Day: November 3, 2020

Adare Manor named Ireland’s top hotel at World Travel Awards for a second year

Limerick’s Adare Manor has won Ireland’s Leading Hotel at the World Travel Awards 2020, for the second year in a row, while EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum has been named Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction also for the second year.

The World Travel Awards are voted for by travel and tourism professionals, and business and leisure travel consumers globally.

The five-star castle resort, which re-opened in November 2017 after a 21-month restoration, refurbishment and expansion project, beat competition such as Conrad Dublin and Dromoland Castle to earn the title this year.

Colm Hannon, chief executive of Adare Manor, said it was an honour to receive award. “This category is hugely competitive due to the many exceptional world-class hotels and resorts we have here in Ireland. we are very grateful, particularly during these challenging times,” he said.

EPIC museum, which is located in the vaults of the CHQ building in Docklands, Dublin, won the award over finalists around Europe including the Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum and Buckingham Palace.

President Michael D Higgins congratulated the museum for winning the award and its role in highlighting Ireland’s emigrant experiences.

“As a society, we are deeply grateful to EPIC for keeping the memory of our shared past alive,” he said.

The tourist attraction occupies a significant portion of the vaults under CHQ
The tourist attraction occupies a significant portion of the vaults under CHQ

Patrick Greene, director of EPIC Museum, said: “We are immensely proud to receive this recognition two years running . . . In the same spirit that more people are ‘shopping local’, we hope that Irish people will have even more reason to experience a two-time winner tourist attraction on their own doorstep”.

Other Irish winners include The Convention Centre Dublin of Europe’s Leading Meetings and Conference Centre for the fourth year in a row and Jameson Distillery, Bow Street, the winner of Europe’s Leading Distillery Tour for the third year back-to-back.

World Travel Awards 2020 winners: Ireland

  • Hotel: Adare Manor, Co Limerick
  • Business Hotel: The Shelbourne, Dublin
  • Boutique Hotel: The Clarence, Dublin
  • Luxury Hotel: The Conrad, Dublin
  • Hotel Suite: Presidential Suite at the Conrad Dublin
  • Car Rental Company: Hertz
  • Travel Agency: Abbey Travel
  • Online Travel Agency: Cassidy Travel
  • Tour Operator: Ireland Luxury Travel
  • Destination Management Company: Discover Ireland Tours
  • Travel Management Company: Clarity Business Travel

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Armed Robbers Hit Bay Park Gas Station, Mission Valley Hotel

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San Diego Police cruiser
A San Diego Police cruiser. Courtesy OnScene.TV

Robbery detectives were investigating two armed robberies Tuesday morning, one at a Bay Park gas station and another at a Mission Valley hotel.

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The first robbery was reported around 2:40 a.m. at the Shell gas station on the corner of Clairemont Drive and Denver Street, San Diego Police Officer John Buttle said.

A gas station employee had just returned from taking out the trash when he turned to lock the front doors, but two men walked up and pulled open the doors before he could lock them, Buttle said.

Both men had handguns and demanded money from the employee, the officer said. When the employee told them he didn’t have any money, one of the men pistol whipped him in the head.

The pair then fled the store and were last seen heading northbound on Denver Street.

Both suspects were described as Black men in their 40s. They were both wearing dark clothing, masks and baseball hats.

Shortly before 3:05 a.m. a robbery was reported at a hotel on Hotel Circle Place, off Hotel Circle North west of Fashion Valley Road, Buttle said.

Two armed men entered a hotel lobby, then left with a cash register, he said.

The suspects from that robbery were described as two Black men wearing masks and dark hoodies.

— City News Service

Armed Robbers Hit Bay Park Gas Station, Mission Valley Hotel was last modified: November 3rd, 2020 by Chris Jennewein

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Hotel Fee Rankings: Which Brands Have the Best (and Worst) Fees?

The only thing worse than hidden hotel fees is trying to figure out how they work. What are resort fees? How much do they cost? How much will it cost to bring a pet? Or park my car?

To help make sense of these complex policies, we compared fees at dozens of hotels across major U.S. hotel brands and ranked them from best to worst. Since these fees and their policies vary from property to property within the same brand, we used real-world bookings to determine these rankings.

We compared four fee categories:

  • Resort fee frequency — the percentage of properties that carry any resort fee.
  • Resort fee cost — the average cost of those fees.
  • Pet fees.
  • Parking fees.

