The Carnival in São Paulo takes place from the 4th to the 11th of March and is one of the biggest parties in Brazil. São Paulo, the largest city in Latin America, organizes the most important Brazilian cultural gathering full of creativity and beauty. Five nights of parades for almost 120,000 people sharing their joy and way of life. Because of the Carnival, the city of São Paulo hosts 30,000 tourists, generating R$ 51,000,000 income. It is expected that 20% of these visitors come from abroad. São Paulo City Council is the main sponsor of Carnival 2010. São Paulo City Council is the main sponsor of the Carnival 2011, the revenue from this is used to support almost 100 samba schools and to cover the required infrastructure costs.
Design Hotels™ is delighted to announce its first member hotel in Hong Kong, The Mira Hong Kong (www.designhotels.com/the_mira). The partnership comes at an exciting time as the hotel is also celebrating its first birthday.
Overlooking the banyan trees and hedge mazes of Kowloon Park in Tsimshatsui, one of Hong Kong’s boutique-lined shopping districts, The Mira is an award-winning urban retreat. Its 492 rooms, including 56 suites, are classified as green, red and silver, and are furnished with handpicked fabrics and design features, including the Egg chair by Arne Jacobsen. The hotel has six distinct dining and bar establishments, including COCO, a coffee and chocolate lounge, and Yamm, an international kitchen offering an array of global and pan-Asian cuisines.
New Chef and New Rooftop Garden Lounge
As part of the birthday celebrations, The Mira Hong Kong is opening Vibes, its new al fresco terrace lounge, and welcomes a new chef to its modern French restaurant, WHISK. William Girard, former chef at Al Mahara, the Burj Al Arab Dubai’s fine dining restaurant, will be unveiling his new menu this week. It showcases Girard’s signature French cuisine, including fresh produce from his home region in the French Pyrenees.
Chef William Girard says: “My cooking is contemporary French: it has classical roots with an Asian twist. I pay particular attention to the product by not mixing more than three flavours in a dish. Real cooking is the product of simplicity, the star of a dish is always its ingredients.”
Located on the fifth floor of The Mira Hong Kong, WHISK offers many different dining environments, making it a unique setting for a business lunch, a chic Sunday brunch with a twist, or even a post-party nightcap. Its features include a wine bar, dining lounge with casual seating and mezzanine area overlooking the hotel’s Chinese restaurant with lush views of Kowloon Park. Opening out from the restaurant is Vibes, an al fresco garden concept lounge with lotus-shaped open fires, running waterways, bamboo groves and private cabanas. This exclusive haven in the city is the ideal venue for brunch, breezy afternoon teas, after dinner drinks and makes the perfect party playground.
The Mira Hong Kong’s Design
Charles Allem, a Miami-based interior architect, was inspired by Hong Kong’s expansive skyline in the design of The Mira’s interior. Together with Colin Cowie, lifestyle guru, they have created an interior of sparkling lights, metallic globes, innovative artwork and experimental sculptures, creating a memorable experience for each guest. Cowie is known for designing a variety of extremely high profile events, including Oprah Winfrey’s 50th birthday party and Elton John’s AIDS foundation Oscar Party. Allem has also taken inspiration from Hong Kong’s natural environment and historical architecture, shown in the striking emerald and platinum colour schemes.
Allem says: “Each facet of this exquisite diamond, set in the heart of Hong Kong, is designed to fascinate and mesmerize. My vision has been to leave an indelible mark on the mind, body and soul.”
Spa and Special Events
Surrounded by stylish circular chill-out daybeds, the 25-metre pool area in the MiraSpa provides a chic place to mingle. The vast 18,000 square foot spa also offers experience showers, waterbed floatation lounges and a nail bar.
For events, the Ballroom on the 18th floor is perfect for a variety of occasions. The LED lighting features over 25,000 color combinations, with six signature event design concepts by Colin Cowie. It is also outfitted with 18 custom made chandeliers with over 20 tons of hand-cut Czech crystals.
