Peaceful Revolution and
The Fall of the Berlin Wall

New York, - The year 2014 has a special meaning for Germany. It marks the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, one of the most important and memorable events in the country’s history.

And now, 25 years later, a unified Germany invites visitors to numerous events, exhibitions and historic celebrations in Dresden, Leipzig and Berlin, many of which already start well before November.

Leipzig celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution from October 9 – 12, 2014, highlighted by the ‘Festival of Lights’ festivities on October 9. Audio, video and light installations along the demonstration route will recall and remember the events that took place 25 years ago. Another important event will be the peace prayer in St. Nicholas Church, also on October 9. Many more cultural institutions dedicate events, readings, discussions, exhibitions and concerts to the occurrences of 1989 – a year that changed Germany for the better. Tens of thousands of guests from all over the world are expected to join in for the celebrations.

In Berlin many special events, exhibitions, and festivities about the division, the Cold War, and the events leading up to the peaceful reunification are planned throughout the city.

The highlight will be the weekend of November 9. A special installation made out of thousands of illuminated, helium-filled balloons will be set up along the former border of the Wall. However, this border made of light, stands as a "symbol of hope for a world without walls", and will be 7 miles long and will run across the city center for the entire weekend. Residents and visitors can walk along the course of the Wall and visualize the extent of the former division. At five spots the white balloons will be released into the air as a remembrance of the opening of the wall 25 years ago.

For those yearning for more, the Berlin Wall Memorial is a central place for commemoration of the Berlin Wall and features a last piece of the wall, as well as emotional displays and information. A new permanent exhibition, “25 Years Fall of the Wall” will be opened in a festive ceremony on November 9, 2014.

One of the most important events in German history took place in Leipzig on Monday, October 9, 1989. After prayers for peace in St. Nicholas Church, for the first time in history, about 70,000 people peacefully demonstrated, calling out “Wir sind das Volk” (“We are the People”) and “Keine Gewalt” (“No violence”). The Monday demonstrations remained peaceful and set the course for a fundamental change with worldwide consequences.
R The Fall of the Wall came all of a sudden. On the evening of November 9, 1989, Günter Schabowski, an East German government official announced that "Permanent relocations can be done through all border checkpoints between the GDR (East Germany) into the FRG (West Germany) or West Berlin." People hesitantly approached the border – and crossed it!

Duesseldorf Hotel Nights Hit Four Million Mark Again, and Visits by US Travelers up 15.8%

Düsseldorf, Germany – Nobody is surprised any longer by the immense growth in international visitor numbers to Düsseldorf, because the city’s tourism statistics have been breaking record after record for the past years. But the new all-time record of nearly 4.25 million hotel nights in 2013 (source: North Rhine Westphalia State Statistical Office), the second consecutive year that the four million mark was broken, lit up the travel industry when it was announced by the city’s lord mayor Dirk Elbers at the world’s largest travel and tourism convention -- ITB 2014 -- in Berlin last month. Why? Many industry experts have long associated Düsseldorf’s success as a leisure destination with the city’s status as a major trade show and conference city. However, the 2013 record came in a year in which fewer of the larger trade shows were scheduled, clear evidence the city has transformed into a leisure destination in its own right attracting millions with its attractions and sheer beauty.

“Düsseldorf is a trade show and conference city with much economic power, but it’s also an attractive destination city with numerous cultural options, top events, and unique shopping experiences galore,” confirms Dr. Eva-Maria Illigen-Günther, the city tourism board’s CEO.

Overall, international travel to Düsseldorf is remarkably high, with around 40% of hotel nights booked by visitors from abroad. The number of hotel nights booked in 2013 by travelers from other countries grew by 3.7% overall (exact number: 1,696,419). USA tops the list of countries with the highest increase in visitor numbers (plus 15.8% /126,266 hotel nights), followed by Russia (plus 15.2%), United Arab Emirates (plus 14.4%), Netherlands (plus 5.6%), and United Kingdom (2.7%).

With the city no longer dependent on business travel alone for its high visitor numbers, high levels of leisure travel can also be expected for 2014, especially with several major events taking place in the city’s major travel categories: culture and shopping. “Quadriennale Düsseldorf 2014,” the city-wide fine arts festival that happens every four years, takes place April 5-August 10, 2014, and connects 13 of the city’s most important art venues under the theme “Beyond Tomorrow”; 2014 is a year for “Schumannfest,” the biennial celebration of the master composer who lived and worked in Düsseldorf; and the city’s status as top shipping destination received another boost with the extension of famous shopping boulevard Königsallee, one of Europe’s top shopping boulevards. The extension, called “Kö-Bogen” (Königsallee Arch), is a structure designed by American architect Daniel Libeskind and a new city highlight for modern architecture and high-end shopping enthusiasts.

Düsseldorf’s tourism office is offering hotel and city specials for many of the city’s events throughout 2014. Packages, called “Düsseldorf à la Card” can be booked right from the tourism office’s website at Prices start at €49 per night per person based on double-occupancy for a 2-3 star hotel in the city center and at €95 per person for a 4-5 star hotel. All packages include breakfast, a DüsseldorfCard (free public transportation within city limits plus 30 free or reduced admissions to city attractions), and a city information package. Please check the website for current information.

