Archive for Dubai
like to keep their love life under wraps, so it’s not surprising that
countless celebrity couples have often been spotted on romantic
For many celebrity couples, these romantic retreats are one of their
few opportunities to spend quality time together, away from their
hectic work schedules, A-list events and hordes of fans. So when they
do get the opportunity to escape on a romantic getaway, they ensure
that the destination they choose fits the bill perfectly – just as
these celebrity couple getaways do:
Maldives is a hot spot for A-list celebrity couples who want to cosy up
in the private beach-side huts on the paradise isles in the Indian
“The star of the Middle East”
boasts the world’s only seven-star hotel – the Burj Al Arab. With
suites priced from US$2,000 up to US$28,000 per night, it’s no wonder
celebrities often feature on the hotel’s guest list.
The food, the wine, the
culture, the art, and, of course, the romance, make Italy a top
celebrity couple getaway destination. As an extra treat for their
beloved, celebrity couples can shop to their heart’s content at Italy’s
many world-renowned fashion houses.
As well as being renowned
for being the birthplace of singer Rihanna, this Caribbean island is
also home to some of the world’s most spectacular white sand beaches
with their glittering turquoise waters, as well as fine dining and
Only 40 out of more than
700 of the islands of the Bahamas are inhabited. It’s no wonder then
that it’s a popular destination for celebrity couples seeking privacy.
When celebrities have had enough of soaking up the sun amid gorgeous
beaches, they can indulge in the islands’ glitzy nightlife.
Celebrity sightings: Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood, Lily Allen.
Fun-loving celebrity couples
love heading to Miami for some fun under the sun. Stars can go
club-hopping all night long at South Beach, grooving to Latin beats.
Celebrity sightings: Shakira, Janet Jackson, Gwen Stefani, Jennifer
Lopez, Justin Timberlake, Cameron Diaz, Beyonce, Kate Moss.
7. French Riviera
One of the jewels of
the Mediterranean, the French Riviera, or Côte d’Azur in French,
provides for one of the most romantic backdrops in the world. It is
dotted with many luxury hotels as well as private yachts.
Celebrity sightings: Joan Collins, Lily Allen, Elton John, Elizabeth
Hurley, Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas, Brad Pitt and
It may not be associated
with glitz and glamour, but Mexico still attracts many celebrity
couples thanks to its warm sun and palm-tree lined beaches. Its
nightlife is another selling point, and celebrities can often be found
downing tequila shots in one of Mexico’s many bars and clubs.
Celebrity sightings: Britney Spears,
Heidi Klum, Sienna Miller, Jennifer Aniston and John Mayer.
9. Rio de Janeiro
The second largest city of
Brazil is the perfect place for celebrity couples to get away from it
all and let their head down. Whether celebrities are off to the
flamboyant Carnaval, to an action-packed football match, or to the
beach to dance some samba on the sand, Rio always guarantees them a
Celebrity sightings: Naomi Campbell, Calvin Klein, Mick Jagger, Gisele
No romantic getaway list
would be complete without the world’s capital of romance – Paris. When
celebrity couples are in the mood for romance, they head to the City of
Lights – a place just as glamorous, fashionable, and famous as they
Celebrity sightings: Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal, Katy
Perry, Dita Von Teese, Emma Watson.
Top 10: Beach Cities
Clarke Travel Specialist
The top 10 beach cities
Sydney – Credit: iStockphoto.com
to water is the main factor when considering building a settlement,
which is why there are hundreds of major cities across the world built
next to stretches of glorious beach
and glittering ocean. So, as summer approaches, we track down some of
the world’s best beachside cities (which we’ve narrowed down to
settlements of more than 100,00 people), whose sandy fringes act as an
integral part of their structure, atmosphere and overall identities. So
slap on that sunblock, slide on those shades and head to one of our top
10 beach cities.
Built on water, Venice
was destined to rank as one of our top 10 beach cities. Its beaches are
often overlooked, however, given the meandering canals, gondola rides
and stunning architecture
that take up most of visitors’ precious time. When they get past those
attractions, they’ll find that the romantic
Italian city is actually home to some of the most hush-hush beaches in
Europe, where nature and history collide.
