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Kenshō Boutique Hotel & Suites wins international restaurant award

Kenshō Boutique Hotel & Suites, Mykonos’ best new design hotel, is proud to announce that it has won the title of Best Food Styling & Presentation at the 2017 World Luxury Restaurant Awards. 

The awards celebrate exceptional cuisine and culinary excellence from the world’s most luxurious eateries, in more than 80 categories.

Nadia Samara, Marketing Manager of Kenshō, said: “We are so thrilled by this award; as a hotel that focuses on design and detail, these values have flown through to the restaurant also, and it’s an amazing feeling to be gaining global recognition for this. Considering the hotel only opened in 2016, we are all so pleased and proud to have won this award.”

The restaurant’s menu – designed by celebrated Executive Chef George Stylianoudakis – includes both a 6-course and a 10-course degustation menu featuring refined Greek classics such as Octopus confit, the white grouper cooked in seaweed and the fresh lobster with king crab and saffron cream. There are also modern twists to be discovered, such as the Cretan Baklava with black pepper ice cream or the Lemongrass ice cream with mastiha essences.

Go to https://goo.gl/ToLjHF for more information.

Escape the UK Grey and Head Mexico Way

A winter sun holiday is all the more enjoyable when you escape the cold, damp grey of the UK. And if you’re lucky enough make it out of hibernation, you’ll find a real treat in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, two neighbouring destinations along Mexico’s Pacific Coast. From natural beauty and wildlife wonders to cultural treasures and moreish coastal cuisine, read on to discover why you should visit the region this season.

Natural Beauties

With over 300 sunny days a year and average annual temperatures of 28ºC, Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit are tropical havens no matter the month.

Soak up the sun along Puerto Vallarta’s 40-mile coastline. For a sure bet, you can’t go wrong with Playa Los Muertos in the Zona Romantica, the most visited beach around.

Or claim your favourite piece of paradise in Riviera Nayarit, spanning 192 miles of pristine Pacific coastline, framed by the Sierra Madre Mountains. Two of the destination’s beaches – Playa Nuevo Vallarta Norte and the Marina Riviera Nayarit La Cruz de Huanacaxtle –  have been awarded Blue Fag distinctions. For those who prefer privacy, the uninhabited Marietas Islands have the famous Hidden Beach.

Beyond the ocean, Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit present opportunities for myriad adventures thanks to their diverse topography: tropical jungles, fertile valleys, steep mountainsides and arid flatlands.

Wildlife Wonders

Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit may be most well-known for their natural beauty, but that’s just the start of their appeal.

Rife with life, Puerto Vallarta is one of the most exotic places in Latin America due to its biodiversity.  Thick jungle shelters hundreds of species of wildlife, including tropical birds, ocelots, jaguars and iguanas, while whales, dolphins and sea turtles call the warm waters of Banderas Bay their home.

Wildlife wonders are just as abundant in Riviera Nayarit. More than 500 humpback whales migrate to Banderas Bay to mate and raise their calves every year. 80% of North American migratory birds also visit the destination annually. Marietas Islands and the historic village of San Blas are especially popular for birdwatching. Here, you’ll have the chance to spot species like the Blue-footed booby, a marine bird native to subtropical and tropical regions of the Pacific Ocean.

Cultural Treasures

Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit invite culture lovers to experience the spirit of Mexico first-hand.

Splurge at the Mercado Municipal in Puerto Vallarta’s historic centre for local goods, artisan crafts and genuine souvenirs at bargain prices. Or take a walk on the Malecón for beachfront views, local restaurants and boutique shops all in one place

In Riviera Nayarit, history buffs can unearth the time-honoured secrets of Mexcaltitán, believed to be the birthplace of the Aztec civilisation, or live like a local in the ‘boho-chic’ surfing haven of Sayulita.

Coastal Cuisine 

Foodies, take notice! If there is one word to describe the coastal cuisine of Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, it’s moriesh!

Kick off the good eating in Puerto Vallarta at La Cerveceria Union, a Mexican restaurant with a wide variety of national and international beers.

Get your fill of tequila, tacos and cocktails with Vallarta Food Tours’ MEX-OLOGY, a 3-hour walking tour exploring Mexico’s native spirits and their deep-rooted cultural ties. During the tour, you’ll visit five tasting locations highlighting mezcal, tequila, raicilla and Mexico´s signature beer cocktail: the michelada.