For more information on the destination Düsseldorf and a calendar of events, visit

Düsseldorf Marketing & Tourism GmbH is the visitors and convention bureau of the city of Düsseldorf. Its responsibilities include tourism and city marketing, as well as conference and meeting marketing, hotel reservation services, fairs and convention services, city event ticket sales and advance ticket reservations. For more information, visit

Düsseldorf Airport, Germany’s Next Generation HubTM, offers several non-stop flights from US & Canadian cities (Atlanta, Chicago, Ft. Myers, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Newark, Toronto), as well as convenient connections to many European cities. For more information about the airport, visit


Annual themes 2014

UNESCO World Heritage sites

Destination Germany boasts a particularly large number of world heritage sites & world natural heritage sites. Of the 962 UNESCO world heritage sites listed around the globe, just under half are in Europe, and no fewer than 38 are in Germany. In 2014, Germany's UNESCO monuments will form the focus of a themed campaign by the German National Tourist Board (GNTB), which will position the sites prominently in the media under the banner 'UNESCO World Heritage – sustainable cultural and natural tourism'.

"As well as being an important quality marque, the UNESCO World Heritage label is a major selling point for cultural tourism from abroad," explains Petra Hedorfer, GNTB’s Chief Executive. "For 34 per cent of cultural tourists visiting Germany, the UNESCO designation represents an incentive to travel." The German UNESCO World Heritage Sites include churches, abbeys and palaces, parks, historic town ensembles, industrial monuments and natural landscapes.

25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall / German reunification

1990 will forever be a defining year in Germany's history: in October of that year the former East Germany and the Federal Republic in the west celebrated their reunification. In 2014 and 2015 the GNTB will be putting the spotlight on the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and German reunification, harnessing the potential of this historic occasion to drive tourism. Early 2014 will see the official launch of the GNTB's two-year campaign abroad under the tagline '25 Perspectives on Destination Germany'. The campaign emphasizes the wide choice available to visitors in all parts of Germany: from the iconic landmarks and the rich and varied cultural scene through to the diverse natural scenery. The marketing activities are set to continue in 2015.

600 years of ecclesiastical history - GNTB focus on the Council of Constance

The Council of Constance significantly shaped the course of European history and is thought to be the largest meeting of religious figures, politicians and scholars in the Middle Ages. Between 1414 and 1418, delegates and representatives assembled in Constance to discuss the future of the divided church and to elect a new Pope.

In 2014 the region surrounding Lake Constance will be leading the celebrations for the 600th anniversary of this historic event. The GNTB is actively supporting Constance in its marketing of the '600th anniversary of the Council of Constance'. This includes different PR and press activities to introduce the theme to relevant target markets under the slogan 'The Middle Ages brought to Life'. The GNTB and Constance Tourist Information will be working to further enhance Germany's image as a cultural travel destination.

Influential composer - 300th anniversary of the birth of C.P.E. Bach

Born in Weimar in 1714, composer Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was one of Johann Sebastian Bach's most famous sons. He shaped the musical period between Baroque and Viennese classical with an oeuvre including 150 sonatas, over 50 concertante works and more than 20 settings of the Passion. In 2014, 300 years on from his birth, the GNTB will be showcasing the life and legacy of this exceptional composer to an international audience. This will be achieved through activities including taking international media representatives on a press highlight tour of sites associated with Carl Philip Emanuel Bach and providing important background information via a multilingual press portal.


The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) is based in Frankfurt am Main. It works on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology from which it receives its funding under a resolution passed by the German parliament. The GNTB develops and communicates strategies and products to enhance the positive image of German travel destinations abroad and to promote tourism to Germany. To fulfill its remit, the GNTB operates 30 foreign representative offices around the world. Further information is available from our online press center at







Christmas Market in Duesseldorf is Classic Beauty featuring New Shopping and Theme Market Concept



A unique Christmas market concept makes the city shine even brighter during the holiday season and attracts thousands:  Various holiday theme markets – including one at the brand new extension of high-end shopping boulevard “Königsallee” - flow as one inter-connected holiday event through the city’s Old Town like a glorious holiday parade.  Already a visitor magnet as one of  Europe’s best shopping cities and home to the “Longest Bar in the World,”  Düsseldorf’s city center becomes a star among Germany’s biggest Christmas markets from November 21 through December 23, 2013.

Düsseldorf, Germany – A different spin on a classic Germany holiday tradition makes a visit to Düsseldorf’s Christmas Market a new travel experience for international visitors. Not just one but numerous different theme markets await visitors in Düsseldorf’s Old Town, from November 21 – December 23, 2013.

For four weeks, the Old Town’s excellent shopping and sight-seeing options are multiplied when the inter-connected markets line the beautiful historic center – already a major visitor magnet all year long due to the more than 260 bars and pubs located in under a square mile (the “Longest Bar in the World”), and one of Europe’s best high-end shopping boulevard “Königsallee.”   The highly anticipated extension of Königsalle, called “Kö-Bogen” (short for new “Königsallee Arch”), is a new highlighted market location.

The innovative experience takes visitors through several separate Christmas villages, each featuring a different theme, design, vendors, and attractions.  Themes include:

“Angel’s Market,” with angels and thousands of lights turning the area into a sea of light at the Heinrich-Heine Square.

Booths that are replicas of Düsseldorf’s historic town houses can be found on Flinger Strasse.  This part is also the location of the famous “mulled wine pyramide.”

The courtyard of the Wilhelm-Marx House is the site of the Star Market.” Starry lights and sparkling crystals create yet another unique and enchanted winter wonderland and holiday mood.

The Königsallee Arch – the new Libeskind-designed shopping and architectural sensation – is the site of a new “Christmas Village,” reminiscent of snow-covered Scandinavian houses.


