Friday, March 30, 2012

Halloween style show at the ILS March 2012

Although they are advertised in the trades individually, several years ago the International Lingerie Show (ILS) and the Las Vegas Halloween dress trade show effectively merged, doing their shows at the same time and venue.  The Rio Hotel and Casino can handle crowds of that size, and there is a good pact of overlap between the buyers for the two shows, so it just made sense.

Formally there are two fashion shows for each of the trade shows, but they are put on in series on the Monday night of the trade show.  The Halloween part - which is all sexy “adult party” attire, not the kinds of ghosts, witches and monsters costumes you can get at Wal-Mart - is put on first, and this year included 58 different clothes in a show lasting nearly 45 minutes.  The viewers of buyers and exhibitors stays, obviously, for the lingerie show which follows, which means the audience is there for nearly two hours after the shows start.

It would never do to have tired, hungry buyers get grouchy in the middle of the show from low blood sugar, so the producers have a lavish “heavy hors dousers” and an open bar to keep the multitudes pacify.  And to keep enthusiasm high, at everyday intervals throughout the shows models come down the runway with a range of swag to throw to the crowd.  It’s a joyful crowd.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Take a cruise holiday around the globe

Imagine experiencing the wonders of the world without ever setting foot on a plane. When it comes to a complete travel experience, little compares to a circumnavigation of the globe. And sailing the seven seas on an elegant ship brings back all the romance and excitement of the explorers of yesteryear. P&O Cruises makes it possible to do this in supreme style, on board sophisticated Aurora. It’s an incredible journey, beginning in January 2013, which takes in a kaleidoscope of famous cities, beautiful landscapes and man-made wonders.

This 105-night world cruise passes through two of the greatest feats of maritime engineering – the Suez and Panama canals — and calls at 40 ports, including leisurely overnight stops at Hong Kong, Dubai and San Francisco.

After Aurora sails from Southampton, its first stop is Ponta Delgada in the volcanic Azores. The adventure continues with a transatlantic crossing to the sun-soaked Caribbean islands of Barbados, St Lucia and Curaçao and a gentle introduction to the joys of life at sea.

Aurora is a sophisticated ship with three pools, a gorgeous spa, a bistro created by Marco Pierre White and plenty of lounges in which to while away the evening. You can also make the most of the balmy Caribbean nights by eating at the al fresco grill.

While your days at sea pass in a relaxed haze, the excursions offered at each destination are an exciting cocktail of colourful cultures, iconic architecture, unforgettable scenery and rewarding activities.

Aurora sails through the world-famous Panama Canal to Mexico’s eco-tourism hub Huatulco, before calling at the party town of Acapulco. Then, clam chowder replaces beach cocktails as the ship reaches the west coast of the USA for an overnight stay at San Francisco. After sailing beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, you’ll be ready to visit Alcatraz and ride the photogenic cable cars.

You only have to unpack once, so it’s easy enough to pull out your beachwear again for Honolulu and Hilo, the two exciting stops in verdant Hawaii.

South Pacific idylls
At the picture-perfect French Polynesian islands of Bora Bora and Tahiti, you could choose to float in a blue lagoon, explore the volcanic atolls or learn more about the fascinating culture of these South Pacific islands.

Just over a month into your adventure, you’ll reach New Zealand in time for its summer. There’s the “City of Sails”, Auckland, the art deco delight of Napier and the cultural hotspot of Wellington to explore — along with some great wine and truly unforgettable scenery.

Next on this epic cruise is Australia. Aurora spends a full day and evening in Sydney, where the marvellous Harbour Bridge and Opera House are must-sees. Vibrant Brisbane and Cairns — a gateway to the stunning Great Barrier Reef — complete the antipodean sector of the cruise before it’s time to head towards Asia, via the exotic nation of Papua New Guinea.

