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Travel News 2015

In 2015, Ethiopian airlines began flight service to Los Angeles


Each year, GAYOT brings you the most interesting and relevant travel news for all of your trip-planning needs. Whether you're interested in the hottest new destinations, the latest hotel and restaurant openings, or eco-conscious renovations and partnerships from around the world, our newsworthy articles of 2015 were written with you in mind.




Windspeed Technologies announces latest design for aircraft

Airplane Design with Seats on Top of Aircraft
We've seen some pretty scary airplane seat designs. From unwieldy bicycle-seat triangles to split level stackers, most design firms are just looking for new ways to cram more and more passengers into the cabin. But a new design from Washington-based firm Windspeed Technologies is really a breath of fresh air.

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Enjoy holiday festivities at Carnaby in London, England

Christmas in Carnaby
If you're in central London and haven't checked out Carnaby Street, then you need to make a stop before the end of the holiday season. This year, Carnaby has amped up its Christmas decorations with a disco ball theme.

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A glimpse of a 12-room hotel design by Planet Ocean Underwater Hotel

Rooms with an Ocean View
Fancy staying the night in a luxurious underwater guestroom 30 feet below sea level? Tony Webb, managing director of Planet Ocean Underwater Hotel, has conceptualized the idea of a submerged stay. The spacious pods will be equipped with a living room, entertainment area, king-size bed, refrigerator and a surface-to-ocean elevator. The pods are also mobile so that they can be moved to another location in case of emergencies, such as hurricanes. The first prototype is currently in progress and will be tested out at a Spanish-owned resort in Cuba. Nightly rates will range from $3,000 to $6,000.

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Explore the Western United States in one of Airstream 2 Go's fully equipped trailers

Airstream 2 Go
Founded in 2013, Airstream 2 Go is transforming the road trip experience. The company offers classic Airstream trailer rentals that come fully equipped with a LED television, indoor/outdoor sound system, iPad, lounge area with leather seating, Weber barbecue grill and other amenities for the journey. Featured destinations include Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Bozeman, Montana, and El Paso, Texas. Pick from three to 14-day excursions that include either a custom journey or the Take it & Go voyage (for those who prefer to create their own itinerary). The newly added "Texas Two Step" includes visits to places such as Big Bend National Park, the Rio Grande and Fort Davis.

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Holiday decorations in the Art Deco lobby at the Empire State Building in New York City

ESB Unwrapped
Celebrate the holidays in New York City and partake in the month-long festivities of "ESB Unwrapped." The Empire State Building hosts a variety of fun activities now through January 5, 2016. Sparkling holiday decorations are displayed in the building's Fifth Avenue windows and Art Deco lobby, and there will be surprise celebrity guest appearances at the 86th floor observatory. Enjoy music performances and special tower lights displays to commemorate Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year's Eve.

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Exterior of Massria Le Carrube in Puglia, Italy

San Domenico Hotels to Open Masseria Le Carrube
Opening in March 2016 in Puglia, Italy, Masseria Le Carrube will be San Domenico Hotels' fifth property in this city. The masseria, which means "farmhouse," will be freshly restored by the company, maintaining the rustic and traditional architecture of Ostuni, also known as the "White City." The establishment will be outfitted with 19 guest rooms, two outdoor pools and a lush garden surrounded by orange groves and olive trees. Guests with an herbivorous appetite will delight in the restaurant, Le Carrube — using fresh vegetables, fruits and grains grown in close proximity to the hotel.

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Rome's Trevi Fountain received a luxurious makeover

Rome's Trevi Fountain Reopens After $2.2 Million Makeover
Rome's Trevi fountain is flowing once again after a $2.2 million makeover. At a ceremony on Tuesday, the taps were turned back on after a 16-month clean-up to cheers from delighted tourists, AFP reports.