Other attractions include a skating rink surrounded by rustic huts with culinary holiday treats to keep visitors warm, such as a Raclette station; and an area for artisan gifts and foods on another major shopping street, “Schadowstrasse.”  Visitors can also enjoy a new nearby city attraction, the “Wheel of Vision,” a temporary 180-foot ferris wheel on the castle square.

The different formula for the city’s historic Christmas Market has been attracting hundreds of thousands more to Düsseldorf each holiday season since it was introduced several years ago, including many international visitors from the US and Russia, as well as nearby Belgium, Netherlands, France, and England. 


Visitors during the holiday season can add overnight stays for extended shopping and sightseeing, taking advantage of special Christmas Market hotel packages available through the city’s tourism website at Specials are offered for stays between November 24 and December 23, 2013, and start at € 59 per person per double room and € 88 for a single room.  All packages include breakfast, a Düsseldorf Welcome Card (free public transportation within city limits plus 30 free or reduced admissions to city attractions), a MERIAN city guide, and a city information package.A guided walking tour of the market is also available on all Fridays and Saturdays at 4:00 pm – a two-hour event called “Advent, Advent.”  More information at

The market is open November 21 – December 23, 2013.  On Sunday, December 15, the stores in the city center stay open from 1:00 – 6:00 PM for even more holiday market shopping opportunities.  The market is closed on November 24, a holiday.  For more information on Düsseldorf’s Christmas Market, visit


For more information on the destination Düsseldorf, visit

Düsseldorf Airport, Germany’s Next Generation HubTM, offers several non-stop flights from US & Canadian cities (Atlanta, Chicago, Ft. Myers, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Newark, Toronto), as well as convenient connections to many European cities.  For more information about the airport, visit

Düsseldorf Marketing & Tourism GmbH is the visitors and convention bureau of the city of Düsseldorf.  Its responsibilities include tourism and city marketing, as well as conference and meeting marketing, hotel reservation services, fairs and convention services, city event ticket sales and advance ticket reservations.  For more information, visit




Germany’s “Top 100” app voting open for 2014 ranking

New York – Starting this August, foreign-guest “Top 100” app users may yet again participate in the GNTB’s annual survey to determine next year’s rankings either directly via the mobile app or by visiting

Available as free downloads in Apple’s App Store under and Google’s Play Store under, the mobile application provides specific, up-to-date information and news about both the tourist attractions and the events visitors can see before they start their trip. They can learn anything from admission fees and hours of operation to the best public transit routes to their destinations and whether or not those destinations are accessible for people with mobility issues. “Top 100” app users may also benefit from coupon offers valid during their visit.

In 2013, Bavarian King Ludwig II’s fairytale castle, model for the Disney world of movies and theme parks, received top marks from foreign visitors using the German National Tourist Board’s “Top 100” mobile app. Fifteen thousand foreign visitors took part in the survey between 1 July 2012 and 31 March 2013, establishing the “Top100” ranking 2013 that placed the Europa-Park Rust theme park (in the Black Forest) second and the Cologne Cathedral (on the Rhine river) third.

The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) is based in Frankfurt am Main. It works on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology from which it receives its funding under a resolution passed by the German parliament. The GNTB develops and communicates strategies and products to enhance the positive image of German travel destinations abroad and to promote tourism to Germany. To fulfill its remit, the GNTB operates 30 foreign representative offices around the world. Further information is available from our online press center at

Luxury meets surf:

Martinhal Beach: first 5-Star Surf Destination in Portugal

Sagres, Portugal--Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel is the first 5-star surf destination in Portugal. Located in Sagres, recognized as one of the best places to surf in Europe, the winter is great for surfing as the region is known for its sun and mild temperatures in the mid 60s all winter long.

Located in the heart of the surfer’s paradise and with Martinhal beach on its doorstep, the resort offers surf adventures for all the family. Experienced surfers provide surf lessons on a daily basis according to different ages and skills, keeping everyone focused on catching the best wave. During the lessons, kids and adults will learn about surf safety information, ocean awareness and different surf techniques needed to stand on the board. All the necessary equipment is included.

The resort features a 37 bedroom 5-star hotel and a selection of over 150 spacious 1 to 5 bedroom Villages, 4 heated pools, gym, Spa with Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna, tennis courts, kids clubs, 3 restaurants and a family surf bar. It also offers plenty of open space providing the perfect conditions for light cardio such as jogging, cycling or a morning walk back-dropped by the Atlantic Ocean sunrise.

Sagres is becoming recognized as one of the best surf spots in Europe, offering both south and west-facing coastlines and therefore providing fine surf conditions whole year round for all surfer levels regardless of the swell and wind direction. There are 22 beaches within a 30-minute drive from the resort. For beginners, the best beaches are Castelejo, Amado, Carrapateira and Arrifana. More experienced surfers can enjoy beaches at Ponta Ruiva, Cordoama and Vale Figueiras.

Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel is a luxury family resort with a playground of possibilities and more than 365 different things to do all year round. Located close to the historic town of Sagres, on the Western Algarve, Portugal, this region is a year-round resort area. The 100-acre beachfront resort is surrounded by the Costa Vicentina National Park and was recently awarded a Gold Award for Best Landscaping Design Concept Worldwide at the Homes Overseas Awards. For more information about booking or the Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel visit or call +351 282 240 200.


Leader of October Trip: Just As ‘At Home’ in Sarasota as in Serrastretta

Limited Space Available for Unique Experience

CALABRIA, ITALY and SARASOTA, FL -- Participants on this trip won’t be surprised when their Sabbath dinner includes challah and cannoli.