Best beach: Venice
Lido is one of the world’s best-kept secrets, and is only 10 minutes
away from the throngs of tourists that congregate around St. Mark’s
Square. An 11-mile island that stretches between the open sea and a
lagoon, the sands of Venice Lido play host to some of the most stylish
Italians off the catwalk. Excelsior and Des Bains are Lido’s best
private beaches (belonging to hotels), but there are two public beaches
to be found on either end of the white sandbar if you’re too cheap to
Body of water the city borders: Arabian Sea
Average temperature in the winter: 75°F
Average temperature in the summer: 85°F
Mumbai is the
financial, commercial, industrial, and celluloid capital of India,
and it’s where Bollywood dreams are made. Built from the ground up on
its colonial foundations, Mumbai is one part glitz, with flashy
skyscrapers and designer stores, and one part poverty, with slums and
seedy neighborhoods. Built next to the Arabian Sea, another one of
Mumbai’s points of interest is, of course, the beach. Juhu Beach, which
sits just outside of the city center, is lined with Mumbai’s best
hotels, restaurants and nightclubs, and it’s where the business bunch
like to come and play. Mumbai’s deep-water port is also an essential
component of the beachside city, managing over half of India’s maritime
Best beach: Fringed by Marina Drive on the
western side of the city, Chowpatty Beach is Mumbai’s most charismatic
beach. There are donkey rides, stalls selling bhelpuri (a savory snack
favored in the region) and a huge man-powered Ferris wheel to be ridden.
When the sun sets behind the Arabian Sea, Chowpatty Beach turns into a
carnivalesque scene with astrology readings, plays, monkey shows, and yoga
demonstrations happening right on the sand. The beach also doubles as
the venue for the annual Ganesh Chaturthi festival, during which giant
statues of the elephant god are thrown into the sea. This is beach-going
India-style, and there are no apparent rules or regulations.
Body of water the city borders: Pacific Ocean
Average temperature in the winter: 54°F
temperature in the summer: 73°F
Although many people
still think that Sydney is the capital of Australia,
it isn’t — that would be Canberra. Sydney is, however, no less
important to Australia’s success as a travel destination; in fact, more
people seem to visit it than the country’s actual capital, which
doesn’t seem fair. Nevertheless, with showstopping architecture,
such as the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge
(incidentally, both by the water), a vibrant nightlife
scene, and more natural beauty than in the rest of the world’s cities
put together, it’s not hard to see why Sydney is the beating heart of
modern-day Australia (as well as one of the world’s top 10 beach
cities). As the country’s biggest metropolis, there’s much to see and
do, but one of the biggest draws is undoubtedly the beaches that lie
just behind the clutter of the city’s glass-fronted buildings.
Best beach: A magnet for those who love the combination of
beach and city life, Bondi Beach is the most photographed stretch of
sand in Australia (and Australia’s one hell of a big country!). Famed
for its excellent surfing
conditions, Bondi is long, well-kept and full of gorgeous people
taking to their boards and riding the waves.
More of the top
10 beach cities… Next
Three Most Futuristic Cities
posted by: E Choon
There are only two ways of looking at the future; bright and spectacular or gloomy and horrible. Most of us would prefer a spectacular image, straight out of a sci-fi movie. Thankfully, even today some cities are working hard towards that great future and definitely deserve our commendations. The top three cities that make the cut as the most futuristic cities of today are Tokyo, Hong Kong and Dubai.
Ultra modern, with busy streets 24/7 and skyscrapers that puncture the sky, Tokyo is one of the most futuristic cities on earth. They make extensive use of technological advances, from internet, to electric toilets. They boast the fastest railway system in the world; their Bullet train can move up to 300 mph. Even anime has used this city to depict the future. Check out some of the Tokyo hotel deals for a wild time in Japan’s most modern city.
With skyscrapers that defy description, and neon lights flashing everywhere, Hong Kong is the next on our futuristic destinations list. The city makes use of a tram network with a smart card system to make travel from points in the city faster and more efficient, whether public or private. The beauty of the city and the unique skyline are hard to match, even the roads network looks out of this world. With one of the worlds best airports, built 16 miles out to sea and buildings which will definitely make you wonder which century you are in, Hong Kong is an amazing place to be.
