Tyrol: A New Winter Holiday

Loving Apartments is now pleased to offer over 350 apartments in Tyrol, Austria, providing many locations to take a winter and skiing holiday. It makes no difference whether you are a seasoned slope skier conquering the steepest of runs, a cross country skier or just a beginner. Tyrol has around 3,000 km of skiable terrain – the stuff of winter sports enthusiast’s dreams.

Tyrol is divided up into many different skiing regions. Here are some of the most popular regions in which Loving Apartments offers accommodation.

Innsbruck – Olympia SkiWorld

Innsbruck with Olympia SkiWorld gives access to nine ski areas including Glungezer, Stubai, Schlick, Kühtai, Axamer Lizum, Oberperfuss – Ranger Köpfl, Muttereralm, Patscherkofel and Nordkette. This ski area is one of the liveliest in Tyrol offering great ski runs, areas for cross-country skiing, snowboarding at 6 different snowparks, snow-shoeing and tobogganing. Innsbruck also has a fascinating cultural history as well with being a three-time host for the winter Olympics. The city centre of Innsbruck is only a 20 minute journey from 200-metre peaks. How’s that for the best of both worlds? Shuttle buses run from the Innsbruck city centre to each of the nine ski areas.

Alpbachtal and Wildschönau

The skiing areas of Alpbachtal and Wildschönau are the up-and-coming ski regions of Tyrol, Austria. In the winter of 2012/2013, these two ski areas were combined with a new ski lift that runs from Inneralpbach up to Schatzberg Mountain. The decision to combine the two was popular and has been labelled as “Rising Star of the season 2012/2013″  and “Best combination of skiing areas 2013″ by the ADAC ski guide. It has become one of the largest skiing areas of Tyrol and caters to advanced skiiers with the Wiedersbergerhorn  and beginner skiiers with Schatzberg. There are also three snow parks in the area – the Snowboard Family Park Schatzberg , Race’n’Boarder Arena on the Tennladenhang and Snowpark Alpbachtal. If you are looking to spice up your skiing, this ski area is particularly known for its night skiing.

Paznaun – Ischgl

The Paznaun – Ischgl is home to over 300 km of slopes and 43 cablecars. Many of those runs are found in the Paznauntal Valley and the Silvretta Arena. Snowboarders will also be pleased with the “Kalle” fun park that has the Big Air Bag which is a giant air cushion to break people’s jump (or maybe even fall). This ski area is also home to the longest, natural toboggan run in Tyrol, making it a very family-friendly destination. The Sunny Mountain Adventure Park is another family paradise. You’ll have no problems meeting everyone’s desires with the variety of activities in the Paznaun – Ischgl area.

Elfer Lifte Neustift – Stubaital

The Elfer Lifte Neustift – Stubaital may be one of the smaller ski areas of Tyrol, but it packs a lot in. This area is good for beginning and improving winter athletes because of its moderate dimensions. If you are interested in tobogganing, there is the toboggan run, Elfer Neustift Dorf, which is 6.4 km and Pinnistal run which is 8 km long. The area has shuttle bus services and a handy lift access to all the slopes, the toboggan runs and the indoor pool Neustift. This is the perfect region of Tyrol if you are looking for a more relaxed winter holiday.

Christlum – Achensee

The Christlum – Achensee ski area is perhaps one of the most magical and picturesque ski regions of Tyrol because of Lake Achensee. The area has slopes for all skill levels, but it is especially known for its cross-country skiing. However, its real gem is all of its lake activities. You can skate, snowshoe or hike trails along the lake, soaking up for the winter wonderland. You can also bet on some good toboggan runs for the kids. If you want to get your adrenaline pumping, try your hand at winterkiting or winter paragliding on the lake.

Seefeld

Seefeld is more of an urban area between the Wetterstein and Karwendel mountain ranges. Having snow for your winter holiday is rarely a concern in this area because once the first snow falls it usually persists until Spring. The area has great slopes including night time skiing at Leutasch-Kreithlift and Seefeld-Rosshütte. If you’re a bit tired of skiing, you have the option of curling, snow-shoeing or sledding. You can even visit the recently opened restaurant, Seelos Stüberl, which has received raving reviews, or you can grab a drink at Murmelebau, a bar which opened in the winter of 2013/2014. You’ll have no difficulty staying entertained.