Rabbi Barbara Aiello, a first-generation Italian-American who became Italy’s first female rabbi and the founder of the first active synagogue in Calabria in over 500 years, is organizing a Jewish Heritage Tour focusing on Italy’s deep south.

The tour, ‘Southern Italy Through Jewish Eyes,’ is scheduled for October. Participants can choose either Part I -- Calabria (Oct. 1-6), or Part II -- Sicily (Oct. 5-10), or the full tour of both regions – 9 nights – Oct. 1 – 10.

One true ‘first’ promised on this tour: a Ferramonti Symposium where survivors of that WW II Italian concentration camp will share their emotional stories of conditions and events of the period under Mussolini’s rule. Participants will learn first-hand the incredible story of how nearly 4,000 Jewish inmates were saved by Italian soldiers and villagers.

A second ‘first’ will be the tour of the renovated and expanded synagogue, Ner Tamid del Sud, the first active synagogue in Calabria since Inquisition times, renovated by locals including Rabbi Barbara’s family.

Rabbi Barbara, as she likes to be known, describes herself as ‘a rabbi in two worlds.’ She divides her time between her congregation and a senior adult community in Sarasota, Florida, and officiating at Jewish life cycle events in Calabria. She has also worked in Milan and travels across Italy as a spokesperson for modern, pluralistic Judaism. She has officiated at more than 50 Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies for families from the US, Great Britian, Australia and Asia at Calabria’s newly restored synagogue. Rabbi Barbara’s father grew up in Calabria, her mother’s family hails from Sicily and the former Yugoslavia. She traces her roots to when her ancestors were expelled from Sicily during the 16th century Inquisition.

Asked who might want to take part in this historic tour, Rabbi Barbara says, “Jewish participants will learn about lost and isolated Jewish communities, which can strengthen Jewish identity. It’s eye-opening to learn about the tenacity and perseverance of southern Italian Jews who, even though forced into Christian conversion, kept their traditions alive by practicing in secret for centuries.”

Others who will be attracted to the trip are Italian-Americans, many of whom have ancestors who emigrated from Sicily and Calabria, regions that once boasted a 50% Jewish population.

The rabbi adds, “Few Italian-Americans know that even though Mussolini aligned with Hitler, Italian soldiers and villagers risked their lives to save Jewish neighbors. The Ferramonti story is a source of pride for Italians who are often embarrassed by the Italian government's participation as a WW II Axis ally. We need to tell that story, that despite the political climate of the time, local Italians thumbed their noses at the government and refused to allow Jews to be sent to their death. Ours will be the first international group to tour the camp.”

The journey focuses on some of the oldest places of Jewish presence in Italy and the rebirth of modern Jewish life in Calabria – the’ toe’ of the Italian ’boot,’

While the Jewish community of Italy dates back at least to Roman times over 2,100 years ago, their fate changed based on the whims of emperors, popes, kings and dictators.

Highlights of the trip include:
Part 1 (Oct. 1-6)
• Walking tour of ‘Il Timpone’ – medieval Jewish Quarter in Nicastro; Tiriolo villages
• Symposium at Mussolini’s Ferramonti Concentration Camp with optional ‘March to Survival,’ museum tour, meeting with camp survivors
• Visit to Synagogue of Serrastretta; Traditional Calabrese Jewish dishes
• Excursion to Reggio Calabria and Bova Marina archaeological sites; view Jewish artifacts and statues from the ancient Greek period; Reggio’s Old Jewish Quarter

Part 2 (Oct. 6-10)
• Siracusa and Ortigia; walking tour of Jewish Quarter, 6th century mikveh, Greco-Roman Archaeological Zone; harbor cruise
• Mt. Etna by cable car; winery visit; Catania Jewish Quarter; Taormina and amphitheatre tour

Rabbi Aiello says, “Whatever your background, here’s a rare opportunity to see parts of Italy that few tourists visit, and to meet local residents and guest scholars who will share little-known stories and secrets of southern Italy. It truly is a chance of a lifetime - ancient venues that makes for wonderful memories.”

Guest scholars will include Professor Enrico Tromba, first archaeologist for the Bova Marina excavation project, and Professor Vincenzo Villella, historian who wrote the account of the Jews of Calabria. The trip is recommended for people who can keep up with a busy schedule and a good deal of walking. It is open to anyone of college age and older.

The tour is being coordinated by Ellen Paderson of Smiles and Miles Travel, who has worked with the rabbi on many Bar and Bat Mitzvahs in Italy and Laurie Weiss Howell of AmalfiLife tours who has organized several southern Italian tours with Rabbi Barbara. For more information, costs and or reservations, contact: Ellen Paderson, Travel Consultant, at / 508-238-4088 or Laurie Weiss Howell, 347-240-1244 /

Kassel hillside park now a
UNESCO World Heritage Site

300-year-old Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe wins Germany’s 38th UNESCO designation

New York, – On June 23, at the 37th annual UNESCO World Heritage Site committee meeting held this year in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Germany’s Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe joined the prestigious list of global cultural sites considered internationally significant. The main reasons for the addition include the size of the hillside park with its arresting, intricate water features and the Hercules statue atop the hill as an expression of the ideals and power in the era of European Absolutism, along with the park’s successful blend of landscape design from both the Baroque and Romantic periods.

