Monday, July 29, 2013

Romantic Orlando (by Aimee Claire)

Orlando is the fifth largest city in the US state of Florida, and is nicknamed ‘The City Beautiful’. Originally named Jernigan after its first permanent settler, Orlando experienced its ‘Golden Era’ during the late nineteenth century, thanks to its orange-growing orchards. The city is famous today for its extensive tourist attractions, including Disneyworld, Epcot Center and the Universal Orlando Resort, comprising SeaWorld, Gatorland and Wet n’ Wild Water Park. Romantic attractions There is more to Orlando than just cartoon characters and getting wet. For those going to Orlando with romance in mind, there is the popular horse-drawn carriage ride that takes couples through the streets of downtown Orlando. Something a little more expensive, but also a bit more unusual, is a helicopter ride over the town, with the pilot pointing out the famous sights. Some flights also fly over the lakes of Central Florida, presenting the opportunity to see some of the area’s wildlife. Although generally thought of as a family attraction, the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular at the Magic Kingdom is perfect for lovers. Find the perfect viewing spot, such as at the Polynesian Hotel, the Contemporary Resort, or get a little privacy by taking a boat out on the Seven Seas Lagoon, and then sit back and watch the firework display. For a sophisticated evening out, head to the Vines Grill and Wine Bar. Here, you can dine on gourmet food made with organic and locally sourced ingredients, and choose from an extensive wine list, whilst listening to a live jazz band. Where to stay There are plenty of big hotels in Orlando, yet despite their size, they still offer a taste of romance for those seeking it. The Caribe Royale Orlando on Lake Buena Vista, is perfectly placed for all the major attractions, but also boasts a host of in-house amenities, including a spa and wellness center, golf course, games room, tennis court and hot tubs. For 5-star service, try the Peabody Orlando with its superior rooms and spa-like bathrooms. Another high-class hotel, the Ritz-Carlton Orlando has all the usual facilities, with in room iPod docking station, 37” flat screen TV, and marble bathrooms complete with bathrobe and slippers. Weather in Orlando and when to go The peak season is during the school holidays, June through to August, and the weather is hot, though not uncomfortably so. The slow time is in September, so there are some good deals to be had, but it is also the heart of the hurricane season. January through to March is an ideal time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds, and the weather is still good, in the 70°s and 80°s during the day, dropping to 50°s and 60°s of a night. Getting to and around Orlando The main, and busiest, airport in the area is the Orlando International Airport and many airlines fly to Orlando, with Air Transat flights having some very good deals. Once in Orlando, it is very easy to get around by car, although there are many tolls on the roads and very little free parking. Article by Aimee Claire Visit MondoExplorer Orlando

