General Travel News
Top 10 Eco-Hotels of 2014
Editors and travel experts at Lonely Planet have curated an interesting list of off-grid cottages, treehouses and ‘earthships’ spanning Costa Rica, South Africa, Tanzania to Russia in a list they call the top 10 eco-stays for 2014.
With Earth Hour, World Water Day and Earth Day drawing near, the list serves as a useful guide for travelers looking to green their vacations and support sustainable outfits and travel operators.
Set in the heart of the rainforest in the country’s Osa Peninsula, the property consists of 16 private bungalows built from locally harvested materials that offer luxurious guilt-free accommodations.
The 930-acre tract of land is an incredibly rich ecosystem, home to nearly three percent of the world’s biodiversity. Guests of the Lapa Rios lodge are invited to explore their natural surroundings in guided rainforest hikes and bird-watching treks, or while kayaking, surfing and whale watching.
Amenities include private outdoor decks with rain showers and hammocks, king size beds, indoor bathroom and showers, and a central pool.
Other interesting eco-friendly accommodations includes the Chole Minji, which describes itself as a “castaway fantasy” and “jungle island retreat” for the 7 treehouse accommodations built on a remote island off the Tanzanian coast.
Built into baobab and tamarind trees, all of the thatch-roofed treehouses are designed to offer views of the sea and offer king-sized beds.
And an ‘earthship’ in New Mexico offers accommodations in the desert that are completely off-grid. Built from recycled materials, the collection of buildings is powered by solar panels, rain and snow-collecting cisterns, and a greenhouse for self-sufficiency.
The off-grid hotel is part of a larger Earthships project that aims to serve as an international model on sustainable, self-sufficient communities.
Here are the Top 10 eco-stays of 2014, according to Lonely Planet:
1. Lapa Rios, Peninsula de Osa, Costa Rica
2. Bulungula Backpackers, South Africa
3. Chole Mjini, Chole Island, Mafia Archipelago, Tanzania
4. Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Aguas Calientes, Peru
5. EcoLodge Chepu Adventures, Chiloe, Chile
6. Maison Anglaise, Taroudant, Morocco
7. Earthship Rentals, Taos, New Mexico, USA
8. Dana Guest House, Jordan
9. Nuli Sapi, Papua New Guinea
10. Baikaler Eco-Hostel, Listvyanka, Russia
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 March 2014 13:52
Kempinski to open resort in Beirut
Summerland Resort Kempinski is set to open in Q4 of 2014 on the beautiful coastline of Lebanon, just outside the city of Beirut.
A short drive away from Beirut's Rafic Hariri International Airport, the hotel will feature 153 rooms and suites, two restaurants and various cafes, including a poolside cafe and a Marina Club, and conference facilities.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 March 2014 14:46
Silk Road Ministers deepen commitment to visa facilitation
On the year of the 20th Anniversary of the Samarkand Declaration on Silk Road Tourism, the 4th UNWTO Silk Road Ministers' Meeting convened to discuss visa facilitation as a means to further advance tourism development along the ancient trade route. At the meeting, UNWTO presented its Tourism Visa Openness Report for the Silk Road Countries, mapping out progresses made and challenges yet to be addressed in the region. (ITB Berlin, Germany, 5 March 2014).
With the support of ITB Berlin, the 4th Silk Road Ministers’ Meeting brought together 21 Ministers and Vice Ministers of Tourism from the Silk Road countries with representatives from the European Commission, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to exchange experiences and visa facilitation strategies.
Continuing the work initiated in 1994 when the Samarkand Declaration on Silk Road Tourism was signed, calling for ‘the adoption of facilitation measures that would reduce travel barriers and stimulate tourist flows along the Silk Road’ the participants discussed how the Silk Road countries can develop their collaboration to advance the visa facilitation agenda in 2014 and beyond.
Opening the meeting, UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai emphasized the importance of a cooperative approach: “Complicated visa processes are still a major barrier to the growth of the tourism sector, and as such a barrier to job creation and poverty alleviation. UNWTO welcomes the measures already taken by the Silk Road countries in this area and commends their strong commitment to further advancements, evident by the high level of participation in this Minister’s Meeting. Only by joint action can we fully unlock tourism’s potential as a driver of sustainable growth and regional integration along this unique historic route and transform barriers into opportunities”.
In today’s released Tourism Visa Openness Report for the Silk Road Countries, UNWTO research shows that while many visa barriers still remain, the global tendency towards visa facilitation can be observed also along the Silk Road. At the beginning of 2008, 87% of the world population required a visa prior to departure to a Silk Road destination as compared to 73% in 2013. Between 2010 and 2013, visa facilitation measures in Silk Road countries accounted for 14% of all improvements made globally, with the most common measure being substituting a traditional visa requirement for a visa on arrival.
Last Updated on Sunday, 09 March 2014 18:01
Japan to offer bullet train with footbath
Last Updated on Sunday, 09 March 2014 12:40
Google launches restaurant menu search feature
Google has launched a new search option in the US that will lead users directly to a restaurant’s menu listing.
The new feature takes users straight to a restaurant’s menu, which is presented under different headings such as appetizers, entrees, and desserts at the top of the search page. Prices are also listed.
However, users must be specific when making the request and type the words “show me the menu for” before adding the desired restaurant.
Google’s menu search option is only available in the US for now.
The latest feature builds on the search giant’s partnership with Zagat, which provides restaurant reviews, ratings and mapping services in search results.
Last Updated on Sunday, 09 March 2014 12:29
Tourism Kenya benefits after Lupita Nyong'o wins Oscar
Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong'o bagged an Oscar Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Steve McQueen's '12 Years a Slave'. Kenya has in the past featured in Oscar winning movies, shot on location like 'Out of Africa' but never before has a Kenyan actress or actor won the film world's most coveted prize.
This is a big destination boost that undoubtably enhances Kenya's presence on the global map. As Kenya's Minister for East Africa Affairs, Commerce and Tourism, Mrs Phyllis Kandie leads a delegation of Kenyan tour operators and hoteliers to the world's largest tourism trade fair, the ITB in Berlin, they do so in the knowledge that one of their countrywomen has done Kenya proud.
Kenya has been known in the past as home of many successful athletes who have carried away medals galore at key athletic events. This fame and popularity that Lupita brings Kenya through worldwide broadcasts since the award has propelled Kenya as a destination to reckon with.
Last Saturday 1st March, 2014 she was announced the Best Supporting Female Actress at the Independent Spirit Awards for her distinguished role in the same movie
In January this year, Nyong'o nabbed the Critics' Choice Award for best supporting actress.
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 March 2014 19:31
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