Lastly, Dubai is the one that definitely looks nothing like any city anyone has seen before. The city doesn?t do anything on a small scale. They are currently in the process of building the first underwater hotel, and the houses at their marina are not only modern, but the design used to build looks like something straight out of the Waterworld. Add the unusually shaped buildings and busy city life, and you could definitely be looking at our future.
They have one of the world’s first ever built 7 star hotels called Burj Al Arab Hotel.
7 Most Amazing and Breathtaking Aquariums Around The World
This is really amazing. Most beautiful and breathtaking aquariums around the world. never seen something like this. hope you will agree with me.
1. Dubai aquarium in the Dubai Mall
Stingrays swim in the Dubai aquarium in the Dubai Mall, which covers the area of 50 soccer pitches. The Dubai Aquarium – vast, entertaining, an engineering marvel, three storeys tall and featuring glass ‘walk-through’ tunnels that contain exotic marine life.
2. Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta
World’s Largest Aquarium, Georgia Aquarium,Atlanta, a wonderful home for more than 100,000 animals of 500 different species (notable specimens: whale sharks, beluga whales, manta ray) and with a capacity of 8.1 million US gallons (31,000 m³) of marine fresh water
3. Churaumi Aquarium
World’s Second Largest Aquarium , Churaumi Aquarium,part of the Ocean Expo Commemorative National Government Park located in Motobu, Okinawa, Japan; capacity: 7,500-cubic meters (1,981,290 gallons) of water; one of the few places where visitors can see a great variety of sea creatures including sharks and manta rays.
4. The Aquarium of Western Australia (AQWA)
AQWA, an unbelievable journey to the underwater world of Western Australia, “from the icy waters of the southern ocean to the tropical wonderland of coral reefs in the Far North”The Aquarium of Western Australia (AQWA) is a privately owned aquarium in Hillarys, Western Australia. It opened as Underwater World, Perth on April 13, 1988 and was acquired by the current owners, Coral World International and Morris Kahn, in 1991. It changed to its current name on January 1, 2001. The facility holds approximately 400 species of marine life.
Largest Aquarium in Africa – UShaka Marine World, located on the strip of land between the beachfront and the harbor in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa; a beautiful amusement park and at the same time the worlds fifth largest aquarium with 32 water tanks. The sea creatures found in the aquarium range from small sea horses all the way through to sharks and dolphins. The Aquarium is built to look like an old wreck.
6. AquaDom, Radisson Hotel Aquarium
World’s Largest Cylindrical Aquarium , AquaDom, Radisson Hotel Aquarium, Berlin; 25 meters high aquarium, with a capacity of 260,000 gallons of water and over 2,500 fish (56 species); visitors can travel through the aquarium using an encased elevator and get to the top where there is a restaurant and an open view of the city; hotel rooms can also experience the underwater view.
7. The 32 million dollar Virtual Aquarium
World’s Largest Virtual Fish Tank, 30 by 250 meters LED screen or 32 million dollar Virtual Aquarium mounted at about 80 feet in the air between two shopping malls in Beijing.
10 Unusual Playgrounds From Around the World by
Playgrounds have come a long way since the days of hot, steel slides and open-backed infant swings. Take a look at some of the many unusually cool designs popping up around the world.
1. Nishi-Rokugo – Tokyo, Japan
In Japanese, Nishi-Rokugo means Tire Park. The Kawasaki plants are located not far away, so it’s possible they donated the 3,000 tires that make up the dinosaurs, monsters, bridges, slides, swings, and all the loose ones there for kids to stack and hop on. But this sand-bottom park is hardly just for kids. Parents can haul tires up specially designed tire steps and tube down wide concrete slides. I can imagine it’s the type of place you can spend hours at before you, er, tire, of it.
2. The Fruit and Scent Playground –Liljeholmen, Sweden
A banana slide, strawberry spinners, a pair of cherry swings, an orange see-saw and a watermelon jungle gym are all part of this unusual, small park in the south of Stockholm. It’s a great theme because it also teaches kids the importance of fruit over junk food. Reports coming out of the country indicate that the outdoors-loving Swede is on the way out. According to a study by Karolinska university hospital, obesity among seven year olds in Stockholm has increased from 8.5% to 21% over the last fifteen years. What could be better than exercising in fruit as an antidote?
