Archives for November 26, 2008

Tucked away on a secluded 100-acre peninsula on the southeastern coast of Antigua, the St. James’s Club Resort & Villas exudes a casual, club-like ambience. With abundant appeal for guests of all ages, this resort is the perfect place for a family getaway.

Spacious accommodation gives families plenty of room to spread out, and with two beaches and four pools there is enough to keep everyone busy.

Adults and children alike will find something to love with complimentary water sports, a full schedule of fun activities and ample space to explore in this beautiful, natural corner of Antigua. What’s more, palate-pleasing childrens meals are available in all of the restaurants, including favourites such as peanut-butter-and jam sandwiches, pizza, burgers and fresh catch of the day and chips – even the finickiest children will be happy, while Mum and Dad enjoy a range of exciting cuisines.

The complimentary, award winning ‘Kidz Club’ makes it easy for adults and kids to enjoy time apart, while a host of exciting entertainment and activities offer plenty of ways for everyone to share good times together. At the ‘Kidz Club’ children aged 4 to 11 enjoy exciting, creative activities with a big serving of Caribbean flair, from treasure hunts and crab races to fun crafts such as mask-making and finger-painting. The experienced counselors ably keep children entertained with guided nature walks, swimming and snorkeling excursions, even limbo dancing and lively kiddie beach games.

For older children and teenagers St. James’s Club provides complimentary non-motorized water sports such as kayaking, pedal boating and catamaran sailing, as well as a ‘Teenagers’ Zone with table football, pool tables and table tennis facilities.

Guests can also sunbathe or dip into four distinctive swimming pools, succumb to the pleasures of a spa and salon, or stay plugged in at the Internet café. Exercise buffs can also enjoy the resort’s six tennis courts and Fitness Center. And when it comes to dining, the resort’s four top-notch restaurants serve everything from casual to Continental cuisine.

One of the most beautiful hotels in Budapest, has to be the Four Seasons Gresham Palace. The building which was originally built in 1906 for a British Company, the Gresham Life Assurance Co, is much influenced by the Art Nouveau movement. It has been lovingly restored and turned into this wonderful hotel and it still boasts the beautiful mosaics, stained glass windows, the magnificent wrought iron railings of the main staircase and the three large peacock gates which open onto the central courtyard.

The hotel sits proudly overlooking Budapest’s most famous bridge, the Chain Bridge, which joins the two sides of the city across the mighty Danube River.

The rooms to go for are the Danube Deluxe category which are extremely well appointed with French style balconies and as the name suggests with superlative views across the river towards the Castle and the oldest parts of the city: time spent wandering around this district is well worth while and the views back across the river are truly spectacular.

The Hungarian Parliament building, just along the river bank from the hotel is enormous, reflecting Hungary’s position in Europe when it ruled under the Hapsburg dynasty. A magnificent refurbishment programme been undertaken in recent years. Andrassy Street the main broad thoroughfare runs from the river to Hero’s Square. The zoo is just behind this area as well as Hungary’s most famous restaurant, Gundels, partly owned by the Estee Lauder family.

Even if you don’t stay at the Four Seasons, do go into the foyer to see the wonderful architecture and enjoy dinner at the excellent Pava Restaurant.

Yacutinga Lodge & Wildlife Nature Reserve is located on the Iguazu River in the northeast of Argentina. Iguazu National Park in the northeastern province of Misiones was created in 1934. It contains one of the greatest natural beauties of Argentina, the Iguazu Falls and is surrounded by subtropical jungle. Across the Iguazu River lies its Brazilian counterpart (Iguaçu National Park). Both sites were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, in 1984 and 1986.

The National Park has an area of 550 km2 (212 sq mi) and the name Iguazu itself means ‘large waters’ in Guarani language. The park, located on the Argentine border with Brazil and Paraguay is home to more than 2000 identified plant species and more than 400 species of birds, mammals and reptiles. To reach the Yacatinga Lodge, you first have to travel through the heart of the park. The time of year that you travel will determine your final mode of transport: it is usually by open top truck, but in summer it is along the river by boat.

The lodge itself has been developed using materials salvaged from the forest. The Argentine owners have created a Gaudiesque combination of tranquillity, comfort and style that amounts to five-star rusticity. The main building is an idiosyncratic architectural masterpiece, with a large living room, dining room, and bar. The 20 bedrooms are dispersed throughout the Forest and surround the main building. Hot water is available 24 hours a day, but electricity is only switched on between 18:00 and 23:00, so a torch is very handy afterwards. Mornings can be cold in the Forest between June & August, therefore each room is equipped with a log fire. The food at the lodge is of a high standard and vegetarians are well catered for. All food is either grown or raised on the reserve or purchased locally, with the obvious exception of beverages.

The main building is the starting point of the tours to Yacutinga Wildlife Refuge. Early in the morning or in the afternoon, even in night hours, the expert guides organize floating and sailing services or walks along the different interpretation trails. There are never more than 12 people participating in any tour. All trips are based on respect for the natural environment, its silence and interpretation. Local people also guide the tours, since they provide complementary information on the use of medicinal plants of the Forest, tracking and identification of wild animal footprints and many other topics of interest to the traveller.

Worth mentioning is the richness in flora and fauna present in these 560 hectares. The property has been declared a Private Natural Reserve since species close to extinction can be found there. Yacutinga Lodge is not only a tourist enterprise; it is a Reserve in a natural environment with modern concepts of sustainability, based on an eco-tourist activity. This is the best area to explore the rainforest while in Argentina.

Sign up for our latest news & offers

( we don't share your data with anyone)