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Windstar Cruises and the James Beard Foundation will elevate the culinary experience on select cruises

Windstar Cruises and the James Beard Foundation Unite
Windstar Cruises is partnering up with the James Beard Foundation to transform passengers' culinary experience. Starting in 2016, the company will offer the James Beard Founder Collection on three of its themed cruises. This entails a James Beard-featured chef on each voyage who will offer cooking demos, craft a nightly featured dish and meet with guests. Menus will reflect the cuisine of the regions visited and wine experts will lead tastings of local offerings.

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A rendering of a guest room at the Caesars Palace Las Vegas Julius Tower

New Julius Tower at Caesars Palace Las Vegas
Caesars Palace Las Vegas plans to start the New Year in a big way — with the unveiling of the 587-room Julius Tower. Formerly the Roman Tower, the swanky $75 million makeover is part of Caesars Palace 50th anniversary celebration. The guest rooms and suites embody a contemporary look with classically-inspired details, such as the photographs of costumed Roman statues alongside artwork of glitzy showgirls. Rooms are decked with 55-inch TVs, a curated mini bar and in-room products by Gilchrist & Soames. Accommodations are available for booking January 1, 2016 and rates begin at $149.

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Savor delicious French cuisine during the Taste of Saint-Barth Gourmet Festival

Taste of Saint-Barth Gourmet Festival
Jet set to the Caribbean for four days of delicious cuisine by the beach! From November 5 to November 8, the second annual Taste of Saint-Barth Gourmet Festival will take place. This year's event will focus on French cuisine, with seven renowned chefs making the journey from France to collaborate with local chefs on exceptional meals. Besides fine dining, guests can also look forward to wine tasting parties, cooking demonstrations, waiter races and more.

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Netflix subscribers can enjoy free Wi-Fi on Virgin America flights

Virgin America Offers Free Wi-Fi to Netflix Subscribers
TV bingers who can't bear to be separated from their favorite programming while on the road can breathe a sigh of relief. Virgin America has signed a deal with Netflix that allows subscribers to the video streaming service free Wi-Fi in the skies.

Read more on Fox News



The Premier Room at the Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina Bogotá

COLOMBIA DEBUTS NEW HOTEL THIS FALL
Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina Bogotá
This fall, the Colombian capital debuts Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina Bogotá. The building, originally constructed in 1946 by artist and architect Santiago Medina Mejia, underwent a restoration that updated the technologies and amenities of the hotel, while preserving its Spanish and French-influenced design. The 62 rooms and suites have been redecorated and maintain their historic charm. Guests can look forward to a full service spa, 24-hour gym and round-the-clock business services for those traveling for work. Casa Medina is also located in Zona G, an area in Bogotá esteemed for its gastronomic scene. The hotel is introducing a new dining concept of its own with Castanyoles — a tapas restaurant serving Spanish cuisine and Colombian coffee. The hotel opens October 15, 2015.

Be one of the first to book a room



The sand hotel in Oss, Netherlands is modeled after a medieval castle

TAKE A BEACH HOLIDAY
Sandcastle Hotels Now Open in the Netherlands
It may be the end of the summer but if you're still dreaming of a beach holiday, consider a trip to the Netherlands. In celebration of the annual sculpture festivals next month in the Dutch cities of Sneek and Oss — which attract over 50,000 visitors annually — event organizers Global PowWow created two pop up hotels made out of sand.

Read the article at the Fox News official website



Travel with the Grenada Railway to the North Pole aboard the Polar Express

NEXT STOP: THE NORTH POLE
The Polar Express Train Ride
Take a trip to the North Pole aboard the Polar Express! This Christmas season, the Grenada Railway in Batesville, Mississippi is hosting special train rides based on Chris Van Allsburg's beloved children's book. The train takes families on a one-hour journey to the North Pole (the true location is undisclosed in order to enhance the holiday magic). During the excursion, elves and carolers will entertain guests, who will also enjoy complimentary hot cocoa. At the North Pole, Santa will be on hand to greet passengers, and children will receive the first gift of Christmas — a silver sleigh bell. Train rides begin November 20 and run through December 27 on select dates.