Nearby in Riviera Nayarit, the Spice Market Restaurant at W Punta de Mita provides Southeast Asian sensuality with street food inspired by Chef Jean-Georges Vongeritchen.

Over in San Pancho, the cultural heart of Riviera Nayarit, Bistro Organico serves healthy and delicious food that pays tribute to the area’s abundance of fresh seafood and indigenous produce.

Celebrity Spotting

A playground for the rich and famous, Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit are primed for celebrity spotting. The Kardashian-Jenner family has visited the twin destinations numerous times. Hollywood’s young stars such as Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Lea Michele, Zendaya, Anna Kendrick, Demi Lovato, Jennifer Lawrence and Joe Jonas have repeatedly chosen the region for their holidays. Musicians Quincy Jones, Sheryl Crow, Lady Gaga, John Mayer and countless more have also come to enjoy this beautiful area.

Punta de Mita in Riviera Nayarit is the retreat of choice for the world’s biggest names. Hotels offering ultimate luxury include the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, St. Regis Punta Mita Resort and W de Hotel. Luxury hotels in Puerto Vallarta include Casa Velas, Garza Blanca and Mousai.

Getting There

Direct flights to Puerto Vallarta International Airport are available via Thomson Airlines from London Gatwick and Manchester or AeroMexico via Mexico City from London Heathrow. British Airways runs direct flights to Dallas/Fort Worth, offering code share on its One World partner, American Airlines.

Canaves Oia Hotel in Santorini, Greece, Crowned as the Best Luxury Boutique Spa in Europe

Canaves Massage with a view in Oia of Santorini

Canaves Oia, the five-star resort in Santorini, Greece, is delighted to announce it has won the award for the Best Luxury Boutique Spa in Europe by the World Luxury Spa Awards 2017. 

The awards recognise outstanding achievement in quality, innovation and service for spas around the world. Competing spas in 2017 included privately owned spas to globally renowned spa groups. Voting is based on spa excellence and is cast by spa guests.

Markos Chaidemenos, Managing Director of Canaves Oia, is confident that the award will boost the spa’s profile to luxury seekers across the globe.

“The World Luxury Spa Awards sets the spotlight on the world’s best spas, so we’re thrilled to be named as THE best luxury boutique spa in Europe,” he said. “At Canaves Oia, we transformed a 17th-century wine cave into a luxury spa without losing its inherent charm. It is indeed a spa with a Santorini soul and an unforgettable customer journey. This award is a great recognition of all our efforts.”

The spa’s treatment menu includes the famous Rasul, of which clients have a choice between the Terra Sigillata Therapy, offering three freshly prepared mineral muds, or the Bali Paradise Therapy, combining freshly blended fruit extracts and herbs.

Go to https://goo.gl/wJePV5 for more information.

 

La Gomera: The Canary Island Hotspot for Dolphin and Whale Watching

There are few sights in the world as impressive as a school of dolphins playing for an eager audience or a pod of whales breaching the water’s surface. And while the rest of Europe only offers such opportunities in the summer, you can go dolphin and whale watching in La Gomera throughout the year.

The second smallest Canary Island is one of the world’s hotspots for whale and dolphin watching with sightings of 30 different species. As there are only 87 species worldwide, you can see almost one-third of the existing species in one area!

Set sail on the open seas to spot dolphins jumping through the waves, whales blowing their spouts and both enjoying their freedom. Clear waters, warm temperatures and an abundance of food have made La Gomera the place these marine mammals call their regular home.

What will you see?

Six species of dolphins are residents of La Gomera, and the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin can be spotted the most frequently. These dolphins are approximately 3–4 metres long and have a deep grey or greyish blue colouring on the upper sides of their body and a lighter-toned belly. Eager to please, these intelligent mammals often swim alongside boats for hours at a time.

As well as dolphins, pilot and beaked whales can often be spotted near the coast. Even sperm, finback, minke and sei whales can be seen at times. One exceptional highlight is the large group of long-finned pilot whales living in the waters between Tenerife and La Gomera. This shy herd is estimated to consist of around 300 whales. The 6–7 metre long dwellers of the sea can be identified by their round dorsal fin, and of course, their spout, which erupts like a high-pressure fountain of water.

How can you see them?

La Gomera has several companies that provide whale and dolphin watching tours. Most of the excursions start out from the port of Vueltas (Valle Gran Rey), but there are also possibilities to depart from Playa Santiago and San Sebastián de La Gomera.

