11th

Dubai, United Arab Emirates


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Dubai is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, situated on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf. Being located in the desert, temperatures are very high throughout the year, reaching 50°C in the summer and 25°C on average during the winter. The average humidity is 60% and it rarely rains. Only 10% of the 1,700,000 inhabitants are native citizens. It is currently the Emirate with the least amount of petrol reserves. Accounting for only 5% of the economy, the emirate’s main activity is financial services and tourism. Dubai is considered to be the city with the highest standard of living in the Emirates, the twenty-second most expensive city in the world and the second most expensive city after Geneva when it comes to hotel prices.

Dubai is home to the world’s tallest manmade structure, the Burj Khalifa. With a height of 829.8 meters and 163 floors, it contains no less than thirty thousand homes and 9 hotels. There’s an impressive observatory located on the 124th floor. At 555 feet from the ground, we can enjoy spectacular views of the city.

The Mall of the Emirates is the city’s largest shopping centre with many restaurants, shops, cinemas and it includes the longest artificial ski slope in the world; a great place to go to in order to escape from the high temperatures outside.

Inspired by the fountains at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, Dubai’s fountains are bigger and more spectacular and what’s more, they are free and surrounded by many restaurants; a perfect spot for enjoying the fountains.

Visiting Dubai´s desert is one of the activities not to be missed. Many trips and excursions offer 4×4 tours across the dunes during the sunrise or sunset, as well as spending a night in the desert to enjoy the stars in their entire splendor.

Dubai Creek is the old town, the true and original Dubai. It contains the Dubai Creek Museum that displays the transformation of the city over the years, the Great Mosque and the city harbor.

In order to enjoy the sea, we can go to Jumeirah Beach. With hotels and water sports along this spectacular stretch of white sand, it is a very popular destination for tourists and celebrities alike. From here, you can see the world-famous 7* hotel, Burj Al Arab.

In Dubai and its surrounding areas, there are so many attractions such as the world’s largest indoor theme park, Ferrari World, and its museum, the opportunity to drive a sports car in the Yas Marina Circuit, skydiving and scuba diving, playing golf on the golf courses and enjoying boat trips, among many other activities.

Tuesday 11 November 2014 13:53 | Published by Hotelopiauk | Category: Travel News
23rd

A must-see in New York city


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New York is one of the world’s most visited cities. In 2013, 54 million tourists walked among its iconic skyscrapers. Known as the city that never sleeps, the list of things to do and see here is endless. Here are some of the most interesting places to visit and sights to see…

The Empire State building was constructed because of the crash of 1929 with the aim to counteract the effects of the great economic crisis and was finished in 1931. With a height of 380 meters and 103 floors, it held the title of the tallest building in the world for 40 years. The observatories on the 86th and 102nd floors boast incredible 360° views of New York. If you go on a clear day, you can see far beyond the city. 2.5 million people visit annually to experience the unforgettable views.

Central Park is a large urban park in the city and a great piece of engineering – it is a completely manmade park, opened to the public in 1857. Most people can easily recognize it from films and TV; it is the most filmed park in the world. With an area of 341 hectares, 4km long and 800m wide, the park contains lakes, an ice rink, a zoo, the Metropolitan Museum and the American Museum of Natural History. In every museum in NYC, you can pay as much as you think it deserves.

The Statue of Liberty, designed by the French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, towers 46m above the city, just south of Manhattan. It was a gift from France to the United States, delivered in 1886. Ever since the attacks in 2001, only the island and the pedestal are accessible, but it is still worth a visit. Not far from the Statue is Ellis Island. Between 1892 and 1924, approximately 20 million immigrants came to this island from all over the world. The immigrant museum is now located here.

The Grand Central Terminal is the most famous train station in New York and annually transports 21 million passengers. It was constructed in 1913 and is truly an architectural masterpiece. The main hall is 84m long, 37 wide and 38 high.  On the façade of the exterior wall on 42nd Street, there is a large clock with a parameter of 4m and sculptures of Minerva, Hercules and Mercury.

The Rockefeller Center is a complex of 19 buildings built by the Rockefeller family. When it was created, it was the most expensive private construction of the era. In the Rockefeller Plaza there are many bars and restaurants. You can also go up to The Top of the Rock observatory to see spectacular views of the city. During the winter months, people come to the plaza to enjoy the ice rink and the highest Christmas tree in New York.

Thursday 23 October 2014 10:42 | Published by Hotelopiauk | Category: Travel News
06th

The world’s greatest attractions, or what could have been…


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All over the world, there are great attractions and resorts that have had millions invested into them, but have either failed to be completed or have failed to succeed. Here are a few examples:

Harmon Hotel, Las Vegas

Still not completed to date, with a cost of 120 million euros invested, construction of the 48-floored hotel was put on hold in 2008. Many errors were detected during construction at a structural level. In the case of an earthquake (expected to occur in the next 30 years in Las Vegas), the building would collapse.