I hope this list will help to get the gears in your head turning. However, this list just skimmed the surface. Loving Apartments offers accommodation in Austria at each of these listed locations, so be sure to give each of them a look.

Telfs                                                      Fendels                                             Axams

Bad Häring                                          Hall in Tirol                                     Brixen im Thale

Ellmau                                                  Feichten im Kaunertal                    Imst

Hopfgarten im Brixental                    Igls                                                   Kirchberg in Tirol

Kitzbühel                                             Hochfilzen                                          Itter

Kössen                                                  Langkampfen                                  Mieming

Nassereith                                           Nauders                                            Nesselwängle

Scheffau am Wilden Kaiser             Schmirn                                            Reutte

Schwaz                                                 Ried im Oberinntal                          Söll

Sankt Johann in Tirol                       Schwoich                                          Serfaus – Fiss – Ladis

Telfs                                                        Trins                                                  Tulfes

Waidring im PillerseeTal                 Walchsee                                           Wattens

Westendorf                                          Wipptal                                             Zugspitzarena

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Verbier Festival: Mountains & Music

Verbier, the vibrant Swiss village, hosts an annual music festival. Verbier Festival is the brain child of Martin T. Son Engstroem. Engstroem began the festival in 1994 with help of Avi Shoshani. Their goal was to create a summer festival in the heart of the Swiss Alps with an intimate atmosphere. Along with its own academy and resident orchestra, the Festival’s reputation has grown over the years because of its high profile musicians and world-class conductors. During the three-week festival, Verbier is transformed into a “who’s who” of the world’s greatest musicians.

The festival lasts a total of 17 days and is showcased at 7 venues every July. The greatest names of classical music gather during two weeks in the Swiss Alps for an exceptional concert series featuring choirs, orchestras and recitals. All of its 40,000 spectators enjoy a unique musical experience. The combination of mountains and music creates a magical atmosphere in the beautiful summer.

The festival has affiliate programs such as the Verbier Festival Discover, which is a program of lectures for adults and educational and creative activities for children. Fest’Off, a second affiliate program, offers free concerts and shows every day at various sites. Another spin off of the festival is the Verbier Festival Amateur Chamber Music Week which offers non-professional musicians the opportunity to practice under the guidance of established artists and then perform their music in public.

Loving Apartments offers a number of ski chalets during the Verbier Festivals, so plan a trip to explore the slopes and hear amazing musicians.

This year, Verbier Festival will be held from Friday 17 July to Sunday 2 August 2015. (Tentative)

Contact Information:

Telephone: +41 (0) 848 771 882

ticketing[at]verbierfestival.com

Case Postale

CH-1936 Verbier

>Jonathan Redmond is an Advertising Undergraduate @ University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a keen interest in Fashion and exploring London Culture.

High Rolling: Popular Theme Parks in Europe

There’s nothing like the adrenaline rush from a roller coaster. Thrill seekers from all over the globe are always on the lookout for the next bigger and faster roller coaster. To satisfy all adrenaline junkies, we’ve compiled a list of some of Europe’s most famous theme parks full of sensational rides.

Fortunately, these theme parks are located in or near cities that Loving Apartments offers accommodation, so check out our apartments to relax in after your fun-filled day at the theme park.

1. Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris is perhaps the most popular theme park in Europe with millions of visitors each year. This theme park is perfect for the entire family from your little ones to your teenagers. The magic of Disneyland Paris is spread between two parks – Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park. The two parks have everything from your adrenaline pumping rides like Space Mountain and the Rock ‘n Roll Roller Coaster, to magical characters, to sensational live performances. There are also plenty of restaurants, bars and shops filled with Disney souvenirs. Don’t forget about the daily parade in which you’ll see all your favourite Disney faces.

Photo Credit: CetusCetus@Flickr.

Photo Credit: CetusCetus@Flickr.

2. Port Aventura

Photo Credit: Anton Perez@Flickr.

Photo Credit: Anton Perez@Flickr.

Port Aventura, located near Barcelona, is the most visited theme park in Spain. The park creates six different worlds for their visitors to explore – Mediterrania, Polynesia, China, Mexico, Far West and Sesamo Aventura. In each world, you’ll experience diverse cultures, fantastic shows, music, dancing, delicious food and of course, exciting rides. Some of the most noteworthy rides in Port Aventura include the Dragon Khan a high-speed roller coaster, Stampida a wooden coaster, Hurakan Condor the highest drop in Europe and the Shambhala the tallest roller coaster in Europe. These record breaking rides are absolutely electrifying.