Get tickets at the Grenada Polar Express Ride official website



The St. Regis Mexico City introduces the tacotier for Mexican Independence Day

INTRODUCING THE TACOTIER!
The St. Regis Mexico City's New Flagship Service
The St. Regis Mexico City pays homage to a classic Mexican dish with the Tacotier — a taco sommelier. The hotel will begin offering this service from September 15 to September 16. The Tacotier will also be on hand for brunch every Sunday until the end of the year. Guests can taste different taco recipes from various regions in Mexico, and learn about sauce and side dish pairings.

Read GAYOT's St. Regis Mexico City review



The Gilded Lady, one of the mummies to be displayed at the Natural History Museum

MUMMIES: NEW SECRETS OF THE TOMBS
The Natural History Museum Reveals New Exhibit
Those planning a visit to Los Angeles this fall will want to go to the Natural History Museum. The institution's newest exhibit, "Mummies: New Secrets from the Tombs," provides an interesting look into the ancient art of embalming. Get up close and personal with mummies from Egypt and Peru, and discover the unique burial rituals of these singular societies.

Get more details in GAYOT's Best of Los Angeles Guide



A luxury hotel is slated to open on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles

A HOTEL WITH A PALACE VIEW
Versailles Plans to Open Luxury Hotel on Palace Grounds
Now you can really live like a prince or princess for a night or two. Versailles is one of France's most revered and opulent landmarks. Located just outside Paris, the former home of the French monarchy is hailed for its lush gardens and gilded interiors. And soon tourists may be able to spend a night at a luxury property located right on the estate grounds.

Read the full article on the Fox News official website



The Conservatorium Hotel in Amsterdam partners with the Van Gogh Museum

A LUXURY HOTEL PAYS HOMAGE TO VAN GOGH
Conservatorium Hotel Launches Van Gogh Experience
The Conservatorium Hotel in Amsterdam collaborates with the Van Gogh Museum to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Van Gogh's death. To celebrate the renowned artist and his works, the five-star hotel and museum will offer guests the "Van Gogh Experience" package. It includes a two night stay for two at the Conservatorium, a continental breakfast, two tickets to the Van Gogh Museum, a media tour for two at the Van Gogh Museum and a copy of the Van Gogh Masterpiece book, which is available in several languages. The package can be booked until December 31, 2015.

Book your trip at the Conservatorium official website



A suite at the Amanemu Resort on the island of Honshu in Japan

EMBRACING A JAPANESE AESTHETIC
Aman to Open New Amanemu Hotel
In early 2016, the hotel brand Aman will launch Amanemu in Ise Shima National Park on Japan's main island, Honshu. The resort celebrates the ancient Japanese onsen (mineral hot spring) tradition and each of the 24 suites and four villas come with its own hot spring. There will also be the Aman Spa, a gourmet restaurant and lounge, and sweeping views of Ago Bay, also called "Bay of Pearls." Visitors can look forward to complete relaxation, a harmonious atmosphere and a rejuvenating experience.

Get more details at the Aman Resorts official website



The AquaDom at Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin holds 1,500 fish

WORLD'S LARGEST CYLINDRICAL AQUARIUM
The Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin AquaDom
This hotel gives the phrase "sleeping with the fishes" a whole new meaning. The Radisson Blu hotel in Berlin is home to the AquaDom, an 82-foot high aquarium that holds more than one million liters of water. The tank is a part of Sea Life Berlin, and houses 1,500 fish from 97 species.

Read the full article on Yahoo! Travel



Inspirato's new luxury yacht, Irresistible

LUXURY ON THE OCEAN BLUE
Inspirato's Irresistible Luxury Yacht
Inspirato, the world's largest destination club, has introduced a new luxury yacht — the Irresistible. The ship is available to those traveling within the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. Journey across the sea with every amenity you could need: your own Inspirato crew (which includes captain, mate and chef), master suite with kind-size bed, a Jacuzzi spa, Jet Ski and kayaks. The yacht has three staterooms and is great if you're traveling with the family or a group of friends. Guests can also enjoy the topside wet bar, convenient dining space and, of course, an awesome ocean view.