Usually, ships don’t need to travel far from the coast for a successful sighting, making this activity perfect for a family day out. To fully enjoy this unique experience, you should always wear comfortable clothing, a swimsuit, sunglasses and sunscreen. And don’t forget to bring your binoculars and camera!

But that’s not all…

Dolphin and whale watching is a “must-do” experience that will become one of your best holiday memories, but that’s just the start. Average annual temperatures range between 22 and 27 degrees in La Gomera, so you can enjoy the water all year-round. What’s more, the island provides an abundance of opportunities to enjoy its coastline and the Atlantic Ocean in all its glory:

•        Boat excursions

•        Canoeing

•        Fishing trips

•        Kayaking

•        Sailing

•        Scuba diving

•        Snorkeling

•        Spotless beaches

•        Stand-up paddle boarding

Visit La Gomera’s official website for more information.

THE TOP 8 HOTELS FOR KIDS AND FAMILIES THIS SUMMER

Feel free this summer with a sensational seasonal campaign from Ras Al Khaimah

All throughout these warmer months, leading hotels and resorts across Ras Al Khaimah will be offering kids stays, eats and play activities for free when accompanied by two paying adults. From kids clubs, water parks and adventure sports to footgolf, the packages ensure youngsters burn off energy while parents relax in beachfront infinity pools and luxury spas.

Joining the campaign are attractions and transport providers, including Bedouin Oasis Desert Camp, Al Hamra Golf Club, Sea Wings aquaplane tours, RAK Track Go-Kart Centre and Iceland Water Park.

Rixos Bab Al Bahr on Al Marjan Island

At this five-star beachfront and ultra-all-inclusive property, kids from 4–12 years can get a passport to the Rixy Club to scoop up prizes and join in on fun activities, including the Rixy disco, games, cinema, treasure hunting, beach and pool games and talent shows.

Over in the resort’s Teens Republic, those aged 10-17 years can take part in weekly tournaments around video, table and board games.

Summer room rates start from AED 1200 (around £250).  Visit http://babalbahr.rixos.com/ for more information.

DoubleTree Hilton Al Marjan Island

This beachfront resort on Marjan Island has its own 450-metre private beach, 7 outdoor temperature controlled pools and an indoor ladies-only pool. It also features a 24-hour gym, 2 spas with 9 treatment rooms, sauna, steam and whirlpool, including ladies-only spa.

13 restaurants and bars and 3 specialty restaurants offer all-day dining while the newly renovated kids club, an outdoor playground and a Pirate Boat aqua zone with water slides keep the young ones entertained.

Summer room rates start at AED 599 (around £130). Visit www.doubletree3.hilton.com for more information.

Al Wadi Desert, Ras Al Khaimah, a RitzCarlton Partner Hotel

This luxurious hotel features private villa accommodations, each with its own pool. Here, guests can interact with beautiful surroundings while enjoying creaturecomforts and fine dining.

Kids from 5–12 get to sign up as a Ritz Ranger, which lets youngsters get the most out of the resort’s 1,235-acre nature reserve. Guests can also try their hand at falconry or archery, join a fishing expedition or saddle up for a camel caravan or complimentary guided bike rides.

Meanwhile, mum and dads can luxuriate in the resort’s award-winning spa where locally sourced herbs and spices, expert therapists and restorative hydrotherapy facilities combine for an unmissable experience.

Summer room rates start at AED 2000 (around £430) for a luxury private pool villa.  Visit www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/uae/al-wadi-desert/offers for more information.

Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa

This multi-award winning resort, sprawled over 1.5 kilometres of private sandy beach, offers the perfect destination for a family getaway.

The property has recently opened The Hide, a centre dedicated to the needs of teenagers staying at the hotel. For the younger kids, The Tree House will be openingthis month, creating a safe and engaging environment for those under 12 years.

Summer room rates start from AED 599 (around £130). Visit www.hilton.com for more information.

Hilton Al Hamra Beach & Golf Resort or Al Hamra Residence and Village

This beachfront resort in the heart of Al Hamra has access to an 18-hole championship golf course and 6 restaurants and bars, including the original Trader Vic’s MaiTai®.