3. Thorpe Park

Located outside of London, Thorpe Park is especially appealing to young adults and teenagers with their countless roller coasters and thrill rides such as Colossus, Detonator, Slammer and the Vortex. However, it also offers plenty of family friendly rides to for their younger visitors. Some of these rides include Logger’s Leap the UK’s tallest flumed ride, Rumba Rapids, Quantum a magic carpet ride and many others. In case you have some in your party that aren’t interested in rides, there are plenty of arcade games, shops and restaurants to stay busy.

Photo Credit: havenholidays@Flickr.

Photo Credit: havenholidays@Flickr.

4. Parque Warner

Photo Credit: Jeremy Thompson@Flickr.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Thompson@Flickr.

Parque Warner, just 25 km southeast of Madrid, brings the glamour of Hollywood to Spain. The film themed park sponsored by Time Warner gives visitors a peek behind the special effects in films and performs live shows after some of your favourite Warner Bros films like Batman and Scooby-Doo. You’ll get plenty of action through their popular roller coasters like Superman: The Attraction of Steel, the Road Runner Coaster and Stunt Fall. Young children and adults can see beloved cartoon characters such as Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny and Tweety.

5. Efteling

Efetling is the largest theme park in the Netherlands and is located about an hour and a half outside of Amsterdam. It also is one of the oldest theme parks in the world. Opened in 1952, the park has grown from a playground and a Fairy Tale Forest to a massive fairy tale themed adventure park. All of its attractions are based upon the legends, fables, folklore and fairy tales that we hear as children, but adults will enjoy the park just as much as the children. You’ll find roller coasters, water rides and shows featuring Cinderella, Rumpelstiltskin, Tom Thumb and Rapunzel. In Efteling, you’ll feel as though you just jumped into the pages of your most cherished bed-time tales.

Photo Credit: bertknot@Flickr.

Photo Credit: bertknot@Flickr.

> Dana Wolthuizen is studying English and non-profit business at Central College with a passion for travel writing.

Mountainside Dining: Verbier’s Best Restaurants

It’s easy to build up a hearty appetite after a day of skiing and winter sports on the Swiss Alps. You’re perhaps a bit chilly, a bit tired . . . but satisfied because you had some great runs out on the slopes. The one thing that would make it even better would be a delicious meal – perhaps soup, some steak – anything to warm your bones.

Luckily, Verbier has loads of dining choices, so you’re sure to find a pallet pleasing restaurant. But Loving Apartments wanted to take the time and list some of the highly recommended restaurants in Verbier.

Le Dahu

Le Dahu is the perfect place to visit for lunch during your day on the slopes. The restaurant can be found at the foot of La Chaux Snowpark. Le Dahu has two floors and a balcony, giving you a sweeping view of the mountain side while you enjoy the local cuisine at 2,265 meters altitude. In case you aren’t interested in spending too much of your time away from skiing, there is a snack bar downstairs that serves burgers, paninis, pizza and salads. Next to the snack bar, there is a children’s play area to keep the kids entertained. Le Dahu’s location is meant to cater to skiers, but the restaurant is accessible to non-skiers as well with the snow path and sculpture trail and two gondola rides – the Medran and then the La Chaux Express. Reservations are recommended for the restaurant, but they aren’t needed for the snack bar.

Photo Credit: mallydally@Flickr.

Photo Credit: mallydally@Flickr.

Les Chottes

Found in the ski slopes between Veysonnaz and Siviez, Les Chottes stands at 2,210 metres altitude and offers panoramic views of the mountainside and the Rhône Valley. The eatery is a 100 year-old converted barn with two sun terraces. One is actually accessed through a snow tunnel. The restaurant is a convenient stop on the way to the end of the four valleys. Les Chottes is known for adding a delicious spin on Swiss mountain cuisine. One of their popular specialities is Nendaz Venison Stew with Rösti. The restaurant is open every day during the winter and summer, and open upon request in the evening for special events and parties.

Photo Credit: vauvau@Flickr.

Photo Credit: vauvau@Flickr.