We selected properties from each hotel program in the same cities, including tourist destinations known for their common resort fees (Las Vegas, Orlando, etc.). We totaled the fees from each category above to determine the overall nightly average.

As far as we know, no similar analysis of hotel fees is publicly available, so we didn’t know what to expect. Would budget-focused brands like Best Western make up for low room rates with high fees, similar to budget airlines? Would resort fees be spread evenly across brands?

Best overall

Winner: Radisson

Radisson hotels offered moderate resort fees at the few properties that carried them, along with very low pet and parking fees. Best Western, hot on Radisson’s tail, offered similar resort and parking fees, but higher pet fees. Which is to say: If you don’t plan on bringing a nonhuman companion, both of these brands offer exceptionally low fees.

Interestingly, this analysis clearly didn’t favor some of the “big name” programs like Hyatt, Marriott and Hilton. Yet it’s important to note that these fees were considered on their own, not as a percentage of overall price. So it makes sense that more luxurious brands, like Hyatt, would be dinged for higher fees.

Resort fee frequency

Winner: Radisson

Resort fees represent a constant source of irritation for travelers. These fees were first introduced at high-end properties to justify some amenities they afforded. These days, resort fees are slapped on many properties near tourist destinations with thin justification.

Yet our analysis revealed that these fees are not applied consistently between brands. Over half of Hyatt hotels carried these dubious fees, while only one fifth of Radisson properties did. We compared both high-end and budget options from each brands’ portfolio, so this difference alone can’t explain the variation in resort fee frequency.

Resort fee cost

Winner: Best Western

The frequency of resort fees is one thing, while the actual price tag associated with these fees is another. We found a surprising range in the cost of these fees between and within programs.

On the one hand, it makes sense that programs with an emphasis on luxury would carry higher resort fees. On the other hand, these fees can be deceptive and misleading — tacking on extra costs that are not visible to travel

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All arrivals except those from China will have to quarantine in a hotel, Hong Kong says, as city records 9 new Covid-19 cases



a group of people standing around each other: Hong Kong recorded nine new coronavirus cases on Tuesday. Photo: AP


Hong Kong recorded nine new coronavirus cases on Tuesday. Photo: AP

Anyone arriving in Hong Kong from countries other than China must from November 13 undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine in a hotel to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19 at home.

The city recorded nine new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, including two more linked to a growing cluster from a staycation holiday in Mui Wo’s Silvermine Bay and a local untraceable infection of an office worker.

The new quarantine arrangement was announced on Tuesday hours after the city leader revealed that members of the public who needed to prove their health status could sign up for coronavirus screening at a cost of HK$240 (US$31) at government testing centres, to be launched in the middle of the month.

Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.

Free Covid-19 testing would also be offered from next Monday for teachers and staff in public schools and kindergartens.

Boris Johnson defends lockdown as European leaders face resistance

A government statement said that people who had been to places other than mainland China, Macau and Taiwan within 14 days before coming to Hong Kong would need to provide proof of a room reservation in a hotel in the city for not fewer than two weeks. Previously, arrivals from low-risk countries could undergo the two-week quarantine period at home.

The new arrangement would be in place until further notice. But those who arrived in the city for transit or who were already exempted from quarantine would not be affected.

“We wanted to tighten the quarantine measures due to the worsening Covid-19 situation globally. In the past, there were a few cases who infected other family members while they were quarantining at home,” said Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the communicable disease branch of the Centre for Health Protection.

Turkey, meanwhile, would be the latest to be added to the city’s list of countries of high Covid-19 risk, starting from November 13.

Fourteen countries are currently on the list. People arriving from those nations need to present a negative Covid-19 test result before coming to the city, and must quarantine in a hotel.

The latest measures received a qualified endorsement from the government’s coronavirus adviser, Chinese University’s Professor David Hui Shu-cheong, who, however, believed officials should add other virus hotspots such as Spain and Italy to the high-risk list, both of which are suffering a second wave of infections.

The respiratory medicine expert also wants the government to plug the remaining holes in the city’s border defences by revoking quarantine exemptions granted to key consular personnel from those 14 countries, after a diplomat from India was infected last month.

“Those high-ranking staff who can self-isolate in a single room in their consulates can do so. Others should do it in a hotel if they come from places with an overwhelming number of cases. They should have done it a long time ago.”

