Sunday, March 30, 2014

CCR - Soft Space, Decorating our Properties

Nowadays people begin to pay more and more attention to residential interior design, which clearly indicates the increasing importance of our home living quality. Good circulation and aesthetic “interior hardware” are indispensable for comfortable home spaces. A good circulation design will help create a warm ambience, and a piece of artistic “hardware” will welcome you home every day with a delightful mood. However, in home interior design there’s something that is often ignored, or even unprofessionally treated. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Cheap and on Budget European Holiday Vacation

Europe on a budget is very possible and if you like me want to travel frequently for the rest of your life then saving your pennies can be big advantage in helping you do so. I’ve spent years on European holidays I can say that with the right attitude it is achievable and also can be fun. I have always had so much fun traveling in Europe and returned to Australia with some money in the bank, I also felt that I experienced more of the local living than that of a tourist.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Holiday Attraction Sale

Ticketbar Holiday Tickets
City Centre Retreat is about much more than just providing quality accommodation. We’re passionate about the cities we work in and want to make the world of difference to our clients’ stay. That’s why, for several years now, discounts on activities in Barcelona (and more recently in Berlin) have played an important role in the service that we offer.
In Barcelona our clients save money on everything from flamenco concerts in Poble Espanyol to helicopter tours of the city. Now, we’re delighted to announce our new partnership with Ticketbar, an online ticket service for tourists. One of the company’s strongest selling points is the fact that its tickets let holders jump to the front of the queue in cities where many attractions are almost always thronged with tourists.
Like us, Ticketbar works across several destinations around the world, and has managed to put together a series of products taking in some of the best attractions on the continent. In Barcelona these include the famous Barcelona Card, offering free public transport and access to many of the best sites, and the art lover’s key to the best galleries, the Articket. Through this partnership we’ll also be able to offer money off some popular activities such as the Teleferic de Montjuïc and Barcelona Zoo.
City Centre Retreats Operations director Eddy Mernagh said:
”It’s great to see so many new discounts coming online and to be able to offer these with complete confidence to our customers."
We believe that City Centre Retreat and Ticketbar have created a formula whereby we can offer our clients the chance to enjoy the excellent value offered by both of our companies. ” 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

GoCar - Madrid

The best way to discover a city!

In this guided tour, your car becomes your personal guide to Madrid. It will be an unforgettable touring experience. Unlike a regular tour, GoCar gives you total control over what to see and how long to visit each site. The cars have personality and clearly indicate the direction to travel, all while you have the stories that give life to the city.

Guided tours of Madrid in GoCar are the best way to experience the city. The GoCar can be your personal guide to the city. The cars are fun and easy to drive and guide you through the city and interesting spots.

1) Historic Madrid (duration 1 hour): Starting from the central shop, you will head out towards the Plaza de España, the Senate and pass by the marvelous Royal Palace. After seeing the Almudena Cathedral and the district of La Latina, you will turn back towards the centre of Madrid via the Calle Mayor, passing by the Market of San Miguel, the renown Puerta del Sol and the Plaza of Santa Ana.
2) Cosmopolitan Madrid (duration 2 hours): Discover Madrid’s modern symbolic quarter, the beautiful cosmopolitan district. Visit the world famous Prado Museum and enjoy cruising through the wide sweeping boulevards, and through the stunning squares like ‘Plaza Cibeles’.
3) Half day Tour (duration 4 hours): Combine all of the available routes for a grand tour of Madrid from the amazing Historic Tour to the stunning Cosmpolitan Tour, which will take you to the most well-known sights of the city.The Half Day tour allows you to take your time and take detours, stop for shopping, visit some of the attractions you see, and enjoy coffee & tapas in a secluded plaza.
Departure location:
C/Ferraz, 26, near del Templo de Debod (more details can be found on your ticket)
Metro: Plaza de España
1 May – 1 October 10.00h – 21.00h
1 November – 1 April 10.00h – 19.00h
Reserve cheap tickets for GoCar Madrid here.

Kigo Short-Stay Management Services

Starting our short-stay company 2 years ago with business partner Eddy was always going to be a learning experience for us with no knowledge of working in that environment. We immediately found a need for some way to manage our bookings across the variety of channels. So, after speaking with Housetrip, reading some reviews and speaking with the Kigo team, we decided that they appeared to offer the best solution for us.

Having decided to go with Kigo 2 years ago we got started immediately, it was a learning experience working with the Kigo and we have found a lot of great advantages to doing so. For us as a small short-stay agent, it has not only allowed us to synchronize our calendars and manage our bookings but also set out suggestions for ways to work such as the checking in and cleaning scheduling, smoothed out our operations with automatic email notifications, provided payment tracks and wage paying reports, brought us in contact with other agents and a long list of other things all for great value. We pay 110euros per months for all of this AND the calendar sync function on all our properties. This allows our availability to be updated automatically on channels such as Housetrip and Over the 2 years it has become a lot easier to set these up and Kigo are working harder even still to improve on this.

