Madison Avenue) showcases the latest trends in cutting edge technology and communication and is another ‘must visit’ free attraction. This 4 floor ‘lab’ is a great interactive learning experience for the whole family and features hands-on exhibits which give you a chance to get involved in digital sound processing, operate robots, edit a music video and even create your own racing game!

More Freebies!
What else is there for free in New York? Well, there is the Downtown Boathouse (Pier 26 in TriBeCa between Canal and Chambers streets and Pier 64 in Chelsea at West 24th street) where one can go kayaking, Grand Central Terminal which offers free tours every Wednesday at 12:30 PM, the Socrates Sculpture Park (32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City), Queens Botanical Garden (43-50 Main Street, Flushing) and the National Museum of the American Indian.

So although New York can be pretty expensive, these free offerings can go a long way in making your visit to the Big Apple quite an economical experience.


Park Inn Russell Square Hotel in London- My Last Stay

December 22, 2008

One would hardly come across places Bloomsbury where visitors and tourists alike would feel its home away from home. As any traveller would know Bloomsbury is surely a traveller’s delight. It is filled with a plethora of historical attractions, culture, clubs, pubs and restaurants serving the best of British cuisine. It would come as no surprise that this is a destination that is well loved and well respected the world over. Tourists and visitors alike would gleefully celebrate this charming locale since it does on a grand and social level epitomizes everything that is quintessentially British.

It would be noteworthy to mention the numerous things that tourists could do in this enticing locale. Besides endeavouring to visit the numerous historical attractions, some of which include churches which are archaic and which do possess intrinsic historical value, tourists could also visit places such as the British Museum. Though the latter may only hold a mere modicum of British heritage, it surely offers a deep insight into the vast culture and the numerous tributes to such a grand heritage. It is a must visit and tourists and visitors alike who decide to overlook this particular attraction is truly missing something vastly impressive and important.

Most of the visitors to this destination do arrive for either business or pleasure. Whilst the latter would certainly have oodles of time on their hands to enjoy the vast contribution Bloomsbury has made to the rest of the British culture, it should be categorically said that modish Bloomsbury offers those travellers who are on business a technologically infused region sans the hassle and inconvenience. The art of being modern more or less could be seen through the numerous hotels that dot the entire region. What is appealing to most travellers is the simple fact that there is some accommodation property available that will suit the budget constraints of any traveller.

The Park Inn Russell Square Hotel in London is a unique and inimitable abode that truly does define what “accommodation” means. There is much to enjoy here besides the traditional hospitality of its staff. Famed for its many facilities and amenities, this is one property that seeks to deliver on its promise of super service. Although there are many facilities and amenities on offer it should be noted that many of these would have an additional surcharge. Amenities also depend and vary according to the type of room being booked.

It is no surprise that visitors do come time and time again to the Park Inn Russell Square Hotel in London, since it is after all avant-garde and a pleasant place to enjoy a decent holiday. It is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a holiday whilst experiencing the sights and sounds of the nearby vicinity. Think about it. Wouldn’t it be simply sublime to venture into this charming location a


A day in Gatorland

December 22, 2008

Gatorland in Orlando (around 20 minutes from Walt Disney World) is a one of a kind attraction which kids will love and is a great place to visit if you are looking for a break from Walt Disney World. As you may have guessed by the name, the star attractions of this 110 acre park are alligators which is a point emphasized by the huge alligator head entrance.

Divided into different sections, Gatorland is a great way to learn about these misunderstood creatures, though their toothy grin is still likely to send shivers down your spine! A good place to start is at Alligator Island and Gator Lake which is home to numerous alligators and crocodiles. If you are lucky you may even catch a glimpse of the park’s largest inhabitant, Alf, who measures over 15 feet.

Gatorland also has shows well worth seeing including the thrilling Gator Jumparoo Show where huge alligators literally jump out of the water to catch food from their trainers. If your nerves can stand more, then you should also take in the alligator wrestling show which features fearless wranglers tussling with live gators and showing you some of their specific features.

Time permitting you can also visit Gatorland’s Snakes of Florida exhibit and Flamingo Lagoon as well as take a ride on a mini train and meet friendly barnyard animals at Allie’s Barnyard including adorable Dolly Llama and Gracie the goat!

A day in Gatorland is a horrifyingly fascinating experience and is well worth a visit.


Benidorm Au Naturale

December 19, 2008

Benidorm’s wildlife encompasses a wide facet of attractions, which make for interesting, educating, amusing and exciting outings. There are a few parks which travellers to Benidorm can visit, and they will find that the town is a haven for a large variety of species of fauna and flora. Benidorm has developed a reputation and is sometimes called the “Manhattan of Spain” or “Beniyork” because of the many Benidorm apartments, hotels and high rise buildings which form its skyline. However, that being said, travellers will find that there is more to the town than that which meets the eye.

The Terra Natura Park of Benidorm is widely acclaimed and a major hit with tourists who travel to this locality. The concept behind this popular wildlife park in Benidorm divides the park into four distinct areas. These areas include America, Asia, Europe and ‘Pangea’. The ‘Pangea’ area is close to the entrance and here visitors can gaze at an impressive display of deadly and venomous creatures! Each ‘continent’ is home to animals and vegetation which is native to it. Visitors will also find typical dishes of the region in the sector restaurants!

There are a wide variety of Benidorm apartments within easy reach of the site, making it an ideal place for travellers to spend the day. While this is a perfect place to view the wildlife of Benidorm, guests can also cool of and relax at the water park. The best bit about the park is how tourists can get up close to view the animals without their safety being compromised. Some of the animals to be found here include Bengali tigers, Peruvian llamas, donkeys and a fabulous Mediterranean aquarium (which can be visit at an extra charge). Some months guests will also find that the park hosts special night safari tours and theme nights.

The Mundomar Marine Exotic Animal Park is another fabulous attraction for those of all ages! There is a dolhinarium, flamingos, turtles, sea lions and penguins- to name a few of the main attractions. A range of exotic bird fauna can also be viewed here such as wild swans, ducks and pelicans.

The Aitana Safari Park, which is near the village of Sella and around 33km from Benidorm is also a brilliant place to view the wildlife of Benidorm. The wildlife here consists of animals like elephants, lions and tigers, which can be viewed as guests follow the safari trail which runs through the park. The children’s zoo with its nursery is another highlight of this sight, as guests can visit new born animals.

There are many apartments in Benidorm where travellers can opt to stay at. Guests don’t have to compromise when it comes to accommodation as the apartments of Benidorm cater to varying traveller needs, ensuring that they have a comfortable stay. Guests looking to explore the wildlife of Benidorm will find that there are Benidorm hotels and apartments which allow for ease of access to such attractions.

Less than an hour’s drive from the hotels of Benidorm, lies the Vergel Safari Park. Travellers will have an adrenaline pumped experience as the tigers, leopards and wolves roam free while they drive through it in their car. Domestic animals such as pig and ponies, offer an alternative for those who don’t fancy too much adventure! Children are guaranteed a fun time as go carts, mini trains and a play area is also on site.

For those who are interested in the aquatic wildlife of Benidorm, a catamaran cruise where they can snorkel and scuba dive is a pleasant alternative to snorkelling on Benidorm’s beaches. Whereas if you prefer to view aquatic wildlife from a dry distance, take a trip on a submarine to Benidorm Island which is 2km out to sea. At the island is a conservation refuge for a variety of flora and fauna.

These are but a few of the wildlife attractions of Benidorm. Rest assured that your trip will be a pleasant one, especially with the wide variety of apartments and hotels in Benidorm, which offer different types of accommodation to suit your holiday budget!