Chicago is the third largest city in the United States, after New York and Los Angeles. Approximately 2,853,000 people live here. In my opinion Chicago is an incredibly delightful city. Here you are close to almost everything.
The cultural options in Chicago are plentiful. If you are interested in music there is an abundance of various clubs and music bars to visit. Chicago is recognized for being a center of Blues Music. A good and traditional blues bar to start the night with (moreover, it’s one of my favourites) is “Blue Chicago”. A visit to a blues bar in Chicago is something one mustn’t miss. It is an amazing experience.
Built in 1921, the Chicago Theatre is a marvellous building. In many American movies shot in Chicago, you can watch the well-known “CHICAGO” sign sweep by.
The 1,451-foot Willis Tower, or Sears Tower as it is also called, with its 442 metres from ground to roof, is recognized as the tallest building in the United States. Between 1973 and 1998 Willis Tower was ranked as the tallest building in the world, but in 1998 it was surpassed by the Petronas Tower (located in Kuala Lumpur). The view from the top is breathtaking. For the brave ones there is the possibility of stepping out on “The Ledge”, a glass balcony, and enjoy the marvellous view from there.
The Ledge, Willis Tower
Moreover, free Wi-Fi is offered at the top, which allows you to make a Skype call to some friend back in Sweden who is afraid of heights. This tour is worth the whole trip and can be highly recommended.
Willis Tower, Chicago
Cloud gate, or “The Bean” as it is referred to in popular speech, is a work of art found in Millennium Park. It was built of stainless steel by Anish Kapoor in 2004-2006. Anyone fond of taking pictures can play with the camera here and accomplish genuinely amusing and interesting photos. You can walk freely underneath and through this work of art.
Cloud Gate or “The Bean” as it is referred to.
Personally I find Chicago a wonderful summer city. Since one often gets, in my case at least, some jet lag and wakes up early in the US, my advice is to buy a good cup of coffee and walk down to the beach. Then you can have a morning stroll while the city is awakening. You can sit down in a small cafe and watch all morning joggers running along the beach. If you are alert enough you can of course hang on and run, but for me I prefer watching and dreaming away. Watching the sun slowly rising above the horizon and making plans for sequencing the items of my shopping list. I’m slowly realizing that time moves on in Chicago, too. So long for a while, then. I’m off shopping.
Popular hotels in Chicago
Four points by Sheraton Chicago Magnificent Mile, Chicago
Hotel with great location, just one block from the popular Magnificent Mile surrounded by Chicago´s best restaurants and shopping.
Chicago Essex Inn Grant Park, Chicago
Good situation opposite Grant Park and overlooking Lake Michigan.
Silversmith Hotel and Suites, Chicago
Historic landmark hotel in Chicago, with great location in the Financial and Theatre district.
Travelodge Chicago downtown, Chicago
Located 1 km from Millennium Park, 1.5 km from Willis Tower, 1.5 km from Field Museum of Natural History and 6 km from the Lincoln Park Zoo.
Best Western at O´hare Airport, Chicago O´hare International Airport (ORD), Chicago
Hotel located 1,5 km from O´Hare Airport.
Want to came along travelling?
My name is Jenny, and I come from the town of Nora, The Pearl of Bergslagen, Sweden. Since the last 12 years I’m a resident of Malmö, Sweden. In the near future I will let you accompany me on my travelling, here at zleepinghotels.com. In this blog I will write about various places I have been to, various places that have meant something special for me in one way or another. I hope you want to come along with me.
I have studied to be a teacher of Swedish/English, but since 12 years I have been working within the airline business. Since I was a little child I have loved travelling. Every summer my parents packed us, that is 3 sisters and 1 dog, into the car, and away we went. Sometimes we just took a weekend fishing out in the forest, and sometimes we hooked on the caravan and went south in Europe. For me it’s not the length of a journey that is of importance, it’s what you experience travelling.
Since I love skiing I have been seeking ski resorts; for instance I have been working in Nebikon and St Moritz in Switzerland, I have studied for one year in Göttingen, Germany and spent six months in Vancouver, Canada. All this to have a chance to experience and taste new cultures at close quarters.