Landgrave Karl of Hesse-Kassel started the construction of the park in 1689. Unlike the Baroque gardens of the day, he decided to have his coming down a hill, overlooking the city of Kassel, best known today for its international exhibition of contemporary art, dOCUMENTA, every five years and as a place of work at the Prince Elector’s court for the Brothers Grimm, where they collected many fairytales. Water displays were all the rage at Europe’s 17th-century courts, the more spectacular and intricate the better. Landgrave Karl bested them all, starting his with a spectacular waterfall cascading over the edge of the 1640-feet-high park ridge with no apparent source, captured in a succession of intricately designed basins that descend toward the castle at the bottom, to be caught in front of it in a lake featuring a geyser spewing to heights never seen before.

The Landgrave also adorned the edge of the hill with an 26.9-feet tall Hercules statue mounted on a 97.1-feet pyramid-style obelisk, in turn standing on a 107.1-feet octagonal base pavilion. The monumental ensemble itself measures more than 236 feet. Adding the waterfall cascade below with its basins brings the total height of the Baroque spectacle to just under 590 feet! Some three hundred years later, the water displays still work as they did in the old days -- manually operated to create choreographed optical effects to light and music on a schedule, or per occasion, on certain days of the week, depending on the season.

Later rulers added to the hillside park, resulting in Romantic-period gardens and English-style landscape architecture descending a steep hill with more follies and more waterways -- to a total of 7.45 miles today!

Other attractions in Germany’s 38th UNESCO WHS Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe include the Prince Elector’s residential castle, with its mixture of grand building styles a stately site unto itself. It served as home to Napoleon’s youngest brother, Jérôme I, from 1807 to 1813, when Kassel was capital of Bonaparte’s Kingdom of Westphalia. Exploring the Löwenburg (Lion’s Castle) might amuse serious medievalists; built in the same period as the Elector’s residence, it is a replica of a medieval castle ruin.

Says German National Tourist Board CEO Petra Hedörfer, “This latest designation represents a valuable addition to Germany’s list of now 38 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, all crucial elements in promoting cultural tourism in our country.”

For more information on Kassel and Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, please visit For information on other German UNESCO World Heritage sites, please go to

The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) is based in Frankfurt am Main. It works on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology from which it receives its funding under a resolution passed by the German parliament. The GNTB develops and communicates strategies and products to enhance the positive image of German travel destinations abroad and to promote tourism to Germany. To fulfill its remit, the GNTB operates 30 foreign representative offices around the world. Further information is available from our online press center at


New York - Zurich's renowned Baur au Lac is launching a new Chocoholic Package, featuring the hotel's signature brand of chocolate, Chocolat 1844.

Chocolat 1844 was carefully crafted by the hotel's sixth-generation owner, Andrea Kracht, and is made from numerous varieties of cocoa from various origins. The chocolate is 70% cocoa and is distinguished by its strong flavor, light fruity accents and subtle roasted aftertaste. The Chocoholic Package highlights this signature chocolate with a special five-course tasting menu at the Baur au Lac's Pavillon restaurant served with a special Chocolat 1844 dessert and a private chocolate-inspired wine tasting.

The entire Chocoholic Package includes:
• Two nights' luxury accommodations with daily breakfast
•Welcome gift basket filled with the Baur au Lac's Chocolat 1844 and fresh fruit
•White Chocolate Martini at the hotel's Rive Gauche Bar
•Five-course dinner at the Pavillon restaurant with an exclusive Chocolat 1844 dessert
•Special wine tasting with Chocolat 1844 pairings
•Complimentary minibar and free access to the fitness club, business center and Diagonal nightclub

The package is priced at CHF 2,740 (approx. US$2,880), based on double occupancy, and is valid through December 31, 2013.

For more information about the Baur au Lac, visit:

Voted 'Best Hotel in Zurich' by Conde Nast Traveler readers in January, 2012 and 'Best Hotel in Switzerland' by Travel+Leisure readers in January, 2011, the 120-room hotel is a short walk from Zurich's world-famous Bahnhofstrasse, the central Paradeplatz, Lake Zurich and the city's bustling financial district. The hotel recently completed an approximately $41 million renovation, revamping its Pavillon and Terrasse restaurants as well as various rooms and suites. It is also home to the Rive Gauche restaurant, a place to see and be seen in Zurich.

Terra Nostra Garden Hotel, on the Azores, reopens to the public

Terra Nostra Garden Hotel, recognized as one of the most famous hotels, in São Miguel Island, on the Azores, reopens after renovation and wants to positioning itself as one of the top hotels in the country.

If you are a “nature” lover, this is the perfect spot. Condé Nast Traveler has considered the hotel location as one of the World’s best “Green Retreats” – the Terra Nostra 18th century garden has a breathtaking atmosphere of rare and exotic plants with fountains and sculpture.

Located in Furnas Valley, on S. Miguel Island, the hotel opened 1935, and now it reopens with the same charming aura after a computer makeover. With 86 rooms split between two buildings, maintaining its architectural history: the Art Deco Wing, built in the 1930’s and the Garden Wing, added in the 1990’s.

The hotel’s interior design concept is inspired in Art Deco style sprinkled with contemporary elements and materials. The new Wellness areas also got improved, making it a perfect spot for a relaxing getaway.

The Terra Nostra Garden Hotel also highlights the Azorean products, specially theFurnas Cozido - a sustainable meal fully cooked underground with the heat of the volcanic hot springs. Discover the Azorean flavors at the restaurant paired with different wines.

An opportunity to have an unforgettable wellness experience while enjoying the best that nature has to offer (and remember to dip in the outdoor hot spring water pool).

SATA Airlines has connected New England with the Azores and mainland Portugal for more than 30 years. Following the recent agreement between SATA and U.S. Airways and Virgin America, it is now possible to purchase tickets to Portugal from Philadelphia, Orlando, New York, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, Charlotte, Buffalo, Atlanta, Oakland and San Francisco. Passengers can connect to Boston before going to Portugal. For more information about booking flights or about SATA visit or call 800-762-9995.