But Hui believed the

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Which countries can Americans visit?



a view of a mountain: Visitors are dwarfed by the mountaintop site of Machu Picchu, Peru. Photo taken in 2011. (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)


© (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
Visitors are dwarfed by the mountaintop site of Machu Picchu, Peru. Photo taken in 2011. (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

Dozens of countries in Europe and Asia remain off-limits for American travelers as the world continues to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic. Other countries do remain open, with and without quarantine, to Americans who can meet certain conditions.

Many, such as Albania, are off the beaten path for most Americans. Others, such as Mexico, are more familiar. At least two of those nations, Aruba and Costa Rica, have different policies depending on which U.S. state you are from.

Unfortunately, you won’t find Canada on the open list. Canada has banned most foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens, from entering its territory. There are exceptions for some students and people with Canadian family, but otherwise, the ban on nonessential travel is firm.

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The U.S.’ other neighbor, Mexico, requires no test and no quarantine for those traveling by air. Under a pact the two countries have been renewing monthly, U.S. travelers are forbidden from traveling by land across the border for nonessential reasons, but no such ban applies to those who fly. That large loophole, by the way, is often unacknowledged in Department of Homeland Security communications.

Regarding those European nations: If you aren’t familiar with the term “Schengen countries,” you should be. The term refers to 26 European Union nations that are acting collectively when it comes to allowing travelers to safely cross their borders without spreading COVID-19. Many have been tightening internal restrictions in recent days in hopes of thwarting a new surge of cases. Americans currently are not allowed in; residents of Canada, New Zealand and Japan are. The list is reviewed every two weeks.

In the Asia-Pacific region, too, many doors are also closed. American tourists are not allowed to visit Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines. The same goes for Australia and New Zealand.

What to consider before you go

Before you make plans for going abroad, bear in mind that travel increases your risk of infection and the chance that you might unknowing pass infection to others, worsening a catastrophe that has already claimed 1 million lives . Since March, local, state and national health officials have all urged Americans to stay close to home — preferably within their neighborhoods — and defer any nonessential travel.



Masked passengers fill a Southwest Airlines flight from Burbank to Las Vegas on June 3, with middle seats left open. (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)


© (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
Masked passengers fill a Southwest Airlines flight from Burbank to Las Vegas on June 3, with middle seats left open. (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

The U.S. State Department has detailed nation-by-nation information on COVID-19 conditions abroad. The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have information on COVID-19 cases and deaths (with countries assessed four levels of risk), and the World Health Organization maintains an updated dashboard. For another perspective, you can also check which countries the British government believes are safe to visit. (As of late October, more than 50 countries

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Salt Life co-founder held in suspicious hotel shooting death

Last week, police received an urgent call from Duncan’s parents to conduct a welfare check at Hilton Oceanfront resort, where the body was later found.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office reported that Duncan had “voluntarily left the county with a known individual.”

Hutto is locked up in the Duval County Jail on charges of manslaughter and possession of a firearm, according to multiple sources.

Reports say Hutto founded Salt Life in 2003 with several friends in Jacksonville, and the brand found instant success among boaters, fishermen and the beach crowd.

Salt Life’s official Facebook page posted a statement Saturday saying Hutto was no longer connected to the company after selling the business in 2013, reports said.

“Salt Life sends their utmost sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased,” the company statement said.

Hutto was the company’s first president, the Florida Times-Union reported.

Hutto reportedly trademarked “Salt Life” after first making it one of his regular phrases for years, according to a 2008 Florida Times-Union report.

The company’s abstract logo, scrawled like a signature, is widely recognizable and commonly appears on T-shirts, billboards and bumper stickers across America.

