NEWS UPDATE FROM Orlando that has me so excited I just had to share immediately. Rumors have been flying as steadily as quiddich broomsticks that an expansion of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter would occur inside the Universal Studios Florida theme park. Now it’s official. Universal Orlando Resort and Warner Bros. Entertainment are building Diagon Alley, set to open in 2014. It will earmark the world’s first centrally themed, multi-park experience. If you’re a fan of J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series (as I am) and have been to the park (love, love, love it!), then you know the extreme detail and immersive authenticity that has been created. Diagon Alley will be no different. And just like in the movies and books, guests will be able to travel between ‘London’ and Hogsmeade aboard the Hogwarts Express. Now where did I put my cloak and wand?
Summer’s coming to North America and Europe and with its imminent arrival comes the soft season discounts. I’m all for saving some of my stash on the upfront hotel costs so that I feel free to splurge on activities I may not find elsewhere. I’ve heard about some incredible deals, such as book two nights and get one free or book 5 nights and get two nights extra. At least 29 European countries are offering these savings. Here are just a few of the choices I found enticing.25Hours Hotel at MuseumsQuartier in Vienna, Austria: 219 rooms & suites. Located in the 7th District, a progressive artsy area, the décor embodies a fantastical world of circus, spectacle and extravagance, with just a touch of madness. Hang out in the rooftop lounge or dine in the terraced restaurant that faces Wedhuberpark. There are meeting and convention facilities.
Hospes Palacio de los Patos in Granada, Spain: 32 double rooms, 10 suites including one Presidential Suite. The interfusion of Arabic influence and native Iberian tradition are apparent. Situated almost adjacent to the Puerta Real, Hospes Palacio de los Patos is an urban oasis housed in a reconstructed 19th-Century town palace. Designers retained the architectural beauty of original elements such as the grand staircase.
- Hotel Unique in São Paulo, Brazil stands out from the rest of the city
Hotel Unique in São Paulo, Brazil: 85 rooms & 10 suites. Unique’s green copper façade alone makes this hotel stand out even in the upscale residential area of Jardins. Just meters from Ibirapuera Park, São Paulo’s largest green area, the building is dark glass and a desert garden of mini, sand-toned cubes of rock, palms and agaves. The lobby is illuminated with beige marble walls embellished by dramatic geometric themes in the décor, sleek white furnishings and transparent glass tables and fittings. City views from the rooftop terrace fascinate, but ooooh… that crimson red swimming pool is an eye-popper. www.designhotels.com/summerspecials
Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, the largest full-service beach-front resort on Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast, is offering a VIP Passport Package for meeting planners organizing conferences, conventions or tradeshows. Bookings must be actualized August 1 through February 28, 2014. Room nights booked determines bonuses but check out some of the incentives.
* Three (3) percent rebate to the master account for guest rooms posted to the master account; Read more