Chez Dany

Chez Dany is a charming chalet snuggled in by the hamlet of Clambin. Ski down from Les Ruinettes towards Verbier, and you’ll find it waiting for you. The menu is a mix of all different kinds of dishes from around the world, and the restaurant also has a reputation of putting a creative twist on local cuisine. Some well-known dishes are Spaghetti Mare e Monti and pumpkin soup in a bread bowl. Reservations are advised. The chalet is accessible by hiking paths, ski trails and snow taxi. Chez Dany is open during the summer and winter months.

Photo Credit: star5112@Flickr.

Photo Credit: star5112@Flickr.

La Vache

La Vache has been declared as the most popular eatery of Verbier for both its food and the fact that it was opened by three celebrities – James Blunt, Lawrence Dallaglio and Carl Fogarty.  The bustling restaurant is a converted lift station and is atmospheric with its modern alpine dairy decor. (Vache is the French word for cow.) The menu includes warming comfort foods such as soup, pizza, and burgers – at a notably lower cost than their rivals. La Vache is located at the top of the Les Attelas chairlift. Reservations are recommended. Click here to view the menu.

Photo Credit: BritishMum@Flickr.

Photo Credit: BritishMum@Flickr.

Cabane Tortin

Cabane Tortin offers dining for the adventurous. The restaurant can be accessed by expert skiers or on snowshoes up from Col des Gentianes. The restaurant is cosy with a wood stove and is rarely crowded because of its tranquil and isolated location beside the Glacier de Tortin at 3,033 metres. No need to worry about reservations, just feel free to show up and be seated.  Their goulash, sandwiches and fondues are said to be exquisite and worth the trek up the glacier.

Photo Credit: roolrool@Flickr.

Photo Credit: roolrool@Flickr.

 

> Dana Wolthuizen is studying English and non-profit business at Central College with a passion for travel writing.

 

 

An Exclusive Night Out: L’Arc Paris

You want to have fun on the weekends – a legendary night out that you’ll be telling stories about for years to come. But in order to have such a fabulous night, you’ll need to have a venue that is a cut above the rest. Something different from the same old night club in the same old neighbourhood with the same old music. The solution to that dilemma?

The exclusive L’Arc Paris Restaurant and Night Club.

Photo Credit: Techcocktail@Flickr.

Photo Credit: Techcocktail@Flickr.

The L’Arc Paris, located at 12 Rue de Presbourg, gives diners a view of the Arc de Triomphe as they enjoy their French cuisine created by Chef Antony Germani. What better view to have than one of the most iconic symbols of Paris? If you’re aiming to woo  someone special, this would definitely be the place to romance them. After you savour your dinner, order some signature cocktails and lounge for a while in the restaurant’s chic bar.

Then it will be time for the the main attraction of the night: Club of L’Arc Paris. Making its way to the top as one of Paris’ trendiest night clubs, it pulses with the beats of the in-house DJ, featuring an electric mix of the hip-hop music. The lively dance floor beckons all club-goers. You may even find yourself bumping elbows with some celebrities on the floor. L’Arc has become a rite of passage of night life in Paris for celebrities such as Mick Jagger, Beyonce, Jay-Z and Rafael Nadal. Club of L’Arc will give you an unrivalled and unforgettable night out.

The club does have guest selection so be sure to dress in some of your hippest and best threads and be polite to the doormen. If you do those two things, you are more than likely to be in the door in no time. The best thing about the L’Arc Paris is that on your way out at the end of the night, you’ll be awed by the Parisian view waiting for you on the club’s doorstep – the perfect way to top off your night.

You’ll of course need a place to stay and relax after your smashing night. Loving Apartments offers accommodation throughout the entire city of Paris, including by Arc de Triomphe and L’Arc Paris. We invite you to stay with us for your memorable weekend.

Photo Credit: Kieran Lyman@Flickr.

Photo Credit: Kieran Lyman@Flickr.

> Dana Wolthuizen is studying English and non-profit business at Central College with a passion for travel writing.

Conquering the Slopes: Winter Sports in Zermatt

Zermatt, Switzerland is the closest thing to heaven on earth for winter sports enthusiasts. Quite frankly, Zermatt can even seem like heaven to those who aren’t winter sports enthusiasts with its incredible mountain scenes, especially with the view of the Matterhorn. However, if you are in Zermatt, you might as well hit the slopes and get active in your winter gear.

Photo Credit: kBandara@Flickr.

Photo Credit: kBandara@Flickr.

