Queensland Flood Update And Travel Info: 18 January 2010

Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Fraser Coast, Bundaberg, Gladstone, Agnes Water, 1770, Whitsundays, Mackay, Townsville, Cairns and Tropical North Queensland are accessible and tourism operations are normal.

All Queensland airports with the exception of Rockhampton, are currently open and operating normally.

The Bruce Highway, the main road link from Brisbane to Cairns, is now open. Brisbane, the Darling Downs, Southern Downs and Granite Belt and Capricorn Coast are now recovering with most tourism operations open and affected tourism operations returning to normal as quickly as possible. There are however still some local road closures in some areas. Visit http://131940.qld.gov.au/ for the latest road conditions.

Parts of Central Queensland, Queensland's Outback, Western Downs and the Lockyer Valley continue to be affected and access to these areas is restricted.

Please contact your travel agent, accommodation, attraction or tour provider directly for latest conditions or with concerns about any current or upcoming bookings you may have.

For the latest travel information visit www.queenslandholidays.com.au For the latest conditions Tourism Queensland recommends visiting the Queensland Government's official Queensland floods webpage: http://www.qld.gov.au/floods/ or visit the Bureau of Meteorology http://www.bom.gov.au/ to check weather forecasts for your holiday destination. Visit http://131940.qld.gov.au/ for the latest road conditions.

How can you help?
You can help Queensland recover by taking a holiday in Queensland – in the areas that haven't been affected by floodwaters, and in the affected areas once they are up and running again.

If you already have a Queensland holiday booked – don't cancel as most tourism regions and operations are now up and running.

If you don't have a Queensland holiday booked, book one!

Queensland's tourism industry has the welcome mat rolled out ready to receive visitors, so come see us!

People wishing to directly help flood victims can donate to the Queensland Government Flood Assistance Appeal at www.qld.gov.au/floods

What damage will the floods have on the Great Barrier Reef?

• There have been recent media reports concerning possible damage to Great Barrier Reef as a result of floodwaters transferring from the river systems into the oceans around Central Queensland.
• Tourism Queensland is not a scientific expert qualified to speak on the health of the Great Barrier Reef, however our understanding is that the effects of the flood waters on reef systems is currently unknown. However, fresh water runoffs are a natural part of the ecosystem and some plant and marine life actually thrive in these situations.
• The Great Barrier Reef is 2300km along with thousands of reefs, coral cays and islands. The vast majority of these are likely to remain unaffected.
• Currently tourism operations along the Great Barrier Reef including the Southern Great Barrier Reef,Whitsundays, Townsville and Cairns and Tropical North Queensland are operating normally, including dive operators, sailing operators and daytrip operators.
• Anyone concerned about a Great Barrier Reef booking an individual operator, should check with the accommodation provider, tour operator or attraction for the latest conditions.
• Refer to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for further information.

Cebu Pacific Air flies 50 millionth passenger to Beijing


Fueled and strongly positioned for rapid growth in the next four years

The Philippines’ largest national flag carrier, Cebu Pacific Air (CEB) reached a milestone today when it flew its 50 millionth passenger from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (Manila) to Beijing, China.
 
CEB first flew daily flights from Manila to Cebu and Iloilo utilising four aircrafts in March 1996. It began operating as a full fledged low-cost carrier (LCC) in 2005.
 
“As the first low-fare airline in Asia, Cebu Pacific Air considers this a major achievement. Since 1996, we have grown to become the Philippines’ number one airline, offering the most number of flights and operating the most extensive route network in the Philippines, and flying to the most ASEAN destinations,” said CEB President and CEO Lance Gokongwei.
 
“What we achieved in 14 years, we plan to achieve by 2015. That is, we will fly 50 million more passengers in four years,” he added.
 
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III together with Gokongwei awarded the 50 millionth passenger a one-year unlimited travel pass to any of Cebu Pacific Air’s international or domestic destination.
 