The World Islands, Dubai

Following the success of Dubai Pal, the famous island shaped like a palm tree, they continued building more islands that represented the world from an aerial view. Some of the islands were sold in 2008 but due to the economic crisis, construction was ground to a halt. Some of the islands began to sink which led to many legal disputes with the state construction company belonging to the Emirates. The cost of the islands amounted to 19 billion euros.

Revel Casino, Atlantic City

This hotel was started in 2007 with an initial budget of 1,800 million euros but ran out of money in 2009. In the end, the company filed for bankruptcy and it has now been sold to a Canadian company hoping to complete the work.

Wonderland Amusement Park, Beijing

They wanted it to be the largest amusement park in China. However, 15 years later, they have finalized plans to demolish it. The incompletion of the park was caused by the corruption of Beijng’s mayor. When he was replaced, the new mayor decided not to continue with the park. The project had required an expenditure of 110 million euros.

Ryugyong Hotel, North Korea

A project of 500 million euros, started in 1987 under the regime of Kim Jong-Un’s grandfather. For many decades, it was known as the ‘destination hotel’. An Egyptian builder decided to continue the project and would manage Kempinski once it was finished, but it is still not finished and will probably be demolished. The hotel has a place in the Guinness Book of Records for being the tallest, unoccupied building in the world.

Monday 6 October 2014 17:57 | Published by Hotelopiauk | Category: Travel News
26th

Varadero, Cuba


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Varadero is located on the peninsula of Hicacos in the Matanzas province, located about 140 km from Havana, 1,200 meters wide and more than 20 kilometers long.

Known for its sun and beach tourism, Varadero was born in the 1870s, growing significantly after the opening of international tourism, especially in the 80′s. The vast majority of hotels are 4* and 5* resorts for all-inclusive family holidays. The peninsula receives about 1 million visitors each year.

With crystal-clear water and fine white sands, the divine beaches that surround the hotels are, unsurprisingly, the main interest of holiday-makers. Many sports can be enjoyed along the coast such as diving, fishing and other water sports. We can find other attractions such as wildlife parks, caves and the towns of Matanzas and Cárdenas.

Josone Park is one of the most visited places, located in the center of Varadero. People love to come to these beautiful botanical gardens to see the abundance of birds, lakes, bridges and other wildlife. With a fantastic atmosphere and music, there are plenty of restaurants and activities like camel rides for children and target shooting.

Tropicana Matanzas is a cabaret, located about 20 minutes from Havana, smaller than the original in the capital. Offering up to 5 hours of open-air performances of up to 200 artists, a bar and a café, Tropicana Matanzas is one of three of this style in Cuba.

Las Cuevas de Miramar are one of the oldest attractions of Cuba, discovered in the mid-nineteenth century. Through the 23km of tunnels, there are 780 hectares of magnificent stalactites and stalagmites.

Cuba is the safest country in the Caribbean and Varadero in particular.  As it is an area strictly for tourists, it has limited access to locals. Just use common sense as you would elsewhere.

Things to be taken into account when wanting to visit Cuba are having a visa (at a cost of about 20€) and a passport that will be valid at least 6 months after visiting the country. With these documents, you can be in the country for up to 30 days.

Friday 26 September 2014 11:15 | Published by Hotelopiauk | Category: Travel News
17th

La Havana, Cuba


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Havana is the capital of Cuba, an island located in the North East of the Caribbean in the Golf of Mexico. The city was founded by the Spanish conqueror Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar in 1519.

Cuba´s climate is tropical. It doesn’t reach extreme temperatures, but instead stays warm for the whole year. It rains a lot during the Summer but because of its location, the UV rays are high so it is recommendable to stay protected from the sun.

Old Havana is the historical centre of the city and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982. The most notable places are La Plaza de Armas, where you will find the Presidential Palace that is now a museum and the Temple, the structure that has most influenced the architecture of Cuba. La Plaza Vieja (The Old Square), originally called Plaza Nueva (New Square) is another remarkable place to visit. It is a place of celebrations, processions and performances. Near the bay is the Fortress San Salvador and the Castle of Tres Reyes del Morro that guards the entrance to Havana Bay. The cathedral is located in the heart of Old Havana, known for its baroque style with two bell towers on either side.

Other areas of interest are the center of Havana, where you can find El Capitolio, a replica of the Washington Capitol but smaller, and the Tabacos Partagas factory, where cigars are manufactured and sold. Places also worth a visit include the National Museum of Fine Arts (Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes) and The Museum of the Revolution (Museo de la Revolución). These are in the center of Havana. In Vedado, a central business district and urban neighbourhood of Havana, there are authentic palaces as well as the Plaza de la Revolution and José Martí Memorial, a monument that is 138.5 meters tall.