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

London – Making it Your Business

London – Making it Your Business As a business it is in your interests and that of your company to have the best possible insights, not only into the market players you want to connect and do business with; but also into their corporate identity. Having that understanding, that local knowledge, may make the difference between cementing a deal and losing it. With London being the number one destination for American business travelers within Europe, knowing what to expect, how to create that great first impression and build rapport is essential. With the trend being for smaller and medium sized businesses to be spending proportionately more than the larger ones on business travel, getting value for your dollars and bringing home the bacon has to be a priority. Dressing to reflect the ethos of the customer is helpful. Business dress in the UK still tends to the conservative; functional, classic lines and dark colors, with women accenting formality. Although dressing down to smart casual has become more accepted in the workplace, formal meetings still tend to revert to more traditional style. Understatement is the order of the day, even with less formal wear, with any colors tending to be muted rather than bright. There is a penchant among certain echelons of business for men to accent their business suit with a brighter, contrasting tie, but if you are uncertain then you won’t go wrong with a more restrained design. Communication in business is a careful balance between saying what you want to get across and not being seen as either undiplomatic or pushy. Rather than just give a negative opinion, it is better to find a way of softening the impact by the use of compensatory expressions or focusing attention on positive attributes while couching the negative somewhere in the middle. As with dress code, understatement is often better than hard sell; so getting your sales pitch across needs to be carefully considered, delivered with sincerity and good body language. Networking and relationship building are essential to building your business in the UK and Europe, being key to middle to long term success. There is much respect for seniority and proven experience and knowledge; so demonstrating these attributes and communicating well will be very supportive to your company’s aims. Why not take the opportunity of condensing the opportunities available and raising your corporate profile at the 2014 two day Business Travel Show at Earls Court, London, taking place 4-5 February. Opportunities for Businesses Servicing Business Travel Here you will be able to promote your company and products to a captive audience. The only business travel fair in Europe, the exclusively hosted buyer program facilitates appointments with exhibitors in advance, while a dedicated team will ensure that buyers arrive at your stand ready and waiting to do business with you. The event attracts more than 6,000 industry executives, which include 2,500 corporate travel buyers and small to medium enterprises. This is an unparalleled opportunity to make the most of a business trip to Europe, renewing existing contacts and extending your networking to new customers. In its third year, the Business Travel Show has the most comprehensive supplier offering and sourcing anywhere in Europe. For air, accommodation and travel management, as well as technology providers, it is the primary focal point to extend their customer base to new markets around the globe. Taking a stand at the exhibition will mean your services standing out from the crowd in the market place. This makes you ideally situated to lay out the details of your products and the advantages that a buyer would have by choosing them rather than a competitor’s products. It is also a perfect opportunity to ensure that prospective customers will remember you; both by making that human contact which we know is very often the decider between buying from you rather than someone else; as well as by presenting them with a card and branded reminder of your business, helping prospective clients to remember both you and your products. With such a crowded market place, the promise you give of outstanding customer service allied with competitive products will add the final touches to ensuring that it is your company’s phone that rings when customers need to renew their existing products or purchase new ones. Maximizing Profitability Through Business Expenditure In today’s climate of reduced operating costs and carefully calculated profit margins, ensuring that you have the best possible business support services for your company is paramount. From air travel through hotel or apartment accommodation to security and mobile communications, you can hone and refine your business travel requirements to fit your company’s annual budget. With the chance to come to one central point and procure the most cost effective support, tailored to your company’s needs, you can take advantage of the exclusive networking which takes place over the two days of the show; as well as the free conference program, which is aimed to equip you to manage your travel to your best advantage. By Julie Bowen

Monday, July 1, 2013

Cruise into the City that Never Sleeps

Cruise into the City that Never Sleeps
There are many words to describe New York, The Big Apple; the city that never sleeps: iconic; eclectic; electrifying; magnetic; tall; intoxicating; utterly addictive. Many people who live there or have visited will tell you that there is no other city in the world quite like it. Exhilarating, breathtaking and non-stop, your visit to the city of New York will pick you up, transport you and deposit you on your departure with the distinct feeling that you will never be quite the same again.
As a visitor on a brief stay in the city, you can thrill to the unforgettable experience of the vitality and diversity that is New York. It would be impossible to cover all there is to do and see in the space of a few days, so when you plan your visit you will have to be ruthless in deciding your personal absolutely “must see” places. This is especially true if your time in New York is part of a wider itinerary, touring the States by road or as a luxury cruise destination.  What you feel is the unmissable, quintessential spirit of New York will depend, in part at least, on your personal tastes and interests. With the boundless historical and cultural destinations; the gastronomic adventures and the shopping, you will not have time to become bored. New York by day is one city and by night another and exploring both is a must. While many will undoubtedly include the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, a boat trip to Ellis Island, or Central Park in their sightseeing, there are other delights to discover too.
Cruise Stopovers in New York
When arriving by cruise ship, you will moor either in Manhattan or Brooklyn, depending on your cruise. Disembarking in Manhattan will put you almost in the heart of New York with about a 20 minute walk to Times Square and Broadway. Berthing in Brooklyn will leave you with a bit more of a trek, but either flag a yellow taxi or take one of the many ferries operating between Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan and other stop off points. No matter where you berth, it is a really good idea to make a note of your berth number – just to save yourself any problems on the way back to ship.
Many cruises will have organized day tours available during your stopover in New York. You can take advantage of one of these city tours or go it alone and take in just the places that appeal to you. Why not take a bike tour through Central Park? You can rent a bike and take in the Park by yourselves for a couple of hours, or sign up for the two-hour Central Park Bike Tour. For a really special trip around Central Park you could go by horse and carriage and take in the sights. With sculptures and monuments; bridges, lakes and historic buildings such as the Blockhouse (Central Park’s oldest building), Central Park Zoo and the Conservatory Garden, to name but a few; you could spend the entirety of your visit to New York in this world renowned park.
Collect a Few Shopping Bags
For shopping, you are spoilt for choice and may run out of credit cards before you run out of stores to visit. Whether Saks (at 611 5th Avenue) is more to your liking or you prefer Bergdorf Goodman (at 754 5th Avenue) you will be elbow to elbow with some of the most discerning shoppers in New York. As well as these two flagship stores, you can take in Macy’s over on West 34th Street or Bloomingdales on 59th Street and Lexington Avenue. As an overseas visitor, take your passport with you and register with customer services at Bloomingdales or Macy’s to receive  either complimentary discounts on your purchases or gifts (offers may vary). 5th Avenue, between 49th and 60th Streets is also home to what are perhaps the most exclusive boutiques anywhere in the world. Stroll down here and enjoy taking in the crème de la crème of designer stores, parfumiers and jewelers.
Enjoy the Gardens
Why not walk the High Line, the highest public park in New York, built on a historic freight rail line above the streets of Manhattan? Running from Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street, these public gardens feature lawns and flower borders, interspersed with some outstanding modern art (you can take a walking tour with one of the curators of High Line Art to get a real insight into the pieces on display) – all at rooftop level, giving you the chance to get a birds’ eye view of Manhattan during your stroll. You can stop off and enjoy a coffee or a bite to eat at one of the many eateries. With stargazing, nature walks, dancing and music events taking place, the High Line is totally unique in its location and facilities – making it a real pleasure to spend time there.
The Dining Experience
An opulent and totally luxurious experience awaits you at The Russian Tea Room. Lunch or high tea; breakfast or dinner; you are certain to enjoy the Russian overtones of your meal here. With amazing ambience and superlative service, you will leave here feeling both spoiled and decadent. This iconic New York restaurant has been host to the political and cultural elite of New York for around eighty years since its foundation by members of the Russian Imperial Ballet in 1927. Why not combine a visit to this amazing restaurant with your theater trip to Broadway and soak up the atmosphere.
With so much to choose from, you couldn’t hope to take in everything on one visit, so it is certain that you will want to return again and again to continue exploring this extraordinary metropolis.
Article by Julie Cowley

