Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Business travel round up: Orlando, Florida

When Mickey Mouse isn't on the agenda and I'm wearing my professional shoes (pumps or heels), I always recommend asking a local where to stay for business travel in Orlando, Florida

I hunkered down with Norman's, a popular restaurant for power business dinners featuring the memorable cuisine of celebrity Chef Norman Van Aken, Florida’s most ‘James Beard’ awarded chef, to get their suggestions on where to stay and what to do when traveling on business in Orlando.

Here's the excerpt from my International Business Travel Examiner column:

"Known to vacationers as “the happiest place on earth,” Orlando, Florida is also one of the top conference and convention destinations in the United States with more than 6.0 million attendees flowing in and out of Orlando’s hotels. There’s much more to this city than theme parks and Mickey Mouse. Sure, Orlando was built on imagination, innovation, and creativity and the destination thrives on excitement and energy. Perhaps that's why it only makes sense that its meetings, business conferences, and conventions also draw from this dynamic, engaging environment....
(Pictured: Photo: JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes)

Read the rest of the story here: http://bit.ly/86IkhR

Happy travels...and for my U.S. friends, Happy Thanksgiving!
Diana Rowe

Monday, November 09, 2009

Online travel auction...bid on travel related packages and deals from around the world

If the mention of the word “travel” has you daydreaming of days gone by, then explore the Online Travel Auction, open to the public, at http://www.satwauction.com/hosted by the Society of American Travel Writers. Now through Friday, November 20, you can make your vacation dreams come true by bidding on travel-related deals on goods, hotels, resort and vacation packages in the U.S., Canada and abroad. Download this interactive, colorful brochure of dozens of travel packages and deals from the SATW online auction.

Thinking of beaches? How about Mexico, Aruba, or Belize? Want to explore Europe? How about Germany or Belgium – or you can board the Eurail and explore 21 countries on your own!Prefer a vacation closer to home? We’ve got you covered! Choose from sea to shining sea in the U.S. of A., from Connecticut to California, Michigan to Texas and states in between. Looking for an adventure? We’ve got golf, skiing, hiking and biking. Gotta have spa? We have that too! Explore the world with a click of your mouse and bid on the vacation of your dreams.

The Society of American Travel Writers, the world’s largest professional association of travel journalists and photographers, and their annual online fundraising auction is open now through November 20, 2009 at http://www.satwauction.com/ (Proceeds fund SATW’s professional development programming at future conventions.)

At the site, there are all sorts of vacation options from five star hotels and beautiful resorts to superb golf and ski getaways and even some gift baskets. Starting prices are often amazingly reasonable…and anyone can have a chance to bid. Values of the donated items range from $50 to $3,962.

How does the auction work?

Similar to other online auctions, browsers and bidders will log on to http://www.satwauction.com/with a specially created ID and password and bid as often as they please. The auction will be updated in real time. Bidding closes at 10:00 pm MDT on Nov. 20.

Some of the items up for bid include:

· Your Germany getaway includes 2 roundtrip tickets on Air Berlin (www.airberlin.com) and a total of four nights for two persons at two Steigenberger Hotels (www.steigenbergerhotelgroup.com): 2 nights at the upscale Steigenberger Hotel in the heart of Western Berlin and 2 nights at the elegant Steigenberger Hotel de Saxe at the historic square in Dresden. Value $3,962, start your bid at $500

· Golf and wine merge together quite nicely; thank you, at the Silverado Resort 2-night Napa Valley package. The package includes two nights in a one bedroom suite; round of golf for two on a Robert Trent Jones Jr. Course, and wine tastings at four wineries. Value $1,500, start your bid at $300.

· We’ve more hotel stays and packages than you can click a mouse on: Hotel deLuxe (Portland; Ore.); Hotel Lucia (Portland; Ore.); Hotel Max (Seattle; Wash.); Hotel Murano (Tacoma; Wash.); Hotel Preston (Nashville; Tenn.); Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston & New Orleans; Westin Westminster (Colorado); The Broadmoor (Colorado Springs; CO); Silvertree Hotel and Conference Center (Snowmass Village, CO); Alderbrook Resort & Spa in Washington State; Chateau Chantal; Traverse City; MI; Fairmont Chateau Whistler; Fairmont Chateau Laurier; Fairmont Chateau Whistler; Fairmont Scottsdale Princess; Le Petit Hotel & CafĂ©; Montreal; Alexis Hotel; Seattle; WA; Furnace Creek Inn & Ranch in Death Valley; and West Baden Springs Hotel; French Lick (includes golf & spa treatments!). Values start at $109, minimum bids beginning at $25.

What are you waiting for? Your dream vacation awaits you…Log on to http://www.satwauction.com/ today.

For more information about the SATW Auction, contact Diana Rowe, 2009 SATW Auction online chair, diana@dianarowe.com.

For more informaton about Society of American Travel Writers, contact: Tim O’Keefe, President, mtimokeefe@gmail.com and/or Rich Grant, Publicity Chair, rgrant@denver.org