Air France-KLM Finalizes A Firm Order For 25 Airbus A350

This morning, Air France-KLM finalized a firm order with the European manufacturer Airbus for 25 A350-900 plus a further 25 on option. The signing took place at the 50th International Air Show at Le Bourget near Paris, in the presence of Alexandre de Juniac, Chairman and CEO of the Air France-KLM Group as of 1 July 2013 and Fabrice Brégier, Chairman and CEO of Airbus.

The A350-900 will be equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, the only engine offered for this aircraft by the manufacturer. With the latest technology, the Trent XWB engine will significantly contribute to the performance of the Airbus A350.

This aircraft will reduce fuel consumption by over 15% compared to current aircraft and will also significantly reduce noise and gas emissions, confirming the Group's commitment to the environment and sustainable development*. Air France-KLM has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Index since 2004, where it has been industry leader in the "Transport and Leisure" sector for the past four years.

"This order of new-generation, high performance aircraft reflects the importance of our investments for the benefit of our customers, whose comfort is at the heart of our concerns. With the A350, Air France-KLM will continue to operate one of the most modern fleets in the world, and ensure the growth of its long-haul activity, while achieving significant cost savings" said Alexandre de Juniac.

Peter Hartman, President and Chief Executive Officer of KLM, said: “Our order for this new aircraft type opens a new chapter for the Group. This aircraft introduces major environmental advances and will contribute to our ambitious targets for noise and carbon reduction.“

In addition, Air France-KLM today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Rolls-Royce on equipping its A350 with Trent XWB engines, including a section on their maintenance by Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance. The Group’s aircraft maintenance division intends to be on the market for the maintenance of these engines.

This contract with Airbus finalizes the firm order for 50 aircraft – 25 A350-900s and 25 Boeing 787-9s – announced in September 2011. In December 2011, Air France-KLM also signed a contract to acquire 25 firm orders for Boeing 787-9s with another 25 on option.

This joint order of long-haul aircraft between Air France and KLM aims to replace the 200/350-seater aircraft currently in the fleet in the medium term and also aims to support the Group’s growth. These acquisitions are designed to be funded by the Group’s operating cash flow as from 2016.

Based on the provisional fleet plan, the first Boeing 787-9 aircraft will enter into service with KLM in 2016 and the first A350-900 will enter into service with Air France in 2018. In the future, the two airlines will operate both types of aircraft.

* neutral growth in CO2 emissions as from 2020.

AIR FRANCE KLM, the result of a merger between AIR FRANCE and KLM in 2004, is one of the leading European air transport groups. Its main activities are the air transport of passengers and cargo as well as aircraft maintenance. In 2011, AIR FRANCE KLM carried 75.8 million passengers and 1.1 million tons of cargo.

The group's fleet comprises more 586 aircraft, including 173 regional aircraft operated by its partners HOP!, City Jet, and KLM Cityhopper. Its network covers 230 destinations in 113 countries from its hubs at Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam-Schiphol. The Flying Blue frequent flyer program is leader in Europe and has over 20 million members.

AIR FRANCE and KLM currently operate from 10 U.S. gateways and provide service from 125 U.S. cities through joint venture partner Delta Air Lines. With their partners Delta Air Lines and Alitalia, AIR FRANCE and KLM operate the biggest transatlantic joint venture with more than 250 daily flights.

AIR FRANCE and KLM are members of the SkyTeam alliance which has 19 member airlines, offering customers access to a global network of over 15,000 daily flights to 1,000 destinations in 187 countries.

For more information or to purchase tickets:

-visit, call 1-800-237-2747 or contact your travel professional. For deals and the latest information follow Air France on and Twitter @AirFranceUS.

-visit, call 1-800-618-0104 or contact your travel professional. Follow KLM on and Twitter @KLM_US


New York - Zürich's eleventh annual Art-In-The-Park outdoor exhibition will open in the private park of the city's lakeside Baur Au Lac on June 9, a week before international connoisseurs flood into Switzerland for Art Basel. Zürich's Art-In-The-Park shows are the brainchild of Gigi Kracht who launched the concept in 2004 to showcase the world's legendary sculptors and artists.

"2013's Art-In-The-Park-XI will be exclusively dedicated to Australia's greatest sculptor, Robert Klippel," says Kracht, "the iconic 20th century artist and teacher." Klippel, who refers to his work as 'man-made mechanization,' has shared exhibitions with some of the world's most legendary artists including Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst, Fernand Léger, René Magritte, Lucien Freud and Wilfred Lam. He began his career in London with the help of Henry Moore and influential art dealer William Ohly, where he launched one of his first exhibitions at the Ohly's Berkley Gallery.

Gigi Kracht, wife of Andrea Kracht, the sixth-generation owner of the Baur Au Lac, is the curator of all the Art-In-The-Park exhibitions and the 2013 exhibit will include some of Klippel's most monumental works. "Klippel moved to New York in 1950," says Kracht, "and in 1961 several of his works were included in the 'Penthouse Show' at the MoMa alongside pieces by Picasso, Braque and Miro." He was welcomed into New York's exclusive members-only artist group, 'The 10th Avenue Club,' founded by Willem DeKooning and Jackson Pollock. He was recommended for a fellowship at the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and was a teaching professor at the Minneapolis School of Art. He died in Australia in 2001, aged 81.