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sundays in Chacras de Coria

 I've lived in Chacras de Coria for a long time now, it's probably my place in the world. Chacras is a colorful little town just 15km away from downtown and halfway to the wine country. It is gorgeous on any given day but on Sundays it is vibrant: the Flea Market decorates the little square and a mixture of people, from local chacrenses to visitors, combine to make it a perfect excursion for the weekend.Sundays in Chacras de Coria by Laura Yofre 
The church, right in front of the main square, summons everybody around noon for Sunday mass. Afterwards, if you want to stop for a bite to eat, there are many options, but my favorite spot is Lo de Coria: don't expect haute cuisine here or attention-to-detail service! However, the strategic corner where it's located is the perfect spot to overlook the square and to grasp the look and feel of the chacrenses. 
    After lunch, get ready for a unique experience: dive into the Flea Market. If I have to use a word to define it, it would be eclectic. You can find everything from early XXth century antiques to modern design pieces. From typical leather belts and key holder to artisanal jewelry and silverware to colorful ceramic planters. The pony ride is a must for the little ones who can also stop at the Painting Corner that offers easels, pencils and paints available for the little artists to be. 
As the afternoon goes by and you are done with walking, try one of the many coffee places around: Viamonte Bar, Jebbs or Bianco & Nero, each offers a different way of enjoying the media tarde (tea time). Whether you chase it with coffee, tea or fruit juice, you must try our tortitas! Even if you feel like going back to your hotel room, don't leave Chacras without stopping at La Veneciana for a handfull of tortitas raspadas (to die for!) and I can bet you'll leave your heart in Chacras!
All the action is over as soon as the sun goes down, don't miss it!
Laura Yofre

Monday, February 13, 2012

February in New York City

February is here and it's time to celebrate Valentine's Day, Fashion Week and Chocolate Week in New York City. The city still has many free night offers and reduced hotel pricing making it a great time to explore. The winter has also been the mildest in many years making it a great time to come and visit!
For food lovers, a majority of restaurants are offering pre-fixe menus for Valentines Day. For chocoholics, it's Chocolate Week in the city! Created in 2011, Chocolate Week is the first event in New York City entirely dedicated to the art of cooking chocolate. Many restaurants offer a special chocolate menu featuring one of a kind cocktails, main courses and desserts all incorporating chocolate as an ingredient.
And for Fashion Week, there are lots of ways to get in on the action. Just by walking the streets, you may bump in to models and celebrity sightings. For the first time ever, Lincoln Center is selling tickets to some of the shows.
So in case you were wondering what's going on in this beautiful and energetic city in February, now you know! Go ahead and book on our site ! You won't regret it !