I am very happy and thankful for my job within the airline business, which all the time gives me the opportunity to discover new places and new food.Happiness for me is to find a new cafe or a hidden away trattoria in Italy. Want to come along travelling with me? Welcome aboard .. here we go.
We probably all of us have one city that we have a special place for in our hearts,. a city you like to talk about and let your dreams flow…My city is Liverpool.
In many people’s opinion this is a grey and dull industrial city…. That is exactly the city I have fallen in love with.
I believe it all started in the TV couch in the 1980′s. It was always the same procedure. At five minutes to four my dad occupied the corner of the couch and I jumped down beside him. That’s where we subsequently watched many Premier League games together, and that’s where I started dreaming about Liverpool.
Liverpool has a population of approximately 440.000. “Scousers” as the inhabitants are colloquially called. Their accent is very special. It is called “Scouse”. It takes some time before you understand what they say. Scouse is also the name of the traditional dish associated with Liverpool. It a kind of stew made from lamb meat or beef. In my mind it resembles the Swedish “kalops” (collops).
Liverpool is often referred to as the Capital of Pubs. There are so many different pubs to visit that you had better start testing them directly you arrive in the city (to catch up with the task). If you arrive by train you pull into Liverpool Lime Street Station, and all you have to do is to keep rolling your suitcase to The Crown pub, adjacent to the station (also in Lime Street). A good practice is to let The Crown be the first pub one encounters i Liverpool, and likewise the last one to visit before returning home.
One more of my favorite pubs is The Philharmonic (also known as The Phil among the locals) which is also well worth visiting. It is genuinely beautiful with mahogany panels and mosaic floor, and the grandest part of all, the gentlemen’s urinals, constructed in marble. The pub is located in Hope Street. In the summer you can sit outside in the little garden, and if you are lucky catch a glimpse of Liverpool Cathedral from the open-air terrace.
The Philharmonic, Liverpool
In 2008 Liverpool was appointed European Capital of Culture (Liverpool08) and then the Liverpool people grasped their chance to brush up the city. Many buildings were renovated and the big shopping and leisure complex Liverpool One was opened. In Liverpool One you will find more than 140 stores, among them my two favorites; “Superdry” and of course” Liverpool One Superstore”. The last-mentioned is in fact the biggest official club store in Europe. To be found here are also trendy small stores, a great number of restaurants and in addition quite a few hotels.
If you want accommodation somewhere else than in the city centre, you can try the Albert Dock, as the waterfront down at Merseyside is called. In case your legs are tired you can try a different guided tour by “The Yellow Duckmarine”, a yellow combined bus and boat vehicle (alluding to the Beatles song Yellow Submarine). It first takes you round downtown and then makes a splashdown into the water at the Albert Dock. It’s a very special experience and it is generally very popular, particularly with families.
Down at the Albert Dock there is also the Beatles museum “The Beatles Story”. There you can follow the Fab Four’s journey from being just ordinary guys playing live music at the Cavern to becoming the famous Beatles all over the world. Extremely interesting, and likewise take the chance to visit the Cavern, the pub that made the Beatles famous (you’ll find it in Mathew Street). Go down to the basement and breathe in The Beatles, listen to the band playing covers and dream yourself back in time.
There are two cathedrals in Liverpool. “Liverpool Cathedral”, centrally located and said to be the largest Anglican cathedral in the world. And also the other one “Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral”, situated in close proximity to “Liverpool Cathedral”. These two magnificent cathedrals, linked by Hope Street, are well worth a visit.
Liverpool is an extremely attractive city. Here you find a rich cultural life with nice restaurants, among them “Jamie’s Italian” (owned and run by Jamie Oliver and Gennaro Contaldo), many gorgeous pubs, lots of music and last but not least the reason of me and many others having fallen in love with the city: Liverpool F.C. The football club was founded in 1892, and I could write columns and columns about it, but that will be another time, in another post in the blog.