“The launch of our Beijing flights last September strengthened our operations in Greater China, contributing to the 37% growth in CEB’s international operations in the first nine months of 2010. With the expected delivery of more brand-new aircrafts, we are in a great position to expand in Asia,” Gokongwei said.
 
CEB recently made history when it raised PhP23.3 billion (equivalent to US$539 million) in an initial public offering, which was the largest ever initial public offering made by an LCC globally. The proceeds, among other things, are being used for aircraft acquisition.
 
The airline will take delivery of an additional five new Airbus A320s this year. It will end 2011 with a fleet of 37 aircrafts. Furthermore, 16 more Airbus A320 aircrafts will be delivered from 2012 to 2014.
 
“Cebu Pacific Air’s trademark low fares and innovative products, coupled with warm and genuine Filipino service, will continue to stimulate travel and tourism within the Philippines and beyond. The lowest fare from Beijing to Manila starts from RMB788,” he concluded.
 
CEB was the first airline to offer discounts to guests with no check-in luggage, passing on fuel savings to its passengers. It also gained popularity world-wide when its flight attendants danced the safety demonstration to embody its culture of fun.
 
The Philippines’ low fare leader, CEB operates services to 16 international destinations, namely: Bangkok, Beijing, Brunei, Busan, Guangzhou, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Macau, Osaka, Seoul (Incheon), Shanghai, Singapore and Taipei. It also flies to 33 domestic destinations from its four operational hubs in Manila, Clark, Cebu and Dav

Worldhotels launches its first branded hotels

Worldhotel The Rilano Munich, Worldhotel The Rilano Hamburg and Worldhotel Saltanat Almaty to open in January 2011
 
Worldhotels, the leading group for independent hotels, is proud to present its first branded hotels in Germany and Kazakhstan: Worldhotel The Rilano Munich, Worldhotel The Rilano Hamburg and Worldhotel Saltanat Almaty.
 
To be launched in January 2011, they will be the first of the group’s 450 hotels to display the Worldhotels brand prominently in the hotel name, exterior signage and at various points of the property.
 
“Our first three branded hotels perfectly represent everything Worldhotels stands for”, says Robert Hornman, Managing Director of the group. “They boast excellent facilities for leisure and business guests to work, sleep, dine and unwind, whilst at the same time featuring a great location and a unique style and atmosphere.”
 
The new branding solution of Worldhotels was introduced in September as an ideal alternative to standard franchise contracts. For a competitive all-inclusive annual fee, independent hotels competing against global chains can now brand themselves as a Worldhotel and benefit from the impact, support and strong return on investment of a global brand while still maintaining their unique identity. By 2013, the group plans to have added 50 branded hotels.
 
“Our focus is on guest experience and quality, not on standardising hardware”, says Robert Hornman. “Our hotels offer premium facilities for discerning business and leisure travellers as well as a unique ambience and design. We believe that high standards don’t have to mean high standardisation.”
 
Worldhotel The Rilano Munich is located in the popular district of Schwabing, just 10 minutes from the city centre and close to the Allianz Arena, the Olympic area and the BMW World. With 700m2 of conference facilities, it is ideal for meetings and events. The four star superior hotel features 150 fashionably furnished rooms, all with flat screen TVs and ergonomic work stations. Guests will enjoy sleeping in specially designed Rilano beds which were developed together with the leading German manufacturer Mühldorfer and boast high-quality mattresses, duvets and an exquisite selection of pillows. Culinary highlights are the bar Coffee Fellows, the Restaurant mamma minuti as well as the modern Jazz restaurant where guests can study the menu and place their orders with stylish iPads and a specially created Rilano App.
 
Spread over six floors with 170 rooms, Worldhotel The Rilano Hamburg is situated in the Finkenwerder disctrict, beside the river Elbe. All rooms of the hotel are decorated in natural colours such as beige, soft vanilla and woody dark brown and offer amazing views of the river. Guests can enjoy the sauna and fitness area with solarium free of charge. In addition, the hotel offers five modern conference rooms with air-conditioning and state-of-the-art technology. The popular Fusion Bar serves exotic cocktails and a wide selection of wines. Another highlight is the excellent restaurant River View with a summer terrace boasting spectacular views of the luxury cruise liners and impressive container ships passing by on the Elbe.
 