The itinerary takes in some of the most glorious sights across the great continent. Japan is a special place, from the neon streets of Osaka to the serene temples of Kyoto and poignant city of Nagasaki. Then Aurora sails to China, with excursions to the Great Wall, Beijing’s elegant Summer Palace and the immense Tiananmen Square.

A full day and evening in the “Pearl of the Orient” Shanghai follows, checking out the tea gardens and ornate temples, before an overnight stay in the buzzing metropolis of Hong Kong.

There’s plenty of fun in the Far East at the Vietnamese beach destination of Nha Trang. Also on the list are a visit to Thailand’s popular island, Ko Samui; the chance to explore Ho Chi Minh City; the vivid delights of Bangkok and the soaring towers of Singapore – an unmissable glimpse of the Asia of the future.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Budget 2012: Families to pay more for holidays as Air Passenger Duty rises

Holidaymakers face a sharp increase in the cost of flying following a 10 per cent increase in Air Passenger Duty.The tax on holidays, to be imposed next month, will add £250 to the cost of a family of four flying to Florida and about £360 to the cost of a four-strong group traveling to Australia.

Visitors to Britain must also pay the duty on their return journey, meaning the tax could harm the important tourism sector in the Jubilee and Olympics year.Owners of private aircraft are to be made liable to pay the duty for the first time, but not until April 2013.

Airlines said the tax would price ordinary families out of flying abroad and could be the ruin of smaller tour operators already struggling to survive the recession.

The Government was accused of “burying bad news” after the Chancellor made no reference to the tax during his Budget speech and instead outlined the increases in papers released by the Treasury. In the past the Air Passenger Duty (APD) has been described as a green tax to put people off flying but the Government was recently forced to admit it is primarily a revenue raiser.

The Treasury hopes to recoup about £2.6 billion from the tax in 2011-12, up from £2.2 billion during the previous financial year.The announcement is a grave disappointment to holidaymakers, more than 70,000 of whom have signed Telegraph Travel’s petition calling for the tax to be scrapped.

In a joint statement, Carolyn McCall, Michael O’Leary and Willie Walsh, the chief executives of easyJet, Ryanair and IAG, respectively, condemned the Government’s decision.

“In the cause of UK economic recovery, APD is an own-goal and the Chancellor has just scored another one,” they said. “By increasing this tax by double the rate of inflation, he is further deterring inbound tourism and foreign investment, and choking off yet more job opportunities for young people.”

Simon Buck, the chief executive of the British Air Transport Association, said that the whole economy would slow down if people were not able to travel at reasonable prices.

“Passengers departing from UK airports already pay the highest taxes on flying in the world and this further increase will do nothing to support the Government’s aspiration to grow UK tourism and support British jobs.”Airlines are already struggling to cope with a carbon tax, the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, which was imposed in January. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Play Hide-and-Seek Deep in the U.S. Southwest

Backroads’ multisport loop through Bryce, Grand Canyon, and Zion National Parks is the ideal family primer to the American Southwest. The all-hike-and-bike itineraries quickly get you into the high-desert landscape beneath hoodoos and rock spires—and except for a few shuttle points, you’re on your own power the whole way.

Day one takes you directly to the Grand Canyon, where you’ll camp right on the North Rim. Kids ride mules along the edge of the canyon while adults can opt to descend into its depths on a windy nine-mile (14-kilometer) hike down the Kaibab Trail. Next, a Backroads van will leapfrog you on to another park: Bryce Canyon, where you’ll hike out from a maze of arches, walls, and pinnacles to Inspiration and Bryce Points. Then join a 33-mile (53-kilometer) out-and-back biking trip through blue spruce and Douglas fir forests to Rainbow Point, Bryce’s highest lookout, at 9,115 feet (2,778 meters).

