Tag Archives: Europe

Exploring Brussels

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Good morning Brussels! This little weekend getaway came about when we saw how cheap it was to take the train to Brussels. So with a 5 am morning call to catch the Eurostar from St. Pancreas at 6:30 am, we just had a backpack for the two days worth of clothes that we would need and of course my running gear. After a little mishap with finding our way out of the train station we were on our way to the hotel to that they can hold our bags while we toured the city.

We stayed at the Royal Windsor hotel which is central to the old city and in walking distance of everything that you can imagine. We were lucky enough that our room was available at 11 am, never hurts to ask the front desk. After dropping off the bags we were off to have lunch in the little plaza around the corner in front of the Grand Dash Place which is the town square and are able to see the spire from our bedroom window.

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After confirming with our tour company that was booked through Viator with Brussels City Tours for where and when the pick up would occur, we were off to explore the Royal Gardens as well as the outside of the Palace. I talked Josh into the challenge of taking on the Metro to get out to see the Mini-Europe as well as the Atomium from the World Fair that was outside the city and not with in walking distance.

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After reaching the end of the line 6 on the Metro we made it. Now a little warning, the Metro is not like the one in London or Moscow. This is old school where you need to pull the handle to open the doors and they are super loud when they close so a nap is out of the question. Trust me I tried.

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After standing in line to get the combo tickets it was up to the exhibit that was in the Atomium, see some of the photos and read the information from the world fair. After some amazing views of the city it was time to head over to Mini Europe.

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They provide you with a pamphlet that gives you the history of the country and the building that was used to represent the country as well as a little background information on the currency and the population at the time of printing. I kinda felt like Godzilla taking on Tokyo in the park but it was educational and there were buttons to press to hear the anthem of that country.

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Since it was starting to get dark and we had an early morning, we headed back to the hotel with a little stop at the Little Peeing Boy. You can’t miss his tiny street corner. Look for all the tourist huddled around the street corner and the signs listing a waffle for a euro and you are there. Do not get the waffles there! Go to an actual restaurant where they are so little you do not fell guilty about eating a couple of them with ice cream of chocolate.

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The hotel was amazing! The beds were nice and soft with plenty of pillows. The staff was helpful in providing directions and suggestions on what to see. In the morning I went to the gym and had a nice work out with adequate equipment for both cardio and muscle training. It was a little hard to find, but they even had a little sauna in the dressing area to enjoy before or after your work out. We checked out and had breakfast at a local cafe before heading over to the pick up point.

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We met another solo traveler, Ashley from California, who was great pleasure to spend time with on the bus and around the city when doing the tour of Ghent and Bruges cities. The only issue I had with the tour was that it was in three languages. Now this could have been done better with an audio guide but we had the live guide repeat the same thing in English, French and Spanish. While this was impressive, it ate up a lot of time that we could be spending in the cities on our own.

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So after the walking tour of Ghent that included the cities of the old, a meat and fish market as well as the medieval castle, we were off to Bruges. Ashley, Josh and I decided that we would split from the group to walk around and see the city. After lunch at the local brewery and a lovely and highly recommended boat tour, we hit up the local markets. There was some amazing art work, pottery and scarves. You don’t realize how big the city is until you actually get lost in the heart of it. I would recommended spending a couple of days here. Half a day was not enough time to take everything in.

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Because we had to catch the late Eurostar back to London, we booked a ticket for the train running from Bruges to Brussels to make sure we had enough time to go through check in and passport control. At this point the UK Border Control is getting a little concerned about my coming and goings but I have my return flight to prove I intend to go home and not immigrate illegally. Next stop is in a couple of weeks to Birmingham but right now I have to get my Doctor Who Convention outfit together. Now to go as a Darlek or the TARDIS…

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Loving London #travel

England may be on most people’s bucket lists, but covering quintessential London can easily be one all on its own. Few other cities in the world come close to the tradition, romance, history, and contemporary excitement of this vast city of seven million souls and even more adventures waiting to be had. Meet Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, Sumatran tiger cubs at the zoo, or try to catch a glimpse of the growing Royal Family. Be the one to make a Beefeater crack a smile at the Changing of the Guard, checking the schedule against Big Ben, or ride the London Eye to confirm if London Bridge is, in fact, falling down. Enjoy afternoon tea after a day in botanical Kew Gardens, browsing posh department stores like Harrods, or at the longest shopping street in all of Europe: Oxford Street. An extensive mass transit system makes sure you get to all of these, as well as the street markets, designer boutiques, restaurants, pubs, nightclubs, West End theaters, and the infinite list of brilliant ways to fall in love with London.