The new four star Worldhotel Saltanat Almaty is scheduled to open in January and is located in the historical heart of Almaty, Kazakhstan, within walking distance of famous sights such as the Republic Square, Central State Museum and Presidential Palace, and just three kilometres from the main train station and 15 kilometres from the airport. The building has been completely renovated and features 60 modern rooms, all of which are decorated in warm colours and fresh design elements and offer panoramic windows, air conditioning, free wireless Internet and in-room print, scan and copy amenities. Additional facilities include a restaurant with summer terrace, lobby bar and fitness centre complete with state-of-the-art cardio and muscle exercise equipment.
 
Jandos Kumekbayev, General Manager of the Worldhotel Saltanat Almaty, says: “We are very proud to be among the first branded hotels of Worldhotels and we are looking forward to benefiting from the wide range of sales, marketing, e-commerce and technology assets that the group has to offer.”
 
Holger Behrens, Director of Rilano Hotels & Resorts adds: “We are excited to become part of the global Worldhotels portfolio with two branded hotels. We will benefit from the international exposure of our hotel and our guests will enjoy the same incentives that the large chains offer, for example frequent flyer miles from 18 airline programmes, which will give our hotel an additional competitive edge.”
 

Swiss International Air Lines – SWISS First Wins Best Seat Design Award


Swiss International Air Lines Ltd. Captured the Best Seat Design Award for SWISS First as announced today by Global Traveler magazine in its seventh consecutive year of the GT Tested Reader Survey drawing from more than 25,000 frequent and luxury travelers worldwide.

"We're delighted to be there of course. To earn this award for the second year running is not just an honor and a reward for our continuous investments in our First Class product; it's an incentive to maintain these endeavors, too," said Markus Binkert, SWISS Managing Director of Product and Services. "Our First Class is a cornerstone of the SWISS product range. Needless to say, it's also an area in which we attach paramount importance to offering top-quality service – as one would expect from a Swiss-based airline. The feedback we receive from our US customers is especially vital to us here: after all, North America is our most important market outside Europe," Binkert said.

The Global Traveler survey is an open-ended survey of its readers done to determine the best in 62 travel-related categories. The survey was conducted from January 1, 2010 to August 31, 2010. "The success of the GT Tested Reader Survey has been staggering," said Francis X. Gallagher, publisher and CEO of Global Traveler. "Each year, more and more responses are received. Our readers certainly value the airlines, hotels and products they honor year after year," said Gallagher.

In 2009, SWISS first introduced the new First Class cabin in conjunction with its fleet renewal program. The new SWISS First seat offers an exclusive design, superb comfort, and extensive privacy. The seat can be reclined at the touch of a button into a totally lie-flat bed that is more than six feet long. It is also equipped with a down-filled duvet, and incorporates an innovative pneumatic air cushion that can be adjusted to individual preferences in any seating position. Further extras include a 23-inch (currently the world's biggest) inflight entertainment screen, and generous work surfaces and storage facilities.

Spacious surroundings and adjustable sidewalls contribute to passenger privacy, while sophisticated lighting and the contemporary-yet-warm SWISS design combine to create a pleasant sense of space. There is also an ottoman that can be used as a guest seat, complete with backrest and armrests, enabling the First Class passenger to dine or work with a fellow traveler at a generously-proportioned table.

New for 2011 will be further improvements to the SWISS premium cabin. "We'll be unveiling further First Class product and service enhancements as well as having a SWISS First cabin aboard every single aircraft of our long-haul fleet," Binkert said.

Chinatown Landmark Rose Hotel Yokohama Extends Worldhotels Network in Japan

Rose Hotel Yokohama, on the doorstep of the Japanese city’s world-renowned Chinatown, has joined Worldhotels as a First Class Collection affiliate.
 