“We have terrific van support,” says marketing manager Lee Micheaux. “So older kids can pedal ahead, and younger ones can shuttle out to the Point and ride back.” Then it’s on to Zion, where you’ll wade into the inner gorge of the Virgin River, with canyon walls jutting up 1,000 feet (300 meters). If your clan’s not up for camping, nights are spent traveling from inn to inn—where a massage or a swim in the hotel pool is on the roster.
Where to Play

“There’s always an option kids can do easily,” says Micheaux, and parents choose between mellow and more intense activities. While kids do an eight-mile (13-kilometer) pedal from Bryce toward Red Canyon, adults can make theirs up to 49 miles (79 kilometers). Kids spend their final day scrambling slots at Water Canyon. While youngsters rappel down canyon walls, adults can tackle steep climbs to Angels Landing, a sheer rock wedge looming 1,500 feet (457 meters) above the valley floor.
At Day's End

“For a mother, it’s like heaven,” says Micheaux. “The guides do everything!” While guides set up camp, cook dinner, and organize games, parents sit back with a cold brew. One night is set aside for staff to take kids into town for pizza, while grown-ups hang back for an adults-only fireside dinner.

Diamond Earrings

Read more

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Turkey the tourist destiny

Turkey might be the world’s most contested country. Its landscape is dotted with battlegrounds, ruined castles and the palaces of great empires. This is the land where Alexander the Great slashed the Gordion Knot, where Achilles battled the Trojans in Homer’s Iliad, and where the Ottoman Empire fought battles that would shape the world. History buffs can immerse themselves in marvels and mementos stretching back to the dawn of civilisation.

Then again, if you want to simply unwind, spend an afternoon being pampered at a hamam, or let the warm waters off the Mediterranean coast lap at your toes. Adventure lovers can head east to Nemrut Daği National Park. Bon vivants need look no further than İstanbul, where the markets and bars are among the most stylish and atmospheric, and the mod Ottoman cuisine rates as the tastiest, in the world.

The country’s tumultuous history has left a deep legacy. People who’ve never had to suffer for an idea or fight for a patch of land can be overwhelmed by the passion of ordinary Turks for their country. But for ordinary Turks that passion finds its outlet, not in martial ardour, but in simple pleasures: family, food, music, football, and friendship. Turks have an inspiring ability to keep things in perspective, to get on with everyday life and to have a bloody good time in the process. Sharing their joy in the simple things is a highlight for every visitor.

Treat Turkey as that most quintessential of Turkish dishes, the meze, a table piled high with scrumptious treats. Throw away the menu, order a plate of everything and feast till you can’t go on.

Diamond Earrings

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Pigeon Island National Landmark

Pigeon Island National Landmark is heralded as one of the most important monuments of Saint Lucia’s history. It is a vivid representation of the cultural and historical monuments of international, civil, military and marine cross currents, characteristic of West Indian historical change.

A living museum within a natural setting, Pigeon Island is being nurtured through careful protection and intelligent development to serve the intellectual, cultural and recreational needs of all who visit this historic site. The picturesque, 44 acre island reserve, off the North West, was originally surrounded by water but was joined to the mainland by a man-made causeway in 1972.

Recognising the need to secure this site where the balance of late eighteenth century naval power was decided, the Government of Saint Lucia designated Pigeon Island as a National Park in 1979 and as a National Landmark in 1992. It is open to visitation 365 days a year with user fees charged at US$2 for residents and US$5 for visitors to Saint Lucia. There is also a fee of US$1 for children 5 years to 12 years old.

Pigeon Island National Landmark has a number of heritage attractions and amenities which include:

  • Ruins of military buildings used during the battles between the French and the British for the island of Saint Lucia.
  • An Interpretation Centre describing the rich history of the island.
  • Two beautiful beaches.
  • A restaurant featuring local cuisine.
  • A pub and restaurant with a historical theme.
  • A lookout point at the top of the Fort which gives a panoramic view of the Northwest coastline.

