Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Menorca Holidays Shake, Rafa and Roll

Not since the days of Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe has the world of tennis been as exciting as it is today, as Rafa Nadal from Spain's Balearic Islands and Switzerland's Roger Federer make the game watchable to a mass audience again.

The numbers 1 and 2 in the world produced what was widely described by sports journalists around the world as Wimbledon's finest men's final in a generation last July where Nadal triumphed, and then in early February this year the two produced a pulsating final lasting over four hours in another Grand Slam event - the Australian Open. Again Rafa Nadal was victorious.

Upon returning home to the Balearic Islands after his Wimbledon triumph last summer - the Balearics are made up of Rafa's home island of Majorca, along with Menorca and Ibiza - Rafa was given a hero's welcome, and the island came to a standstill for the day as celebrations carried on from dawn to the early hours of the next morning.

Before Rafa's rise to the top of the tennis world, The Balearic Islands have been best known in the wider world as prime holiday destinations - Menorca for example is known as a quiet family holidays island, and with flights to Menorca under two hours from London has become a favourite for the British holidaymaker since the early 70's.

But with a recession hitting Menorca's main holiday markets of Britain and Germany, the tourist authorities for the islands have come up with a stroke a world class tennis player would be proud of - they have signed Rafa Nadal up to promote Menorca as a holidays destination to the British and German publics, and be the recognisable face for their holiday marketing activities.

'Rafa is an instantly recognisable symbol of something positive', comments leading Menorca travel site yourmenorca.net, 'And associating Menorca with someone as dynamic and successful as Rafa Nadal could help the island attract more tourists at a time it really needs it.'


Of all the islands in the Balearics, Menorca is known as one for family holidays. Quiet, sedate, peaceful are words often used to describe Menorca and Menorca holidays.

But as well as promoting Menorca as a reminder to past visitors to holiday on the island again, it's quite possible that Rafa Nadal's image among the population as a whole in both Germany and the UK could be enough for new generations to consider taking holidays in Menorca for the first time - something the island would welcome as once people take a trip to Menorca they often return and count the island as one of their top holiday destinations to consider for future years.

British visitors, an important constituent of Menorca tourism, have been hit by the strength of the Euro against Sterling, and Menorca holidays are more expensive than holiday destinations which don't have the euro - Turkey in particular has seen a big jump in British tourists, and outside of Europe Egypt and Morocco have benefitted too at the expense of traditional favourite Spain - in 2008 Spain experienced a drop of a million holidaymakers compared to the year before.

And while the island will still be seen as peaceful compared to some holiday destinations, it will be determined to keep that as part of the appeal that has attracted holidaymakers in the past. But new companies are also springing up among the Menorca holidays businesses that will appeal to those first time Menorca visitors who might want a little activity - and might expect it too considering Rafa Nadal's image. One new company is offering escorted mountain bike tours, while another is offering jeep safaris - perfect for the younger generation of tourists Menorca would like to see return in future years.

The new companies providing the tourist facilities will be welcomed by the Menorca hotels too. Menorca hoteliers have invested heavily in recent years, refurbishing existing hotels while a few new ones have been added too. But if occupancy rates drop this year there is a possibility that some Menorca hotels will open just for June, July and August, while others may be mothballed until the number of visitors increases again.

The holiday island will be hoping a bit of Rafa's magic will persuade holidaymakers to head their way this year.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

How To Find A Cheap Hotel In Madrid

Your flight is booked, your bags are packed and you are most certainly very excited about your first and so long desired Spanish vacation. Madrid is waiting for you and the only thing that’s left in order for your vacation plan to be perfect is finding the most appropriate hotels in Madrid where to look for vacancies.

Finding hotels in Madrid is not a difficult task, but factors like the purpose of your trip, financial possibilities and most of all, the availability of rooms have to be taken into consideration. If you find yourself in Madrid only on business, without a lot of time to spend in your room except during the night, then your choice of hotels in Madrid might be less demanding. Otherwise, you have to think of other details as well, not only about the bed you sleep in or the quality of the food at the restaurant. Location as well as other facilities can be crucial for a successful vacation.

It’s not difficult to imagine that the busiest period of the year is late spring until early summer when hotels in Madrid are packed with tourists impatient to visit the Prado Museum or the Royal Palace, to take pictures of the Spanish capital and drink the famous sangria. Therefore, it could turn out to be quite difficult to find vacancies in many of the hotels in Madrid during this time of the year.