We’ve also decided to use an additional function Kigo offer called channel manager. This will have Kigo build you a website like our one here and enable you to connect with other agents marketing there properties on your own site. For us (and them to some extent I think) this is completely new and although a sub path to our main business plan it is one we enjoy working on and wish to continue developing.

Kigo are the only company that I know offering these services so they may be revolutionary in there business model. The staff at Kigo is very busy but always doing their best to schedule, arrange, look at and deliver services. In such a developing, fast moving, complete serviced environment they must feel like nothing is good enough sometimes. Having worked for 12 years on the development of back-office infrastructures for large coops such as IBM, KPMG and Liberty Global using standards with ITIL processes and PRINCE2 methodologies I do feel my expectations are unrealistically to high sometimes.  We are always bugging Kigo with idea's and questions so they must really think we are not satisfied with them. Nothing could be further from the truth however. Kigo is a great idea for managing you bookings, trying to connect with the channels and really great value for money. But don’t tell them that!

This review was published from here.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Museo Reina Sofia

Visit Museo Reina Sofia for the best Modern and Contemporary art in Spain!
Madrid's 18th century hospital was beautifully remodelled and converted into a museum in the early 90's. The highlight in this museum is the 20th century's most famous painting, Picasso's 'Guernica'. Besides this masterpiece there are many other highlights from great painters such as Dalí and Joan Miró. In 2005 the Reina Sofia enlarged its installations from 51,000 to 84,000 square meters and is nowadays one of the largest contemporary art museums in the world.

Pre-sale tickets for Museo Reina Sofia are only available in combination with the Madrid Art Walk Pass. With the Madrid Art Walk Pass you also get entrance to the 2 other great museums (Prado Museum & Museo Thyssen Bornemisza) in the city. And best of all - you don't have to wait in the long waiting lines! The Madrid Art Walk Pass can be obtained at a very reasonable price of €30 and is valid until 6 months after purchase.

Click here to buy your City Centre Retreat Walk Pass
Opening hours:
Monday through Saturday: 10am - 9pm
Sunday: 10am - 7pm
Closed on Tuesdays and holidays

Tickets need to be exchanged at Museo Thyssen Bornemisza (Bornemisza Paseo del Prado, 8). You can exchange this voucher for your Madrid Art Walk Pass where afterwards you can choose the order of the museums which you want to visit first.

Banco de España

Monday, March 10, 2014

Real Madrid Stadium Tour

Visit Real Madrid and all it's glory!

The Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, home ground of the legendary Real Madrid football team, is definitely worth a visit! Real is one of the most successful clubs in European football, having won twelve official UEFA trophies in total. The Bernabeu Stadium, inaugurated on 14 December 1947, has a capacity of more than 85.000 spectators. During the Real Madrid Stadium Tour you'll see all the hidden corners and legendary places you've only seen in pictures. The audioguide system makes it possible to discover the the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and Museum at your own pace, thus making you sure you don’t miss a single detail and can hear some amusing anecdotes. 

Av de Concha Espina, 1

Opening Hours:
Non-match days:
Monday to Saturday: 10am - 7.30pm
Sundays and holidays: 10.30am - 6.30pm
Match days:
Tour open up to 5 hours prior to kick-off  (no dressing room access).
Two hours prior to kick-off only the Trophy Room is open to visitors.

To quickly book and reserve your tickets then click here.
To take a look at some holiday Apartments in Paris click here.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Italy 1/10 - Tuscany Tour

Depart for Siena, driving through the lovely Chianti vineyards and arriving while the town is still immersed in early morning drowsiness. This is the perfect time of day to wander around the pedestrian-friendly center of this beautiful hilltop town. A local guide who will take you on a walking tour that will trace the history of Siena. You will marvel at the 13th century streets and squares as you pass by the oldest bank in the world and vist the famous Piazza del Campo. During your free time, you will be able to stroll through Siena at your own pace while soaking up the Tuscan sun.

A short journey then takes us to a family run vineyard and farm in the heart of the Tuscan countryside. Here we will have a delicious, traditional Tuscan lunch of fresh, handmade pasta, home cured meats, salad and typical local cheeses, all served with plenty of wine from the region. After lunch, San Gimignano is only minutes away. Considered one of the most beautiful towns in Italy, this Unesco World Heritage site is often nicknamed the “Manhattan of the Middle Ages” because its famous narrow towers that create a modern city skyline. Here you will have free time to explore the charming craftsmen shops along the cobblestone streets and sample award-winning gelatos.