The 178-room hotel is favoured amongst gourmets, business travellers and tourists alike for its award-winning Chungking restaurant, specialising in spicy Szechuan-style cuisine.
 
The restaurant’s Chef Takaoka won the top Grand-Prix Award in the 2010 Yokohama Chinatown Annual Gourmet Championship with his signature dish, crisp-fried crab cake.
 
Apart from its famous ChungKing restaurant, the Rose Hotel Yokohama also includes a French-style Café Brasserie Milly LaForet.
 
With a rooftop swimming pool and sunbathing garden, Rose Hotel Yokohama has achieved a listing in the 2011 Michelin Guide to Tokyo-Yokohama.
 
The hotel’s Grand Ballroom Tsuru No Ma can accomodate up to 1,000 guests and is especially popular as a wedding venue, with its own Japanese Shrine Room and dedicated chapel, along with a photo studio and beauty salon.
 
The hotel is just a 2-minute walk to Minato-mirai Tokyu Line Train Station – speeding to Shibuya Station Tokyo in just 25 minutes, and 7 minutes to the PACIFICO Convention Center.
 
It is also just 20 minutes by taxi from Tokyo International Airport Terminal (Haneda).
 
Rose Hotel Yokohama joins a fast-growing Worldhotels portfolio in Japan, which now also includes four RIHGA Royal Hotels in Osaka, Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima; Hotel Metropolitan, Dai-ichi Hotel and the legendary Hotel Grand Palace in Tokyo; Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka; and Portopia Hotel in Kobe.
 
Worldhotels Vice President Asia Pacific Roland Jegge said: “Our growth in Japan has been notable in recent years, across an increasing number of major cities. Rose Hotel is a particularly welcome addition as our network extends to the vibrant port of Yokohama.”
 

Cebu Pacific Air flies 50 millionth passenger to Beijing

Fueled and strongly positioned for rapid growth in the next four years

The Philippines’ largest national flag carrier, Cebu Pacific Air (CEB) reached a milestone today when it flew its 50 millionth passenger from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (Manila) to Beijing, China.
 
CEB first flew daily flights from Manila to Cebu and Iloilo utilising four aircrafts in March 1996. It began operating as a full fledged low-cost carrier (LCC) in 2005.
 
“As the first low-fare airline in Asia, Cebu Pacific Air considers this a major achievement. Since 1996, we have grown to become the Philippines’ number one airline, offering the most number of flights and operating the most extensive route network in the Philippines, and flying to the most ASEAN destinations,” said CEB President and CEO Lance Gokongwei.
 
“What we achieved in 14 years, we plan to achieve by 2015. That is, we will fly 50 million more passengers in four years,” he added.
 
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III together with Gokongwei awarded the 50 millionth passenger a one-year unlimited travel pass to any of Cebu Pacific Air’s international or domestic destination.
 
“The launch of our Beijing flights last September strengthened our operations in Greater China, contributing to the 37% growth in CEB’s international operations in the first nine months of 2010. With the expected delivery of more brand-new aircrafts, we are in a great position to expand in Asia,” Gokongwei said.
 
CEB recently made history when it raised PhP23.3 billion (equivalent to US$539 million) in an initial public offering, which was the largest ever initial public offering made by an LCC globally. The proceeds, among other things, are being used for aircraft acquisition.
 
The airline will take delivery of an additional five new Airbus A320s this year. It will end 2011 with a fleet of 37 aircrafts. Furthermore, 16 more Airbus A320 aircrafts will be delivered from 2012 to 2014.
 
“Cebu Pacific Air’s trademark low fares and innovative products, coupled with warm and genuine Filipino service, will continue to stimulate travel and tourism within the Philippines and beyond. The lowest fare from Beijing to Manila starts from RMB788,” he concluded.
 
