London’s Hyde Park Hotels

With hotels located in former stately Victorian terraced town houses, beautiful tree lined avenues some even in restored Victorian listed buildings, the hotels around Hyde Park offer exceptional service as well as being near Hyde Park which offers jogging, cycling, sailing and riding facilities in central London.

If you are looking for a lovely family run 3 Diamond Bed & Breakfast in a restored Victorian listed building, then the Athena Hotel in Sussex Gardens W2, located in a beautiful tree lined avenue, is what you are looking for. Seven minutes walk from Hyde Park, the Athena Hotel is Ideally located being the perfect choice for holiday makers, business executives and shoppers. Being minutes by taxi to London’s West End, Knightsbridge and not far from the city, this is the ideal base to explore London. A short distance from Paddington Station, many more attractions are located a short distance of the hotel including restaurants, shopping, Madame Tussaud’s, Oxford Street and Marble Arch or if you prefer being only two minutes from Paddington station, Hyde Park and being close to Lancaster Road and Bayswater Road, then the Shaftesbury Premier London Paddington on Westbourne Terrace, is set back in a private terrace but accessible from all major routes into and out of the heart of London and offering spacious executive, family and standard rooms, with rooms being en suite and having been designed to make your stay as comfortable as possible with warm colours and furniture. All rooms have a plasma TV and complimentary 24/7 broadband internet access, with their Eclipse Bar/Restaurant being a sophisticated, spacious and elegant dining and meeting point for friends and family.

In Orchard Street W1, the Selfridge hotel combines traditional comfort with the convenience of modern facilities. This deluxe hotel offers the best in service and a relaxing atmosphere. Guests can choose from a sumptuous selection of executive rooms, studios and suites. Rooms are equipped with modem points along with Wireless Internet in all bedrooms, meeting rooms and public areas. Situated in the heart of the West End with Marble Arch, Bond Street, Oxford Street, Regent Street and Selfridges being just a short walk away. The exciting night life of the West End waits on the hotel’s doorstep. If you prefer your hotel to be in a garden square and just a few minutes walk from Hyde Park and Paddington station then try the Quality Crown Hotel Hyde Park in Talbot Square Paddington, this contemporary yet classic hotel is renowned for its hospitality and surprisingly tranquil location. The hotel is just 15 minutes from Heathrow Airport via the Heathrow Express. And in spite of its quiet location, you will find unparalleled access into the heart of London. With Oxford Street, Kensington and Marble Arch being near. The attractive town-house style blends with the up to the moment amenities including wireless and ADSL high speed internet access, flat screen TV and on-demand movies and music.

In a lovely tree-lined street in Sussex Gardens sits the Gower Hotel, a small family-run bed and breakfast hotel. The Gower Hotel is conveniently situated in the Paddington and Hyde Park area. The owners, the Stavrou family, pride themselves on providing a personalised service, making their guests feel very comfortable along with reception staff assisting with directions, sightseeing and theatre bookings. Being within close distance of Paddington station, restaurants, shops and famous London attractions, the Gower is also near Hyde Park, Madame Tussaud’s, Oxford Street, Marble Arch and many more attractions. With the Best Western Shaftesbury Paddington Court hotel on Devonshire Terrace being only 300 metres from the Heathrow Express Terminal and yet set amidst traditional surroundings that recapture some of the elegance and charm of Victorian England, this hotel is ideally located for both the business and leisure traveller. Being in a perfect central point from which to explore London, near to the Paddington and Lancaster Gate underground stations with Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Marble Arch, Edgware Road and Oxford Street are all within five to fifteen minutes walking distance.