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Some of our favorite London Hotels

51 Buckingham Gate

This hotel has 86 lavish suites with fully-equipped kitchens and luxurious amenities. Indulge at the Michelin starred Quilon Restaurant and relax at the exclusive Spa at 51.

Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel

Experience luxury in the heart of London at the Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel. Located in London’s Mayfair neighborhood, close to the West End theatre district, this historical hotel was opened in 1929, and was restored to become a JW Marriott Hotel in 2008. Despite its central location, this hotel is in a world of its own behind the original Lutyens wrought-iron gates. Lavish guest rooms and suites offer both style and convenience so you can make the most of your London stay.

Hilton Waldorf

The Waldorf Hilton enjoys one of London’s most enviable locations as it bridges the West End and the Square Mile, providing an excellent base for accessing the main financial district in the day and the popular cultural hub of Covent Garden and Theatreland in the evening.

All newly refurbished rooms include wall mounted plasma screen televisions, latest hi-tech shower and a specially designed sleeping experience.

The May Fair

The May Fair is a luxury hotel that was opened by King George V in 1927. It offers 400 bedrooms and suites, a luxury spa, a fine-dining restaurant, the May Fair Bar, and a casino. The rooms offer complimentary WiFi, 24-hour room service, and turndown service.

The Bloomsbury

The Bloomsbury is a boutique hotel located on Great Russell Street in the heart of 18th-century Bloomsbury, near the British Museum. 153 rooms offer free WiFi, turndown service, and coffee makers.

 

Contact Traveline at 1-888-700-8747 for more information.

 

 

 

Complimentary Bottle of Champagne in Marseille, France

InterContinental Marseille – Hotel Dieu is perfectly located overlooking the Vieux Port, adjacent to the oldest district in Marseille known as the Panier. The hotel is housed in a listed historical monument dating back to the 18th century and features a spectacular terrace, where you can relax while admiring the Vieux Port. Nearby the Calanques must be seen. Marseille is the vibrant Mediterranean’s capital of Provence.

Restaurant & Lounges

InterContinental Marseille offers two restaurants: the brasserie Les Fenêtres and the gastronomic restaurant Alcyone. Both feature breathtaking views of the Vieux Port and a selection of dishes incorporating the freshness of Provence.

Accommodations

The hotel has 172 rooms and 22 suites in all, 72 with a view of the Vieux Port and 33 with private terrace. Entrusted to Jean-Philippe Nuel, a world reference in interior design, the rooms are decorated in a style that exalts the history of the building.

A UNIQUE EVENT DESERVES A UNIQUE LOCATION

The meeting rooms boast natural daylight and accommodate from 10 to 200 people.

Green Engage

You can be assured that when you stay at an IHG Green Engage Hotel, you are participating in an advanced, worldwide sustainability effort. We understand that it is important for you to have an active role in protecting our environment and that’s why we’ve made it easier for you to choose a hotel that matches your sustainable values.

All 2015 Traveline Guests Receive:

  • Upgrade at time of booking, subject to availability
    • in the next room category available
  • Daily full breakfast, for up to two in room guests
  • Welcome Amenity
    • Bottle of water, local fruit plate and biscuits
  • One Food and Beverage credit of 50 EUR
    • to be used in Restaurant Les Fenetres during guests’ stay (not combinable, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • One Signature cocktai
    • per person, per stay, at the Capian Bar
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
    • for duration of stay
  • Free access to Spa by Clarins
    • (two saunas, hammam, sensorial showers, solarium, indoor swimming pool, fitness center)
  • For stays of 3 nights or more:
    • Guests also receive a Bottle of Champagne
  • Early check-in/late check-out
    • subject to availability

Click here for more information.