HKD 3,000 – HKD 48,000
Hot or cold? Green or red? Infinity or plunge? The swimming pool has come a long way since the ancient Greek and Roman baths. From an urban concrete jungle to a lush hillside in Asia, Design Hotels™ presents four hotel pools ideal for sunbathing, socializing and of course, swimming! For an eye-catching pool in a vibrant colour Alila Ubud offers an emerald-green infinity pool above a dramatic river valley in Bali. In Koh Samui The Library’s vivid red pool is the place to see and be seen, with an enviable location next to the popular Chaweng beach. For a stylish pool party The Standard, Downtown LA’s rooftop hosts weekend pool parties complete with DJs and underwater LED lighting. Lastly Habita Monterrey in Mexico offers two rooftop pools – one cold, and one hot – so bathers can cool off, or heat up while taking in stunning views of the city and the surrounding mountains.
The Library, Koh Samui, Thailand
Just a few steps from Chaweng beach, The Library’s vivid red pool is one admired by guests and passersby alike. Made using mosaic Italian glass tiles in red, yellow and orange, the pool is set on the beachfront and is surrounded by a wooden deck with red mattresses and black bean bags. Guests are welcome to choose from the poolside menu, or take a book from the hotel’s impressive white library complex adjacent to the pool. At night the underwater lights transform the swimming pool in to a dazzling spectacle and provide the perfect backdrop to dinner or drinks in the restaurant and bar next door. The Library was recently voted as one of the top 10 amazing worldwide hotel pools by TripAdvisor in 2010.
The Standard, Downtown LA, United States of America
The rooftop pool at The Standard, Downtown LA is part of one of Los Angeles’ most coveted nightlife hotspots. Situated on the rooftop of the twelve-storey hotel in Downtown LA, the pool has panoramic views of the city. On the opposite side of the terrace there is sculptured topiary, an open fireplace, dancefloor and bar. The turquoise heated pool stands out sharply against the deep red Astroturf of the surrounding sundeck, where there are also bright red water-bed canopies for up to ten. The bar and dancefloor creates a fun and bustling space where nightly international DJs play to a fashionable crowd. The rooftop area can also be hired exclusively for events for up to 240 people, making it ideal for anything from corporate functions to editorial shoots.
Alila Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Cited as one of the most beautiful pools in the world, the infinity pool at Alila Ubud boasts a spectacular location perched on a terrace floating above the lush Ayung River valley. The pool spreads out to form an elongated rectangle until it seems to disappear down the terraced jungle hillside. A daily afternoon tea of traditional local sweets is served by the pool, where guests can relax on sun beds shaded by large Balinese umbrellas. In addition to its 58 rooms, the hotel has four Valley Villas on stilts with wooden decks and four Pool Villas providing seclusion with a private pool.
Habita Monterrey, San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico
With different views and contrasting temperatures the two pools at Habita Monterrey cater to all tastes and weather conditions. The hot pool is heated to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, making it ideal for a dip in the winter months. There is also a cold pool which is great for cooling off during the summer when temperatures rise. Situated on either side of the eighth floor roof terrace with 360-degree views over the desert metropolis and Sierra Madre, the pools are divided by a chic concrete bar. The bar can cater to up to 80 people and is open for snacks and cocktails from 10am to 2am. On one side there is a view over Sierra Madre and its eponymous Cerro de la Silla, known as the Chair Mountain, whilst on the opposite side there is a view of the El Obispado, a green mountainous area.
THE WEINMEISTER BERLIN-MITTE OPENS IN GERMANY’S CAPITAL
Oversized beds, a buzzing location and a 24-hour mindset combine spectacularly at The Weinmeister Berlin-Mitte, Design Hotels™ member hotel, which opened on July 6, 2010. Situated in the city’s central district, Mitte, this 88-room hotel is from the owners of Lux 11, Tom Tänzer and Elmo Hagendorf. Aimed at business travellers from the music, fashion and creative scene, as well as leisure travellers, the hotel focuses on what is truly important in life: rest, comfort and simplicity. Tänzer and Hagendorf have created a property which is more than a hotel, it’s a whole concept. With a luxury punk aesthetic, round-the-clock services and spacious rooms, guests are certain to feel part of the true Berlin – a creative, large, and thrilling city which never sleeps.
“We wanted to create a hotel which reflects the city of Berlin” says Tänzer. “The Weinmeister Berlin-Mitte will mirror the excitement of Mitte’s street life, from the 24-hour clubs to the large gallery spaces. We wanted to capture the essence of modern cool and what it means to enjoy the good life – the hotel will exude style and elegance portrayed with both restraint and opulence.”