From San Gimignano, we will drive through some of the most beautiful and enchanting countryside in the world before arriving in Pisa. Here we will visit the Field of Miracles, a green grass field dominated by the dazzling white buildings of the Duomo and the world famous Leaning Tower. Here we invite you to revel in the city’s beauty and enjoy everything the city has to offer.

• Transport
• Tour Escort
• Local Guide in Siena
• Entrance fees of Siena’s Duomo
• Lunch with Wine Tasting

Please Note
• Please present your voucher at the meeting point in Piazza Stazione, on the corner with Piazza dell’ Unità.
• Please show up to the meeting point 15 minutes before the departure time.
• Kids 8 and under are FREE.
• This tour does not operate on Dec 24, Dec 25, Dec 26, Dec 31 and Jan 1.

Departure dates:
March to November(inclusive): Daily
December to February(inclusive): Mondays,Wednesdays,Fridays and Saturdays

Departure and arrival times: 8:30 am - 8:30 pm

Duration: 12 hours

To quickly book and reserve your tickets then click here.
To take a look at some holiday Apartments in Paris click here.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Things to do in Paris : Guided Tour Eiffel Tower

Discover the Eiffel Tower like you have never seen it before! Your guided tour will start in the bunker under the Champ de Mars. As a privileged visitor, you will have backstage access to the engine room where your guide will tell you more about the hydraulic system process which controls the Eiffel Tower’s elevators. You will then go to the second floor where you will reach the roof of the famous restaurant Le Jules Verne. You will be seduced by this amazing view!

Music : Basematic - " La madeline au Truffe"

• This tour includes the ticket up to the 2nd floor. Tickets for the 3rd floor may be purchased at the end of the tour from the ticket counter on the 2nd floor.
• For all online bookings, clients will receive tour vouchers by email.

Important :
For security reasons :
• This tour is not available for children aged 5 years of age and below.
• High heeled shoes are strongly unadvised on this tour.
• The bunker and/or the roof of the Jules Verne may not be accessible for all tour departures after 19h30.

Eiffel Tower 

5 avenue Anatole France

Champ de Mars 
75007 Paris


Metro: Trocadéro (L6, L9), Bir Hakeim (L6), Ecole militaire (L8), Champ de mars - Tour Eiffel (RER C)

Bus: 42, 69, 72, 82, 87

Departure time: 17.00

Duration of the tour: 1h30

To quickly book and reserve your tickets then click here.
To take a look at some holiday Apartments in Paris click here.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Things to-do in Paris : Audio guided visit of the Louvre Museum

The Louvre or Louvre Museum is one of the world's largest museums and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, France, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement. Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 60,600 square metres (652,300 square feet). With more than 9.7 million visitors each year, the Louvre is the world's most visited museum.

Upon arrival to the Louvre Museum, we will give you: your entry ticket valid until closing of the museum (Fast pass), your audio guide that will allow you to listen to recorded commentaries about the museum's greatest works, and a route map suggesting various possible itineraries to organize your free tour. Themed visits or itineraries taking in the major works: the Venus de Milo, the Coronation of Napoleon I and Leonardo de Vinci's Mona Lisa.

All audio guides must be returned after a maximum of 3 hours.

Commentary in 9 languages: French, English, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese

* Entrance ticket to the Louvre Museum (Fast pass)
* Map with tour itineraries and visit advice
* Hostess
* Audio guide with recorded commentary: a deposit of 32 euros per audio guide will be required at the Rivoli agency upon the departure. You will need to return the audio guide at the Rivoli agency at the end of the tour, the deposit will then be given back to you.

* Once the tour is over, you may stay at the museum a little longer, enjoy something to eat or buy some souvenirs such as prints of paintings or books
* Compulsory cloakroom for large bags, buggies and umbrellas
* This tour is not suitable for people with reduced mobility (tour on foot)
* The tour itinerary does not include a lift
* The Louvre Museum closes at 10.00 PM on Wednesdays and Fridays and at 6.00 PM on other open days


Open everyday except Tuesdays
Audio guided tours not available: May 1, July 14 and special events
Departure: 09.45 AM / 12.15 AM / 2.00 PM
Extra departure at 5.00 PM on Wednesday and Friday except May 1 and special events

Departure point
2 Rue des Pyramides
75001 Paris (Pyramides Agency)

To quickly book and reserve your tickets then click here.
To take a look at some holiday Apartments in Paris click here.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Best things to do in Paris - Disneyland

Make the most of your Paris stay and discover Disneyland Paris. Enjoy an unforgettable day with memories that will stay with you forever.

