Archive | International Trips

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A whole new world for art lovers in Cape Town

Cape Town: A hike up Table Mountain, the floral fantasy of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, watching sunset from Signal Hill, enjoying the passing parade of people from all over the world at the V&A Waterfront, the stunning views from Cape Point and Chapman’s Peak Drive – these are among the many incredible experiences iconic to Cape Town, South Africa.

But Cape Town is also fast becoming the world’s newest hot spot in the art world. For art aficionados, there are now new experiences beyond the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art, New York), the Tate Modern in London, or the Louvre in Paris. Africa is finding its feet among the art capitals of the world – and it’s not just the traditional craft work that most people associate with the continent.

Cape town South Africa

Cape town South Africa

“As with so many other forms of cultural expression, the art from Africa depicts the human experience of this region,” explains Avukile Mabombo, a Cape Town local who is the Group Marketing Manager for Protea Hotels by Marriott® and African Pride Hotels. “We are seeing the responses of people to our colonial history; the experience of racism and other forms of bigotry, both institutional and unofficial; and the clash of modern progress and traditional practices and cultures. These are the elements that largely characterise the works of art to be seen in local art exhibitions, particularly in the two new additions to Cape Town’s art scene: the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (MOCAA) and the Norval Foundation Gallery.

Zeitz Mocaa opened its doors to the pubic in September last year, while the Norval Foundation began welcoming visitors from the end of April this year. Both are galleries of international standard and showcase the work of artists recognised internationally as well as those with the potential to make their mark significantly on the world stage.

Commentary on society and the pressures it puts on people abound in the works showcased by both galleries. Many of the installations will leave the visitor with troubled thoughts – this is art geared to make one think and to challenge one’s own perceptions.

While Zeitz focuses on the contemporary in African art, the Norval collection incorporates a longer period. Its Re/discovery and Memory installation brings the works of talented artists from the 1950s to the public’s attention. Some of these were artists whose careers did not garner the notice they deserved at the time because of South Africa’s Apartheid system, which denied people of colour the attention they would otherwise have enjoyed. Sixty years later, South Africans are finally able to acknowledge the skill of sculptors and artists such as Sydney Khumalo and Ezrom Legae.

This installation also focuses on the effects of migration arising from political events: Serge Alain Nitegeka’s life story of his flight from civil war in Burundi and genocide in Rwanda highlights the disruption caused by events beyond one’s control. Similarly, Edoardo Villa, an Italian prisoner-of-war who remained in South Africa after the Second World War and became a world-renowned sculptor, explained that, “I did not decide myself to come to South Africa, somebody else decided for me!” This decision was to change the course of Villa’s life and his artistic career.

Both these leading galleries also offer something spectacular for those with an interest in architecture. The Zeitz Museum, Thomas Heatherwick’s brilliant conversion of a disused grain silo into Africa’s leading institution to house works from the continent on the continent, is of particular interest.

The Norval Foundation building, which showcases one of the largest private art collections in South Africa, was designed to take account of the sensitive wetland bordering the ground it sits on. An integral part of the construction project was to create a sculpture garden between the building and the wetland, which is home to a colony of endangered Western Leopard Toads. The entire project serves as an example of the successful integration of construction development and the rehabilitation of damaged environmental spaces.

Mabombo is thrilled to live in the city that is about to kickstart Africa’s journey into the global art scene. He concludes: “Travellers from all over the globe with an interest in art will now be able to reach multiple milestones on their bucket lists: a trip to one of the world’s most popular destinations, and the experience of the best art from Africa. And, for those who are members of Marriott Rewards, a trip like this could be one of the many benefits the world’s largest loyalty programme can offer.”

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Stay and Play this Summer at the Coolest Hotels on Ibiza

Anyone who’s anyone is heading to Ibiza this summer for a week or two of wild clubbing that’s sure to be the highlight of the year, but to make sure you’re at the heart of all the action, you’ll need to snap up your hotel sharpish! These ultra-cool Ibiza hotels will put all of the fun on your doorstep, plus you’ll have somewhere chic to rest your weary head after a long night of dancing.

Cocktail Mojito in Ibiza
Cocktail Mojito in Ibiza

Ushuaia Beach Hotel, Playa d’en Bossa
Staying at the Ushuaia Beach Hotel is the closest you can get on Ibiza to staying at a club itself. This painfully stylish, floral-adorned hotel, just a stone’s throw from the water at Playa d’en Bossa plays host to international DJ’s throughout the summer season, that play beside the pool as guests dance the night (or day) away on the decking. Continue Reading

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The UK’s Best Entertainment Hotspots

It may be a small island but the UK has a wealth of rolling countryside, expansive history and amazing entertainment hotspots. With the summer season approaching, many of the tourist guides are focussed on the larger entertainment complexes like Alton Towers, but there are numerous small hidden gems nestled across the country; so here are our top picks for this year and many summers to come!

Casino in UKA Flavour of Las Vegas at Grosvenor Casinos

The UK has many small casinos, but Grosvenor casinos are one group of British establishments that stand out from the rest. Of course, they have a wealth of traditional games, awesome slots and nail biting poker matches; but they also offer so much more entertainment that they are up there with the casinos of Sin City. There are many Grosvenors dotted around the country and they each offer their own, diverse range of specialised evenings and casino packages that can be used during your entire holiday. As an example, last year in the City of Manchester, Grosvenor sported a chilli contest – how much chilli can you eat; covered in the local media, this was a great way  to integrate the casino with the community. Wherever you decide to stay this year, make sure you take a trip to you local Grosvenor casino for some fast paced blackjack, amazing food and incredible atmosphere. Continue Reading

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How to Save on International Travel

It’s always nice to save on any type of trip you’re planning, but international travel is a bit different than domestic travel in terms of the costs that can add up. Here are a few things to keep in mind before an international trip that can leave you with more money to spend when you get there!