Hilton is offering kids staying at either the Hilton Al Hamra Beach & Golf Resort or Al Hamra Residence and Village a range of monthly actives at each of the resorts.Families can also take advantage of multiple swimming pools and private beaches. An on-site watersports facility offers plenty of activities to stay cool this summer,such as kayaking and boat rides.

Summer room rates start from AED 489 (around £105). Visit www.hilton.com for more information.

Cove Rotana

At this spectacular resort, traditional charm embraces Arabian culture. Cove Rotana is located on an idyllic water inlet on the Ras Al Khaimah beachfront overlooking the Arabian Gulf with 600m of pristine beach.

Spread through the idyllic resort are 204 rooms and 78 one, two and three bedroom villas that are ideally designed to accommodate families. The hotel offers Flipper’s Kids Club as well as a babysitting service and kids menu, two outdoor infinity pools, a kids pool and water sports activities.

Summer room rates start from AED 600 (around £130). Visit www.rotana.com/ for more information.

Waldorf Astoria

A hidden haven in Ras Al Khaimah, the beach front Waldorf Astoria resort offers signature attentive service, nine stylish restaurants and lounges, and palatial roomsand suites with sea or golf views.

Families are sure to enjoy the temperature-controlled pools, indoor and outdoor Pearls Kid’s Club with babysitting services and the luxurious Waldorf Astoria Spa withfloatation bed, VIP couple’s treatment room and signature herbal sauna.

Summer room rates start from  AED 825 (around £105). Visit http://waldorfastoria3.hilton.com for more information.

Marjan Island Resort & Spa

The five-star resort has a packed kids programme at its Pirates Club. Kids can join in cookery classes, get their faces painted, compete in boat races and water football or splash out in the outdoor pool before relaxing each evening at the kids cinema.

Summer room rates start from AED 395 (around £85). Visit www.marjanislandresort.com  for more information.

From 1st June until the end of September, for every two paying adults, one child will be allowed for free entry into the following attractions:

1Iceland Water Park: Adult admission is AED 175 (around £40). First child goes free with two paying adults. Second child admission is AED 115 (around £25).

2. Fly Fish Water Sports: Offers jet pack, aqua trike, jet ski, fly board, wakeboarding, kayaking, hiver board, banana ride, parasailing, paddle boat and stand up paddle.

3. Adventure Sports Water Sports RAK: Available at the Doubletree Hilton Al Marjan Island, Hilton RAK Resort and Spa, and Hilton Al Hamra Hotel.

4. Bedouin Oasis Desert Camp: Desert dinner with entertainment from AED 120 (around £25). Dune bashing safari from AED 300 (around £65).

5. Al Hamra Golf Club: Open at night under the floodlights (ideal for summer).

6. RAK Track  Go Karting: From AED 115 (around £25).

7. Sea Wings: Seaplane ride from Ras al Khaimah to Dubai from AED 1295 (around £280) for adults.

See all thats on offer across Ras Al Khaimah at www.goo.gl/YJb3L2.

Celebrity Spotting Along Mexico’s Pacific Coast: Who’s Been Snapped in Paradise?

Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, two neighbouring regions along Mexico’s Pacific Coast, are proving to be the Latin American hotspots of choice for international A-listers.

When the twin destinations offer year-round sun, fine white-sand beaches, cool Pacific surf, dolphins, tacos, tequila and sombreros, it’s easy to see why the rich and famous flock here year after year.

Mexico’s Pacific Coast has attracted Hollywood stars since the early 60s when Ava Gardner and Richard Burton filmed the iconic film “Night of the Iguana” in Puerto Vallarta. Burton’s love affair with Elizabeth Taylor emerged shortly thereafter.  The couple both fell head over heels for the destination and considered it their second home, often revisiting the region during their later years.

Since then, many other multi-talented artists have been struck with the love bug for Banderas Bay:

  • Rihanna
  • Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Ashton Kutcher
  • Orlando Bloom
  • Lady Gaga

Even the Kardashian clan has fallen in love with the coast as they repeatedly stay in Punta Mita, the favourite celebrity enclave with a beachfront village situated near Riviera Nayarit’s Banderas Bay.

Punta Mita is home to the Four Seasons Punta Mita, St. Regis Punta Mita and the adolescent W hotel Punta de Mita resort. Anti-gravity yoga, tequila tours, private butler services and a Huichol art-inspired WET Deck are just a small sample of their luxurious offerings. Fans of these hotels include Kate Hudson, Matt Bellamy, James Marsden and Kirsten Dunst.