Liverpool F.C. is accordingly the main reason of my many trips to this, in many people’s opinion grey and dull industrial city. Liverpool or “the mud puddle site”, as might also call it.
(The place mane Liverpool originates from the Welsh Llyr Pwl, meaning”the mud puddle site”)
Book popular hotels in Liverpool:
Jurys Inn, Liverpool
The Liner Hotel, Liverpool
Days Inn Liverpool City Centre, Liverpool
The Park Hotel Liverpool, Liverpool
Former hotel employee Jacob Tomsky reveals how a hotel employee can get back at rude guests in his book Heads in Beds: A reckless Memoir of Hotel, Hustlers and So-Called Hospitality. Here are three ways hotel staff get revenge on rude customers:
If you start beeing rude to the people at front desk you’ll probably be downgraded to a lousy room. “You probably could have had a really nice suite, and you’ll never know it”, Tomsky says. ”I became the master of instant karma.”
If your key card doesnt work correctly it might be because you have upset someone at the front desk. According to this book, they love to watch with amusement when flustered guests return to get the key re-activated
Annoyed hotel staff often wander in and steal from mini-bars, or deliberately miscalculate your charges, Tomsky warns.
Shopping tourism is one of the key points in the World Travel Market Global Trends Report 2012 presented by Euromonitor International. Tourist from Brazil, Russia, India and China are interested in the European luxury brands and consider a trip to Europe as a chance to acquire cheap luxury items. The reason is the fast-growing affluent and middle classes of the BRIC countries can find a wider selection of their favorite brands and cheaper prices in Europe due to the high import taxes in their own countries. One fact is that Chinese tourists spend one third of the travel budget on shopping during their European holidays. The leading shopping destination for the tourists from the BRIC countries is Paris, followed by London, Frankfurt, Milan and Madrid.
Picture: Style By Daniela
Shopping can be part of the travel experience or the primary focus of travel also for international tourists who go to the Middle East to attend shopping festivals and other events in ultra modern shopping malls. There are 10 major shopping malls under development across the Middle East, mainly in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Lebanon and Egypt. In order to stay close and not spend any unnecessary time on transport to/from the malls, another new trend is the construction of exclusive hotels next to the large shopping surfaces.
While travel between India and the Middle East has long been popular, the recent surge of low-cost flight options has opened up new travel opportunities for Indian gold fans, who can now purchase better quality gold with more appealing intricate designs in the Middle East.
The “Our Mobile Planet” report by Google indicates that in the US, 80% of smartphone users do not leave home without their device in 2012, and according to the UK Post Office, 13 million Britons suffered from “Nomophobia” (no mobile phobia) in 2008, feeling stressed when their mobile was out of battery or service, or lost. These are some of the reasons why some hotels have started a new Digital detox trend, offering technology-free packages or technology-free rooms.
Nigeria’s film industry, Nollywood, is the world’s second largest in volume terms, after Bollywood (India) and ahead of Hollywood (US), with over 2,000 films produced annually. The huge popularity of Nollywood films attracts domestic and regional African tourists to Nigeria, visiting film locations.
The move by luxury brands into hotels has already started in Europe and the Middle East, with Armani Hotels in Milan and Dubai, and Missoni Hotels in Edinburgh and Kuwait. Now luxury car brand Tonino Lamborghini plans to open 40 5-star hotels in Asia the next few years. We might see a trend of luxury brands taking on hotels, since according to this report, “Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Ferrari, Maserati, Bentley and Jaguar are popular luxury car brands in Asia that may be successfully extended to hotels” and “it is likely that Tonino Lamborghini will be followed by luxury brands from different industries, such as automotives, fashion, jewellery and cosmetics, capitalising on their consumer appeal”
Click here to see the full report:
Abundant sunshine, beautiful sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and vibrant coral reefs make Hurghada an attractive destination for tourists who fancy a beach holiday with possibilities to practice water sports like diving, kite surfing, windsurfing, surfing & sailing. The unique underwater gardens offshore are some of the finest in the world, rightly famed amongst divers. Hurghada is also the perfect place for traditional souk shopping, beach parties, desert safari tours, golf and it could also be a good base if you want to explore some of the world’s most important historical sites.