Singapore's Chinatown
Singapore’s Chinatown

Find a good credit card. Most credit cards charge a fee for international use that can be up to three percent of any purchase that you make abroad. Since international trips are usually big events, you may be spending quite a bit while you’re away and that will add up quickly. Three percent of $2,000 is a waste of $60 that could easily be avoided. Continue Reading

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Four great reasons to visit Turkey

Turkey is a great holiday destination and is as suitable for a trip with the family as with a group of friends. As well as fantastic beaches, there is an amazing landscape to discover inland and some beautiful cities to explore.

Halicarnassus Theatre
Halicarnassus Theatre (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Here are just a few suggestions of some great places to see while you’re there: Continue Reading

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Vamos a la Orlando!

Summer is in full swing but don’t think that’s an excuse not to take the family on an excellent vacation! While June, July and August are typically our favorite months to take a break and see some sights, there are twelve months in a year and 2012 is poised for vacation greatness! There are many great deals available right throughout the year and it would be remiss of you to neglect the opportunity to make some memories with your family. One particularly hot spot is the ever popular Orlando. With the best Orlando vacation packages 2012 has to offer, you’ll be taking pictures, basking in the sun, swimming in ocean and dancing the night away in no time!

Having doubts? Wondering why you should take the family to Orlando?

In one word – FUN! Our great country can offer a plethora of sights, sounds and activities that the entire family can enjoy but few places can bring it all together the way Orlando can. This is fun that’s scalable and flexible – if you’re a tiny family of two or three or riot sized rowdy bunch of ten or more, Orlando can accommodate your numbers effortlessly. Orland has a few choice offerings for the vacationing public to choose from including Disney World and Universal Studios. The best part about both of these venues is that they cater to three niches all in one convenient place – kids, adults and families. This means that everyone can have a good time together or apart. You can do the things that mean the most to you without compromising on time or options. Home to some of the most world famous, world class restaurants, you and the family will feast like kings! Feel the need to shop till you drop? We’re not talking about dinky souvenir shacks full of knick knacks – luxury items for you or affordable fun items for everyone else are all just within reach. With places like spas, theme parks, restaurants and shopping centers to choose from, there is no way you can lose on an Orlando vacation extravaganza! Continue Reading

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Cruising in Galapagos is exciting and adventurous

Cruising in Galapagos Island is an unusual trip that makes your holiday more adventurous and exciting. If you want to enjoy the complete Island, you require at least eight days for covering the whole area. It is always advisable to visit the Island by ship available at variable costs.

Galapagos Sunset by courtesy of WikitravelThese ships are well designed and equipped as they contain everything you require to enjoy your Galapagos Cruises. You can place an advance booking for a luxurious or a cheaper ship according to your budget. Galapagos is a chain of 18 Islands that was discovered by volcano eruption about 5 million years ago. This Island has various hot tourism attractions that makes your visit a life time experience.

Santa Cruz is one of the most lovable destinations located in the middle of Island chain. It is necessary to take a cruise for visiting this area. Once you board the cruise, you will find a guide that makes you familiar with the beautiful destination and varied animals. If you are not prepared with the cruise in advance then hotels on Galapagos Island can also help you for booking a cruise. Cruise not only takes you around the area but also tells you about the beautiful spots where you can click photographs for a memorable experience. Continue Reading

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It’s a small World in Hong Kong Disneyland

One of the most famous of all the rides at all the Disneylands in the world is the much loved “It’s A Small World.” I have to admit that this was a song I loved when I was a child as it was one of the first things I learned in a language that wasn’t Filipino.

Enjoying the Ride
Enjoying the Ride

We learned how to sing in German, French, English, and a few other languages. Sure, all we learned was “It’s a small world after all” but for a bunch of little kids, this was the first time that we were really exposed to the fact that we could travel all over the world and meet people from everywhere…and, I might add, that the world was a beautiful place and theres so much to discover. Continue Reading

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Jungle River Cruise at Hong Kong Disneyland

Every Kid dreamed of taking a cruise through the jungle and seeing the many wonderful animals of Africa along the way. I know that for me, this was one of my primary fantasies when I was growing up. I wanted to get on a boat and go see the world. Not surprising really.

Hong Kong Disneyland
The Kingdom

So, you can guess that when I got to Hong Kong Disneyland, we had a short trip to Adventureland and got on the jungle cruise. Sure, it’s not really a jungle cruise and there is not really an element of danger, but still this fun and exhilirating attraction is a great way to see some of your childhood fantasies come to life. Continue Reading

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The Golden Mickeys at Hong Kong Disneyland

One of the enjoyable things about Hong Kong Disneyland is the parody of the real world that comes out of many of the rides and attractions.

Group Dance Number
Amazing Dance Number

After all, Disney isn’t the real world, but it is affected by it, profoundly. That’s why I was so amused by the Disney show called The Golden Mickeys at Hong Kong Disneyland. Continue Reading

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