Friendly service ensures that your stay in the Queensway Hotel in Sussex Gardens will be an enjoyable one. Ideally situated for shopping in Oxford Street, Bond Street and Knightsbridge. The Queensway Hotel is located next to Hyde Park in Paddington, Central London. They provide a high standard of comfort which combines nicely with a wide range of facilities. All rooms have private baths and/or showers and toilets, television, direct dial telephones, tea and coffee making facilities, trouser presses and hairdryers. Both Paddington and Lancaster Gate Underground stations are close by and there are also several bus routes giving service to theatres, museums, galleries and historic monuments. Being in one of the most desirable areas of London, the Abbey Court Hotel Hyde Park, is located in the quiet tree-lined avenue of Sussex Gardens and provides an ideal base for exploring London. Being popular amongst tourists and business guests because of its location and reasonable rates, it is close to Oxford Street and Marble Arch for shopping and within a three minute walk of Hyde Park which offers jogging, cycling, sailing and riding facilities. Within a five minute walk are the Paddington, Lancaster Gate and Edgware Road stations, numerous bus routes, as well as the Heathrow Express and Air Bus Link (A2) to Heathrow Airport. Also within easy reach are the famous tourist attractions of the West End including theatres, museums and London’s shopping centres.

The Four Star Shaftesbury Premier London Hyde Park hotel on Westbourne Terrace, offers 119 rooms, while being situated close to London’s Hyde Park and only three minutes from Paddington Tube and the Heathrow Express. Originally The Hyde Park Paddington, the hotel was renamed as The Shaftesbury Hyde Park Paddington being newly refurbished in March 2006 and is now fully air conditioned. Offering spacious executive rooms, family rooms and standard rooms to meet the guests requirements, the rooms have been designed to make your stay as comfortable as possible with the choice of warm colours and furniture. Each room being provided with 24/7 complimentary broadband access, direct dial telephone, interactive TV and supplying you with tea and coffee making facilities. Offering a splendid base for your stay in London, the Abba Queen’s Gate Hotel in Queen’s Gate SW7, has been kept in its original classic Victorian splendour, with freshly refurbished rooms offering a wonderful mix of classic and contemporary style and offering bathrooms that have both tubs and a shower. Family rooms are spacious and offer comfortable living space when staying. All the rooms have free tea and coffee making facilities, modem-point telephones, wifi and work desk along with Pay-movies, Terrestrial TV and radio channels.

The Westpoint Hotel in Sussex Gardens Hyde Park, is always a popular choice with tourists and business guests alike because of their excellent location and reasonable rates. The Westpoint has excellent access to all the famous attractions whilst being located in the quiet, tree-lined avenue of Sussex Gardens. With a choice of 71 bedrooms, all with private showers and toilets and having the convenience of there being lifts to all floors. Close to Oxford Street and Marble Arch for shopping and only a three minute walk of Hyde Park which offers jogging, cycling, sailing and riding facilities. Looking for hotel in a former stately Victorian terraced town house, then the Darlington Hyde Park in Sussex Gardens, offers high standard accommodation with modern facilities, which ensure that the expectations of both the business and leisure traveller are fully met. Less than a 5 minute walk from the Heathrow Express terminal at Paddington station, this 40 bedroom converted hotel prides itself on its attention to detail, cleanliness and hygiene combined with a high level of professional customer service, ensuring that the Darlington Hyde Park is always an enjoyable stay. The Darlington Hyde Park prides itself on being a strictly non-smoking establishment.

With a dedicated ‘Business & Service Centre’ offering secretarial support, word-processing, photocopying and faxing the Radisson SAS Portman Hotel on Portman Square is dedicated to the needs of both the business traveller and those on holiday. Located in a secluded corner of picturesque Portman Square near Marble Arch, the hotel is in the heart of London’s West End, with Selfridges, Marks & Spencers and the famous shops of Oxford Street and Bond Street being just a few minutes walk away. Hyde Park is also just around the corner offering a peaceful haven in which to walk and relax. There is also a mobile telephone hire facility, and in addition, business travellers will appreciate the hotel’s close proximity to the commercial districts. Alternatively, Paddington Court Rooms in Devonshire Terrace, is situated just a five minute walk from Paddington station. This hotel is ideally located for many of London’s top attractions including Hyde Park and Oxford Street. Offering 17 guest rooms all of which have private en suite bathroom facilities with the rooms being decorated to a high standard, which ensures guests have a comfortable stay when in London.