Art-In-The-Park-XI is conducted in collaboration with Zürich's Galerie Gmurzynska and will run through August 7.
For more information on Art-In-The-Park-XI, contact
For information on all Art-In-The-Park expositions, visit
For more information about the Baur au Lac, visit:

Voted 'Best Hotel in Zurich' by Conde Nast Traveler readers in January, 2012 and 'Best Hotel in Switzerland' by Travel+Leisure readers in January, 2011, the 120-room hotel is a short walk from Zurich's world-famous Bahnhofstrasse, the central Paradeplatz, Lake Zurich and the city's bustling financial district. The hotel recently completed an approximately $41 million renovation, revamping its Pavillon and Terrasse restaurants as well as various rooms and suites. It is also home to the Rive Gauche restaurant, a place to see and be seen in Zurich.


New York - Following almost a year of construction and interior design work, Rome's iconic Hotel Hassler Roma has unveiled the brand-new 4,300-square-foot Hassler Penthouse Suite located on the hotel's eighth floor. The full-floor "SuperSuite" offers guests a luxurious and secure "home away from home," featuring three bedrooms, four bathrooms, two panoramic terraces, a fully equipped kitchen, large living room, dining area, cocktail bar and access to all of the Hassler's five-star amenities.

The Hassler Penthouse Suite was brought to life by the vision of Roberto E. Wirth, the Hassler Roma's President and Managing Director. The "SuperSuite" features two fully furnished panoramic terraces with breathtaking views of the Spanish Steps, Villa Borghese gardens, St Peter's Basilica and the Pantheon. The Hassler Penthouse includes beige Botticino marble floors, elegant furniture - such as a horsehair bed-end trunk and footstools - and luxurious Hermès fabrics in hues of dove grey, burgundy and orange.

The two master bedrooms each have access to their own private terraces, and feature sitting room areas, large walk-in closets, desks and large LCD-screen TVs with DVD players. The bathrooms are designed with panoramic windows overlooking Rome's city center, black quartz countertops and floors, double sinks with hand-hammered stainless steel and chromatherapy showers. A third, smaller staff bedroom has its own adjacent bathroom and panoramic balcony and full video surveillance system.

The living room also has access to one of the suite's terraces and features a grand piano, a fully stocked bar and a dinner table for eight with Dibbern Bone China tableware that has been specially designed for the Hassler Penthouse Suite. The kitchen is decorated in tones of grey with a black quartz floor and features induction cooktops and a full-sized refrigerator filled with Champagne, juices and other beverages.

A state-of-the-art music and lighting system offers wireless HiFi technology and presents more than 100,000 radio stations and shows from around the world. Additionally, the lighting and curtain shutter system is controlled by touch screens placed throughout the suite.

For more information on the Hotel Hassler Roma, visit

Set atop the Spanish Steps and featuring a panoramic view of the entire city, the Hotel Hassler Roma is owned by President and Managing Director Roberto E. Wirth, fifth generation of a famous Swiss hotelier dynasty. For more than a century, Hotel Hassler Roma continues its legacy as Rome's five-star lodging of choice for the world's elite and discerning travelers. Each of the 96 rooms, 14 of which are suites, is individually designed with an elegant combination of classic and contemporary touches. Highlights include the Michelin-starred panoramic restaurant Imàgo, the Salone Eva and Palm Court restaurant and the Hassler Bar, as well as the neighboring, Hassler-owned Il Palazzetto: a hotel, wine bar and special event space. (

Düsseldorf Hotel Nights Hit Four Million Mark

Düsseldorf’s massive growth in visitor numbers continues and breaks record after record. A 5.5% increase in 2012 in hotel nights meant more than 4 million for the first time in the city’s history.

Düsseldorf, Germany -- Only two years after Düsseldorf recorded more than 3 million hotel nights booked for the first time in the city’s history, and following another record year in 2011, the city crossed yet another threshold in 2012. Düsseldorf hotels booked more than 4 million nights (4,055,600, a 5.5% increase over 2011).

The numbers echo what many international visitors have been voicing for some time now: Düsseldorf is a tourism shooting star among German cities. “Our metropolis on the Rhine is definitely among the must-see cities in Germany for tourists,” confirms Dr. Eva-Maria Illigen-Günther, CEO of Düsseldorf Marketing & Tourism GmbH (DMT), the city’s tourism office.

Düsseldorf is powerful draw for both business and leisure travelers, and the city’s many big trade shows - especially “drupa,” the printing industry’s leading trade show in the world – are certainly a factor in the huge visitor number increases. But the city attracts a record number of tourists, as well. More and more people visit Düsseldorf from all over the world for the city’s superb leisure options. This is also reflected in the increase of 14.5% in guided city tours that DMT offers.

Among the biggest increases were in travelers from Russia (+20.3%) and the Arabic Gulf States (+ 39.7).

Due to the continued appeal among international tourists, strong visitor figures are predicted for 2013 even if some of the big trade shows will not take place this year.


Berlin – Being slim, healthy and glowing from the inside has been in, since let’s just say the end of the Renaissance. In other words, a very, very long time. So it’s never too late to jump on the bandwagon. And at the start of beautiful, sunny days in the south of France come April, Hôtel Sezz Saint-Tropez will offer you a unique integrative wellbeing program – LACURE OFFICINE. Having a slimmer waist? Check. Looking younger? Check. Rejuvenating your immune system? Check. Throwing in an indulgent body massage at the spa on top? Definitely check!

