Travel Weekly's Europe E-letter: Sept. 15, 2004

PARLEZ-VOUS ESPANOL?: The French Government Tourist Office (FGTO) hopes to tap into the growing U.S. Latino market with a new series of travel agent seminars this fall. The free evening events -- in both English and Spanish -- in Miami and San Juan this October will consist of trade shows, regional presentations, information on the France Certification specialist program, cocktails and prizes. The Miami seminar will be held Oct. 26, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Sofitel Miami hotel, while the San Juan event, which also features hosted parking, is scheduled for the same hours on Oct. 27 at the Wyndham Old San Jose hotel. To register for the Florida or Puetro Rico evening seminars, call (212) 838-7800, Ext. 208 or send an e-mail to [email protected].

OPENINGS: SAS Hotels and Resorts re-opened the Radisson SAS Hotel Nice on the French Riviera after some $26 million in renovations. The hotels 331 guest rooms and suites -- all air conditioned, sound-proofed and WiFi-enabled -- are decorated in three new themes: Ocean, Chilli, and Urban. The hotels revamped roof terrace -- with open-air restaurant and bar, solarium and pool -- is now the largest in Nice. Rates start at about $245 per night for a standard room; special re-opening packages are available. For more, visit www.radissonsas.com online.

SMALL BUT PROUD: The six Small Luxury Hotels in Scotland properties introduced Pride of Scotland getaways featuring the themes of culture, heritage, whisky, shopping and luxury lifestyles. Participating hotels are Rufflets, in St. Andrews; Loch Torridon, in Wester Ross; The Marcliffe at Pitfodels near Aberdeen; Mar Hall, near Glasgow; Balbirnie House in Fife; and The Howard, Edinburgh. A choice of one- to three-night packages are available through March 31 from about $219 per person, with breakfast and dinner, plus an array of added-value activities such as chauffeur-driven tour of distilleries, champagne and afternoon tea on arrival, and the services of a personal shopper. Details can be found at www.slhscotland.com.

THE INN-CROWD: Leading Hotels of the World and Leading Small Hotels of the World accepted new member hotels in Italy, Monte Carlo, Russia, Switzerland and the U.K. Joining the luxury group in Italy are the 105-room San Domenico Palace Hotel in Taormina and the 200-room San Clemente Palace, on a private island off Venice, while in Monte Carlo the 146-unit Hotel Metropole also signed up. On a smaller note, the 65-room Cadogan Hotel in London, 29-room Eliseev Palace Hotel in St. Petersburg and 100-room La Reserve Geneve Hotel and Spa in Genevaalso joined. For more, visit www.lhw.com or call (800) 223-6800.

THIS JUST-INN: In other European accommodations news:

" The Hotel Adlon Kempinski in Berlin opened 69 new rooms and suites, as 48 deluxe rooms still undergo conversion into 24 suites. In addition, the hotel expanded its high-security wing, for distinguished guests, which now features three presidential and four smaller suites, all with steel-plated walls, bullet-proof windows, corridors outfitted with electronic surveillance, and invisible private hotel access. Next year, the Adlon will open a new day spa. Visit www.hotel-adlon.de.

" On Sao Miguel in Portugals Azores islands, the four-star, 175-room Hotel Marina Atlantico is set to open come October. Rates at the new Bensaude Turismo property, in the town of Ponta Delgada, will start at $150, double, per night. The hotel will boast a restaurant, bar, heated indoor pool, Turkish bath and sauna, private parking, and direct, private marina access. Bensaude Turismo manages six hotels on Sao Miguel and one each in Terceira and Faial; a new property is set to open in Lisbon at the end of March. For more, log on to www.bensaude.pt or e-mail [email protected].

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