Going up or going down?

We’ve all heard about Richard Branson’s collaboration with Burt Rutan for Virgin Galactic, but this is the first time I heard that a number of companies are offering underwater tours, even building resorts and hotels underwater.

Submitted for your approval: the underwater luxury hotel. A company called Poseidon Resorts is set to break ground (underwater ground, that is) on the world’s first underwater resort on a private island in Fiji this January.

Dubbed Mystery Island, the still-secret site will spread over 225 acres and comprise 24 underwater suites, each submerged in 40 feet of water. The facility will also include a revolving restaurant and bar, a spa, and 27 over-water bungalows with see-through floors. The price: $15,000 per person for seven days, which includes two nights in a beach villa, two nights in an over-water bungalow and two nights in an underwater suite.

And Dubai, naturally, has plans for its own underwater hotel. Set for completion in one year, Crescent Hydropolis will complement the firm’s Hydropalace project in Qingdao, China, which is scheduled to open in 2009 and will be in waters that are 50 to 65 feet below the surface of the Yellow Sea.

Source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16194525/

Now the question is, if you have a million dollars, would you spend it for a tour of the cosmos or live underwater?

Category: Everything Travel
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Hey guys, would you go on a mancation?

Matthew McConaughey and Lance Armstrong like to spend a lot of time together, which has turned a few heads. Do guys … do that? “They think we’re these overgrown frat guys, but we all have those kinds of relationships,” Armstrong recently told the press. “And ‘relationship’ isn’t a bad word. I mean, we all have buds, we all take guy trips.”

They’re called “[tag]mancations[/tag],” and McConaughey and Armstrong might look into trying one just northwest of their hometown, Austin, at Horseshoe Bay, a luxury resort alongside Lake LBJ, which has a private jet center, three championship golf courses, a full-service marina, a cigar-smoking Yacht Club, 12 tennis courts, three pools, three restaurants and a 349-room Marriott.

Think of mancations as a “guys’ night out,” only instead of taking a cab downtown, you take a jet cross-country. Or imagine a bachelor party where nobody has the buzzkill of impending marriage on their minds. It’s a way to revive frat-house antics for soccer dads, cubicle pals or college buddies, and that attitude is reflected in the places these vacation packages pop up — Vegas over Venice, a ride in a racecar instead of a hot-air balloon.

Read the complete article over at msnbc.com.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I suppose if girls get to have their girl’s night out, guys should be able to have sleepovers and take vacations together.

It just sounds so weird. Hehehe.

Category: Everything Travel
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Are you Boracay bound next year?

Two good news for [tag]Boracay[/tag] bound passengers next year!

First, [tag]South East Asian Airlines[/tag] is doing a Cebu Pacific, and offering a seat sale on their 11th anniversary.

Patrick Tan, vice president for commercial affairs, said, “To celebrate our 11th birthday, we will slash fares from P2,070 to about P540.”

The amounts do not include regular surcharges and tax.

The seat sale runs from Dec. 15 to Dec. 26. The travel period is from Jan. 1 to March 31, 2007.

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Category: Boracay, Philippines
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NAIA to collect P200 security fee

If you’re travelling international via a low cost carrier from [tag]Manila[/tag], you’ll be paying 3 fees at the airport: the Php 1,620 travel tax (though I think this is only for residents/citizens), Php550 airport tax, and the new Php200 [tag]security tax[/tag].

The security fee, recently approved by the MIAA Board, will be used for the “total upgrading” of security equipment at the NAIA terminals, added Oscar Paras, MIAA senior assistant general manager, in an interview with Inquirer. This would include the purchase of new surveillance cameras and state-of-the-art X-ray machines, among others.

Source: Inquirer.net
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Category: Manila, Philippines
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HotelReservations.com

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These days, it’s more convenient to make your travel plan on your own. If you have time to research, it’s infinitely easier and cheaper than going through a travel agent.

Online, you can either book direct to your hostel/hotel or go through a booking website. The question now is, is it better to book direct or through a booking agent?

The great thing about booking websites is that you are presented with a list of available accomodations in your destination city, so you can easily compare prices. Also, some have ratings and review features, so you can read about other traveler’s experiences with the hotel’s guestrooms and services.

HotelReservations.com is one of the newest booking agents online. Aside from hotels, they also offer reservation and booking facilities for flights, cars, vacation rentals and vacation packages, making it a one-stop shop for all your holiday planning needs. Like most online booking agents, they guarantee lowest rates.

So do they have the lowest rate? I tried a reservation request for a 4 days, 3 nights stay at the Shangri-La Mactan for 3 persons sharing one room. The lowest rate HotelReservations.com can give me is $198 per night, while a check at Shangri-La’s own website gives me a rate of $253 for the same room class.

However, there is a big difference when you look at the total bill, which includes the taxes and other charges. Shangri-La charges 22.50% tax, VAT and service charge, as stated in their website, totalling to $171.20, which brings the grand total for the room and taxes to $930.20.

At $198 per night, our total with HotelReservations.com is $594. They charge $394.32 for Tax Recovery Charges and Service Fees, bringing the grand total to $988.32.

HotelReservations.com‘s concept is good. With their simple design and easy navigation, it’s a user friendly website that will appeal to non-techies. However, the Internet is pretty saturated with similar websites, so they have to really step up to gain an edge over the others. Right now, the website seems unfinished, as description and pictures of some hotels aren’t available yet. They also have to be clear as to the inclusion in the hotel accommodations, as well as the charges imposed by the hotel and by the website.

Since HotelReservations.com is fairly new, I’m sure a lot is in the works on improving the website. Once the kinks are sorted out, they can probably easily compete with other online booking sites.

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