CEB was the first airline to offer discounts to guests with no check-in luggage, passing on fuel savings to its passengers. It also gained popularity world-wide when its flight attendants danced the safety demonstration to embody its culture of fun.
 
The Philippines’ low fare leader, CEB operates services to 16 international destinations, namely: Bangkok, Beijing, Brunei, Busan, Guangzhou, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Macau, Osaka, Seoul (Incheon), Shanghai, Singapore and Taipei. It also flies to 33 domestic destinations from its four operational hubs in Manila, Clark, Cebu and Davao.
 

Wheel2Wheel Announces the 10 Charitable Partners Benefiting from Asia Pacific Philanthropy Adventure

Hong Kong-based charitable foundation Wheel2Wheel has revealed which charities and NGOs will benefit from its 100-day enduro-motorbike challenge across 20,000 kilometres through ten countries to Australia.
 
The Wheel2Wheel fundraiser, supporting one charitable organisation in each country, sets-off from Hong Kong on 1 March 2011 – through China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Timor Leste to eventually reach Brisbane in Australia.  The chosen organisations will receive 100% of the money raised.
 
“We are delighted that after 18 months intensive due diligence, sifting through hundreds of worthwhile causes across the region, we are now able to announce the ten amazing charitable organisations we will be supporting.  These organisations and the people behind them are heroes to us.  Their humanitarian endeavours demand our attention and we want to celebrate them,” said Morgan Parker, founder of Wheel2Wheel.
 
Hong Kong – Air pollution is Hong Kong's biggest public health crisis, killing 3 people per day.  Supporting the Clean Air Network (CAN) which combats air pollution and aims to mobilise public support for cleaner air in Hong Kong was a logical choice.  Donations received will support campaigns to raise awareness of the problem and influence public, private and government action.
 
China – Wheel2Wheel is supporting the GECKO Project which teaches Chinese school students about environmental sustainability.  GECKO currently provides thousands of school children across China with access to the latest environmental education that is not part of the government curriculum.  Donations received through Wheel2Wheel will help provide an online learning resource.
 
“We always look for 'out of the box' awareness campaigns that help people understand the challenges of sustainable development in China and the importance of environmental education. We are excited to join Wheel2Wheel team during their South China journey and introduce the responsible tourism and sustainability to the local schools” said Mihela Hladin, Director, Greennovate (Shanghai) Co., Ltd
 
Vietnam – Support for Animals Asia, a charity fighting to end the torture of moon bears in Vietnam.  Wheel2Wheel’s journey to Animal Asia’s sanctuary aims to raise awareness of this inhumane and illegal business.  Donations will be used to sponsor the rehabilitation of additional moon bears rescued from exploitation.
 
Laos – Wheel2Wheel is supporting Child's Dream which brings education and healthcare to under-privileged children across Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.  There is a critical shortage of schools and access to education in the region, with Laos having the lowest literacy rates.  Donations received through Wheel2Wheel will fund the building of new schools in Laos.
 
“Child’s Dream Foundation is a charitable, not for profit organisation, helping children and communities in need in the Mekong Sub-Region. We are very pleased to have been chosen by Wheel2Wheel as the charity partner for Laos on their very exciting trip from Hong Kong to Brisbane. All funds received will be put towards our goal of widening access to education for every child in Laos. A dedicated Wheel2Wheel school building will be built in Laos” said Marc Thomas Jenni, Co-founder, Child's Dream.
 
Thailand – Thailand is the worst affected country in SE Asia by the HIV/Aids epidemic. Wheel2Wheel will support Baan Gerda, a unique orphanage which focuses on improving the lives of children born with HIV, with the ultimate aim of enabling them to assimilate productively into Thai society. Funds raised will help the development of an organic farming project providing learning, employment and income for the residents at Baan Gerda.
 
Cambodia – Wheel2Wheel has chosen to support New Hope which provides food, medical aid and social services to desperately impoverished communities in Siem Reap, Cambodia.  The donations received through Wheel2Wheel will support the building of a community centre and develop enterprises to bring income into the community.
 