A Holistic Detox Treatment
A trip down to Hôtel Sezz Saint-Tropez, automatically kicks in the need to be fitter. For one, there’s the swimming pool, like an oasis in the middle of the property grounds. There’s the abundance of fresh air circulating the bungalows, cocoons and villas surrounded by lush foliage. Then there’s the broad promenade by the dazzling blue waters in the city center that beg for a fitting piece of clothing.

Guests can choose from three-, five- and seven-day courses. Based on the Bio-Nutrimab science, the method combines physical, mental and spiritual health to naturally detox the body, lift your mood, improve your metabolism and repair the skin. Included in the package is full room and board in one of the signature bungalows at Hôtel Sezz Saint-Tropez, including all meals, fresh juices and smoothies, a bio-energy analysis upon arrival, a cooking and nutrition workshop, yoga classes every morning, hikes with experts, a welcome pack including the book The Bio-Nutrimab Method, daily excursions and much more. To enhance the experience, guests can book treatments in the hotel’s signature Spa Sezz by Payot, offering a full range of facials and body treatments using an exclusive range of botanical products.

Hôtel Sezz Saint-Tropez has established itself as a hotspot in the French Riviera. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens, the property’s 37 guestrooms, cocoons and villas are dotted around the spacious central pool area. Sun-worshippers and socialites alike lounge on the Christophe Pillet-designed furniture, sip cocktails and relax. The glamour continues inside, as guests are invited to indulge at the Dom Pérignon champagne bar and elegant Restaurant Colette.

Rates for the LACURE OFFICINE package start at EUR 2,392 per person from October 7-20.

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Design Hotels™ represents and markets a curated selection of more than 240 independent hotels in over 40 countries across the globe.

More than a collection of hotels, the company is a collection of stories. Each property reflects the ideas of a visionary hotelier, an "Original," someone with a passion for genuine hospitality, cultural authenticity, thought-provoking design and architecture. Each "Original" stands for the individual, aesthetic and service-driven experience that his or her hotel provides.

Founded by Claus Sendlinger in 1993, Design Hotels™ offers its members insightful travel industry knowledge, from conceptual branding to market trend consultancy and international sales representation. The company has its headquarters in Berlin and branches in London, Barcelona, New York, Singapore and Perth. and

Ornellaia to host fourth annual FOOD & WINE Wine Voyage

Tenuta dell'Ornellaia, one of Italy's most lauded wineries, will be the winery host on This seven-day cruise will be on Oceania Cruises' newest cruise ship Riviera, which leaves from Monte Carlo on October 11th and arrives into Civitavecchia, the port of Rome on October 18th. The Riviera is a mid-sized cruise ship specifically designed for the food and wine lover, with Executive Culinary Director Jacques Pepin overseeing seven no-extra-charge restaurants, the cruise industry's first restaurant collaboration with Wine Spectator magazine and the first at-sea hands-on cooking classroom.

Onboard will be Leonardi Raspini, Ornellaia's general manager, who along with FOOD & WINE's long-time wine expert Anthony Giglio, will preside over a series of private events that include a vertical tasting of multiple Ornellaia vintages and a five course gourmet, wine-paired dinner.

As Ornellaia is one of Italy's highest-rated and most expensive wines, the cruise is a unique opportunity to cruise the French and Italian Riviera in luxury, while tasting multiple vintages back-to-back and mingling with fellow wine enthusiasts and top wine experts.

Ornellaia's hospitality will also be extended when the ship visits Livorno, the port of call for Tuscany. Here, the estate normally closed to the public, will open for an optional and opulent private group luncheon and tour.

The includes other opportunities for the food and wine lover to experience the culinary terroir of the regions they visit. From the French port of Marseille, an optional tour of Chateauneuf-du-Pape is offered, with a wine-paired luncheon cooked by a Michelin-starred chef and a private tasting Domaine de la Janasse, another highly rated winery. In Sorrento, the group has the option of visiting the Stabiae Villas, thought to be the home of the regions governor which, like Pompeii, was buried by Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79. Following a tour led by a local archeologist, the group drives up the volcanos slopes for a private tasting and lunch at Azienda Sorrentino Winery, featuring varieties of grapes and wines not found anywhere else in the world.

The price of the fourth FOOD & WINE Wine Voyage begins at $2,624 per person double occupancy and includes Oceania Cruises' free airfare* from 26 major US airports. All bookings are to be made through Food & Wine Trails, one of the nations oldest and largest wine-travel companies.

About Food & Wine Trails: The mission of Food & Wine Trails is to provide authenticity, value and access to the worlds best food and wine travel experiences. Each program is led or organized by a recognized local culinary expert to provide the guest with insight, access and a behind-the-kitchen (or cellar) door experience. Food & Wine Trails is the tour division of the HMS Travel Group, a 28-year-old company based in Santa Rosa, California. The company designs culinary travel programs for enthusiasts and for the creme of the food and wine world, producing programs for Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, and many of America's top food magazines and wineries. Larry Martin, the president of Food & Wine Trails, is a wine collector, vegetable gardener and a surfer/skier. The editors of Cond Nast Traveler Magazine have chosen Martin as World's Top Wine Travel Specialist for three consecutive years.

*Free Airfare promotion applies to economy, round-trip flights only from 26 Primary Air Gateways. Some airline imposed personal charges, including but not limited to baggage, priority boarding, and special seating, may apply. F&WT and Oceania Cruises reserves the right to correct errors or omissions and to change any and all fares, fees, and surcharges up to final payment. Prices will not change after final payment with the exception of charges resulting from government fees and taxes. Complete terms and conditions may be found in Oceania Cruises Guest Ticket Contract.


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