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After a childhood of travel, Eagles breakout receiver Travis Fulgham found football in Virginia

Matt Griffis met Travis Fulgham for the first time on the Friday before the start of two-a-day-practices in the summer of 2013. The only thing the Broad Run High coach knew about Fulgham was that the senior transfer’s father had emailed a few days earlier to say his son, who had played one year of football, was interested in joining the team.



a group of people jumping in the air: Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Travis Fulgham has made the most of his NFL opportunity so far. (Rich Schultz/AP)


© Rich Schultz/AP
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Travis Fulgham has made the most of his NFL opportunity so far. (Rich Schultz/AP)

A few years later, Fulgham would become the first Broad Run player to be selected in the NFL draft. But in that moment, on that Friday, Griffis was just relieved to see that at least this new kid had some size. He was around 6-foot-3 with a solid build. It took a few more days for Griffis to realize Fulgham would do more than just make the team

“At first, he just looked the part,” Griffis said. “But in those days we were still running the [40-yard dash] in practice, and when he ran the 40, I said, ‘Umm, okay, this kid runs like a deer.’ ”

In the years since, Fulgham has used that blend of size and speed to defy the odds on his nontraditional path, slowly climbing each ladder he has encountered: first at Broad Run, then at Old Dominion and now in the NFL.

One of the league’s biggest surprises this fall, Fulgham will take the field for the Philadelphia Eagles against the visiting Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night as a certified weapon, a skilled and dangerous wideout playing a key role in the NFL.

“There’s certain people that you meet that take every setback and turn it into a comeback,” former Old Dominion coach Bobby Wilder said. “That’s who Travis is. He has written a phenomenal comeback story.”

Traveling toward football

Fulgham’s story began abroad; he spent most of his childhood overseas. Both of his parents were in the Foreign Service, and after they divorced, he spent time living with his mother in Jordan, Egypt, South Africa and India, according to ESPN. In high school, he joined his father, who was living in Virginia. That’s where Fulgham found football.

His first experience with the sport came at Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, where he initially played basketball and soccer. He was asked to join the football team ahead of his junior year and took to the game quickly. But by the end of his junior year, he knew he would have to transfer to a bigger program if he wanted to pursue a pro career. By the end of that summer, his dad was emailing Griffis about a potential addition to the team.

Griffis told Fulgham that he would have to start at the bottom and work his way up, but the coach didn’t think the work would come so easy to the transfer. Fulgham was a starter by the time the season opener arrived, and he quickly established himself as a

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Encore Casino Closes Hotel, Reduces Casino Hours Amid New Rules

EVERETT, MA —Encore Boston Harbor is set to close its hotel after the governor announced new pandemic-related restrictions that would limit the casino’s business hours.

The Boston Globe reported that Encore president Brian Gullbrants said in a note to employees Monday that the hotel would be closing immediately.

Beginning Friday, the Globe reported, the resort will reduce its hours open from 24-hours, to noon to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends.

The closure comes just a day after Gov. Charlie Baker announced that all restaurants in the state will have to close at 9:30 p.m. starting Friday as part of his “stay-at-home advisory” amid a rise in coronavirus cases.

Many in the hospitality industry worry that the statewide curfew Baker announced on Monday will further hamper businesses that have been hard hit throughout the pandemic with shifting restrictions on hours, capacity and what constitutes the type of food people need to get to order alcohol.

“With continued efforts from the State to minimize the spread of COVID-19, Encore Boston Harbor continues to operate with a significantly reduced capacity in all parts of our resort,” an Encore spokesperson said in a statement at the time.

The casino initially paid its employees from its closure March 15 through the end of May, but this plan proved unsustainable. After costing its parent company Wynn Resorts $220 million, the casino furloughed about 10 percent of its workforce June 1.

There were 2,700 people working at the resort and 915 on furlough, the Boston Globe reported in August.

Patch has reached out to Encore.


Jenna Fisher is a news reporter for Patch. Got a tip? She can be reached at [email protected] or by calling 617-942-0474. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram (@ReporterJenna). Have a something you’d like posted on the Patch? Here’s how .

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Encore Boston Harbor shutting down hotel temporarily

Encore Boston Harbor confirmed that it will close its hotel temporarily due to the coronavirus pandemic.



a close up of a light: Encore Boston Harbor in Everett


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Encore Boston Harbor in Everett

The temporary shutdown is effective immediately.


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The Everett casino — which is normally open 24 hours — will now be open from noon to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends.

It’s not clear how it will impact staffing levels. Encore laid off 385 workers in August and another 915 workers are still on furlough.

Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday announced new COVID-19 restrictions that affect the hotel’s operating hours.

While gathering limits at event venues remain unchanged, Baker said all gatherings at public and private spaces will be required to end by 9:30 p.m., except for religious or political events.

Baker also announced an overnight stay at home advisory, resembling a curfew, from 10 p.m. through 5 a.m. It will allow activities such as commuting to or from work, running essential errands and talking a walk.

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