Morgans Hotel Group in London has announced the launch of its green bicycle program. Just to be clear that’s the environmentally friendly scheme, not the color of the bicycles!
Their two major luxury hotels in London, the Sanderson and St Martin’s Lane, are offering stylish bicycle hire from their concierge. The bikes are the sturdy Dutch inspired Public J7, so no cowhorn handlebars or racing tires on these tried and tested designs, which were specifically designed for city riding. With the step-through frame, riders can even wear a skirt with modesty and the rear rack can carry a surprising amount of weight.
Londoners seem to have adopted this form of transport over the traditional but crowded Tube since the Mayor of London introduced a city-wide bicycle scheme in 2010. There are now 110,000 registered subscribers, and probably not enough bikes to go round if they all wanted to ride at once. This clever scheme has pick-up and drop-off points all over the city, making it easy to cycle to a destination and not have to worry about securing it while you go to work or go shopping. Simply drop your bike off and pick up another one later for the ride home.
With the drier summer months ahead, the idea of hiring a bicycle and ordering a Sanderson’s Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea to go seems a great way to visit some of London’s leafy green parks for a picnic and to feed the ducks with the left-overs. Both the Starck designed Sanderson and the St Martin’s Lane luxury hotels are listed on Luxique.com, along with 68 more luxury hotels in London. Bicycles are optional!
by Gillian at Luxique Luxury Hotels
Travellers wanting to book inter-continental rail journeys across Europe currently face a nightmare of red tape when booking each stage, country by country. The exceptions currently are Eurostar and Thalys high-speed rail services but their services are limited to certain central European cities.
The European Union has now paved the way making it as easy to book rail journeys between countries as it is to book flights, with a combination of stops and destinations to suit the needs of both business people and tourists. The EU is adopting new regulations to force the standardization of rail passenger data on fares and timetables right across Europe.
In 2012, by law, rail operators must bring their computer systems and practises inline, making it easy for travel agents and individuals to book tickets to and from most destinations, hassle free.
One of the main reasons behind this approach from Brussels is that inter-city travel by rail is far more environmentally-friendly than travel by car or by air. Rail travel considerably reduces harmful emissions and the effects on global warming, possibly making it the recommended method of travel for forward-thinking governments of the future.
by Gillian at Luxique Luxury Hotels
The government of the Canary Islands has raised an outcry by proposing to downgrade the protected status of hundreds of species of plants and animals.
The planned alterations would mean that large areas previously protected from urban development could now receive planning permission for new homes, golf courses and tourist facilities.
The Canary Islands, with their unique bio-diversity, have long been recognised as a haven for wildlife. They’re home to about 4,000 species and sub-species that don’t exist anywhere else in the world. These include birds, a snail, a grasshopper and a type of sea-grass.
Ecologists branded the plan by the regional authority in the Spanish Atlantic islands a ‘crime’ and called on the central government in Madrid to intervene. They claim the proposal aims to remove obstacles that have impeded the development of tourist resorts across the islands.
The opponents have threatened to take their case to the European Parliament, claiming the new bill is in violation of European Laws on the protection of endangered species.
by Andy Moreton, with Fiona Govan in Madrid
Luxique offers great rates at six top-class hotels in the Canary Islands – all with different styles, but luxurious facilities.