Live your own “A Thousand and One Nights” adventure in this magical seaside resort, where you will find an interesting mix of all sorts of nationalities and cultures. Like many other popular seaside resorts, Egypt’s second largest city was once a small fishing village, located next to the Red Sea and boasting a number of superb beaches. Today, Hurghada has grown into a popular destination with a wide range of restaurants, cafes and bars, with both economical hotels and luxury five star hotel complexes. The last couple of years, many hotels in the area have started to offer an All Inclusive option, to satisfy the increasing demand of its customers.
Picture: Simona Scolari
Popular hotels in Hurghada
Stella Makadi Gardens
Located in Makadi Bay area next to Stella Makadi Beach Resort & Spa.
Titanic Resort and Aqua Park
Titanic Resort and Aqua Park is located 1.5km from the beach, 20km from Sahl Hasheesh and 22km from Hurghada center.
Aladdin Beach Resort
Located in front of the beach and approximately 12 km from Hurghada.
This is the moment you have dreamed of since you were a young boy. The smell of burned petrol increases as you press your foot down on the accelerator. The wind grabs your jacket and whips your hair back. You are wearing your black Ray-bans™. Young, good-looking girls, that normally would have ignored you, are now flirting with you. You are the coolest guy in the world in your red cabriolet. Is this what Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso feels like when he is on the racing track? In The Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi you´ll win every race.
In Abu Dhabi anyone can get access to the exclusive world of Ferrari. The theme park, which is the worlds´ largest covered amusement park, is situated on the Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Enter and learn more about the exclusive car producers while you go though every facet of the Ferrari story. This could be the motivation for an excellent holiday in the United Arab Emirates.
The park contains 20 spectacular rides and attractions, both thrill rides with speed and family-friendly attractions. Enjoy the world’s fastest roller coaster, Formula Rossa. Experience the sensational feeling of speed in the ride that reaches 0-100 km in less than two seconds. After that, feel the heart stopping rocket launch and descent in the tower ride called G-Force.
Speed of Magic is the place for you to get a 4-D experience as you search for a race car driver from another planet. There is also an opportunity to access the Ferrari factory. Watch various stages of the construction process, which was previously an exclusive event; only shared with Ferrari owners.
Lunch is served in one of the Italian inspired restaurants like Mamma Rossella. Take the chance to pick up some souvenirs from the Ferrari gift shop before heading home.
According to the official website, “ticket prices are based on height”. Guests taller than 1.5m will pay the General Admission Tickets and guests less than 1.5m pay a lower fee with the General Admission Junior Tickets. VIP tickets are available.
Outside the park, on the exclusive Yas Island there are plenty of other amusement choices. Go out to play golf at the Yas Links Golf or assist a concert by prominent international musical artists. The stage here has received artists like Nelly Furtado, Guns ‘N Roses and DJs representing the Creamfields Abu Dhabi.
The race track, Yas Marina Circuit, is situated here since 2009. This race track is the second Formula One track in the Middle East after Bahrain.
The “test drive” is over. You look up. The crazy-looking young man sitting next to you in this ride greats you with a huge smile. His garlic- inspired breath wakes you up. An image of your family friendly Swedish car pops up in your head. Your wife is still talking to her mother and your children are playing with some newfound friends. Sneak into the next queue and blend in with the others. Great, your family didn´t see you. Just one more ride before going home…
Popular hotels in Abu Dhabi
Le Meridien Abu Dhabi
This is a luxury hotel in a lovely beach location and within walking distance from shopping and sights in Abu Dhabi.
Centro Al Manhal Hotel
The hotel is located 1.5 km from Al Nahyan Stadium, 2.5 km from Al Manhal Palace and 4 km from the beach.
Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island
Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island is located 500m from Yas Marina Circuit, 1km from Ferrari World Theme Park and 23km from Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
Sun, Sand and Sea, these are some of the main ingredients for a holiday in Mallorca. But the largest of the Balearic Islands has more to offer than white fine sandy beaches surrounded by turquoise colored waters. Tourists choose Mallorca because of the diversity of the island, which offers a perfect holiday mix difficult to find elsewhere. This island is for those who like to experience untouched nature during a hike in one of the popular mountain trails, visit small picturesque villages, spend hours of shopping in designer boutiques, visit local flea markets, relax at a SPA hotel or have a drink in the sun at one of the beachfront terraces. Whether you are looking for city or beach, party or relax, Mallorca has something for everyone!
View over Palma
The first charter flight landed on Mallorca in 1950. Since the first tourist came to the island, its popularity has only increased. Today, the island is visited by more than 10 million tourists yearly. This means that on a busy summer day, over 700 flights land at Palma airport. About 40% of the tourists are German, 30% British, and 10% Spanish, with the rest mostly consisting of northern Europeans. Mallorca is also a favourite port of call for cruise ships sailing the Mediterranean.
The island of Mallorca is a beautiful pearl with a stunning scenery. The first time visitors will be truly surprised by the beautiful settings, with green lush nature and clean clear water beaches. This is one of the reasons why many loving couples choose Mallorca as their wedding destination. This Balearic island is also a dream scenery for film makers and advertisers. At present, the Hollywood actor Pierce Brosnan has arrived to the island to film “ A Long Way Down”.
To get the most out of the visit, rent a car and drive around the island. Mallorca offers charming and picturesque villages. Valldemossa and Deia are some of the small mountain villages whose popularity has risen enormously the last couple of years. Deia or Deya is an idyllic village of green-shuttered, ochre-coloured houses that has become a millionaires’ hideaway. Fornalutx is a small village near Soller, a nice place to spend a couple of hours having lunch or a drink.
One of the most popular attractions is a historic ride to Soller in a train with wooden carriages. The lovely antique electric trains and trams have been running since 1912. The Castell de Bellver is a 14th-century circular castle (with a unique round tower), the only one of its kind in Spain. Enjoy great sunsets dining at one of the several beachfront restaurants. Mallorca has around 60 bodegas and, in recent years, many have recognized their appeal to visitors and now open for tours and tastings. Other options could be starspotting in glamorous Puerto Portals, hiking or horseback riding through the mountain chain Serra de Tramuntana or a visit to the Cuevas del Drac (Caves of the Dragon), which resemble the home of a mythical beast.
Palma de Mallorca
Palma de Mallorca is the capital of the island, and a busy city both summer and winter. Here you will find great shopping opportunities and also some great culture experiences. The world’s top brands in designer clothing and accessories can be found by exploring Avenida Jaime III, Paseo del Borne, and the stores and boutiques in the adjoining streets and lanes. Both the cathedral La Seu and the Palau de l’Almudaina (Royal Palace) are on the harbour and worth a visit, as are the nearby ancient Moorish baths. The Bohe¬mian area of Santa Catalina is packed with bars and eateries that positively buzz after dark.
Where to stay
Mallorca is a perfect choice for all types of vacations, just make sure to chose the area where you want to spend your holiday. Some of the most popular tourist destinations are situated in the southern part of the island, mostly because of the closeness to the airport and the popular city of Palma. While party animals prefer visiting Magaluf, nearby Palma Nova and Santa Ponsa are more family friendly. In the north, Alcudia and Port de Pollensa are some of the most popular destinations. If you want a stress free holiday, the eastern side of the island offers small destinations like Cala Bona, but also popular port towns like Porto Colom, Cala D’or and Porto Cristo. Palma is popular all-year-round, not only during the warm summer months.
Mallorca is an extremely fashionable vacation destination for families but also as a destination selected by the rich and famous. Antonio Banderas, Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart and Michael Douglas are just some of the celebrities that have bought a holiday home here…
Santa Ponsa Main Beach
Popular hotels in Mallorca:
HSM Torrenova Playa Apartamentos
Basic apartments with sea view 250 m from the beach
BelleVue Club (x Alcudia Resort Hotetur)
Big resort with garden area and small lakes situated 800 m from the beach and approximately 3 km from the centre of Puerto de Alcudia.
