DIGS: Radisson SAS Hotels and Resorts opened a $24 million
property in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The Radisson SAS Hotel
Belfast, part of the city-center Cromac Wood Business Park, has 120
guest rooms and 8 suites outfitted in two styles, Nordic and urban.
The hotel -- which boasts WiFi wireless Internet access
propertywide -- has a restaurant and five meetings rooms. Radisson
SAS also operates six hotels in the Republic of Ireland, in
Letterkenny, Sligo, Athlone, Galway, Dublin and Limerick. For more,
METRIC: Motorists beware: Ireland has decided to go
all-metric by Jan. 20, replacing roadway speed-limit signs now
posted in miles with new ones in kilometers. Confusingly for
drivers, road distances have been marked in metrics for years --
alongside speed limits posted in miles-per-hour. At the same time,
speed limits on non-national or country roads will be reduced from
the current 60 miles per hour (mph) -- or about 100
kilometers-per-hour (kph) in the new parlance -- to 50 mph, or
about 80 kph. Full details can be found at the Irish transport
departments www.transport.ie Web site.
TIME: The 1,500-acre, 58-unit Mount Juliet Conrad resort
-- a Conrad Hotels property in Thomastown, County Kilkenny, south
of Dublin -- is gearing up to host the American Express World Golf
Championships from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. This years tournament is
expected to attract 140,000 fans. The resort boasts a Jack
Nicklaus-designed 18-hole championship golf course, a par-53
putting course, practice greens and a three-hole academy course.
River angling and courses at a new on-site fly-fishing school,
trail horseback riding at the Iris Kellett Equestrian Centre,
tennis, clay shooting, archery, and croquet are also available, as
are walking trails and bicycles. The on-site spa and health club
also has an indoor swimming pool. More information on Mount Juliet
Conrad can be obtained at www.conradhotels.com or www.mountjuliet.com.
NOSH: CIE Tours International continues to serve up a
four-night, air-inclusive escorted Irish sampler of a tour priced
from $796 per person from New York (Kennedy), Boston or
Baltimore/Washington. Departures for the Taste of Ireland trip are
slated on Tuesdays, Thursdays and some Saturdays, from Sept. 2
through Dec. 9, and again from Feb. 10 to April 28. Rates include
round-trip air; six-days motorcoach sightseeing; accommodations at
the Burlington Hotel, Dublin (one night), Killarney Towers (two
nights), and Great Southern Hotel, Shannon (one night), or similar;
eight meals; tour and tasting at the Guinness Storehouse; tea and
scones at an Irish farmhouse; and more. Land-only is also available
from $529; for more on CIE -- which pays agents 10% on land and
varying commissions on air -- call (800) 243-8687 or go to www.cietours.com.
" Planning an Irish self-drive for clients and wondering what
to include on the itinerary? Check out the Irish environmental
ministrys Heritage of Ireland Website at www.heritageireland.ie for details on the countrys
protected historical sites and attractions, parks and gardens, and
cultural venues. Information is also posted on the discount
Heritage Card visitor pass and entrance fees at various sites.
" Irish Railways, or Iarnrod Eireann, introduced online
reservations for its first-class and Citygold services on the
Galway, Limerick, Kerry, Cork and Waterford train lines.
Reservations for standard class should be introduced at a later
date, said railway officials. Visit www.irishrail.ie