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Welcome MondoExplorer Panama

Mondo Explorer is excited to announce a long-awaited new addition to our online travel guides—the Central American gem of Panama. This small, narrow country bordered by Costa Rica to the North and Colombia to the South will capture your imagination with its breathtaking natural beauty not to be overshadowed by its thriving local economy. Our new virtual guide to Panama is brimming with the best advice from the locals who know and love their country best as they suggest everything from where to stay and when to plan your trip to the best nature hikes, beaches, and local eateries. With the largest rainforest in the Americas outside of the Amazon, Panama is teeming with exotic life, making it one of the most popular destinations for nature lovers. And, since there is simply so much to see and do in this tiny country—don’t forget that it is the only place in the world where you can gaze at the Pacific and Atlantic oceans at the same time—Mondo Explorer has carefully collected the best insider information about the entire country for our users. This country is undoubtedly a tropical paradise, a destination where the comforts of modern living and amenities have left its raw beauty yet untouched and unspoiled. Truly one of the most beautiful spots in the Americas, and we’re proud to add it to our growing publication.

Visit MondoExplorer Panama

Mondo Explorer Editor

Monday, July 18, 2011

Welcome to Mondo Buenos Aires!

Mondo Explorer is brimming with travel-glee to announce the publication of a new guide for one of the most exciting cities in the world, Buenos Aires, Argentina! Once one of the most sought-after and glamorous destinations in the Western Hemisphere, this capital city seems to have it all—the tradition of a place like London, the beauty of Paris, and the energy of New York. And yet this international city is Argentinian to the core, which shows in its unique combination of urban progress mixed local color and tradition that have carried over for hundreds of years.
Our new Buenos Aires travel guide features hand-picked suggestions from locals who’ve loved this city since birth (and to know Buenos Aires is without a doubt to love it, no matter which continent you hail from). To start with, check out our basic information page which will tell you everything you need to know about how the city works, from when to go, how to get there, or how to get around the city, along with a host of other helpful tips that only locals and those who’ve traveled extensively to this coastal city know.
But the most helpful section of our guide will surely be the Explore section, where we give our readers a detailed breakdown of the different vibes for each of Buenos Aires’ many neighborhoods (or barrios, as they are called in Spanish). Buenos Aires is, if you don’t know already, a massive city that is spread out across many miles. Think Manhattan on steroids, then, maybe, you have half of Buenos Aires. And, each neighborhood has a very unique scene and ambience, which can change from street to street. This can be overwhelming for just about anyone (even some of the locals are known to get the neighborhoods confused from time to time). True to the kind of insider, hard-to-find information that MondoExplorer works hard to giving our fellow globe-trotters, this Explore section will undoubtedly become a part of your travel “Bible,” especially as you’re trying to figure out which barrio to stay in and which ones you want to pencil in (or out of) your itinerary (trust us, if you’re going to be in Buenos Aires for less than two weeks, there is little chance you’ll have time to see the entire city, so check out these neighborhoods to see where you want to narrow your focus).
And, lastly, we have our classic guide section where you’ll find listings for basically every kind of venue you’ll need for your stay—hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, museums, theaters, entertainment, galleries, shopping, and the list goes on . . . Here, you’ll be able to easily search through and look up where to stay, eat, and play, and then book your reservations directly from our guide listings. You'll also find out about the hundreds of events that take place daily throughout the city. (Hint: Our favorite? Hands-down, the Teatro Colón. Check our guide for their active season; this is classic Buenos Aires. Also, if you don't see a tango show during your stay, you must not have left the hotel.)
And don’t forget, we always want to hear from other like-minded travelers! If you’ve been to Buenos Aires and want to share your suggestions with us—where to get the best empanada, which barrio is a must-see (or a miss-fire), or who gives the best tango lessons in the city—we want to know. Leave your comments here and we’ll be sure to add them to our guide so that we can share them with the rest of the travel community.
¡Buen viaje!