News: Iberostar Berkeley opens in Miami as brand continues North America expansion

News: Iberostar Berkeley opens in Miami as brand continues North America expansion

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Iberostar Hotels & Resorts has opened the doors of its second US hotel in Miami Beach, Florida.

The historic building, now renamed Iberostar Berkeley, was fully renovated under a $43 million investment and is situated at 1610 Collins Avenue, right at the heart of South Beach.

The four-star hotel provides a high-quality alternative for the business and leisure traveller.

“We are thrilled to launch the Iberostar Berkeley in South Beach, one of the hottest spots in the world.

“Its pristine beaches, vibrant culture and perfect weather, combined with our excellent customer service and amenities, make it the ideal dwelling option in the area,” said Enric Noguer, Iberostar managing director for the Americas.

“This second Iberostar hotel in the United States is proof of our commitment to this market, where we strive to serve international, as well as national tourists, and to connect with the local community and its cultural heritage.”

The glamorous Iberostar Berkeley features 96 brand-new, luxuriously designed guestrooms, including 20 premier rooms with balconies, a lush Sun Deck with spectacular views of Collins Avenue, and signature restaurant BLT Steak for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

This pet-friendly hotel also offers a fully-equipped fitness room; a beautiful heated pool and deck with lounge area on the fourth floor; 24-hour room service; full housekeeping with turndown service; and beach club with towels, chairs and umbrellas; among other amenities and services.

The standard and deluxe rooms feature one king and two queen size beds, respectively, as well as a minibar with snacks and soft drinks, onyx designer rain showers, comfortable workspaces with outlets and USB ports, and much more.

Iberostar Berkeley is one of the new properties the brand has been developing within the urban segment, with a plan to reach a total of 15 in the next three years in key cities like Budapest, Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon, New York, Havana, Santo Domingo and Lima, among others.

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August 11, 2017 at 11:28AM

News: bmi regional signs codeshare deal with Air Dolomiti

News: bmi regional signs codeshare deal with Air Dolomiti

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bmi regional has announced the launch of a new code-share partnership with Italian airline Air Dolomiti, which sees five new routes added to its network.

Passengers will be able to book connecting flights operated by Air Dolomiti between bmi regional’s network to/from Munich via the Munich Gateway and the following five Italian destinations.

These include Venice, Verona, Bari, Bologna, and Florence.

Air Dolomiti already has a strong existing relationship with bmi regional, working as its Italian general sales agent with a view of growing the airline’s presence in the Italian market.

The new code-share routes are the next step in bmi regional’s ongoing network development from its Munich hub.

Over the past six months, it has extended its frequency on several existing routes from Munich and launched a new route to Lublin in Poland.

In November 2017, bmi regional will also be launching a new route between Munich and Saarbrücken in the west of Germany.

The short, one hour, hop will be operated twice daily on weekdays, and once on Saturday and Sunday.

Jochen Schnadt, chief commercial officer, bmi regional, said: “The extension of our relationship with Air Dolomiti to include code-share cooperation is a logical next step for bmi regional.

“The company shares our commitment to providing a quality, convenient product with excellent customer service, and our customers will now have access to a range of excellent routes into Italy from our all-important Munich hub.

“These new routes allow our customers from our existing markets linked to Munich to also enjoy convenient connections to some of Italy’s most exciting locations.”

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August 11, 2017 at 11:28AM

News: Heathrow Airport records best ever month in July

News: Heathrow Airport records best ever month in July

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Heathrow Airport in London recorded its best-ever single month in July, as the summer getaway sent passenger numbers soaring to record highs.

Breaking all previous monthly records, Heathrow welcomed 7.53 million passengers last month, up 1.2 per cent on last July.

The meant the airport averaged 243,000 passengers – or the equivalent of the population of Plymouth – every day.

Trade through Heathrow also climbed at the fastest rate ever recorded at the UK’s largest port – up 15 per cent to 143,000 tonnes in July.

Heathrow chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, said: “Britain’s global gateway is hard at work this summer holiday season – July was the best month in Heathrow’s history.

“With more passengers than ever and trade growing at the fastest rate ever recorded, Heathrow is helping Britain show the world our country is open for business.”

American Airlines boosted cargo volumes by a huge 44 per cent in July, driving growth in trade with North America, while East Asia saw a 14 per cent uplift on the back of strong growth to China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Heathrow continues to work closely with airlines and has made good progress towards meeting the government’s challenge to deliver expansion with charges close to current levels, while delivering all local commitments and the global connections Britain needs.

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August 11, 2017 at 11:08AM

News: Residence Inn London – London Bridge opens to guests in London

News: Residence Inn London – London Bridge opens to guests in London

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Marriott International has announced the opening of Residence Inn London – London Bridge, marking a debut in the capital for the company’s industry-leading extended-stay brand.