Grease star John Travolta chose to stay at Olas Atlas Suites in Puerto Vallarta (his favourite place for coffee), yet returned to Punta Mita in Riviera Nayarit to avoid the chasing paps. Meanwhile,  talented beauty Eva Longoria stayed at Garza Blanca resort when she was last in the Puerto Vallarta neighbourhood for some holistic rejuvenation.

But Mexico’s Pacific Coast isn’t all about the glitz and glam. Its tiny fishing villages, sleepy surf towns, tropical jungles, native wildlife and “finger-lickin’ good” local cuisine make it a must-visit destination for more than the well-to-do.

RAS AL KHAIMAH TOURISM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY REPORTS DOUBLE-DIGIT YEAR-ON-YEAR VISITOR GROWTH IN H1

  • Robust January-June growth in domestic and international visitors, hotel guest nights and length of stay keeps Emirate on track to welcome 900,000 visitors in 2017.
  • ‘Best-ever’ summer predicted as hotels report 27 per cent year-on-year increase in June guest arrivals.

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which develops the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and initiates its domestic and overseas promotions, has revealed Ras Al Khaimah is on track to surpass its annual visitor target after the emirate’s hotels reported a 10 per cent year-on-year increase in international guest arrivals during the first six months of the year.

In addition to double-digit year-on-year growth in guest arrivals during H1, average hotel occupancy jumped to 72.7 per cent – an increase of 4.7 per cent on the corresponding six-month period in 2016.

Robust H1 growth was posted across all key performance indicators with total Guest Nights up 17.7 per cent, Average Length of Stay increasing by 10.5 per cent to 3.9 days from 3.5 days last year, and Room Revenue increasing by 13.3 per cent.

The H1 results also include a significant year-on-year boost in monthly figures for June as hotels reported a mammoth 27 per cent year-on-year increase in guest arrivals. The Holy Month of Ramadan also saw a significant surge in visitor arrivals, with the emirate’s hotels reporting a 37.6 per cent year-on-year increase compared with the corresponding period last year.

With Ras Al Khaimah targeting 900,000 visitor arrivals during 2017, the emirate has already recorded half-year guest arrivals of 390,499 between January and June – up 6.5 per cent on H1 arrivals last year.

Haitham Mattar, CEO of RAKTDA, believes the ‘best-ever’ H1, Ramadan and June figures put the emirate in a solid position to optimise the traditional peak season of late summer and Q4.

“While our excellent H1 results highlight continued year-on-year growth in Ras Al Khaimah’s visitor numbers, it is the Ramadan and June results that are particularly promising,” said Mattar. “Our best-ever figures during these typically lower periods of occupancy are a direct result of strategic initiatives and promotional activities undertaken in domestic and international source markets – we are thrilled to see those efforts to boost summer numbers bearing immediate fruit.”

The successful Ramadan and June figures follow RAKTDA launching a dedicated summer campaign called ‘Feel Free this Summer’ in April. Aimed at the UAE market and key international source markets, the campaign runs until the end of September and leverages the emirate as an ideal summer holiday destination.

“Our ‘Feel Free’ push plugs into everything that is great about Ras Al Khaimah as a multi-faceted tourism destination,” added Mattar. “In addition to offering fantastic value for money, we have focused on promoting our amazing landscapes, including 64 kilometres of pristine beaches; terracotta desert; abundant wildlife, nature, mountains that are 10 degrees cooler and uninterrupted sunsets; as well as the amazing hotel facilities, spas, kids’ clubs, chilled pools and diverse culinary options.”

“It is very satisfying to see such robust growth from both our established and emerging markets during H1,” added Mattar. “Ras Al Khaimah boasts a diverse array of natural landscapes that appeal to all walks of visitor, whether its beach-seekers, active adventurers or wellness seekers, and with a diverse array of exciting new products coming online later this year – specifically in our adventure tourism playground that is Jebel Jais – we are optimistic of registering continued growth from all key markets for the remainder of the year and beyond.”

Product openings announced for Jebel Jais in 2017 include a multi-purpose Observation Deck and event area near the mountain’s summit that is due to launch in Q4. The launch of official cycling and hiking routes across the emirate – with a focus on Jebel Jais, the UAE’s highest mountain peak – are also in development.

