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Hot spot is cool for business
Northern Africa may be one of the world’s trouble spots – with the killing of a US diplomat in Libya – but business there is booming. Emirates is catering for business travellers with a new non-stop service from Dubai to Algiers from March 1 next year. This follows a resumption of services to Libya in November 2012. The flight will leave Dubai at 8.45am and arrive in Algiers at 1.30pm (local time), providing direct connections at Dubai with all four daily Emirates flights from New Zealand. An Airbus A330-200 in a three-class configuration will be deployed on the new route.
Algiers is capital of Algeria, country with a diverse heritage of Phoenician, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and French influences. Algiers is home to a rich variety of architecture and a vibrant cultural scene. The country also boasts some of the world’s most spectacular coastline as well as vast mountainous and desert landscapes.
Emirates is also catering for tourists to the Middle East by adding a new direct connection to Amman, Jordan, from October 1. This will leave Dubai at 7.25am each Friday and arrive in Amman at 9.20am local time. At present a twice daily service to Amman connects with all four daily Emirates flights from New Zealand, except Friday mornings. The second daily flight from Dubai to Jordan departs at 2pm. Amman is the gateway for attractions such as the magical city of Petra, the extraordinary desert scenery of Wadi Rum and the restful Dead Sea.
Get on the gourmet food trail
The Peppers Gourmet Food Trail packages, now available at all seven resorts, provide guests with a welcome Chef’s Tasting Plate served in room showcasing local produce; a local food trail map for a self-discovery tour of the gourmet surrounds; plus a sumptuous buffet breakfast for two in the resort’s on-site restaurant.
Local Food Trail Maps offer a range of gastronomic journeys. For example, in Martinborough visit the Olivo Olive Grove and Ata Rangi Winery; or in Christchurch feast on the local cheeses from Banks Peninsula Friesian cows in Akaroa; and at Lake Tekapo, sample ready to eat sushi at the High Country Salmon Farm.
A Gourmet Food Trail Package at Peppers Parehua in Martinborough starts at $249 per night in a Winemakers Cottage, while a Lakeside Room at Peppers Clearwater Resort starts at $219 per night. A gourmet experience at Peppers Awaroa Lodge, Abel Tasman National Park, starts at $367 per night. Full details of all resort offerings at www.peppers.co.nz/food.
The third night is free
The global Accor network is offering a “stay three, pay two” deal at its 1400-plus hotels, including more than 80 in Australia. Apart from top-of-the range and budget hotels in Auckland and Queenstown, Accor has hotels in places as diverse as Sydney, Cairns, London, Paris, Bali and Phuket. All of Accor’s brands – such as Sofitel, Pullman, Novotel, Mercure and Ibis – are included in the sale. The three-night bookings must be made between September 25 and October 21 for stays between September 28 and November 11. No changes or cancellations can be made after the booking is completed.
Historic setting for designer hotel
Sydney’s newest boutique hotel, QT Sydney, opens on Monday and will feature 200 suites that have been crafted within the historic Gowings and State Theatre buildings. The hotel blends gothic, art deco and Italian architecture with contemporary and sometimes quirky interiors. QT is in Sydney’s business and shopping districts and features a 120 seat European-style brasserie, Gowings Bar & Grill, that is overlooked by a mezzanine level and meeting rooms.