Located on Long Lane in Southwark, Residence Inn London – London Bridge offers 87 well-appointed studio, one- and two-bedroom suites with separate living, working and sleeping areas, as well as fully equipped kitchens, including refrigerator, microwave, hob, oven, dishwasher and cookware.

Guests looking for a home-from-home experience during longer stays are catered to with upscale design and amenities such as complimentary hot breakfasts, communal laundry facilities, free Wi-Fi, and a 24/7 Grab ’n Go Market in the lobby.

An onsite, state-of-the-art fitness centre is available 24/7 and custom running routes can be accessed via MapMyFitness, thanks to the brand’s global partnership with Under Armour Connected Fitness.

Well-connected, with good transport links, and a short walk from some of the city’s main historic attractions such as Tower Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral, Residence Inn London – London Bridge is ideally situated for leisure and business travellers alike.

Residence Inn by Marriott will also open a second London property later this year.

Residence Inn London – Kensington will be situated on Warwick Road in Earls Court, offering 307 suites with easy access to The Kensington Olympia Exhibition Centre as well as The Victoria and Albert museum, the Science Museum, Royal Albert Hall, and the Natural History museum.

Both properties, owned by a controlled affiliate of Starwood Capital Group, will be operated under a franchise agreement with hotel management company and specialists in the extended-stay market, Cycas Hospitality – London’s second largest operator of serviced apartment and apart-hotels.

John Licence, vice president premium and select brands, Europe, Marriott International, said: “London is a key, strategic destination for extended-stay travel and we are delighted to debut the world-leading Residence Inn by Marriott brand here with not one, but two new properties that offer a home-away-from-home experience for business and leisure guests alike.”

The two London properties will be joined by new openings in Aberdeen and Amsterdam in early 2018, growing the European portfolio from three to seven hotels.

These four additions alone will see almost 600 rooms added to the Residence Inn portfolio, and there are a further seven properties anticipated by the end of 2019.

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August 11, 2017 at 10:46AM

News: Aer Lingus boosts North America capacity for winter 2017

News: Aer Lingus boosts North America capacity for winter 2017

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Aer Lingus has announced its winter schedule, with the airline set to offer 300,000 additional seats to Europe and North America as part of its largest ever deployment.

Soon to begin its direct service on September 1st, Aer Lingus will operate three flights per week to Miami, Florida, a new long-haul destination for winter.

The new Miami service is in addition to Aer Lingus’ existing transatlantic routes: Boston, Chicago, New York, Orlando, San Francisco, Washington, Los Angeles, Newark, Hartford and Toronto via Dublin and Boston and New York via Shannon.

The airline’s focus on expanding its long-haul network continues this winter with 350 additional transatlantic flights from Ireland to North America, representing a 13 per cent increase in capacity compared to last year.

The Dublin to Toronto service will see a 96 per cent increase in capacity with four flights per week, operated on a larger Airbus A330.

With daily services to San Francisco and a five times weekly service to Los Angeles during peak winter months, Aer Lingus will operate up to 12 flights per week from Ireland to the US West Coast.

On the East Coast, the Dublin Washington service will become daily during peak months resulting in 44 per cent additional capacity.

New York remains one of the most popular Christmas shopping destinations and with services to JFK from Dublin and Shannon as well as the Dublin Newark service, eager UK shoppers will be able to choose from up to four daily flights from Ireland to New York with quick and convenient connections via Dublin.

Passengers from Britain can take advantage of the new and increased services thanks to Aer Lingus’ easy transatlantic connections from 18 key UK airports.

When connecting in Dublin, Aer Lingus guests can pre-clear US customs and immigration allowing them to pass through domestic channels upon landing for a smooth and swift arrival in the USA.

Mike Rutter, chief operating officer, Aer Lingus said: “This Winter is our biggest yet with considerable expansion of our long-haul and European networks.

“The increasing recognition that the Aer Lingus Dublin Hub is the fastest, cheapest and least hassle way to visit North America is underpinned by a further 13 per cent increase in transatlantic seats from Dublin this winter.

“The Aer Lingus Dublin Hub is now the year round choice for North Atlantic travellers whether they are travelling for leisure or business purposes.

“This premier position will be underscored by our new route to Miami and the increased frequency to our California gateways.”

Aer Lingus’ UK network will also enjoy significant expansion this winter, key growth routes are the Birmingham to Dublin service boasting 50,000 additional seats and the London Heathrow to Dublin service benefiting from an additional early morning flight resulting in 56,000 extra seats.

The wider European network will also see increased capacity to key European cities such as Hamburg, operating up to ten flights per week, double the frequency of last year, as well as Zurich, also operating ten services per week.

Winter sun continues to be a top priority with 190,000 seats to the Canary Islands and popular destinations in France will enjoy greater frequency with Aer Lingus operating a four times weekly service to Bordeaux and seven flights per week to Lyons.