Learn more about Irresistible at the Inspirato official website



The new travel jacket by BauBax has 15 features

ADD THIS TO YOUR TRAVEL WISH LIST
Amazing Travel Jacket on Kickstarter
Traveling may get a little easier with a new travel jacket that has already generated $3 million on Kickstarter since its launch last July on the crowdsourcing site. Slated to ship in November once funding is complete, the outerwear comes equipped with 15 features such as iPad and drink pockets, neck pillow, gloves and earphone holders. This must-have travel accessory is the brainchild of the BauBax company, and will come in four styles and multiple colors. Not only does it make your essentials easily accessible, it will also help with those annoying baggage fees.

Get more details at the Fox News official website




A peek inside Delta One at LAX Lounge

TAKE FLIGHT IN STYLE
Delta's LAX Terminal 5 Makeover
Delta Airlines has raised the bar when it comes to luxury at their LAX terminal. The $229 million remodel was completed in June and promises passengers a more delightful boarding and flight experience. With an expanded ticketing lobby and additional security screening checkpoints, the wait time will be cut down. The redesigned Delta Sky Club is more spacious and is a great place to recharge before the flight. High-profile clients can take advantage of the enhanced privacy procedures, such as private check-in and discreet boarding. Once on-board, enjoy premium cabin seating and Wi-Fi access.

Learn more about Delta's terminal renovation at LAX



Studies show that the cleanest airlines are Asian carriers

FLY GERM-FREE
World's Cleanest Airlines
It's never fun to find crumbs on your airline seat or old coffee cups in your seatback pocket. If a clean aircraft is a must when purchasing a ticket, you may want to consider flying on Asian carriers.

Read the full story on Fox News



A tented guest suite at Angama Mara Safari Lodge

FLOAT INTO PARADISE
Angama Mara Safari Lodge
Kenya welcomes its newest luxury safari lodge, Angama Mara. Situated above Maasai Mara National Reserve, the lodge offers breathtaking views of Africa's wildlife and natural surroundings. Angama Mara offers 15 tented suites, a fitness center, a 40-foot-long swimming pool, a gallery of African art and transportation to the Mara Triangle where you can witness a river crossing. Whether you seek outdoor adventures or a bit of pampering, Angama Mara provides both.

Learn more about Angama Mara at the official website



Ethiopian Airlines announces flights to Los Angeles

EXPANDING THE GATES OF TOURISM
Ethiopian Airlines Begins Flights to Los Angeles
Ethiopian Airlines has announced that as of June 19, 2015 it now offers flights to Dublin and Los Angeles from its airport in Addis Ababa. This marks a momentous occasion for the airline (the largest in Africa) since it will be the first direct service connecting Africa to Ireland and the West Coast of the United States.

Find out more in the GAYOT Blog



Four Seasons launches an app that allows guests to customize their travel experience

PERSONALIZE YOUR STAY
The Four Seasons App
Committed to holding true to its status as a leading luxury hotel, Four Seasons now offers guests the Four Seasons App. Checking in and out of your room or reserving a table for dinner is made hassle-free with the hotel's user-friendly mobile application. It's also equipped with a variety of other features that allow you to customize your travel experience. Get recommendations on what to see or do locally, communicate any special requests to the Four Seasons staff and don't worry about getting lost because this app comes with a geo location service. To broaden its global appeal, the Four Seasons App will eventually be available in multiple languages, beginning with Simplified Chinese and Arabic.