Things to be taken into account when wanting to visit Cuba are having a visa (at a cost of about 20€) and a passport that will be valid at least 6 months after visiting the country. With these documents, you can be in the country for up to 30 days. The electricity current in Cuba is 110 volts at 60 hertz but many hotels have a 220-volt current and adapters. Cuba has two currencies: the Cuban Peso (CUP) and the Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC), but since the arrival of Raul Castro in 2013, he has been merging the two currencies. The Cuban Convertible Peso is mainly what the tourists use but there is nothing preventing you from using Cuban Pesos. The current value of a Cuban Convertible Peso is approximately 62p. Despite being a very closed communist country, credit cards are also accepted at some establishments.

Wednesday 17 September 2014 9:28 | Published by Hotelopiauk | Category: Travel News
08th

Menorca, in harmony with nature


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Whether on two legs or four, powered by two wheels, a paddle or simply letting the wind fill the sails – there are plenty of opportunities to get moving in Menorca. And it won’t be just the sport that takes your breath away: the island’s impressive backdrop does that too.

Explore the widely varying landscape. Plunge into the water. Share customs and traditions. Taste the cuisine. Discover a whole new range of experiences in this very special spot in the heart of the Mediterranean.  The transparency of the sea and the quality of the coastline is by far the island’s best natural element, with over 70 of the very best beaches on offer. Why wait? See it for yourself and check out our very best hotel offers in Menorca.

Si puedes linkear hotel offers a:

http://www.hotelopia.com/offers/hp_mktcont_promo_menorca

Monday 8 September 2014 9:51 | Published by Hotelopiauk | Category: Travel News
04th

City taxes in Rome


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Rome, one of the most visited cities in Europe is increasing its tourist taxes (Contributo di Soggiorno) for an overnight stay in the city. The purpose of the fees is to improve the city’s tourism services.

When the tourist tax came in to effect in 2011, tourists paid between 1 and 3 euros per person/night, depending on the category of the establishment.

From the 1st of September, tourists visiting Rome must pay the following fees:

€3 per person/night in 1* and 2* hotels.

€4 per person/night in 3* hotels.

€6 per person/night in 4* hotels.

€7 per person/night in 5* hotels.

These amounts will be added to a maximum of 10 nights. Tourist taxes in Rome are paid when the customer leaves the hotel. They then receive a receipt of the fees.

Citizens of Rome and children under the age of 10 don’t need to pay these fees.

Thursday 4 September 2014 12:56 | Published by Hotelopiauk | Category: Travel News
01st

Bali, Indonesia


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Bali, also known as ‘The Island of the Gods’, is a province in Indonesia situated to the East of Java and its capital, Kuta, is situated in the south of the island. The population is 4,225 million and the main religions are Hinduism and Islam.

Due to the countless beautiful beaches and dense jungles, there is a wide range of diverse wildlife and corals. The tropical climate has an average annual temperature of 30 degrees with 85% humidity. The year is divided into the dry season, from April to September and the rain season from October to March.

The beaches in Bali are fantastic for swimming, surfing and sunbathing. The best time to head to the beach is the dry season, when the beaches are cleaner and less windy.

Kuta Beach, also known as Sunset Beach, is the most popular beach in Bali. It is a safe place to swim, sunbathe and surf, staying close to the city.

Dance is a big part of the island’s culture and there are numerous holidays and cultural events throughout the year.

01/01                     New Year’s Day

20-21/02              Idul Fitri Festival

21/03                     Isolation Day / Saba New Year

04/05                     Good Friday

28/04                     Idul Adha

16/05                     Day of the Ascension of Christ

19/05                     Hijriah

02/06                     Waisak

28/07                     Maulid

17/08                     National Independence Day

08/12                     Isra Miraj

25/12                     Christmas Day

To enter Bali you must have a valid passport with an expiration date of at least 6 months after the date of your visit and visa. For more information, you can access the Indonesian embassy.

http://www.indonesianembassy.org.uk/index.html

Monday 1 September 2014 12:19 | Published by Hotelopiauk | Category: Travel News
07th

Manhattanhenge, a unique phenomenon.


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If you are a lover of New York, you must know about the Manhattanhenge. For those of you that don’t know, you’re about to find out.

Continue Reading…

Thursday 7 August 2014 16:43 | Published by Hotelopiauk | Category: Travel News
16th

Get a 10% discount for your next booking!


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We are sending you the last discount voucher of the year. Take advantage of 10% off your next booking with Hotelopia!

The conditions of the voucher are:

* Reservations can be made from today until 31/12/2013
* Valid for stays from today until 31/12/2014
* Discount code is valid for bookings made via the detailed link.
* Only valid for online reservations  

Discount code: N4V113

Take advantage of this discount for one of your Christmas gifts. Click on the following link, and choose your destination and hotel.

Monday 16 December 2013 16:46 | Published by Hotelopiauk | Category: Travel News

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