The room décor focuses on a single piece of furniture: the bed. With large mattresses measuring two by two metres and oversized cloth-covered frames, the beds take centre-stage. The effect created is a floor-to-ceiling, room within a room, complemented by muted colours and luxurious materials. Every room features Apple iMacs instead of television sets and there are also iPad laptops for hire. These give guests access to social networks, music and games and reflect the hotel’s synthesis of luxury and technology. To create a cosy environment, rooms also come with a large Asprey London cosmetics box, fluffy bathrobes and tailor-made pyjamas. There are also handmade furnishings and quirky designs which use organic materials, including bathroom shelves made from slabs of natural oak wood and handcrafted lamps which seem alive through their organic design.
The phrase ‘whatever guests desire’ is foremost at The Weinmeister Berlin-Mitte, with a range of services which are all 24-hour. Instead of uniforms, staff wear exclusive clothing from the new Ellesse heritage collection, reflecting the hotel’s connection with the fashion industry. On the ground floor the ClubLounge and Schwarz bar provide a buzzing space for guests and locals to mingle. The bar is named after the German film actress Jessica Schwarz and will exclusively serve a herbal liquor made according to her family’s secret recipe. Guests can also dine in the restaurant serving traditional German cuisine with a modern twist. An invitation-only rooftop area with bar adds to the chic and exclusive ambience, with stunning vistas of Berlin and the iconic TV tower. There will also be a whirlpool, sauna and 24-hour room service menu and breakfast.
The Weinmeister is located at the intersection of Weinmeisterstrasse and Rosenthaler Strasse in Mitte, a Berlin hotspot for art, culture, fashion, shopping and clubbing. Close to the hotel is the shopping street of Friedrichstrasse, the cultural delights on Unter den Linden, the art on Museum Island and the Soviet architecture at Alexanderplatz.
The Weinmeister is offering a special opening rate of EUR 129 until the end of August.
A new Guinness World Record was set for the largest serving of hummus this week in the multi-cultural village of Abu Ghosh near Jerusalem, Israel. The record-breaking hummus dish weighed 8,992 pounds and was spread into a 20-foot satellite dish, beating the previous Guinness World Record set in Lebanon two months earlier. The event was organized by Jawdat Ibrahim, owner of the Abu Ghosh restaurant, and presided over by Guinness judge Jack Brookbank.
The Israeli Arab village of Abu Ghosh was established in 1520. It was built over the ruins of the biblical town of Kiryat Ye’arim (Town of Forests). It was here (according to I Chronicles 13:5-8) that the Ark of the Covenant was kept for 20 years, before being moved by David to Jerusalem. Abu Ghosh is now known for its restaurants and International Liturgical Music festival.
Dine Alone, in partnership with Tourism Australia and Goway Travel, will be sending two very lucky winners to Australia to see ALEXISONFIRE perform in Melbourne at the legendary SoundWave Festival in February, 2010.
The winner will receive:
- Two round-trip tickets on Qantas Airways from Vancouver to Australia
- Two tickets to Soundwave Festival 2010 in Melbourne
- Three night accommodations in Melbourne
- An 18 day Adventure Tours trip for two from Melbourne to Darwin including 11 night twin share accommodations, 6 nights camping, an Opal Mine tour and Otway Fly Tree Top Walk
The growing interest in Australia’s music scene and increasing desire of more Canadians to work or play in Australia has motivated Tourism Australia and Goway Travel to develop the special websitewww.australia.com/workandholiday where the contest resides. Filled with insider knowledge, concert calendar, tips and travel deals, the website is perfect for those wanting to work their way around the country using the Work and Holiday Visa (WHV) or others just wanting to have a fun Aussie adventure.
For more details and to enter the contest, visit: www.australia.com/workandholiday
Las Vegas Resort Becomes First to Offer Exclusive Weekend Package
for Twitter Followers and Facebook Fans
This Halloween, Caesars Palace Twitter followers are grabbing their cell phones and heading to the resort for the first ever, “Trick or Tweet” weekend taking place Friday, Oct. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 31.
