InterContinental has become the latest hotel chain to connect its customers to its staff via videoconferencing.
They have introduced a new chat feature which allows guests and future guests to connect with its concierges via Apple’s FaceTime videoconferencing service.
Nine InterContinental hotels around the world have equipped their staff with the new video-capable iPad 2 tablet, allowing them to answer questions and give advice to travelers via video calls before the guests arrive. Continue reading →
Hotels in London have begun raising their room prices for next year’s Olympic Games, with one establishment hiking up their tariffs fivefold.
One four-star hotel quoted an unnamed wholesale trip operator 1,100 pounds (1,1750 dollars) for a room which would normally be charged at 200 pounds.
On top of the rate increase, many hotels are implementing harsh conditions on room reservations, including in one instance a 100 percent cancellation fee over the period of the Games, the Financial Times reported Monday.
“Hotels appear to be gripped by a frenzy of greed,” said Mario Bodini, general secretary of tour business trade body, UKinbound.
The 2012 Olympics will run from July 27 till August 12, with the Paralympics to follow.
Carlos Slim Helu remained the world’s richest person, but Asia is where today’s big money is flowing, Forbes magazine said in its 2011 list of the world’s billionaires.
Slim, who is almost unknown to the general public outside Mexico, weighed in at a staggering $74 billion of net wealth thanks to his telecoms empire. Already the top dog last year, he increased his fortune by $20.5 billion dollars.
Following on the heels of Blake Lively’s handbag campaign for Chanel, Keira Knightley is starring in a teaser video for the commercial of the brand’s Mademoiselle fragrance.
The 40-second clip was directed by Joe Wright, with whom Knightley already worked while shooting Pride & Prejudice, and shows the actress channeling an elegant superhero, wearing a beige catsuit and lounging around a motorcycle. Continue reading →
In a matter of just a decade China has established itself as the world’s largest car-buying market. And, just as other industries are finding, when the Chinese like to buy, they like to buy luxury.
Daimler AG — owners of Mercedes-Benz — recently announced it had shifted 15,000 units of that car in January alone, a rise of 90 percent from last year, while BMW moved more than 20,000, up more than 70 percent.
And it’s a fair guess that those sorts of figures are why Top Marques Monaco — to be held from April 14 to 17 this year and an event which bills itself as “the only live supercar show in the world” — has decided upon the southern Chinese enclave of Macau to host its first Asian edition.
Indonesia’s “King of Luwak”, Gunawan Supriadi, is having a hard time keeping up with demand for the beans excreted by his stable of pampered civet “cats”.
And he’s not alone. Demand for coffee brewed with beans plucked from the dung of the furry, weasel-like creatures — known locally as luwaks — is surging among well-healed connoisseurs around the world, exporters say.
About 40 civets at Supriadi’s plantation in West Lampung district, Sumatra, provide the intestinal machinery for his Raja Luwak (King of Luwak) brand of bean. Lampung is the undisputed capital of luwak coffee. Continue reading →
The world’s greenest airlines have been named at the ITB Berlin travel show, with European carrier Monarch topping the list.
The study of airline efficiency was conducted by Atmosfair, a carbon offsetting company, and looked into factors such as how efficient an airline’s fleet was and how full its planes normally fly.
Monarch, a charter and scheduled airline operating predominantly from the UK, was judged the world’s most efficient airline, with Atmosfair praising its efficient aircraft and high seating density. Continue reading →