3. Clemyjontri Park – Fairfax County, Virginia
Not just the name is unusual at Clemyjontri Park in Fairfax County, Virginia. This place is one of the few playgrounds in the world where children with disabilities can play side-by-side those without. The entire park is equipped with ramps for wheelchairs and the ground surfaces are specially designed with a non-slip material. The park is named for Adele Lebowitz’s (a major donor) four children: Carolyn (CL), Emily (EMY), John (Jon), and Petrina (Tri). Mrs. Lebowitz and her husband were also sponsors of a local children’s television show, The Pick Temple Show, in the 1950s. The star of that show, a clown named Bozo, was played by Willard Scott. Bozo, as you might know, would later morph into Ronald McDonald.
4. Pruessen Park – Berlin, Germany
This next playground is not for kids at all. In fact, anyone under 16 is not allowed inside Berlin’s Pruessen Park, nicknamed the “Playground for Grown-Ups.” The equipment is specifically designed for people over five feet tall and caters to Germany’s fastest growing age demographic: seniors. The idea, obviously, is to encourage them to get out and exercise more.
5. Zabeel Technology Park – Dubai
Perhaps the first playground in the world with a technology theme, Dubai’s Zabeel Technology Park has two zones featuring futuristic technology and alternative energy exhibits, a series of high tech interactive displays, and a maze modeled on the solar system.
6. Takino Hillside Park – Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido, Japan
The Children’s Playground in the Takino Hillside Park in Japan borrows ideas and images from nature. Varied lighting and sound conditions create a unique sensory experience for kids, unlike anything else on this list. Check out the cool net play tool in the rainbow nest dome. You can see how a lot of the park is built into, and under the hill.
7. St. Kilda Adventure Playground – Adelaide, Australia
St Kilda Adventure Playground is one of Australia’s best known parks and covers 4 hectares along the beautiful South Australian seafront. The park was opened in 1982 and recent upgrades include a wooden castle, a small maze, and a submarine, nicknamed “The Yellow Submarine.” But the park’s biggest attraction is the beached pirate shipwreck, which is especially popular with dolphins and other sea wildlife.
8. Teardrop Park – New York City, NY
Located between residential buildings in Battery Park City, Teardrop Park is unlike anything else in NYC. Built for a whopping $17 million, the park features prominent rock outcroppings, geologic formations, a secret path, a bluestone ice wall, a humongous, almost dangerous looking slide, sandboxes, water play areas, a reading space with rock seats, and places to rock hop. Best of all, because it’s not so easy to find, Teardrop Park is a real insiders secret. (Shhhhh.)
9. Yerba Gardens – San Francisco, California
It may sound like an unsafe setting, but the rooftop at Yerba Gardens in San Francisco is home to one of the most elaborate playgrounds ever constructed. Aside from the ice-skating rink, bowling center and the 130,000 square feet of open space to play in, the playground includes a beautiful 103-year-old hand carved carousel. The Zeum carousel was constructed in 1906 but could not be installed in San Francisco as originally planned because of earthquake issues. It was eventually housed at Luna Park in Seattle, where it was the only piece of equipment to survive a horrific 1911 fire. The city of San Francisco bought the carousel from a collector in 1998 and restored it to its original condition. It now serves at the centerpiece in Yerba Gardens
10. Playground – Boadilla del Monte, Spain
Spanish architects Eduardo Navadijos and Csaba Tarsoly designed this stunning modern playground with the intention of giving children inspiration to pursue their dreams in an airy and cool environment. I’ve never been to Madrid, a mere 30 minutes drive from Boadilla del Monte, but when I do finally get there, this playground is my first stop.
Diplomats Help Boost Rates at World’s Most Expensive Hotels
by Tara Loader Wilkinson
Royal Penthouse Suite at the President Wilson Hotel in Geneva commands
$65,000 a night for its four-bedroom penthouse.
