Ireland’s newest castle hotel is set to open during the first quarter of 2018 in lovely, green County Kildare. About an hour from Dublin and originally constructed in 1180, Kilkea Castle and its surrounding 180-acre estate were treated to a $30 million makeover that took five years to implement. Along with 11 sumptuously appointed rooms in the castle, the 5-star property includes a grand function hall, a spa, restaurants, bars and a golf club with 33 self-catering lodge suites. Accommodations extend to a converted carriage house and stable area in the courtyard, where many of the 24 bedrooms and suites still feature beautiful original elements such as exposed wooden beams and handcrafted wrought iron.
Guests can relax in the Drawing Room with afternoon tea, or settle in beside the fire in the Castle Lounge. There’s even The Keep, an authentic Irish pub serving up Irish whiskies and Guinness. For fine dining, Hermione’s Restaurant includes beloved national favorites and haute cuisine, while the Dining Room overlooking the rose garden offers a sophisticated menu of international fare.
The grounds feature gardens, natural woodlands and a river. The new 18-hole, par-70 parkway course includes the river as a natural hazard. The course also features two lakes, a driving range, a practice putting green, a clubhouse overlooking the ninth hole and a well-stocked golf shop. Skeet shooting, horseback riding, hiking, swimming, cycling, archery, tennis, falconry and fishing are among the other activities provided for the enjoyment of guests. For relaxation, yoga and Pilates are offered, along with bird watching forays, meandering walking paths and a menu of curated spa treatments. Just in case you’re on the lookout for an executive getaway, the castle also contains meeting and conference facilities.
All airplane flights begin on the ground. An airport is the starting point, but airspace issues continue to expand from the terrestrial to the aerial. Altitude is no barrier when countries claim sovereignty from the Earth to beyond the stratosphere.
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Flanked by the ski resort-studded Balkan Mountains and situated directly downwind from the fragrant pine forests of the Vitosha mountain, Sofia’s gorgeous landscape and strategic location between Asia and Europe put it at a crossroads where business and pleasure intermingle effortlessly. In recent years Bulgaria’s capital city has ranked as one of the top 10 best places in the world for startup businesses, and the onslaught of new tax exemptions for businesses looking to invest in the country make it an attractive option for many corporations to begin operations within the city.
It’s been almost three years since Category 5 Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico, wreaking havoc on the island and leaving most residents without electricity and clean water. Tourism, which accounts for 6.5 percent of Puerto Rico’s gross domestic product, took a beating, with hotels closed for year-long repairs, airlines cutting service and cruise lines shifting itineraries to other Caribbean destinations. Timing for the hurricane couldn’t have been worse, coming on the heels of the government’s announcement in May 2017 that it was unable to pay more than $70 billion in public debt and thus forced to file for bankruptcy. Large protests and a change of government would follow. Then, in January 2020, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked the south side of the island, forcing San Juan restaurants to close while power was restored. And as we write this story, coronavirus runs rampant across the globe with severe economic implications for all destinations, including Puerto Rico.
Though air travel slowed as airports temporarily closed and borders shuttered to stifle the spread of coronavirus, the airline industry — led by oneworld alliance member airlines — enacted enhanced protective measures to reduce risk and protect passengers.
Climbing along the coast, I was trying to snap pictures of the cool-blue Puerto Vallarta waters outside my car window (I know, it never works) when we started winding along stone walls draped in jungle-like foliage. Annoyed my view was blocked, I looked around to see where we were just as we were parking at Hotel Mousai — I audibly gasped. The all-glass, chic and incredibly grand entrance was so well-secluded, it somehow snuck up on me.
Noble House Hotels & Resorts debut Tropical Distancing, a newly trademarked term to connote social distancing in an idyllic setting at its U.S. beach properties, including San Diego Mission Bay Resort; Kona Kai Resort & Spa; LaPlaya Beach & Golf; Ocean Key Resort & Spa; Pelican Grand Beach Resort; The Portofino Hotel & Marina; Solé Miami; L’Auberge Del Mar; and Little Palm Island Resort & Spa.
Finding a beachfront Punta Cana all-inclusive resort for all ages can be daunting when you want to take home great memories with loved ones but also experience a sophisticated escape. Now, you can have both thanks to a new resort: Finest Punta Cana.
The 1985 song “One Night in Bangkok” mentions many of the overindulgences of this city. One of them is massage parlors. Today, however, a Thai massage is considered an activity that improves one’s physical and mental well-being. The city has shed its former reputation as a place of wild nightlife and decadence, over the past few decades emerging as a major center for international commerce, wellness initiatives and tourism.