The exciting new central London based Quality Crown Hotel in Paddington’s Praed Street, brings a modern designer-style at an affordable price based at the heart of central London’s tube and bus network. Contemporary and Executive rooms are all non smoking and feature air conditioning, wired and wireless high speed internet, large flat screen TV with on-demand movies and CD’s, sound-proofed glazing and over-sized power shower. The Gallery Lounge and Bar features Sky Sports on a 42 inch plasma TV and the hotel boasts a Fitness Centre, atrium-style Executive Lounge and Conference Rooms for 12 delegates.

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Things to Look Forward To, When Booking Into an Edmonton Hotel

If you are visiting Edmonton, it is clear that you love the happier side of life. This is called Canada’s Festival City and for many good reasons. Throughout the year there is always something being celebrated. From arts and culture, dragon boats to cuisine, there is always a reason to be gay in the city. But that’s not all; there are incredible landmarks which feature among the top Edmonton tourist attractions.

What to Expect

Before you book your hotel, it is good to identify what you want to see. Whether you are on a trip for business or leisure, there is always something exhilarating to do or see in the city. Here are just a few of the must visit places:

1. West Edmonton Mall

To say that the mall is enormous is actually an understatement. This is one of the largest malls in the world ranking at number 10. Indeed, it is still rated the largest in North America and the sheer size will awe you. With 5,300,000 sq ft of space a 20,000 vehicle parking you will be dazzled. There are so many attractions including World Water Park, Galaxy land, movie theatres, Sea Life Caverns and much more.

2. Royal Alberta Museum

If you are a history buff, then you are in for a treat at this museum. It offers a blend of permanent and natural history and cultural exhibits. There are dinosaur fossils, aquaria of native fish, ice age fossils and much more. You will enjoy a journey through history with galleries and exhibits from across the world.

3. Festivals and Shows

If you are looking for an exciting activity to take part in, then festivals will keep you busy. K-Days previously called Capital Ex is the place to be with the 1800s Klondike gold rush days coming back to life. There are parades, street-parties, gold panning and much more fun.

You can also get your fill of fun by visiting a motorcycle show Edmonton, where you will enjoy amazing designs from classics and antiques to the latest machines. Heritage day festivals and festival of trees are among other exciting events you should not miss.

4. Common Wealth Stadium

If you want to catch some sporting action, this stadium offers the most convenient location. It is the home of the Eskimos although rugby, athletics and other sports also feature here. There are also huge concerts held regularly with Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, AC/DC and David Bowie among some of the biggest names to grace events here.

5. Home And Garden Show

If you want an insightful picture into home keeping and gardening, you must book a hotel near venues where these shows are taking place. From landscaping innovations to interior design, there is so much to learn. There are even celebrity guests who share ideas on trends in the industry.

The Crown Jewel of the National Park Hotels

Stephen T. Mather was the first Director of National Parks in the United States. He accepted the position in 1915 when there were only 16 national parks – today there are 58. Mr. Mather used the iconic Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite Valley to propel the success of the entire National Park System. This is how it happened.

The Ahwahnee Hotel

Mather built the Ahwahnee Hotel in his favorite park in Yosemite, California in 1927. It was to be the Crown Jewel of National Park Hotels, and for a very good reason.

Interest the rich and benefit the masses

Stephen Mather wanted his Yosemite hotel to be a wilderness destination for the rich. Not because he wanted to cater only to the wealthy, but because he knew that if he could interest influential people in the National Park System, he could build better parks for everyone. His plan worked beautifully.

The Ahwahnee was built with the best of everything, from newly invented electricity to bathrooms in each guestroom, and an elaborate kitchen that would provide extraordinary dining to the hotel’s privileged guests.