Just like anywhere else, the hotels in Madrid offer cheap, expensive or exclusive services. You can easily try an Internet search and find out comparisons between the services and rates offered by Madrid hotels in just a few minutes. Cheap hotels offer common services that you can find in any decent hotel: air conditioning, a TV lounge and a bar. Exclusive Madrid hotels offer rooms decorated in an unique manner (such as Hotel Santa Domingo), electronic locks, fax machines, secretary services, computers, babysitting services, interactive TV or marble bathrooms. Your choice depends on how much you are willing to spend.

Since Spain is also a country with many immigrants, Madrid hotels can be also a source of exotic cuisine. Therefore some people prefer choosing a better rated hotel so they can enjoy some interesting meals that might be completely different from their traditional ones.

In order for you to make your staying in Madrid as comfortable as possible, you should also consider what you would like to do during your vacation. This will enable you to make the best choice when it comes to choosing one of the hotels in Madrid. If you would like to spend most of your vacation in Madrid shopping, then it is best to consider booking a room in a hotel close to the center of the city where most of the shopping centers are. If you are a big fan of football and you would like to see the famous Santiago Bernabeu stadium every morning when you wake up, you should consider booking a room in one of the hotels in Madrid close to the area where the stadium is located.

If you are looking for Madrid hotels located in the center of the city they will be more expensive, but you will also save time traveling from one visiting objective to another or from taking the subway, the bus or a taxi to get downtown from another district. If you have time for a longer vacation this may not be a problem, but if you only have a few days and want to visit as much as possible you should look for hotels in Madrid located closer to the center of the city.

However, if you plan to travel during your vacation and go see some other cities in Spain such as Barcelona or Valencia or Bilbao, you should consider this when looking for hotels in Madrid as sometimes there are special packages for people who plan to take a tour of some of the most interesting cities of a country such as Spain. Just like Madrid hotels, hotels from other cities can be placed in a wide range of prices and therefore you can choose a cheaper package or an exclusive one for more than one city.

When looking for hotels in Madrid you should also consider the fact the busy nightlife in Madrid (especially during summertime). If downtown is your first choice - where the nightlife is at its peak - you should keep in mind that you might be woken up very early in the morning by people heading home after a party night. Therefore, you might want to make sure that your room is either provided with a sound proof window-closing system or that you have a view on the other side of the hotel.

Consequently, Madrid hotels offer the same facilities as hotels in most of the cities of the world. There are affordable ones for anyone, no matter the financial possibilities and there are some which can dazzle through comfort as well as prices. Choosing from the wide range of Madrid hotels at your disposal is only a matter of how much importance you give to the accommodation part of your Spanish vacation.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Las Vegas Weather in May

May weather in Las Vegas sees a steady rise in temperature from the beginning of the month to the end. If you are planning to visit Las Vegas in May you should get to enjoy some really terrific weather unless you are very unlucky in a city that was built on luck.

The average daily high temperature in Las Vegas in the first week of May is slightly above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The low temperature is normally right around 60. Typically in Las Vegas the record highs are about 20 degrees above the normal high, so a 100-degree day is possible. The record low is a little above 40, so you could encounter nighttime weather that will require a jacket, so you will want to look at the weather forecast before you pack for your Las Vegas vacation in early May.

The daily high temperature in Las Vegas in the middle of the month of May is normally around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and the low is little above 60 for a normal Las Vegas evening. The record highs can reach 105, and the record lows are still in the low 40s. The warmer Las Vegas weather in the middle of May will probably make sunning by the pool more satisfying for most people. The low humidity in Las Vegas will keep all but a record hot day feeling cooler than you may believe if you haven’t visited the desert Southwest before.

By the end of May the average daily high temperature in Las Vegas is in the mid 90s, and the low is in the mid 60s. Again, it will feel cooler than that to most people, and you can still golf and participate in other outdoor activities during the entire day unless you encounter an unusually hot day. The low temperature is now nearly 70 on a normal day, making May mornings in Las Vegas extremely enjoyable.

The Memorial Day Weekend in Las Vegas may be the most pleasant 3-day holiday of the year, from a weather standpoint, in this tourist city. The evenings are warm enough that jackets won’t be needed, and shorts and short-sleeved shirts can be worn all day and night. If you are planning on swimming you will find the weather to be perfect in the end of May, not too hot but very warm. If you want to golf you will need to use sunscreen and bring water, but you probably won’t get overheated, although you may want to consider an earlier tee time just in case the weather is a little warmer than normal.

May is also one of the drier months in this dry desert city. If it happens to rain while you are visiting Las Vegas in May it will almost certainly be a short, light rain. The stormy time of year in Las Vegas, if you can even call it that, is July and August, thunderstorms in Las Vegas are very rare in May. The worst weather that you could see would be an unusually hot day, or perhaps a windy day, but overall Las Vegas weather in May is usually ideal.