Here’s how it works: follow Caesars Palace on Twitter.com or become a fan on Facebook and link to our exclusive package for @CaesarsPalace followers including 2-night classic accommodations; two Roman Ritual passes to enjoy at Qua Baths & Spa; complimentary in-room Internet access; a complimentary in-room movie (might we suggest “The Hangover?”); VIP passes to PURE Nightclub for Friday or Saturday night, hosted by Nicky Hilton; a $50 resort credit and much more.
To make the trek that much more enticing, Caesars Palace will Tweet locations throughout the property for followers to go. Once they find their destination, there will wait treats like free food and drinks, including drink specials from Bacardi USA, great giveaways and chances to meet fellow followers. (And with more than 25,000 followers and friends, Caesars Palace is one of the most followed resorts in Las Vegas so expect tons of fellow fans.)
Costumes encouraged, but not necessary. Price begins as little as $175 per night. (With a Saturday night averaging $275, that’s a $200 savings.)
The stage is set for the 11th Annual Iceland Airwaves Music Festival, rocking Reykjavik, Iceland, October 14 -18, 2009. The demand for Airwaves has never been higher and attendance is expected to reach record numbers based on ticket sales. Iceland has always been recognized as a hotbed for unique and creative musical talent and the homeland to such legendary performers as Bjork, Sigur Ros, Quarashi and Emiliana Torrini. Iceland Airwaves has been the proud vehicle bringing many groundbreaking artists to the world’s center stage. In cooperation with the City of Reykjavik and Mr. Destiny Event Management, Icelandair is pleased to present this year’s festival with more of what you would expect from this tried and true trio. Concerts, parties and special events will rock music fans from around the globe as they gather to party with the hottest acts in the industry including up-and-coming musicians from around the world.
Only 5 hours from the East Coast, Reykjavik is the perfect location for this trendsetting music festival with its cutting-edge club scene, fashion, and art culture, surrounded by the beautiful and surreal landscapes of snow-capped mountains, glacial waterfalls, geysers and geothermal hot springs. Immerse yourself in these unique surroundings that have inspired and cultivated countless innovative artists, film makers and musicians.
Icelandair offers special packages for the event originating from Boston, New York (JFK) and Seattle. Packages include round-trip air, 2 nights hotel, transfers, breakfast and a festival pass. Three and four night packages are also available.
For details on Iceland Airwaves, along with a complete list of performers and schedules, please visit www.icelandairwaves.com. For more information about Iceland Airwaves packages please visit www.icelandair.us/airwaves.
“THE HANGOVER SWEEPSTAKES”
Become a Facebook fan or follow Caesars Palace on Twitter to enter the sweepstakes. To win, post or write about Caesars Palace or the movie, “The Hangover” on your own personal pages. Even post about being hung over; the more creative, the better. Those who do will be entered to win:
Receive 3-night/4-day “Hangover” vacation package including a $150 food and beverage credit redeemable at any restaurant throughout Caesars Palace and two Roman Ritual passes to Qua Bath & Spas, as well as round-trip transportation between Caesars Palace and McCarran International Airport.
Receive 2-night/3-day “Hangover” package including a $100 food and beverage credit.
For official rules and regulations, go to “Caesars Palace” on Facebook or follow CaesarsPalaceLV on Twitter.
“THE HANGOVER PACKAGES”
Just like the movie about friends who come to Las Vegas for that blow-out they will never forget (but yet do), experience either the shenanigans of a lifetime or quiet nights in. “The Hangover” package* includes a $50 food and beverage credit applied to the room. Stay and play at Caesars Palace for a minimum of two nights, just keep an eye on those grooms-to-be. Price begins at $120 per night.
For the “Ultimate Hangover Package,” guests will receive 2-night accommodations in a Double Bay suite with a $50 credit at Caesars Palace’s brand new sweet and savory eatery, Serendipity III where the credit can be used for the “Hangover Breakfast” Omelet; two VIP passes to PURE Nightclub and two passes to Venus Pool with a $50 beverage credit. Price begins at $300 per weekday night and $550 per weekend night. The packages are available through Aug. 1, 2009.
For reservations go to http://www.caesarspalace.com or call (866) 782-0655.