How to do Mexico’s Pacific Coast in 7 Days

Mexico is known the world over for being one of the most vibrant, exciting and colourful holiday destinations. In combining cultural traditions, stunning landscapes and high temperatures, it has become a must-visit for all keen travellers.

Mexico’s Pacific Coast remains a largely undiscovered gem, but the twin destinations of Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit are cultivating quite the name for themselves as the new Latin American hotspots.

With so much to do in the area, we have compiled the best way to spend 7 days in one of the world’s most beautiful destinations. Stick to it completely; use it as inspiration, or just use it to help decide where you want to head to next. Just make sure you don’t miss out on these Mexican jewels.

Day 1: Art and Culture

The Pacific Coast of Mexico is a cultural hotspot that provides the perfect start to your week in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit. Discover artistic activities and workshops on River Cuale Island, or head to artistic spots like galleries, theatres, museums and concert halls. One particular highlight is San Pancho, the cultural capital of Riviera Nayarit with the Entre Amigos community centre, where you can buy art made from recycled materials or partake in activities learning the culture of helping the community.

Day 2: Street Food Tour

Bucerias is a perfect area to get an authentic taste of Mexican life; its many beachside places like El Brujo, where you can enjoy a cold Pacifico and cheese-crusted Shrimp tacos. If you want to get really hands on, book a tour with Vallarta Food Tours, offering a catalogue of different excursions, from the Original Downtown Tour – a daytime walking tour exploring the best of the Centro and Old Town neighbourhoods – to the Bikes & Bites Tour – a 3-and-a-half hour cycling tour of the eight best food tasting locations. For more information, visit http://vallartafoodtours.com.

Day 3: A Night as an A-Lister

Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit are full of amazing hotels and spell-binding restaurants. Casa Velas provides Luxury All-Inclusive stays for adults only in lush gardens on the edge of the beach, and the W Punta de Mita guarantees opulent luxury with infinity pools and stunning cuisine. Round out the night with a stroll along the port side to see the super yachts that dock regularly in Puerto Vallarta or with a spot of bar hopping in Sayulita.

Day 4: Snorkelling / Dolphins

On the coast, you will have plenty of opportunities to take to the water – from scuba diving and snorkelling to explore the magnificent marine life to swimming with dolphins and whale watching tours to create magical memories.

Day 5: Beach / Surf / Paddle Board

After all that time in the water, why not try your hand ON the water with a spot of surfing or paddle boarding? Water sports are plentiful throughout Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit’s 70km golden coastline. Alternatively, relax on the soft sand and soak up the sun on their picture-perfect beaches. Head up to Punta de Mita for surfing classes with Wildmex.

Day 6: Eco-tourism

The Botanical Gardens of Puerto Vallarta features a wide collection of rare and local plants and vegetation, and the El Salado Estuary Tour is the perfect opportunity to spot wildlife, including crocodiles. Meanwhile, Riviera Nayarit is home to 400 species of indigenous and migratory birds – La Tovata National Park in San Blas is an absolute must for nature lovers!

Day 7: Something a bit different

Finish off your week in Mexico with a unique twist. If Day 6 tickled your fancy with wildlife, then Riviera Nayarit offers an even more rewarding experience: the Baby Sea Turtle Release Mission, where thousands of sea turtles hatch along the coastline and head out to the Pacific Ocean. For something more hair-raising, experience canopy zip lining adventures, ATV Adventure tours and rappelling down a rainforest waterfall!

For more ideas on how to spend a perfect week on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, go to http://visitpuertovallarta.com/ and http://www.rivieranayarit.com/.

Thomas Cook announces new own-brand hotel in Ras Al Khaimah alongside extension of international marketing partnership

Thomas Cook, one of the world’s leading leisure travel companies, and Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority have extended their major co-operative marketing agreement, which aims to raise the profile of the UAE emirate as a premier leisure destination for European tourists. The partnership, which started in 2016, enters its second phase in August 2017 and seeks to further develop Ras Al Khaimah as a year-round destination for holidaymakers through inspiring marketing content delivered via Thomas Cook’s multi-channel media offering.

Thomas Cook’s award-winning creative agency, 1841, will lead the development of the campaign’s brand and content strategy. The campaign will focus on key growth markets including UK, Germany, Nordics, Russia and Netherlands.