Skiing and Snowboarding

Photo Credit: dsearls@Flickr.

Photo Credit: dsearls@Flickr.

There are three main ski slope areas in Zermatt: the Sunnegga, the Gornergrat and the Klein Matterhorn. These areas offer skiers of all levels 250 kilometers of trails. If slope skiing doesn’t take your fancy as much as cross country skiing, there are also cross country skiing routes with the Täsch and Randa trails. Terrain and difficulty varies with both trails.

Don’t worry. Zermatt hasn’t forgotten about the snowboarders. Snowboarders can find good terrain and a half pipe near Riffelberg and a snowboarding park on the Klein Matterhorn.

Winter Hiking and Snowshoeing

You’ll encounter breathtaking and beautiful views of Zermatt if you take the time to go out on a winter hike or a snowshoeing excursion. Snowshoeing on the Gornergrat is said to have the most glorious view of the Matterhorn, but there are other gorgeous trails available for trekking as well, including Täsch to Randa, Zermatt to Sunnegga, Rotenboden to Riffelberg and many others. Each of the trails differ in difficulty level, so hikers can find a suitable route for themselves. If you want to take the stress out of choosing and planning your own route, there are numerous winter travelling agencies in Zermatt with which you can hire a guide to lead you for a day hike. Whatever route you choose to explore, you will be guaranteed an awe-inspiring experience.

Sledding

sledding in Zermatt

Photo Credit: dsearls@Flickr.

Sledding my seem like a cliché winter activity, but it takes on an entirely new meaning in Zermatt. Zermatt offers sledding runs for the young and old with fast steep runs or more mild runs. A fast run can be found on the Rotenboden toboggan trail on the Gornergrat. The route covers 234 metres in 10 minutes. You’ll have to be sure to concentrate on glimpsing the fabulous mountain view as you zip by. There is even a cog train that runs every 10 minutes to bring you back up to the top so that you can save all your energy for the thrilling ride down. If you are looking for a more gentle sledding experience, try out the Randa toboggan run. This route is located in the heart of the village and is especially youngster-friendly with its short, gentle slope.

Ice Sports

Ice sports ranging from skating, to hockey, to curling can all be enjoyed on Zermatt’s ice rinks. A natural ice rink  and two artificial ice rinks can be found in the centre of Zermatt. Admission to the rinks are free from December to February. You’ll just have to pay for skate and equipment rental if you don’t bring your own. If you’d rather watch ice sports instead of participating, the public is welcome to watch as the local ice hockey team, EHC Zermatt, trains.

If you are a bit braver and want to wander out of the rinks, try your hand at ice climbing. Ice climbing takes you through valley gorges, on cliff walls and over frozen waterfalls, allowing to you to see remarkable sights that are usually inaccessible. However, you must be in excellent physical shape, have experience with alpine climbing and have no fear of heights. It is also highly recommended that you have a professional guide accompany you on the climb. A popular area for ice climbing is the Gorner Gorge, with especially dazzling views and glistening ice walls.

Photo Credit: Gabriel GM@Flickr.

Photo Credit: Gabriel GM@Flickr.

 

> Dana Wolthuizen is studying English and non-profit business at Central College with a passion for travel writing.

 

Bringing in the New Year: European Style

The New Year is supposed to come in with a bang to set it apart from all the others. To make yours memorable, we’ve compiled a list of the best New Year’s celebrations in Europe. So swap out your traditional plans, and welcome 2015 at one of these New Year’s Eve bashes.

Loving Apartments conveniently offers accommodation in each of the locations listed. So if any take your fancy, check out our apartments and make reservations to join in all the festivities.

Berlin

Photo Credit: Benno Hansen@Flickr.

Photo Credit: Benno Hansen@Flickr.

Silvester (New Year’s Eve) in Berlin is definitely not for the faint-hearted. You’ll find Berliners tossing firecrackers and shooting small fireworks from windows, making a lively and dazzling celebration. A lot of the festivities take place at Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column with over one million visitors – both local and from all over the world. Many others venture to the top of Teufelsberg, Grunewald or Viktoria Park to get a spectacular view of the grand fireworks at the end of the evening. You can be certain that the party will continue well past midnight into the early morning hours.