Lara Tavares CEO of Sky’s The Limit Youth Organization provide services and computers to under-resourced youth
Who & What is Sky’s The Limit Youth Organization?
Lara Tavares is the Founder and CEO of Sky’s the Limit Youth Organization (http://www.stlonline.org), a nonprofit organization she founded in January 2004.STL raises funds to purchase refurbished computers for under-resourced students who could not otherwise afford them. STL has placed over 1025 computers to date! Recipients are chosen from, and participate in a partner organization’s program such as Pathways to Education, Youth In Motion, StepStones for Youth, etc., where they are provided with support through an orientation or training program that ensures that the students become familiar with how to use a computer and the Internet. Recipients may also be referred by teachers, guidance counselors or they can apply for a computer online independently.Core value – Sky’s the Limit provides services to all under-resourced youth regardless of race, gender, religious belief or sexual orientation…“Everybody’s kids or nobody’s kids”.STL also provides environmental benefits by ensuring that computer systems are reused and recycled thus reducing the technological waste-stream (landfills).STL’s main objectives:1. Raise funds to purchase refurbished computers.2. Provide refurbished computers to students from under-resourced communities.3. Establish a mentoring and tutoring program to get the students up and running. 4. Facilitate access to online resources, creating an awareness of the many learning opportunities available to students. 5. Improve the students’ overall computer skills while developing their essential workplace skills.6. Reduce waste and recycle technology by diverting used computers from landfill sites.7. Offer a solution to the digital divide in Canada. The organization relies on donated funds to purchase the computers. Donations are solicited from various sources. The refurbished computers are purchased from non-profit suppliers.
How did you get started?
Lara grew up in Kanata, Ontario where her father worked for Digital Equipment Corporation, giving her the opportunity to have access to a computer at a young age. She had the early realization that a computer is a valuable resource and can offer many opportunities. She earned a degree in Design Art, Computer Graphics, from Concordia University in Montreal and then went on to a successful decade-long year career in graphic design, web development and information architecture. During this time she worked for Bell Canada, The Ontario Ministry of Labour and the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy, among others. These career pursuits gave Lara on-the-job experience on how to run a successful nonprofit organization.Lara founded STL to address a vital need and considers this mission to be her life-long passion and undertaking. Lara is responsible for STL operations, implementation, outreach, administration, sourcing donors, fundraising, implementation, promotion, etc. She has committed 100% of her time and energy to the cause and built a team of dedicated and reliable ambassadors and volunteers. Lara feels passionately about the value of computers and the technology industry and is deeply affected by the fact that many young Canadians do not have a computer and access to technology. Through STL, Lara is able to provide access to computers to kids who wouldn’t otherwise get it. Lara built a career in the private and non-profit sector prior to starting STL which was a great opportunity to learn and cultivate best practices in order to obtain the time, money, contacts, resources, drive, and skills to make an impact within her community. Is this a non-profit?Yes! Sky’s the Limit (STL) is a registered Canadian charity located in Toronto, Ontario (BN 85757 9742RR0001). STL is incorporated with the Ontario Ministry of Consumer and Business Services (Ontario Corporation Number 1608093).
Are there paid position within the organization?
Yes! STL employs one full-time Project Coordinator and one Part-time Project Assistant who is a former STL computer recipient.
Any success stories with the beneficiaries?
Two years ago, STL donated a computer to Dane, a young man in the Regent Park area who had recently lost his older brother to violence (he was gunned down while leaving a pick-up basketball game). Dane was distraught and used music as one of the ways to express his feelings and mourn his devastating loss. STL provided Dane with a special computer that was outfitted with upgraded hardware and software that could accommodate music engineering software. Lara called several of her contacts in the Toronto music industry and asked them to donate software and their time to Dane. Dane went on to further his musical ambitions with a group he created.
What advice do you have to those who wish to donate their time and energy to a cause?
Volunteers contribute to the success of our unique initiative by donating their energy, skills and time. We would not be able to achieve our goals without them. Not only does volunteering help keep your spirits up, it also helps you to build relationships, discover new skill sets, and interact with like-minded individuals. If you are uncertain about the kind of work you want to do or think you may be successful at, volunteering can help you narrow your focus. Organizations will often work with you to find something for you to do that you will find both interesting and rewarding.