Pigeon Island was first occupied by the Amerindians, mainly Caribs. The island was later occupied by pirates whose leader was a Norman Captain called Francois Le Clerc. He had a wooden leg and was known to the French as Jambe de Bois. The French who owned the island in 1778 declared war on the British, who retaliated by attacking them in Saint Lucia and capturing the island. The British then built a Naval Base at Gros-Islet Bay, heavily fortifying Pigeon Island. From there they were able to monitor the French fleet in Martinique which resulted in the defeat of the French at the Battle of the Saints in 1782. Pigeon Island was therefore a key factor in the Battles between the British and the French. In 1909 a whaling station was established at Pigeon Island. Legislation to control whaling in 1952 put an end to this operation.

Pigeon Island was leased to Josset Agnes Hutchinson, an actress with the D'Oyle Carte Theatre of England in 1937. When the American established a Naval Base at Rodney Bay in 1940 she left the island. In 1947 she returned to establish a thriving yachting industry, entertaining many guests and giving the island the reputation of a paradise island. She relinquished the lease in 1970, finally retiring to England in 1976.

Pigeon Island was restored by the National Trust as a landmark encompassing all aspects of the rich heritage, with emphasis on the glorious period of the late eighteenth century, when the spill-over from the American War of Independence reached the Caribbean.

Diamond Earrings

Read more

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Filitheyo Island Resort

Filitheyo Beach Island Resort Hotel is in Faafu Atoll and is a very beautiful all in one four star resort hotel in the Maldives where your dream of walking barefoot along a white beach, on sand so soft your feet sink into it comes true. This beautiful beach resort hotel is said to be four star but many consider it as five star due to its great standard and quality of service. All around you will see the sea and is an astonishing array of blue tones and white sand you never thought possible that the earth could bring you. Palm trees swaying in the sea breeze and tropical flowers make this exotic picture complete. On Hotel Filitheyo Maldives your dream comes true, a paradise island, where you are pampered by nature. Filitheyo is the only island resort in the un-spoilt Faafu Atoll. A natural tropical Island, which is lush in vegetation and surrounded by a stunning house reef. The resort offers guest what can be only be described as a barefoot luxury four star retreat.

Spend your days enjoying the beautiful sandy beaches and swimming in the Azure blue water of the Indian Ocean. A laid back life style awaits you that promise fun, relaxation, adventure and unforgettable memories.

Choose from a choice of excellent accommodation at Filitheyo all of which have been sympathetically designed to ensure that guests go home having experienced a truly Maldivian retreat.

On Filitheyo all Villas have been designed and furnished with your comfort in mind to make you feel at home. Every morning you will be greeted by the magnificent sea view and your room will be a cool retreat after a sunny day on the beach. All bungalows blend in harmoniously with their natural surrounding which named as 15 Deluxe Villas (Kihaa Villa), 94 Superior Villa (Miri Villa), 16 Water Villa (Kaashi Villa).

The international and experienced chefs know how to delight your taste buds with sumptuous exotic buffets and creative tropical cocktails. You will be spoilt for choice!

Main Restaurant: Buufet style international cuisines from all corners of the world for breakfast, lunch and dinner with 14 days cycle menus with guaranteed satisfaction.
  • International and Asian cuisine
  • Sashimi/Sushi counter
  • Home-made pastries, breads & Jams
  • New World Wine list

Sunset Restaurant & Bar: Located at the tip of the island offering freshly blended juice, cocktails, coffees & snacks. Not to forget wide range of fine wine from the wineyards of Europe. Located on the Western side of the Island, the a la carte restaurant has an impressive selection of contemporary international dishes. Take a break from swimming and enjoy a freshly blended juice or a tropical cocktail at the swim up bar next to the Pool.


  • Freshly blended juices
  • Tropical cocktails
  • Authentic Italian Coffees
  • New World wine

Filitheyo Bar: Offers varieties or beverages to quench your thirst. Happy hours are not to be missed with buy one get one free from 1600 – 1800 hrs.

Diamond Stud Earrings

Read more