Amid the recession, rock stars, diplomats and other celebrities find
solace from the doom and gloom by spending their time in sanctuary
provided by the world’s most luxurious, and expensive, hotels. While
many of us are tightening our belts, shortening our summer holidays or
even abandoning them, hoteliers to the rich and famous claim to have no
trouble filling their most exclusive accommodations, and in the case of
the most expensive suite in the world, managing to double its rate to
$65,000 (€45,642) a night.
In an annual survey by Financial News’ sister publication Wealth
Bulletin, the Royal Penthouse Suite at the President Wilson Hotel in
Geneva, Switzerland, tops the list as the most expensive hotel room in
2009, commanding $65,000 for its four-bedroom penthouse — twice as much
as patrons paid a year ago for its luxurious setting and views of Lake
Geneva and Mont Blanc.
The hotel’s management puts the rise down to “buoyant demand” from
government officials and U.N. diplomats.
Last year’s winner, the iconic Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four
Seasons Hotel in New York, came second this time, at $35,000, $1,000 up
from last year.
New entries this year were the third-placed Presidential Suite at the
Hotel Cala di Volpe in Sardinia, the Villa La Cupola Suite at the
Westin Excelsior in Rome and the Presidential Suite at the Ritz-Carlton
Despite the past year’s financial and economic turmoil, prices at the
best hotel suites have risen by an average of 10% this year. Herbert
Ypma, founder of the Hip Hotels brand, said: “The very high end hasn’t
suffered all that much. A lot of hotels used to having upmarket
clientele are getting the benefit of them taking far more time off than
usual — so they have more time to stay in hotels. Money was never the
issue, time was.”
Hoteliers said that although the number of business travellers has
fallen in the past year, government officials have taken their place in
the best rooms and suites.
President Barack Obama and his entourage took over the entire
Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Moscow for three nights in June. The President
Wilson Hotel said heads of state and other high-level government
officials are fuelling demand for its hugely expensive Royal Penthouse
Vivian Deuschl, spokeswoman for Ritz-Carlton Hotels, said demand is
also coming from wealthy leisure travellers: “Last year they might have
taken three or four cheaper holidays. This year they are taking one big
vacation, but pulling out all the stops.”
The 10 most expensive hotel suites according to Wealth Bulletin’s
survey for 2009 are:
library of the Ty Warner Penthouse at New York’s Four Seasons Hotel.
1. The Royal Penthouse Suite, President Wilson Hotel, Geneva
— $65,000 per night
Complete with a cocktail lounge, the Royal Penthouse Suite at the
President Wilson is so exclusive that bookings reportedly have to be
made through the hotel’s chairman. The suite occupies the entire top
floor of the hotel. It is reached by a private elevator, has four
bedrooms overlooking Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc and comes with six
bathrooms. Equipped with bulletproof windows and doors, it is almost
exclusively reserved for celebrities or state heads, ideal with the
United Nations headquarters a five-minute drive away.
2. Ty Warner Penthouse, Four Seasons Hotel, New York —
$35,000 per night
Business at the Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons Hotel in New
York has remained as buoyant as when the suite opened in 2007, according
to a spokeswoman. The nine-room suite has walls inlaid with thousands
of pieces of mother-of-pearl. There is an indoor-outdoor Zen garden, a
private spa room with a screen of living bamboo and a book-lined
library, which has a grand piano at its centre.
3. The Presidential Suite, Hotel Cala di Volpe, Costa
Smeralda, Sardinia — $34,000 per night
The Presidential Suite at Hotel Cala di Volpe near Porto Cervo,
averages around $34,000 a night, although during the peak summer season
will cost as much as $45,000. Located in the hotel tower, the
multi-level Presidential Suite sprawls across 2,500 sq ft and has three
bedrooms, three bathrooms, a private gym, a steam room and a wine
cellar. It is crowned by a rooftop terrace with an outdoor saltwater
4. Villa La Cupola Suite, Westin Excelsior, Rome — $31,000
Villa La Cupola Suite in Rome’s Westin Excelsior embodies all things
Roman and excessive: a cupola, a Pompeii-style Jacuzzi, frescoes and
stained glass windows detailing allegories of a mythological figure
paired with a modern one, such as Atlas and Television, Hypnosis and
Neurosis, Hermes and Marketing and Hermaphrodite and Fashion. Located on
the fifth and sixth floors, the suite covers 6,099 sq ft and has an
additional 1,808 sq ft of balconies and terraces overlooking Via Veneto.
