Travel Weekly's Europe E-letter: Dec. 5, 2007

SWITZERLAND'S 22-mile-long Loetschberg Base Tunnel through the Alps will open for passenger traffic Dec. 10. The long-awaited tunnel will trim rail travel time within Switzerland and between Switzerland and Italy by 45 to 75 minutes, according to Rail Europe. The $3.5 billion project will eventually carry 42 passenger trains daily in addition to freight trains. 

RELAIS & CHATEAUX added 34 members, bringing to 470 the total number of hotels and restaurants in the collection. New European members include the Hostellerie La Butte Aux Bois, Belgium; Kong Hans Kaelder, Denmark; Lower Slaughter Manor, England; Au Soldat de L'An II, France; GasteHaus Erfort, Germany; Imaret, Greece; the Bauer Palladio Hotel & Spa, Italy; Hotel Airds, Scotland; Valdepalacios, Spain; and Grand Hotel du Lac, Switzerland.

AZORES EXPRESS and SATA International Airlines have launched weekly service linking Boston to the Madeira Islands off the coast of Portugal. The new flight leaves Boston with service to Funchal, Madeira via Ponta Delgada on Friday nights, with a returning flight the following Fridays. SATA also now offers a connecting service to the adjoining island of Porto Santo. The Boston-Madeira service is priced from $574 plus tax roundtrip.

MAMAISON POKROVKA Suite Hotel, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, opened Sept. 25 in Moscow. The hotel is the first Russian property in the MaMaison Hotels & Apartments collection. The 84-suite hotel is located within a 20-minute walk of the Kremlin, Red Square and the Bolshoi Theatre. Services include a concierge, 24-hour room service, a valet, a business center and underground parking. Visit www.mamaison.com/moscow.

CHRISTOPHER COWDRAY has been named CEO of the Dorchester Collection, a portfolio of luxury hotels. Cowdray was the general manager of the Dorchester in London and the managing director of Claridges, also in London. The Dorchester Collection includes the Dorchester; Le Meurice and the Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris; the Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan; and the Beverly Hills Hotel in California.

Europe Editor: Felicity Long

Phone: (781) 659-1301

[email protected]

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