Two electric elevators were installed and manned by staff operators.

Noise reducing plaster was applied to interior walls to assure that guests were not disturbed by the roar of nearby Yosemite falls.

The dining room

Dining was important to the wealthy, and in the Ahwahnee Hotel, the master architect Gilbert Underwood provided Mather with one of the most memorable grand dining rooms in the world.

The dining room stretches 130 feet from the elevator lobby toward Yosemite Falls and spans 51 feet from side to side. Its vaulted ceiling crowned with stripped pine rafters and trusses is 34 feet high.

Imagine the difficulty of trucking the dining room’s 11 plate glass windows that are 24 feet high on early California furrowed roads up to the building site of the Ahwahnee. One can only imagine how many windows were broken along the way. Consider also that once the windows arrived on site they had to be positioned without the aid of modern moving equipment – fascinating.

The great dining room timbers are huge bare pine columns that support a weighty truss ceiling. Unknown to the observer is that the pine columns are actually hollow concrete encased steel pillars. Once again, the genius of the architect is displayed. The rustic appearance of the dining room echoes the overall woodsy splendor of the plan. The immensity of this magnificent room dwarfs the 350 guests it can seat.

The dining room alcove – a magical place

Located at the far end of the dining room, the alcove appears as an add-on to the vast main room before it. It has one of the 24-foot high glass windows, and in this instance, the window provides a showcase for the Upper Yosemite Falls and makes for an unforgettable setting.

The alcove has hosted many historic events including a round table dinner with Queen Elizabeth and Price Phillip during their visit in 1983. The Queen and Prince hosted a small dinner in the alcove after attending services in the park’s historic little wooden chapel.

When not arranged for special events, there are a number of tables for two set up in the alcove. The window center table is often reserved by newlyweds. Your authors had the distinction and privilege of having dinner at that special honeymoon table on their wedding night many years ago.

As we did on that night, we have often thought about the destinies of the hundreds – perhaps thousands of newly married couples that toasted and celebrated their future at that very spot over the last 85 years.

The beautiful Ahwahnee Hotel is host to about 200 weddings per year. If you are planning a wedding – it is an incredible venue.

The Ahwahnee Hotel design theme

The Ahwahnee has a Native American theme, and the chosen decorators did a superb job of blending the furnishings with the overall character of the property. Much of the furniture at the Ahwahnee is original with only subtle changes in fabric and design made to please contemporary tastes.

The Ansel Adam years

When the stock market crashed in 1929, the number of visitors to the national parks dwindled, and the Ahwahnee fell on hard times.

The president of the Yosemite and Curry Company (YP&CC) decided that publicity would boost the Ahwahnee occupancy rate and he hired a young aspiring concert pianist, who was also a part-time photographer, to photograph and promote the hotel and the Yosemite experience. The young man’s name was Ansel Adams. The rest is history. His work, like that of John Muir will live as long as there is a Yosemite Valley.

Adams was in love with the beauty of Yosemite from an early age. He finally moved from San Francisco to Yosemite in 1937, and although he created visual masterpieces in other parts of the west, he remained intimately connected with the valley and the Ahwahnee Hotel for over 40 years. He retired in 1972 and died in 1982. He left behind a treasure trove of photographs of natural wonders.

The war years

The US Navy appropriated the Ahwahnee Hotel to be a convalescent hospital for sailors in June 1943. Before it was returned to the YP&CC in December of 1945, more than 6,700 patients had been treated at the Ahwahnee.

When the Navy vacated they left behind many buildings including a bowling alley, gymnasium, machine shop, pool hall, and foundry. The buildings were quickly dismantled and the salvage was put to good use in the valley.

Other changes through the years

The guest elevator was automated in 1963. A small swimming pool was added in 1964 in a non-obtrusive space next to the bar. Air conditioning was added, and all the windows in the guestrooms were replaced in 1976.