Presidential Suite at Tokyo’s Ritz-Carlton.
5. The Presidential Suite, Ritz-Carlton Tokyo — $25,000 per
The Presidential Suite, on the top floor of the city’s tallest
building, has spectacular views of Mount Fuji and Roppongi Hills, as
well as an expansive vista of Tokyo’s impressive cityscape. It occupies
2,368 sq ft. For refreshments, guests may enjoy the $18,000
Diamonds-Are-Forever Martini, which comes with a one-karat Bulgari
diamond at the bottom.
6. The Bridge Suite, The Atlantis, Bahamas — $22,000 per
The 10-room Bridge Suite is actually a bridge spanning the two towers
of the Atlantis Hotel. The 23rd-floor suite is decked with marble
floors, a grand piano and a 22-carat gold chandelier. It was known in
former times as “the Michael Jackson Suite” because of his regular
stays. Prices have come down from $25,000 last year and fees are
negotiable. Nevertheless, the suite is so exclusive the hotel does not
even advertise it.
7. The Imperial Suite, Park Hyatt Vendôme, Paris — $20,000
The Imperial Suite at the Park Hyatt in Paris provides guests with an
“in-suite-spa” concept — with the bathroom/spa comprising a whirlpool
bath, a steam shower room and a massage table. The 2,500 sq ft penthouse
suite has a huge living room, a dining room, a kitchen and a work area.
Burj Al Arab
Royal Suite at the Burj Al Arab in Dubai.
8. Royal Suite, Burj Al Arab, Dubai — $19,600 per night
Since it was built in the mid-1990s, the Burj Al Arab has become one
of the world’s most instantly recognizable hotels with its billowing
sail-like structure stretching out on an artificial island into the Gulf
of Arabia. The Royal Suite on the 25th floor has a marble-and-gold
staircase, leopard print carpets, its own private lift and a rotating
four-poster canopy bed.
9. Royal Armleder Suite, Le Richemond, Geneva — $18,900 per
The Royal Armleder Suite at the Le Richemond Hotel is named after the
wealthy family who used to own the famous hotel before Rocco Forte
bought it in August 2004. The three-bedroom suite, which stretches over
2,500 sq ft on the seventh floor, has a 1,000 sq ft terrace with
panoramic views of Lake Geneva, a real log fire and floor-to-ceiling
bulletproof windows. Olga Polizzi, Rocco Forte’s sister and well-known
hotel interior designer, designed the suite.
10. The Ritz-Carlton Suite, The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow —
$16,500 per night
To stay at the best suite in Moscow’s Ritz-Carlton would cost around
$16,000 a night — $500 less than last year. Furnished in Russian
imperial style, the 2,370 sq ft suite has views of famous Moscow sites
including the Kremlin and Red Square. The suite comes with that
necessity for the security-conscious Russian billionaire — a panic room
with its own energy and telecommunications facilities.
Research for this survey was compiled during mid-August. Prices are
rate per night including taxes.
From Financial News at http://www.efinancialnews.com
Jumeirah Burj Al Arab Inside Complete View – 7 Star Hotel Dubai: A Gold Plated Dream!!! via [Jumeirah Group]
Relaxing at the Beach:
An Incredible Sunset:
8 restaurants and lounges, including:
Al Muntaha – which means the ultimate or the highest at 200 metres above the Arabian Gulf, offering modern European cuisine
Al Mahara – seafood restaurant accessible by a three minute virtual submarine voyage. Magnificent oval aquarium visible throughout the restaurant
Al Iwan – sea view restaurant. Finest Arabian hospitality with décor of dramatic gold, red and black
Majlis Al Bahar – a casual alfresco restaurant serving mediterranean specialities
Sahn Eddar – at the base of the world’s tallest atrium and offering light fine fare and Afternoon Tea
Juna Lounge – a stylish and intimate lounge with a fine selection of cigars
Skyview Bar – located adjacent to Al Muntaha, a wonderful location for pre- and post dinner drinks
Bab Al Yam – cafe restaurant with a relaxing atmosphere and stunning views