Find out more at the Four Seasons official website



The dining room of Pacific Rim aboard Seven Seas Explorer

DEBUT AT SEA
Regent Seven Seas Explorer
In the summer of 2016, Regent Seven Seas Cruises will debut its most extravagant ship to date, the Seven Seas Explorer. The cruise line has pulled out all the stops for its newest creation, from elegant architecture to specialty dining restaurants to luxurious suites. Exclusive to the ship will be Pacific Rim, a Pan-Asian eatery serving a variety of dishes inspired by the regional cuisines of China, Korea and beyond. Another notable feature of the Seven Seas Explorer is the opulent Regent Suite — measuring in at nearly 4,000 square feet and boasting its own spa. The two-bedroom suite has created such a buzz that it is already sold out for the first year of cruising.

Get more news on cruises on GAYOT



The Great Wall of China has attracted millions of tourists since it opened to the public in 1957

INTO THE EAST
Beautiful China — Journey Along the Great Wall
Recently, the China National Tourist Office Los Angeles hosted an event to attract American travelers to the Great Wall. In collaboration with the Great Wall Alliance — representing the nine provinces of China that the architectural marvel runs through — the occasion gave guests the opportunity to meet and talk with local representatives. The event highlighted sightseeing opportunities beyond the popular Badaling Great Wall near Beijing, including Ningxia, referred to as the "Amazing Land Beyond the Great Wall."

Discover more at the China National Tourist Office official website



Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall in Montego Bay, Jamaica

ALL-INCLUSIVE ACCOMMODATIONS REDEFINED
The New Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva
Get an all-inclusive experience at Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall and Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall in Montega Bay, Jamaica, and at Hyatt Ziva in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Hyatt's newest additions to its collection of luxury hotels offer a different way of vacationing in Jamaica and Mexico. If you seek an adult getaway, book a stay at Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall, an 18-and-over resort that provides a relaxing atmosphere, plenty of pampering and a beautiful view of the Caribbean Sea. Vacationers with kids can opt for Hyatt Ziva, which is open to all ages and is great for a family-and-friends vacation.

Plan your trip at the Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva official website



Visit the Reclining Buddha in Thailand during one of your stops on your Asia cruise
SAILING EAST
Asia Cruises: Why It May Just Be Your Best Bet
For Americans, traveling in Asia is typically not what we think of as Travel 101. Flights are costly and long, and navigating local languages and internal workings — like accommodations and transportation — of some of these less developed countries can prove too much — even for the seasoned traveler. Cruises can simplify a trip to the region — which is why CruiseCritic.com cited Asia itineraries as a major trend last year. Some of the appeal is that these trips tend to be longer and are stackable, so many cruisers with the time and disposable income book two or even three back-to-back sailings so that they can see even more of the region.

Read the full article on the Fox News official website




The Italian Pavilion, one of the exhibition sites at Expo Milano 2015
FEEDING THE PLANET
Expo Milano 2015
Join Expo Milano on an educational journey through the current state of food and the environment. From May 1 to October 31, 2015, this major event will focus on how to make healthy, safe food available globally while also respecting the planet and its resources. More than 140 countries will be participating to make the Expo an eye-opening experience. If you happen to be in Milan on business for the event, take a look at GAYOT's business travel guide for tips on where to stay, eat and what to do during your leisure time.

Plan your itinerary with this helpful guide




Hong Kong, China is one of the top tourist cities worldwide

THE GLOBE'S MOST VISITED PLACES
Top Tourist Cities Around the World

Rome has the great Colosseum, Giza has glorious pyramids and New York City has the Statue of Liberty. These popular tourist sites are big draws but where are world travelers really going? Check out the top tourist destinations in the world. Have you visited any of these popular cities?

See the list at the Fox News official website





Enjoy family activities on land during your Disney river cruise

A FAMILY GETAWAY
Disney Launches European River Cruises

Adventures by Disney and AmaWaterways have teamed up to create a unique vacation experience for families. Starting in 2016, Disney will offer European river cruises through up to five European countries, giving parents and children the opportunity to discover new cultures together. Get a taste of the region's food with the cruise line's menu of local specialties, and enjoy exclusive perks such as a falconry show at Hohenwerfen Castle in Austria. Although you won't encounter any Disney characters, this cruise is sure to be a magical experience for both kids and adults.