There was a golf course, but it was removed before 1980 in order to preserve the primordial nature of the surroundings. TVs made their first appearance in the guestrooms in 1989.

The Ahwahnee Hotel was put on the National Register of Historic Landmarks in 1977.

If you go

There are several entrances to Yosemite and you can choose your route to the park by looking at the Ahwahnee Hotel website.

As you drive through the park watch for signs to the Ahwahnee Hotel. A magnificent stone gateway at the entrance to the hotel lets you know you have arrived. Valet parking is always available, or you can self-park anywhere along the Sequoia lined parking area.

Happy travels.

Attention wine aficionados! The Ahwahnee is now taking reservations for the Vintner’s Holiday 2012. There will be eight sessions this year, the first one starts on November 4. Check the Ahwahnee Hotel website for more information about this exciting event.

A special thanks to Lisa Cesaro, of the DNC Parks and Resorts at Yosemite, and Tami von Isakovics of Ellipses Public Relations for assisting us with information about the Ahwahnee Hotel and Yosemite Valley.

If you would like to read more detail about the Ahwahnee Hotel there are two short, but excellent books on the subject.. The Ahwahnee – Yosemite’s Grand Hotel, by Keith Walklet and The Ahwahnee – Yosemite’s Classic Hotel, by Shirley Sargent. Both books are available from Amazon.com.

Canada, Montreal – Motel and Hotel Packages

Montreal is a major center of the Canadian culture and the center of Quebec culture.It has numerous specialized museums including the MMFA or Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the MAC or Musee d’art contemporia, the Stewart Museum, the Redpath Museum, the Canadian Center for Architecture and the McCord Museum of Canadian History.

The Place des Arts cultural complex is home to the MAC and numerous theaters and the seat of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the Montreal Opera.The Museum Quarter’s architectural and historical richness spilling over into the surrounding streets and creates special ambiance which leaves lasting impression on the visitors.

Montreal Hotel and Motel Packages

Le Westin Montreal is a 4-star hotel situated at 270 St.Antoine West in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.The hotel is just steps away from the cobblestone streets of the Old Montreal and the largest convention facility called the Palais des Congres.The Victoria Square, Christ Church Cathedral, Molson Stadium, Mont Royal Park, Centuar Theater and Bonsecour Market are also close by.

The property provides a restaurant, a full-service health spa, an indoor swimming pool and a spa tub.In addition to an indoor swimming pool and a pool, the hotel also provides a health club, a steam room and a sauna.It has conference and meeting facilities measuring about 4,000 square feet including meeting rooms and conference rooms for small groups.Other amenities include a business center, a fitness facility, a 24-hour front desk, express check-in and checkout, dry cleaning or laundry service and high-speed Internet connectivity.

It offers 454 spacious and well-appointed guestrooms in its 22-storey property.All guestrooms feature a Bose Wave music system, executive club lounge access, 32-inch LCD high-definition televisions, cordless speakerphones, executive working desk and wireless Internet access.For additional information, call them at 514-380-3333 or fax them at 514-380-3332.

Hotel Le Crystal is an all-suite luxury hotel situated within a kilometer away from the Old Montreal, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Bell Center.Other tourist sites near the hotel include the Molson Stadium, Saint Joseph’s Oratory, Mont Royal Park, Percival Molson Memorial Stadium, Center Eaton and Les Cours Mont-Royal.In addition to the 2 restaurants and 24-hour room service, the hotel features a 9,000-square-foot spa as well as a saltwater indoor swimming pool.The property also features a 24-hour front desk, business center, business services, dry cleaning or laundry service, multilingual staff, conference rooms and Internet connectivity in public areas.

All 311 suites at this hotel feature beds with satin duvets and pillow top mattresses as well as kitchenettes with espresso machines and microwaves.Other suite amenities include mini bar, LCD television, climate control, complimentary newspapers, multi-line phone with voice mail, desk, clock radio and high-speed Internet access.Pets are considered with a fee.