Bilbao, Spain is the airline’s new winter short-haul destination with a three-times-weekly service during peak winter months from Dublin.

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August 11, 2017 at 10:31AM

News: Debut for Hong Kong Airlines first A350 XWB in Toulouse, France

News: Debut for Hong Kong Airlines first A350 XWB in Toulouse, France

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The first A350-900 for Hong Kong Airlines has completed its maiden flight in Toulouse, France.

The aircraft will now enter the final phase of production, further ground checks and test flights before being prepared for delivery at the end of August.
Hong Kong Airlines has a total of 15 A350 XWB on order. 

Bringing new levels of efficiency and comfort in the long range market, the A350 family will be especially well suited to the needs of Asia-Pacific airlines.

Firm orders for the A350 from carriers in the region represent over a third of total sales for the type to date. 

With the delivery of its first A350, Hong Kong Airlines will be one step closer to turn itself from a regional airline to a global carrier.

The new aircraft has already been assigned an important role to serve the company’s newly launched long-haul route to Los Angeles starting from December.

Both A350 and Los Angeles are significant corporate developments that demonstrate Hong Kong Airlines’ rapid and substantial growth as well as its commitment to ‘delivering’ more to its customers.

The company is expecting to receive two more A350 by the year-end.

To cope with such rapid expansion, it gears up resources by inviting experienced pilot around the world to join the company. 

The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fibre fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines.

Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs.

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August 11, 2017 at 10:09AM

Yuliya Solntseva Captures Her Husband’s Memories

Yuliya Solntseva Captures Her Husband’s Memories

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Some of the most rapturous of silent films were made by Alexander Dovzhenko, a Ukrainian director who worked in the Soviet Union and, during the sound era, bore Stalinist constraints stoically. After Stalin’s death, in 1953, Dovzhenko wrote scripts for three personal films, but he died in 1956, before he could see them produced. His widow, Yuliya Solntseva, also an acclaimed filmmaker, went on to direct them, and they’ll be screened Aug. 26-27, in the ongoing “See It Big!” series at the Museum of the Moving Image. The last of the three, “The Enchanted Desna,” from 1964, is by far the most original. Made at a time of great daring in European cinema, it’s as extravagantly lyrical and painterly as any movie of the era.

Dovzhenko grew up in a town situated on the banks of the Desna River. The movie is a quasi-autobiographical memory piece that brings together three periods—the modern day, the Second World War, and the time of the filmmaker’s prerevolutionary childhood in a farm village—with a boldly subjective freedom akin to that of such innovators as Alain Resnais. Its protagonist, also named Alexander, a Red Army officer during the war, reaches Ukrainian soil with his outfit and observes the smoldering ruins of battle. Taking shelter in a cave, he reminisces about his boyhood in what was then a lavish landscape; young Alexander darts through fields of poppies and sunflowers, their fierce primary colors slashing the screen as Solntseva’s camera rushes alongside him.

Alexander’s childhood recollections involve touches of comedy—his grandmother’s salty curses; his mighty Uncle Samiylo’s dispute with a neighbor over a haystack, leading to a rowdy but bloodless gang war; and young Alexander’s fantasies of talking horses and a lion on the loose. His paean to the joy of the sound of scythes being hammered launches a brilliant scene of farmers rhythmically massed in synchronized threshing. Solntseva pairs Alexander’s idyllic memories with pictorial rhapsody, filling the screen with a molten crimson sunrise, wavering light on a river’s surface which looks like animated Abstract Expressionism, mist drifting dreamily along the riverbanks, smoke billowing, and clouds swarming amid the twilit sky.

The movie’s conventional political nods are laced with bitter irony. A wartime mention of Ukraine as “invaded land” could refer to Russia as well as to Germany. When Alexander makes mention of Communism, Solntseva pairs it with a massive explosion onscreen. As the aged protagonist discusses the modern era’s technological advances, Solntseva shows vast, graphically detailed visions of new cities under construction, which she films with a terror-filled fascination to match that of Antonioni’s “Red Desert,” which was released the same year. In a tribute to socialist laborers, Solntseva films construction workers looking like specimens pinned to an enormous metal architectural framework that they’re building. The film concludes with an ode not to progress but to nature, even its devastating forces. As a blood-red sun sets over the horizon, Solntseva hints at a geological span of life that outlasts regimes. ♦