‘Happy New Year': Prosit Neujah

Amsterdam

The Dutch in Amsterdam start counting down their Oudejaarsavond (New Year’s) in the square in front of the Rijksmuseum on Museumsplein. Champagne will be flowing all night. Oliebollen (fried dough, apples and raisins) will be consumed. Sparkling fireworks will be launched in front of Scheepvaartmuseum, and merriment will be had by all until the crack of dawn. You’ll also want to check out Dam Square and Nieuwmarkt for free concerts, small firework displays, beer tents and countless food stands.

‘Happy New Year': Gelukkig Nieuwjaar

Photo Credit: LenDog64@Flickr.

Photo Credit: LenDog64@Flickr.

Prague

Photo Credit: *Tom[luckytom]@Flickr.

Photo Credit: *Tom[luckytom]@Flickr.

Not only does Prague host an impressive display of fireworks for their Silvestr (New Year’s) over Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square at midnight, but they also have another glittery show at the Prague City Hall at 6 pm on New Year’s day, making it family-friendly as well. The New Year’s celebrations also continue the next day with a traditional lunch of lentils – thought to ensure family wealth. You won’t find any poultry offered for lunch New Year’s Day because it is believed to supposedly block good fortune. Prague’s castles and bridges are a magical back drop for your next New Year’s celebration.

‘Happy New Year': Šťastný Nový Rok

Budapest

Budapest out-celebrates all other European cities with their three day New Year’s party at Vörösmarty Square from 30 December to 1 January. The square is full of music, live shows, drinks and kisses at midnight. The city runs public transport all night for convenience, and you’ll most likely stumble upon special events hosted by bars and restaurants throughout the entire city. On New Year’s Day, you can fight your hangover with kocsonya, a New Year’s traditional dish made with pig’s feet, and attend one of the many celebratory concerts hosted by the Palace of Arts and the Budapest Opera House.

‘Happy New Year': Boldog új évet

Photo Credit: Grand Parc@Flickr.

Photo Credit: Grand Parc@Flickr.

Paris

Photo Credit: viZZZual.com@Flickr.

Photo Credit: viZZZual.com@Flickr.

Paris doesn’t need to bother with a fireworks display when they are able to dazzle everyone with its light show at the Eiffel Tower. The Champs-Élysées provides an especially good view and ambiance on New Year’s Eve. The streets will be crowded with revellers; but if you are looking for an even more unique scene for your celebration, reserve a spot on a night boat cruise on the River Seine. And don’t forget, all the night clubs will be up and pulsing even more than normal to welcome the New Year. Some popular clubs to visit on the big night are Flûte l’Étoile, Mix Club and Point Éphémère.

‘Happy New Year': Bonne Année

Madrid

The Puerta del Sol is Madrid‘s main hub for its jubilant crowds on Noche Vieja (New Year’s Eve). There will be an endless supply of drinks, dancing, music and . . . grapes? The Spanish have a long-standing tradition of eating 12 grapes as the clock counts down to midnight. One grape per second, representing each month of the year. If you can get all of the grapes down by the time the clock strikes midnight, it is believed that you will have good luck and fortune for the entire year. So don’t be startled if you see thousands of people inhaling grapes at midnight. Then the night life of Madrid takes over until around 6 a.m. It will be a celebration of a lifetime . . . or at least until next year.

‘Happy New Year': Feliz Año Nuevo

Madrid New Years

Photo Credit: bokur.net@Flickr.

> Dana Wolthuizen is studying English and non-profit business at Central College with a passion for travel writing.

Business and Pleasure in Amsterdam

Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn@Flickr.

Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn@Flickr.

Amsterdam has become a popular host city for business events because of its well-known conference venue, Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre, or Amsterdam RAI for short. Within the next several months, Amsterdam RAI will host the World Publishing Expo, the Broadband World Forum, European Utility Week, the World Bulk Wine Exhibition and many others. So if you find yourself having to travel to Amsterdam RAI for one of these upcoming conferences or any other business conference in Amsterdam, check out Loving Apartments for accommodation for both your colleagues and yourself.

As a professional, it is likely you’ll have to travel for business at some point during the year and spend several hours listening to seminars and training sessions. Time drags on during the day, and then you often have to return to a stuffy hotel. Fortunately, your business trip no longer has to be all work. Loving Apartments is pleased to offer you accommodation that adds a little play and comfort to your work week. 