To quickly book and reserve your tickets then click hereWe begin our day by crossing Eastern Paris to the A4 motorway leading to Park Disneyland ® . (approx. travel time : 1 hour). 

Our driver will leave you at the group parking area close to Disneyland ® Paris 
The group will rejoin the coach at the same spot at the end of the day at 7.00 PM. Arrival in Paris around 08.00 PM.

* Transportation in a luxury air conditioned coach
* Disneyland Paris pass for one day for park Disneyland ® or park Walt Disney Studios ®
* Accommodation/meals not included with the pass

* The Disneyland Park is an enjoyable day out for both adults and children
* This tour offers the advantage of direct transport without the stress of public transport
* Child rate from 3 to 11 years

Departure times

April 01 - October 31: 
Everyday except special events
Departure : 8.00 AM
November 01, 2013 - March 31, 2014
Everyday except special events
Departure : 8.30 AM

Departure location & Return
Address: Pyramides Agency
2 rue des Pyramides 75001 Paris

To quickly book and reserve your tickets then click here.
To take a look at some holiday Apartments in Paris click here.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Top things to do in Paris - Illuminations with Dinner

At 8:30pm get on board a glass-encased boat, where you'll be in on the secret of the city of lights. The cuisine is meticulously presented, the service is attentive and discreet, and your eyes will sparkle as never before... This is a must-do cultural and very Parisian experience that is unique and should be shared!

The tour includes:
• An all-inclusive menu with a choice of à-la-carte dishes: Appetizer, starter, main dish, dessert, mineral waters, coffee and wines. And, depending on the service chosen, cheese, mini-sweet selection, selection of fine wines, sophisticated table decoration, free cruise plan and menu (see details of service chosen below).
• Vegetarian menu also available 
• Authentic, tasty cuisine cooked on-board
• Unparalleled panoramic views of Paris' Illuminations
• Festive live music entertainment
• Boarding at the foot of the Eiffel Tower for a voyage of discovery through the majestic heart of Paris in a glass-covered boat

Dinner Cruise Menu
Aperitif: Blanc de Blancs Kir and mini cakes
Pays d'Oc IGP Chardonnay, Médoc, Terre des Granges 
Plus points: live musical animation
Rectangular tables from 2 to 8 persons maximum per table

Dinner Cruise Menu
Aperitif: glass of Champagne with mini cakes
Pays d'Oc IGP Chardonnay, Médoc, Terre des Granges
Plus points: mini-sweet selection, free menu and cruise plan, live musical animation
Panoramic table: from 2 to 8 persons maximum per table

Dinner Cruise Menu
Aperitif: glass of Champagne with cheese puffs
Mâcon - Solutré, Puisseguin St-Emilion, Château Teynac
Plus points: cheese, mini-sweet selection, free menu and cruise plan, live musical animation
Window table: Rectangular tables from 2 to 4 pers. Maximum

Dinner Cruise Menu
Aperitif: glass of pink Champagne with cheese puffs
Mâcon - Solutré, Saint-Estèphe, Château Morin
Plus points: glass of champagne with dessert, cheese, mini-sweet selection, free menu and cruise plan, live musical animation 
Exceptional position at a round table in the bows of the boat from 2 to 8 persons maximum per table


Bateaux Parisiens, At the foot of the Eiffel Tower
Port de la Bourdonnais, 75007 Paris

Check-in pontoon number 5 or number 7 
Check-in ends at 8:15pm 
Boat leaves at 8:30pm 
Return to quay at 11pm
Duration: 2,30 hours

Spring/Summer menu  (Menu available from April 2, 2013 to October 1, 2013) 

Choice of starters 
Large marinated prawns, avocado, grapefruit
Duck foie gras, truffled condiment
Marinated back of salmon, tender vegetables with tomatolive condiment
Lobster, chilled courgette cream soup, sheep's milk curds (supplement €5)

Choice of main dishes
Sea bass, green asparagus, emulsioned sauce
Grenadine of chump end of veal, matignon vegetables, Périgueux jus
Fillet of beef, mushroom duxelle, béarnaise jus
Breast of duckling, red onion and fig, sweet and sour sauce

To accompany your dishes, our Chef suggests an assortment of side dishes according to availability and season.

Selection of cheeses
Etoile Service or Elégance Service: instead of a dessert or in addition (€5)

Choice of desserts
Chocolate-mint opera pastry by Lenôtre
Apricot-praline nougat glacé, passion fruit jus
Shortbread tartlet with strawberries, mousseline cream
Striped ice cream in savarin style, fresh fruits, Amarillo cherry jelly.

To quickly book and reserve your tickets then click here.
To take a look at some holiday Apartments in Paris click here.