Further to this, Thomas Cook is opening its newest own-brand hotel, the smartline Ras Al Khaimah Beach Resort, on November 1 2017. The hotel will be Thomas Cook’s first own-brand hotel in the growing tourist destination of the United Arab Emirates.

The opening of smartline Ras Al Khaimah Beach Resort marks further progress in Thomas Cook’s strategy to grow its portfolio of own-brand hotels, as part of an increased focus on higher quality holidays. This hotel is in addition to the 22 new own-brand hotels Thomas Cook is opening across the summer ‘17 and ‘18 seasons.

The Emirate in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula is becoming increasingly popular for those looking to combine a visit to the booming metropolis of Dubai with a relaxed beach holiday. Those seeking local culture can visit historic forts and villages, experience traditional Bedouin desert life, or stroll through the alleyways of the old centre of Ras Al Khaimah city. While adventure and adrenaline seekers can zipline, hike or cycle on top of Jebel Jais, the UAE’s highest peak in the Hajar Mountain range.

Haitham Mattar, Chief Executive Officer, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said: “We are extremely pleased to continue to partner with Thomas Cook to promote Ras Al Khaimah. The news that they are opening their first own brand hotel here demonstrates their commitment to our destination and delivering choice to their customers. International visitors represent almost two thirds of the overall tourism to Ras Al Khaimah, with the UK and Germany being among the top 3 source markets. This partnership will continue to attract holidaymakers from Europe who seek great value beach holidays and authentic adventure and culture based experiences.”

Stuart Adamson, Director of Thomas Cook Media & Partnerships Group said: “We are very excited to continue our successful partnership with Ras Al Khaimah. Through a fully integrated, multi-channel campaign across 8 of our markets, Ras Al Khaimah will reach and inspire the millions of holidaymakers that engage with us driving both awareness and visitation.“

The contemporary designed smartline Ras Al Khaimah Beach Resort will feature 253 chalets, a 700-metre private beach, three pools, four bars, a coffee shop, a buffet restaurant, a spa with sauna and Jacuzzi and inclusive WiFi.

-ENDS-

Summer ’17: Look Ahead to the Biggest Music Festivals Across the Region of Valencia

In towns and cities across the Region of Valencia, countless festivals are taking place. From the Low Festival in Benidorm to the Rototom Sunsplash in Benicàssim, we round up the main events you won’t want to miss this summer.

Low Festival, Benidorm, 27–30 July

For both rock and indie music fans, the Low Festival is said to be one of the best festivals Spain has to offer. Expect an atmosphere of “lower” & “lovver” sustainability, as well as three days of beach, sun and live music in a space of more than 30,000 sq. m.

This year, the event will be held in Benidorm with bands like Pixies, Franz Ferdinand, The Hives, Mando Diao, Lori Meyers, Fangoria, Nada Surf and La Casa Azul. The venue features four main stages, two VIP zones, green areas and a swimming pool for relaxation. Additionally, there will be international cooking with vegetarian options, gluten-free beer and access bracelets with a chip that allows you to interact with your Facebook friends and win thousands of prizes.

Leyendas Del Rock, Villena, 9–12 August

Rock ’til you drop at the Leyendes Del Rock Festival in Villena, Alicante, between 9 and 12 August. The twelfth edition of Spain’s biggest head-banging event promises a powerful line-up for metal lovers. Prominent names include Megadeth, Blind Guardian, Sabaton, Amon Amarth and Arch Enemy, among many others.

Medusa Sunbeach, Cullera, 9–15 August

One of Europe’s fastest growing festivals, Medusa Sunbeach returns to Spain this August with some of the biggest names from the worlds of house, techno, EDM, trance and hard style. An all-star line-up, five stages and the world’s best DJs make for the most amazing weekend of your life surrounded by the incredible beaches of Valencia!

Rototom Sunsplash, Benicàssim, 12–19 August

From 12-19 August, the 24th Rototom Sunsplash European Reggae Festival returns to Benicàssim. Enjoy eight days of music, peace, union, sun, sea and alternative lifestyle. With 11 stages, 7 cultural areas and no shortage of international musicians, it’s surely one of the world’s premier reggae events.

But Rototom Sunsplash is more than just a music festival. Respect, solidarity, pacifism, tolerance and environmentalism are but a few of the values it stands for. Come for the good rhythms; stay for the positive vibes.

Visit http://en.comunitatvalenciana.com for more information.

PR MEDIACO

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