Amsterdam RAI, located about 10 minutes from Amsterdam’s city centre, is easily accessible via public transportation or by car. Depending on your choice of our Amsterdam accommodation options, most of the apartments offered are also  near restaurants and pubs, famous museums such as the Anne Frank House and Van Gogh Museum, parks, shopping districts and public transportation stations. This close proximity to Amsterdam’s points of interest allows your business colleagues and you to grab a well-deserved drink after your work day and the option to enjoy a few cultural sites as well.

Photo Credit: Horasis@Flickr.

Photo Credit: Horasis@Flickr.

Loving Apartments offers multiple apartments in the same building so all of your colleagues can stay in the same location but in separate rooms, providing each person with their own privacy. Loving Apartments has even simplified making reservations for your professional group with their Big Group Booking Tool. Unlike most methods of reserving rooms online, the Big Group Booking Tool allows you to enter how many colleagues will be accompanying you, how many nights you need to stay and what type of sleeping arrangements the group would like. After making those specifications, the tool will immediately inform you what apartments are available and calculate the price of your reservations

Put some pleasure back in your business trip with a comfortable accommodation with Loving Apartments and enjoy your time with colleagues in Amsterdam.

Click here for the Big Group Booking Tool: http://lovingapartments.com/Netherlands/Amsterdam/Groups

> Dana Wolthuizen is studying English and non-profit business at Central College with a passion for travel writing.

Europe from Above

As a college student studying abroad, I’m always on the look out for free opportunities, and one fell right into my lap during London’s Architectural Open House Weekend which took place from 19th September to 21st September. Approximately 800 buildings were opened to the public in order to show off their architectural wonders. The famous Gherkin was at the top of the list and was a “must see” for me. A friend and I woke up at the crack of dawn on Sunday morning to stand in line to get to the tip of the Gherkin. The view of the city was breath taking, and it inspired me to write about some of the greatest views that you can find from above in European cities.

1. The Gherkin

Of course, I had to make the Gherkin number one on the list. After all, it was the great inspiration for this blog in the first place. The Gherkin, a domed glass skyscraper, stands in the borough of the City of London at 30 St. Mary Axe right next to the Leaden Hall. Normally, a visitor won’t be able to make his or her way to the top for free except on the Architectural Open House Weekend in London. However, guests can visit the plaza of the Gherkin, and there are restaurants within the skyscraper that offer a remarkable view to enjoy while dining. If anything, the skyscraper makes for a beautiful photograph as one of London’s most iconic buildings.

View of London and Leaden Hall from the top of the Gherkin. Photo Credit: Dana Wolthuizen.

View of London and Leaden Hall from the top of the Gherkin. Photo Credit: Dana Wolthuizen.

2. The Fernsehturm

The Fernsehturm, also known as the Berlin TV Tower, is the tallest and one of the most prominent structures in Germany at 368 meters high. The tower dominates the Berlin skyline and gives a vast view of the city and surrounding areas. Adults can venture up to the top of the tower for €13  and children between the ages of 4 and 16 for  €8.50. The tower also offers a restaurant and a bar in the sphere of the tower, so you can enjoy the gorgeous Berlin skyline for an entire evening.

Photo Credit: Avda@Wikipedia.

Photo Credit: Avda@Wikipedia.

3. St. Stephen’s Basilica Rooftop

St. Stephen’s is Budapest‘s largest church topped with a massive dome. The rooftop of the the church offers a stunning, panoramic view of the Budapest that would be very difficult to find anywhere else. You’ll have to pay a small charge to climb up to the roof and there are a number of stairs involved, but the view will be worth the effort.

Photo Credit: Adam Kliczek@Wikipedia.

Photo Credit: Adam Kliczek@Wikipedia.

4. The Piazzale Michelangelo

The Piazzale Michelangelo is known as the best place to get remarkable views of Florence. The famous site is located at the top of a hill by the Arno River. You can either take public transportation to the top or make the trek yourself. Once there, you’ll see Florence sprawling before you, including an incredible view of the Cathedral of Santa Maria dei Fiore. The Piazzale has a replica of Michelangelo’s David statue, food stalls, souvenir vendors and space for parking, so there is plenty beside the view to keep you busy.

Photo Credit: ElmHoo@Wikipedia.

Photo Credit: ElmHoo@Wikipedia.