Get more details at the Fox News official website





Maverick Helicopters' Maui Spirit tour

BIRD'S-EYE TOUR OF THE ALOHA STATE
Maverick Helicopters Opens Maui Location

Maverick Helicopters, a division of the Maverick Aviation Group, has expanded its terrain and opened a new location in Maui, Hawaii. The company offers a range of aerial tours aboard its ECO-Star helicopters featuring quiet technology, giving guests a unique overhead perspective of Maui's coastlines, valleys, cliff-side waterfalls and volcanoes. The aircraft holds up to seven people and individual voice-activated headsets are provided. The wrap-around windows ensure that everyone has a great view and for a more intimate flight, custom and private helicopter charters are available.
There are three tour packages to choose from and prices range from $329 to $399 per person.

Take flight at the Maverick official website




Caminito del Rey in El Chorro-Alora in southern Spain

"KING'S LITTLE PATH"
World's Most Dangerous Walkway Reopened
Are you brave enough to take on the world's most dangerous walking path? Spain's Caminito del Rey looks more like an "Indiana Jones" movie set than a walkway for mere mortals.

See the full article at the Fox News official website


The outdoor dining area on Norwegian Cruise Line's The Norwegian Breakaway

EATING OUT
Hot Right Now: Outdoor Dining on Cruise Ships
The cruise ship industry is all about one-upmanship, and its new big thing is outdoor dining. Most ships have had options for this in the past — often a dining terrace outside the casual buffet room and a grill and possibly a pizza bar by the pool. But when the sun went down, cruisers moved inside to the air-conditioned dining room or a specialty restaurant, both of which insulated them from the warm weather and salt air.

Find out more on the Fox News official website


16 by Bocci at the Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver, British Columbia
ARTISTIC VISION
Fairmont Pacific Rim Unveils Art Installation by Bocci
The Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver, British Columbia has some impressive new art to add to the hotel's collection — Bocci's "16." Bocci, a Vancouver-based design firm, first imagined this creation in 2007 and it gradually came to fruition over the course of the past year. "16" embodies the company's contemporary art aesthetic, fusing together the romantic and technical aspects of design and manufacturing in this installation.

Read the article at the Fairmont Pacific Rim official website


Twisted Colossus at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, CA
CALLING ALL THRILL-SEEKERS
10 New Roller Coasters to Shake, Rattle, and Roll You

The trend at amusement parks across the nation is to wow guests with bigger, faster, and more daring roller coasters. This year will see some of the most innovative and heart-stopping thrill rides yet, from the floorless Rougarou at Cedar Point in Ohio, to Twisted Colossus at Six Flags Magic Mountain in California, the world's longest wood-and-steel hybrid with 5,000 feet of track.

Discover the new coasters at the Fox News official website


The main floor of the GuestHouse
LODGE IN LUXURY
New York's Dream Downtown Hotel GuestHouse Suite

The multi-floor penthouse at Dream Downtown in New York City underwent a $1 million makeover and made its debut as the GuestHouse suite in February 2015. The penthouse exudes opulence with a design that blends modern and classic details. Upgrades include a vanity that has a Champagne bar, a private garden terrace, a glass-bottom hot tub, and a private barista available to prepare coffee and espresso beverages when desired.

Be the first to book your stay


In London, certain venues are banning "selfish-sticks"
NO SELFIES ALLOWED
Places Around the World that have Banned Selfies

People love taking selfies. "Braggies" — or selfies taken in locations to make your friends and family jealous — have overtaken our social media feeds. But the process of how they're taken has been criticized of late.

Read the full article on the Fox News official website




Pilsen is the 2015 European Capital of Culture


CULTURED PILSEN

2015's European Capital of Culture

Pilsen, Czech Republic, the official home of the beer style Pilsner, is a rich and vibrant city that boasts an evocative history full of kings, tyrants and a constantly transforming government and people. Check out GAYOT's article to explore the city's blossoming culture scene.

See what to do in Pilsen



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