Every year when St. Patrick’s Day comes around, I’m reminded of my trip to Ireland. One of my most fond memories of Ireland was a visit to Blarney Castle.
I didn’t really know much about the history of Blarney Castle before our trip, although I had heard about kissing the Blarney Stone for the gift of gab. In my mind, I pictured a large stone in a garden guests would walk up to and kiss and be blessed with the ability to talk a lot. In reality, the stone is a block of bluestone built into the battlements of Blarney Castle in 1446 and is not easy to access.
In order to plant your lips on this coveted spot, one must lie on his or her back and lean backwards upside-down while a helper holds on to you. For your effort, you are supposedly blessed with the gift of eloquence and flattery. I opted not to hang upside-down and share germs with all those who kissed the stone before me, but my husband gave it a try. He joined the likes of Winston Churchill and Mick Jagger, who both kissed the stone.
The grounds around the castle are a mystical place, with beautiful gardens and interesting spots tucked away along the walking paths. It takes little imagination to see who is imprisoned in the Witch’s Stone, which is along one of these paths. Visitors often leave The Witch of Blarney coins as an offering. The witch is said to have been at the Castle since the dawn of time. She only escapes the stone after nightfall, which is fortunate for visitors because the castle grounds close at dusk.The Witch’s Kitchen is said to have a fire that burns every night. The firewood is paid for by visitors’ wishes on the Wishing Step and is lit every night by The Witch of Blarney as she fights to stop shivering on her nocturnal escape from the Witch’s Stone. They say if you arrive early enough in the morning, you may see the dying embers of the fire.
— Tracey Cullen, art director
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
I imagine that when writer Hans Christian Andersen mused, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale,” he was standing at the edge of Copenhagen’s historic Tivoli Gardens, one of his favorite haunts, enlivened by the swirl of human happiness that surrounded him: children laughing; carousels spinning; games of chance played for prizes; lovers holding hands; hungry people whispering over sweets, hot drinks, beer and towering, open-faced smørrebrød, Denmark’s quintessential sandwich. That fairy tale lives on today at the second-oldest amusement park in the world, a spectacle of folly architecture, bakeries, gardens, rides, restaurants, puppet shows and joy ... and which also happens to be one of the city’s most storied places to convene for business.
The restored Park Hyatt Toronto reopened its doors, bringing luxury, sophistication and glamour alongside a nod to the hotel’s Canadian heritage. Alessandro Munge of Studio Munge collaborated on the hotel’s refresh, drawing inspiration from Canada’s seasons and natural landscapes.
Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.
I recently dined at Irwin’s in Philadelphia. The restaurant is located on the rooftop of the Bok Building, a former school turned collective of small businesses, non-profits, artist workshops, a bar and restaurant. I previously visited Bok for the bar and yoga classes, and I was excited to experience the restaurant.
Cathay Pacific reaffirms its commitment to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 with a pledge to use Sustainable Aviation Fuel for 10 percent of its total fuel consumption by 2030. The airline has made pioneering efforts in supporting SAF development for more than 10 years.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
Arriving early afternoon in Puerto Rico, we jumped in an Uber and took a short, 15-minute drive from the airport to La Concha. As it was Tuesday, the streets were not too busy and the hotel lobby was calm. During the weekend, the scene likely would have been more bustling. We were greeted by a staff member who requested proof of vaccination and government-issued ID, and were given a wristband to indicate we were fully vaccinated. All guests are required to be vaccinated and wear masks at all times while moving around the hotel. Hand sanitizer stations were placed around the lobby, in elevators and in each common area.