Malaysia – Support is going to Women's Aid Organisation, a respected pioneer for women’s rights in Malaysia. Discrimination, access to education and violence against women continues to be a significant global issue and Wheel2Wheel donations will directly support the counseling service, child care centre and refuge for women victims of violence in Malaysia.
 
"Wheel2Wheel, this is adventure with a heart, it is a receiving beneficiary's dream.  It combines fund raising, public education, reshaping mindsets, Asian diversity and commonality, and a little bit of glamour.  We are excited to be part of the Wheel2Wheel adventure in 2011" said Ivy Josiah, Executive Director, Women's Aid Organisation
 
Indonesia – Funding from Wheel2Wheel is for PanEco, an organization that is committed to preventing deforestation, preserving the wildlife habitats and improving the lives of the local people. The coastal peat swamp forests of Aceh, Northern Sumatra, are among the most precious natural habitats in the world, but are threatened by palm-oil plantations.  Donations received via Wheel2Wheel will support the preservation of the Tripa peat swamp forest and aim to halt the cataclysmic release of carbon emissions into the atmosphere.
 
“We are glad to announce, that PanEco and YEL were chosen as the Wheel2Wheel partners in Indonesia. Our commitment to the preservation of the Tripa rainforests, campaigning for responsible palm plantations, and conservation of the Sumatran orangutan impressed Wheel2Wheel, so they will visit our projects in Aceh in May 2011. We hope that the support from Wheel2Wheel will help us raise awareness of these issues and continue this important work" said Regina Frey, President, PanEco.
 
Timor Leste – The Action for Change Foundation in Timor Leste helps build a brighter future for vulnerable youths through training and sport.  The area has suffered from violent conflict for over a decade and with few options, many turn to gangs and street crime, perpetuating the cycle of violence.  Money raised by donations will help promote peace and non-violence among street gangs by providing sports and job-skills.
 
Australia – At the journey’s end in Australia, donations will benefit the North Australian Indigenous Land & Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA) to help promote practical indigenous conservation land and sea management. For over 40,000 years, indigenous Australians have been living in harmony with the land and sea, developing a unique understanding of nature and approach to conservation.  Wheel2Wheel aims to showcase this rich environmental heritage of indigenous Australians for the world’s education.
 
Wheel2Wheel is welcoming donations for this unique social activism adventure online at www.wheel2wheel.tv/donate.php.
 
A fun way to donate is to Live the Dream and ‘Own-a-Km’ for as little as HK$100 by purchasing a kilometre of the epic journey.  All donations received are allocated 100% to the ten carefully selected charitable organisations.

Capella Singapore Goes Live With MobiBook


Ultra-luxury colonial retreat Capella Singapore has gone ‘live’ with the mobile booking engine MobiBook allowing guests to book, review or cancel reservations at any time, from anywhere.

Capella Singapore’s General Manager, Mr Robert Lagerwey, said Sentosa Island’s premier resort has adopted the state-of-the-art technology “as hotel guests are increasingly mobile-savvy, expecting optimised tools to easily book hotels through their phones”.

MobiBook offers a mobile hotel booking engine and branded mobile website through award-winning TRAVELCLICK (www.travelclick.net), the leading provider of ecommerce solutions for hotels, servicing more than 15,000 hotels in 140 countries.

Surrounded by 30 acres of lush rainforest, Capella Singapore is “redefining luxury" with uncompromising service including personal assistants for every guest and distinctive chauffeur-driven service by Rolls-Royce Phantom.

The resort was listed on the Condé Nast Traveler ‘Hot List’ for 2010 and described as “An exquisite Sentosa Island colonial / modern hybrid, the first Asian outpost of the nascent Capella brand is a poised yet easy going hotel that’s refreshing for straight-laced Singapore,”

Restoration of the colonial property was overseen by award-winning architect Lord Norman Foster and decor styled by leading international interior designers Jaya Ibrahim, Andre Fu and Yasuhiro Koichi.