 5. Circulo de Bellas Artes Rooftop

Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid is a Protection Centre for Fine Arts and serves as a venue for conferences and art classes. It was originally founded by a group of artists in 1888. Since then, famous artists such as Picasso and Ramón José Simón Valle Peña have attended classes there. Today, there are four floors of art exhibits featuring paintings, drawing, sculptures and photography. However, one of the main draws of the building is its rooftop view. The rooftop also referred to as the “Tartan Roof” gives a 360 degree panoramic view of Madrid’s skyline with the mountains in the distance. You’ll get an especially good view of Madrid’s Metropolis Building, Plaza de le Cibeles and the City Hall.

Photo Credit: felipe_gabaldon@Flickr.

Photo Credit: felipe_gabaldon@Flickr.

6. Tour Montparnasse

Sure, everyone knows that the Eiffel Tower gives a great view of Paris from above. But what about a place in which you can get a view that includes the Eiffel Tower in the skyline? The Tour Montparnasse, an office skyscraper, provides that unique skyline scene. The skyscraper’s view rivals the Eiffel Tower’s, and you won’t have to wait hours in line to see it. The tower itself isn’t pretty; but when viewing the city from its top, you won’t have to worry about it ruining the skyline, right? You’ll be able to take as many photos and enjoy the beauty of Parisian monuments, gardens and streets from the 56th floor.

Photo Credit: y.caradec@Flickr.

Photo Credit: y.caradec@Flickr.

7. Janiculum Hill

Janiculum Hill, located in western Rome, provides one of the most awe inspiring views of the ancient city. If you climb up to the hill’s terrace, a broad view of Rome’s countless domes, monuments and churches will be waiting for you. After you’ve properly admired Rome from above, take the chance to  visit the San Pietro Montorio church and the Fontana dell’Acqua Paola, a baroque fountain built by Pope Paul V, on the hill as well.

Photo Credit: Dark Rome Tours & Walks@Flickr.

Photo Credit: Dark Rome Tours & Walks@Flickr.

 

Dana Wolthuizen is studying English and non-profit business at Central College with a passion for travel writing.

Fashion Night Out: The Best Way to Shop is with Champagne

 

Vogue Fashion Night Out was started in 2009 as a means to encourage consumers to shop  and support the fashion industry during the economic downturn. Co-sponsored by Vogue and Council of Fashion Designers of America, Fashion Night Out (FNO) has become a celebration of fashion and style. The event takes place on various nights within September all over the world in cities like New York, Paris, Berlin and Londonfno. In it’s sixth year, London FNO includes many iconic fashion boutiques, department stores, flagships and high-street chains that make London such a brilliant fashion capital.                                                       

Last night, I had the considerable pleasure of partaking in Fashion Night Out. If you have never been to a Fashion Night Out, like myself, you have got a lot to look forward too. This year, there were over 70 participating stores that offered free champagne and special deals to  visitors. Each store had a specific competition event that encouraged pIMG_3137[1]eople to make  purchases and discover new designers. Fashion Night Out coordinators placed Vogue editors, models and fashion bloggers in certain stores throughout the night. The Vogue editors hosted fashion talks about the industry and where trends are headed in the next season. I went to see Katie Phalen at Topshop; after her talk, she chose her favorite Topshop looks. Needless to say, those selections sold out within minutes. Models were on hand to showcase new collections while chatting with us common folk.

 

 

I began my night by taking the tube to Bond Street, and wondering down Oxford Street. The first stop of the evening was to Zara. The Spanish based retailer greeted its guest with  male models wearing  Zara clothing, serving drinks and disbursing maps for Fashion Night Out. I was soon informed that the store- as along with others- had Fashion Night Out one day sales for attendees. Trust me, you have not lived until you have shopped while being served Prosecco by models. As the night progresses, queues start to get a bit lengthy, so my suggestion is to go early and skip the long wait time. The event went from 6 pm to 11 pm, and as I made my way to Regent Street, my shoulder and arms got tired from all of the goodies I received from each store. Some of the gifts raffled ranged from free samples of Marc Jacobs cologne, a gift card at Aldo, to skin supplies from Clinique.4985085880_b92646bfe9_o

 

Loving Apartments offers some wonderful apartments located near this event located in Covent Garden, West End and around Oxford Street. I would have loved to stopped by my apartment on Oxford street rather than suffering on the tube. If there isn’t a Fashion Night Out close to where you live, plan your trip to London and stay with Loving Apartments.