SPA STAYS: To promote its new on-site spa, Samas,
the venerable, 5-star Park Hotel Kenmare, in County Kerry, is
offering 2- and 3-night Celtic Lifestyle Program stays through
Sept. 30. The two- and three-night stays offer, respectively, two
or three nights' superior accommodations with breakfast; a two- or
three-day Lifestyle Program; one or two hours of spa treatment
time; one or two dinners; and participation in daily activities.
Daily activities include guided hikes on Kerry Way; a "flora, fauna
and heritage walk" in Kenmare; 18 holes of golf on the Kenmare
Course; a one-hour golf lesson; freshwater or game fishing; a
two-hour horse trek; and a pleasure boat trip on Kenmare Bay. Also,
free "morning serenity" activities at Samas [pronounced "SAH-vass"]
include yoga, tai chi, meditation and walks. Rates--priced in
euros--at press time were about $758, per person, for two days'
superior accommodation, and $1,212 for three days; deluxe and suite
rates also are available. Travel agent commission is 8%. Call (011)
353-644-1200 or visit www.parkkenmare.com.
ALL IN THE FAM-ILY: Brian Moore Int'l Tours
(BMIT) announced its fall fam trips' lineup, with two itineraries.
The $499 Undiscovered Ireland includes 5 nights' first-class hotel
accommodations in Belfast, Derry, Co. Mayo and Cabra Castle; air
from Boston or New York; 5 dinners; breakfast daily; services of a
tour director and BMIT representative; a Selling Ireland Seminar
and sightseeing. And the $399 Everlasting Ireland offers 3 nights'
hotel in Shannonside, with breakfast daily; roundtrip air from
Boston or New York; 3 dinners, including a medieval banquet;
services of a tour director and BMIT rep; the sales seminar; and
sightseeing. A $100 deposit is required to secure space; for more
information visit //www.bmit.com and click the travel agents link, or
call (800) 982-2299.
NEW FROM SCEPTRE: Sceptre Tours--which offers
net rates to retailers--is "putting" out the word that it has its
own Golf Dept. that can help agents craft golfing holidays in
Ireland. Sceptre boasts live inventory from golf courses and
guaranteed tee times, and it offers instant confirmations. For golf
queries, quotes or bookings, call (800) 221-0924 to reach Gerry at
extension 316 or Will at extension 329. Sceptre is also pushing a
six-night Romance and Luxury package to 5-star hotels in Galway,
Dublin and Killarney. Priced from $1,078 to $1,572, depending on
departure date, the tour includes roundtrip air; luxury
accommodation, including the Merrion Hotel in Dublin; one-week car
rental; a Dublinia tour; and breakfast daily. For more on Sceptre,
visit www.sceptretours.com .
GOOD TO GO: Brendan Worldwide Vacations said
it's guaranteeing more than 250 Ireland departures through October.
The firm said it offers escorted tours to fit "every budget,
itinerary and pace," from the 4-night Irish Jaunt, priced from
under $92 per day, to the 13-night The Scots and The Irish tour,
priced from $149 per day. Brendan tours include accommodation in
superior-first-class or first-class hotels; most meals;
sightseeing; guide services; and touring via deluxe motorcoach.
Other tours include the 7-night, quickie Glimpse of Ireland, from
$959 per person; the regional-focused 6-night Touch of Ireland
South [priced from $1,008 per person] and 8-night Touch of Ireland
North ($1,339); the 12-night Sights & Sounds of Ireland tour,
from $1,867; and the in-depth 11-night Grand Tour of Ireland,
priced from $1,706 per person. For more, go to www.brendanvacations.com or call (800) 421-8446.
WAY UP NORTH: Overnight visits to Belfast rose
by 25%, to 713,000, in 2003, according to new figures from the
Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau (BVCB). And Northern
Ireland's capital welcomed 5.3 million visitors--up from 3.6
million in 2002--who spent some $400 million. Nelson McCausland,
chairman of Belfast City Council's tourism and promotion
sub-committee, said "the figures announced today are excellent news
for encouraging new developments in the tourism infrastructure
[and] with the growth of new hotels, attractions and places to eat
in Belfast, there is an increasingly warm welcome for visitors."
BVCB chief executive Gerry Lennon added that 2004 looks "to be a
bumper year," as well.
WHAT'S MORE: Nine cruise ships will dock in Belfast in July and
August, one fewer than the 10 that called last summer, said the
BVCB. In other news:
• Belfast's historic Cathedral Quarter will be spruced up with the
new $9 million "1 Potthouse Lane" development, which will include a
nightclub, bar and restaurant. The 20,000-square-foot project is at
the junction of Hill and Waring streets.
• The fast-growing Malmaison hotel chain bought the McCausland
Hotel in Belfast in a deal valued at more than $4.4 million; the
firm will take over the hotel by mid-year.
• The La Mon hotel in Belfast won four-star status from the
Northern Ireland Tourist Board. The property, which is under new
ownership, has been modernized with a new swimming pool and leisure
complex and 70 additional bedrooms.
• Two new exhibit buildings--a Presbyterian meeting house from
Omagh and a house and forge from Ballinderr--opened at the Ulster
Folk and Transport Museum. For more, visit www.gotobelfast.com.