The 112 guestrooms include two Colonial Manors, 38 garden villas, pool suites and 'Constellation' rooms with private rooftop jacuzzis.  Capella Singapore also offers the option of extended stays in 72 sea-facing suites and duplexes, and nine manors with private pools.

Fine dining is at Cassia Chinese restaurant with international and Asian cuisine at The Knolls and revitalizing drinks and tapas at Bob’s Bar.

Capella Singapore also features the Auriga Spa and Fitness Centre, meeting rooms and a business centre with two boardrooms, a signature Capella Club Lounge, three cascading outdoor pools and a world-class sculpture garden.

For more details, please visit www.capellasingapore.com.

Worldhotels UK Affiliate City Inn Rebrands as Mint Hotel

Britain’s City Inn group of modern, stylish city centre hotels has rebranded as Mint Hotel to reflect its fresh, contemporary hospitality experience.
 
The rebranding coincides with the opening of a second London hotel of 583 rooms in Pepys Street at the Tower of London (December 2010) and the group’s first international property of 553 rooms in Amsterdam (Spring 2011).
 
The latest expansions nearly double the group’s number of rooms to a total of 2,783 in eight hotels, employing around 1,500 staff.
 
The brand was founded in Bristol in 1999 by Sandy Orr, David Orr and Donald MacDonald, initially extending to London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Leeds.
 
Sandy Orr, Executive Chairman and Co-founder of Mint Hotel, said “Our business was created from scratch as a forward-looking, innovative hotel brand. Now, with the opening of two new world-class hotels in the most exceptional locations in the City of London and Amsterdam, we recognise it is time to give our company the branding it deserves.”
 
David Orr, Chief Executive and Co-founder, added “The name Mint Hotel gives us an instantly memorable identity to embrace the quality and modernity of what we do and reflects the brand’s sector-leading qualities, paving the way for the growth of our business.“
 
Worldhotels Vice President, Asia Pacific, Mr Roland Jegge, said ”Mint Hotel reflects the group’s commitment to exceptional modern buildings, service culture and position as a class leading, innovative and stylish city centre hotel brand.”
 
Free high-speed internet and Wifi access in guest rooms and public areas are standard – along with fully functioning iMac with Skype, free satellite TV and complimentary video library.
 
With all its properties custom-built, Mint Hotel is also consistently innovative in its hotel designs. Its pioneering SkyLounge concept, originated in Westminster and Manchester and developed in Leeds, animates publicly accessible city rooflines with terraces, private dining and meeting rooms and exclusive destination bars.
 
The new Tower of London SkyLounge has uninterrupted views of the Tower of London as well as meeting and private dining rooms and extensive roof gardens with sensational views and seating areas for the City’s most spectacular al fresco terrace.
 
Mint Hotel’s strategic partner for global marketing, sales and distribution is Worldhotels, one of the leading groups of independent hotels and regional brands worldwide.

Lonely Planet Helps Stranded Travellers with Free iPhone City Guides

With snow and freezing weather continuing to disrupt holiday plans across Europe, Lonely Planet has made 13 of its European iPhone City Guides free to travellers.
 
“We know that travellers who might be stuck in unfamiliar places over Christmas will need access to practical information as well as suggestions on what to do while they’re stranded,” said Shawn Low, Lonely Planet’s Asia-Pacific Travel Editor. “That’s why we’re giving away our iPhone City Guides to many of the European destinations impacted by the snow chaos.”
 
The 13 guides will be free in the iTunes App Store for 48 hours until 6pm, Wednesday 22 December 2010 (US Pacific Time).
 
The cities available are:
 
·         Amsterdam
·         Berlin
·         Copenhagen
·         Dublin
·         London
·         Moscow
·         Munich
·         Paris
·         Prague
·         St Petersburg
·         Stockholm
·         Vienna
·         Warsaw
 
Lonely Planet has also made its Compass City Guides for Android available for US$0.99c in the Android Marketplace for a limited time.