Jack Nicklaus Academy Experience 2015

LEARN TO PLAY GOLF OR IMPROVE YOUR GAME WHILE STAYING AT HOTEL FINCA CORTESIN

“Success depends almost entirely on how effectively you learn to manage the game´s two ultimate adversaries; the course and yourself. Don´t be too proud to take Lessons. I´m not”

Jack Nicklaus

NICKLAUS ACADEMY 60 MINUTES PRIVATE LESSON

During the 60 minutes Private Lesson at Nicklaus Academy, every golfer from beginners to professionals will choose the aspect of their game which they want to improve. Using the Jack Nicklaus Coaching Studio technology, students will have their swing professionally analyzed and then given advice on corrections. The use of Drills and Training Aids will help you to understand how to improve your swing. Video Analysis will be emailed; so that the student can return home and continue to improve their game.

TAYLOR MADE 60 MINUTES FITTING EXPERIENCE

Nicklaus Academy is a TAYLOR MADE Official Fitting Centre. Using the latest software and Flightscope Kudu technology will help us to determine the ideal club for each player. Students will leave with the perfect set of clubs designed specifically for them.

GOLF COURSE 120 MINUTES EXPERIENCE

A player is only as good as his game, and for many golfers getting on the course doesn’t happen as often as they would like. That’s why the 120 minutes Golf Course Experience gives golfers the opportunity to perfect their swing and showcase their honed skills from the Nicklaus Academy. Playing will be at the incredible Finca Cortesin Golf Course, site of Volvo Match Play Championship in 2009, 2011 and 2012. The Golf Course it’s a course to remember and will challenge every student regardless their level. Greenfee and Buggy is included.

All options also include: 

  • From 2 nights (request more if necessary) in the selected suite category based in double occupancy
  • Fresh Fruit and Premium Water in your suite
  • Welcome Golf Pack at your room; 2 Finca Cortesin Caps and some tees
  • Complimentary WI- FI connection
  • Daily Breakfast at our Restaurant
  • Access to our Finca Cortesin Beach Club operation during the summer season (aprox. 6 months per year) with Shuttle from and to the beach club included
  • Access to our 2.200m2 Spa
  • Lessons are calculated for 2 people.

In addition, All 2015 Traveline Guests Receive:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily full breakfast, for up to two in room guests
  • A complimentary 50-minute massage
    • for up to two people, per room, once during stay
  • Early check-in/late check-out
    • subject to availability

Click here for more information

1-888-700-8747

Luxury Golf Cruises in the Caribbean and Europe

Golf Ports - SeaDream Yacht Club

Remember, Traveline offers you a Virtuoso amenity of $200 per stateroom SeaDream Spa Credit on all sailings (including groups).

SeaDream is pleased to present a selection of magnificent golf courses in both the Mediterranean and Caribbean. Courses include:

  • Anguilla: Players are greeted at the hole of this 7,063-yard championship course with spectacular views of St. Maarten and the Caribbean Sea.
  • Martinique: Les Trois Ilets topography and scenery makes it a phenomenal location for a 18-hole golf course.
  • Arecibo: Dorado Beach East is home to a legendary championship golf course, set on dramatic sloping hills and along the ocean’s edge.
  • La Romana: Renowned golf course architect, Pete Dye created three challenging courses for Casa de Campo: Teeth of the Dog, The Links and Dye Fore!
  • St. Lucia: St.Lucia Golf Club is where traditions of a timeless game meets a distinct tropical setting. Lush fairways roll above stunning Caribbean waters.
  • Cannes: Europe’s most complete golf facility, Terre Blanche Golf Club has earned a position among the world’s top-level golf destinations.
  • Barcelona: El Prat Golf Course is 45 holes designed by Greg Norman. Set in the beautiful rolling countryside, it’s a test for any golfer.
  • Sanary-sur-Mer: Bask in the spectacular beauty of Ronald Fream 18 + 9 hole course – considered one of the most beautiful courses in Europe.

Click here for more information.

1-888-700-8747