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August 11, 2017 at 10:02AM

Elsa Moves to Brownstone Brooklyn

Elsa Moves to Brownstone Brooklyn

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Walking into the reincarnation of the beloved Alphabet City bar Elsa, which closed in 2014 and reopened this spring, in Cobble Hill, is like having a lucid dream: the space feels familiar and, then again, not at all. The new layout is nearly identical to that of the original, but its mostly white interior is now punched up with mirrors, marble, and burgundy leather. One can easily imagine the bar’s namesake, Elsa Schiaparelli, lounging in the exceedingly charming back yard, with its high white walls, creeping vines, and cream-colored bistro chairs. If the original bathrooms, lined by dark wooden slats, were striking, the new bathrooms, with slats made of mirrors, are irresistible in the age of the selfie—the bar’s Instagram geotag is full of self-portraits taken in the gleaming lavatories. “I don’t know how to feel about it,” Scott Schneider, a co-owner, said on a recent Monday afternoon. He hoped, at least, that the toilets’ viral celebrity wouldn’t outshine the impressive drink menu: each of the twenty-odd cocktails contains at least one imaginative house-made ingredient; the sinus-clearingly spicy Hotel Danger! (with house-infused peach mezcal) and the spirituous Glassine Stamp (Earl Grey gin) are fantastic, equal parts tasty and weird. Elsa’s flight to brownstone Brooklyn is reflected in its patrons, too—a cool-dad aesthetic pervades the crowd. At the bar, a blonde in a colorful tunic debated whether to post a picture of the bright-pink Salted Watermelon Rose, Elsa’s contribution to the frosé trend. The cocktail tastes as good as it looks, but it melts too quickly to fret over which filter best accentuates its hue. “Save it for the bathroom,” the blonde’s friend advised, a welcome reminder that at least a good frozen drink is still better enjoyed I.R.L. ♦

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August 11, 2017 at 10:02AM

The Fiery Passion of Birds of a Feather

The Fiery Passion of Birds of a Feather

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In traditional Chinese culture, mandarin ducks, which are believed to mate for life, symbolize unflinching fidelity. A similar degree of devotion can be inspired by Sichuanese cuisine, which lands on the unsuspecting tongue like the kiss of a fierce lover; you might have conceived of the encounter as a forgettable fling, but it leaves you gasping for air—in thrall to its numbing, tingling fervor and possibly besotted for life.

Birds of a Feather, a new Sichuanese eatery in Williamsburg, whose Chinese name is Mandarin Duck, indulges chili devotees and blithely defies preconceived notions about Americans’ low heat tolerance. “I don’t cook down to foreigners,” the chef Ziqiang Lu, from Chengdu, Sichuan’s provincial capital, told a table one night. “They must eat up to the Sichuanese.” The owners Xian Zhang and his wife, Yiming Wang, bankers turned restaurateurs who also run the Michelin-starred Café China, in midtown, are to thank for the staff’s quiet efficacy, the rustic sparsity of the décor—goodbye, eighties chandeliers and kitsch chinoiserie—and the practical, time-conserving no-tip policy.

Equally tasteful is the menu. Yes, there are the surefire hits—spicy cumin lamb, braised tilapia in chili sauce, gargantuan plates of Chongqing diced chicken, which extracts tears and sweat through blizzards of dried chilis. But the true standouts are dishes that have long been thought too pedestrian to merit importation to the West. Consider the spicy-and-sour tofu pudding, a street food that dates back more than two thousand years, purportedly the unexpected result of a Han Dynasty prince’s attempt to manufacture immortality pills. Tofu pudding—or “tofu brains,” as it is called in some regions of China—may not turn you into a god, but its slippery, satiny smoothness makes for divine slurping. The so-called husband-and-wife special—formerly the food of rickshaw drivers—is made from “the wasted parts,” beef offal that only the poor would deign to eat; seasoned with chili oil, peanuts, and Sichuanese peppercorns, however, tripe has a depth of flavor and a texture that would be impossible to achieve with, say, filet mignon.

On a recent night, a Sichuan native reminisced about requesting the husband-and-wife special on her tenth birthday, despite terrible mouth ulcers. Her companion looked at her quizzically, reflecting that mala spiciness couldn’t possibly have been soothing. The woman explained: “When you are in that much pain, you want the food that brings you the most pleasure, even if it’s for three seconds before the agony starts again. The peppercorns may abuse you senseless, but you are an addict for life.” (Entrées $12-$25.) ♦

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August 11, 2017 at 10:02AM

Yaeji’s Enchanting Tracks 

Yaeji’s Enchanting Tracks 

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Kathy Lee, who records and d.j.’s as Yaeji, litters her sets with hints at her interests: the wailing sirens of U.K. rave, the deep kicks of New York house, and, occasionally, the stringed flourishes of traditional Korean folk. “I’m into it all,” she has offered, as a biography of sorts. But her own songs beguile with their singular focus, as on her self-titled E.P. of whispery, slow-blooming dance tunes. On Aug. 18, the Queens producer plays late into the night at Sunnyvale, joined by Will Martin, aco-founder of the dance label Firm Tracks.

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August 11, 2017 at 10:02AM