Portofino and Sorrento Apartamentos
Located only 70 m from the beach in Santa Ponsa.
P R E S S R E L E A S E
The positive trend for the booking portal Zleeping Hotels leads to new market opportunities. The portal expands with websites in 6 new languages: Russian, German, Portuguese, Polish, Italian and Chinese. First up is the Russian site, which was launched on October 1, 2012. The sites for the remaining countries are estimated to open before December 31, 2012.
“Russia is an important potential market for us, because we may have already noticed an increase in the number of bookings from there through our .com site,” says Maria Åtting, newly appointed Director of Zleeping Hotels. After Russia we will open China and then the remaining sites will be opened successively. This means that Zleeping Hotels will operate in 12 markets by the end of the year.”
Before implementing the launch, changes have been made on the index page of the site in order to adapt to customer requirements. “We have changed the layout of the page to make it more user friendly. We have also improved the search function to help customers more easily find what they are looking for. In addition, there will be a new VIP login for those who want to create an account and be able to take advantage of our bonus system, Zleeping Dollars“, says Maria.
Maria Åtting, newly appointed Director of Zleeping Hotels
The 6th of October the winners of the prestigious World Travel Awards were announced. The award is “the travel industry’s equivalent to the Oscar’s”. In this year’s edition, The Algarve, the most southerly province of Portugal, was chosen Europe’s Leading Beach Destination. One of the reasons might have been that Algarve is like the perfect holiday postcard with limestone caves and grottos, long golden sandy family-friendly beaches and beautiful bays with coastal waters…
Click here to see the complete winners list!
Picture: F H Mira
Popular hotels in Algarve, Faro
Clube Praia da Oura
Resort located on the golden beach of Albufeira in the Algarve.
Forte Do Vale Apartments
Located 500m from the beach, close to the bars, shops and restaurants and 40km from Faro Airport.
Situated in a fishing village 800 m to the beach.
When I dream away, a mental image appears of a long beach, lined with palm trees and with lovely white fluffy sand. I’ve never been there physically, but all the same I’m fairly well acquainted with the place, because I mentally arrive there at times when I feel I need a vacation. The water at the beach is clear, turquoise and shallow (I can swim, but it just feels better that way). The temperature is +32 degrees centigrade in the shade and I enjoy a wholesome freshly squeezed juice that I drink with a straw from a green coconut. The tropical heat makes me spend most of the time in the water. I put on my imaginary snorkelling equipment, and underwater I catch sight of fish of all colours of the rainbow. After a while my paradise image alternates with one of those posters of the 80s that all teenage girls in the neighbourhood had (me too), with the shadows of human silhouettes tightly entwined in a romantic place. So I’d gladly have a bit of romance.
My paradise is a peaceful and harmonious place where I can do yoga on the beach. I’m here to relax, so it must be a holiday of at least three weeks, so that I can feel that I really have a vacation. Then I want a bit of sport … Maybe a jog, or no, wait, I want to gallop at the water’s edge, so there must be horses, of course. That’s it, it is almost done, my imaginary paradise tour. But perhaps it would be fun with some company after all, to have someone to talk to, and a small beach restaurant where you could go for a dance a while, if you feel like it. Yes, where and what would you eat and drink for three weeks, if you hadn’t brought food for the whole trip. And if it’s a completely uninhabited island, it would be difficult (and expensive) to get here. When I come to think of it, perhaps it would be enough with a few nights on a desolate island. Then I think I can “make do” with a trip to the Dominican Republic, Aruba or some other nice tropical option …
/ Eva Karlsson
What is your opinion? What is really necessary to call a place a holiday paradise? Is a beach with some palm trees enough or should there be something more? Or do you actually have to go abroad to find your paradise? Can a city be called a vacation paradise? Do you have a paradise of your own to recommend?
Picture: Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort