South Africa’s Leading HotelierJust Upped the Ante on Luxury Safaris — Robb Report

The Farmestad is hotelier Liz Biden’s latest over-the-top creation.

South Africa’s favorite creative mind is back at it again. Liz Biden—the owner of the Royal Portfolio, whose properties include La Residence in the Cape Winelands and The Silo atop Cape Town’s Museum of Contemporary Art Africa—has opened a new luxury experience in the wilds of the Greater Kruger National Park.

The Farmstead debuted in Thornybush, a private game reserve that forms part of the Great Kruger conservation area. Nearby, Biden’s famed safari lodge (which is hardly a lodge at all but rather a luxurious estate in the middle of the bush) Royal Malewane features the six-bedroom Africa House and two-bedroom Royal Suites. But it became so popular that the Biden family had to go back to the drawing board to create more.

The Farmstead includes three luxury suites and the Farmhouse, a villa for six adults and two children. It has been decorated in Biden’s inimitable glamorous style—think riotous Ardmore-covered chairs and plush velvet sofas in deep emerald, blue and ruby, antique doors from Zanzibar, and a North African banking kiosk repurposed as a kitchen hot pass. Deep verandas encourage lazing outdoors in swinging daybeds or on one of the loungers sunk into the shallow end of the pool. Art, as in Biden’s other hotels, plays an important role, with notable pieces by Kudzanai Chiurai and James Jana.

Since fences were dropped on Thornybush’s eastern boundary with the Timbavati private game reserve two years ago, thereby opening it fully to the Greater Kruger National Park, increased movement of animals has resulted in a richer overall game-viewing experience. Exceptional leopard, cheetah and wild dog sightings, as well as sizeable elephant herds, don’t harm either, especially when game drives and walks are led by the most qualified guiding team in Africa, including three master trackers. All that amounts to incredible game-viewing at the Farmstead. The retreat is also built on land owned by the local Moletele community, who benefit financially through a rental agreement, a percentage of the lodge’s revenue and employment opportunities.

via South Africa’s Leading HotelierJust Upped the Ante on Luxury Safaris — Robb Report

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The best hotels with pools in Thessaloniki — Airports and hotels

Are you already dreaming of escaping the heat and searching for the perfect city break? If you prefer urban travel to beach vacations, yet would still want to explore Greek destinations in the Aegean Sea, Thessaloniki in Macedonia boasts a perfect blend of tradition, history, modern culture and nightlife on the Thermaic Gulf. The city is fast becoming a trendy summer destination in Greece for many reasons: its gastronomy, its cultural events, the remaining Byzantine monuments and even the Thessaloniki International Film Festival. While travel photographers and avid instagramers opt for spending their stay roaming the streets of the centre to get the best shots, other types of travellers would rather enjoy the amenities its hotels have to offer and relax in style by the pool while sipping a cool drink, watch the sunset after having a good swim or eat breakfast at a rooftop terrace affording outstanding skyline views.

via The best hotels with pools in Thessaloniki — Airports and hotels

Holland America confirms Cuba cancellations — Cruise Waves

Holland America Line will no longer be permitted to sail to Cuba effective June 5, 2019, due to changes in U.S. policy banning cruise ship travel to Cuba from the U.S. Holland America Line had published cruise itineraries including Cuba on Veendam starting 23 Oct 2019 through spring 2021. Guests booked on these sailings and…

via Holland America confirms Cuba cancellations — Cruise Waves

Google’s mobile app trip planner to end in August — UPHINDIA

San Francisco: Google is putting an end to its trip planner mobile app – Google Trips.

“Support for the Google Trips app will end on August 5. Until then, you’ll still be able to access and email all of your trip reservations and notes as normal,” the company wrote in its support page on Tuesday.

After Google Trips is put to rest, the search engine giant would allow users to find the Google Trips app features in Search and Maps.

“To find personal trips information in Search, such as notes and saved places, you must sign in to your Google Account,” the post said.

via Google’s mobile app trip planner to end in August — UPHINDIA

Oahu – The Gathering Place — Cheap US Travel

Things to do on Oahu

A colleague recently asked for my advice on planning a special trip to Hawaii for her 40th wedding anniversary next year.  The couple considers this a “once in a lifetime trip” and they don’t want to miss any “must sees.”  What a wonderful place to celebrate a 40th wedding anniversary!  I’ve visited all of the major islands over the years and a trip to Hawaii can be done on a budget.  All of the islands have their own personality.  Today, I’d like to share some of my thoughts on Oahu.

Oahu is called the “gathering island” for a reason.  It is the most populous island in the chain and it receives the most visitors.  Honolulu International Airport brings people from around the world to the island each and every day of the year. Although you could easily spend several days exploring the Honolulu/Waikiki area and get by using the public bus system, taxis, or Ubers, I recommend renting a car and traveling outside of the Honolulu/Waikiki at least 1 day, 2 if you have the time and money.

These are some of my favorite things to see and do when visiting Oahu.

via Oahu – The Gathering Place — Cheap US Travel

Albuquerque, New Mexico — Cheap US Travel

Albuquerque is a beautiful and interesting destination for budget travelers.

Albuquerque, New Mexico has been receiving a lot of good press lately.  Sunset magazine recently included Albuquerque as of one of its “20 best places to live” towns in the west.  Travel and Leisure magazine listed it as one of its “50 best places to travel in 2018” picks along with exotic destinations like Buenos Aires and Croatia.

via Albuquerque, New Mexico — Cheap US Travel

Fred Olsen to offer guests a Whale of a time — Cruise Waves

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has teamed up with marine wildlife charity ORCA for an inaugural Iceland sailing on Boudicca in Summer 2019, as part of a new partnership to monitor whale and dolphin numbers and to help to conserve and protect the seas as a safe environment in which these species can live and thrive.

ORCA will have two volunteer wildlife experts on board Boudicca, when the 880-guest ship sets sail on the 13-night ‘Icelandic Wonders & Wildlife’ cruise in June 2019. These volunteers will spend up to 16 hours a day out on deck during sea days, to help Fred. Olsen guests to spot and identify animals and to record vital data about the marine wildlife that they see.

In addition, the ORCA volunteers will be holding lectures and Q&A sessions on board, giving guests the opportunity to ask questions about any wildlife that they may have seen whilst on board, and on excursions whilst in port. The ORCA team will also be accompanying a ‘whale-watching’ tour with guests.

Thomas Rennesland, Hotel Operations Director at Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “We know that our guests love sitting out on deck, in the hope of spotting marine whales, dolphins, and many other marine mammals and fish, and our nature-spotting excursions are always popular. To have the ORCA volunteers on board with us, sharing their vast knowledge and insight, is something that we know that our guests will love.

“As a cruise line, we make our livelihood out of the sea, so it is so vital that we do all that we can to help to protect the wildlife that lives within it. We are extremely pleased to be able to support ORCA in their important research in this way.”

Anna Bunney, Education Coordinator for ORCA, said: “The entire ORCA team are delighted to be embarking on this exciting new journey with Fred. Olsen, working in partnership to help keep whales and dolphins safe. Itineraries like ‘Icelandic Wonders & Wildlife’ give us the opportunity to study these iconic animals and learn more about their lives, so that we can help create safe spaces for them to live in.

“This itinerary is an incredible opportunity to see some of the most charismatic animals in the ocean, and we can’t wait to show guests aboard Boudicca the amazing marine wildlife seen in this part of the world.”

via Fred Olsen to offer guests a Whale of a time — Cruise Waves

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