It seems that after heralding something as ‘The Best Job in the World’, you just sit back and wallow in the worldwide PR coup that’s bound to be engendered.
So here’s another one from the Republic of Ireland. A travel agency is looking for a couple with luxurious tastes to test out the most romantic wedding and honeymoon destinations around the world and stay in beautiful luxury hotels.
The couple will be paid 20,000 euros (£18,000 / $27,000) and will be asked to blog their experiences and write for the Irish Times once a month.
“It’s been sort of crazy,” said Rosemarie Meleady, managing director of RunawayBrideAndGroom.com, describing the response to the new promotion. “We’ve had applications from Korea, China, Macedonia, Croatia, India and Saudi Arabia. They’re coming in about five every hour – I’m working around the clock.”
Hopefuls looking to stay in beautiful luxury have until April 7 to apply for the ‘horrendous assignment’ – as the company teasingly calls it – which starts mid-May.
The travel dream job craze exploded on to the scene in January 2009 when Australia’s Tourism Queensland announced it was seeking someone to be caretaker for six months on a paradise island in the Great Barrier Reef (see previous articles).
That post attracted 34,000 applicants and was won by Ben Southall from Britain.
by Andy Moreton
The Lonely Planet travel guide’s annual list of the top ten best value destinations for 2010 contains a surprising entry – London.
Long scorned for being one of the most expensive cities on earth, London is now seen as good value for a number of reasons, including the falling value of the pound, hotel bargains and free museums. The recession has also encouraged many restaurants and shops to cut their prices and offer special deals.
Tom Hall, the publisher’s travel editor, said: “The tables have turned and London’s reputation as one of the world’s most expensive cities is over. It is far easier to do London on the cheap than it was five years ago.”
Other best-value destinations in the top ten include Iceland, South Africa, Las Vegas and Kenya.
There’s considerable satisfaction in the Irish Republic that Cork has been named in another Lonely Planet top ten – the best cities to visit in 2010. The guide says: “Cork has been in Dublin’s shadows for far too long. It has emerged as a fantastic destination in its own right with great restaurants, galleries, bars and shops as well as stunning scenery on its doorstep.”
Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2010 is now available in the US and Europe.
by Andy Moreton
Many of Luxique’s carefully selected luxury hotels in London will have special deals at this time. And if you want to experience a city that Lonely Planet says is ‘at the top of its game’ right now, Luxique offers the convivial Hayfield Manor in Cork, Irish Republic.
There are plans to create a five-star Titanic-themed hotel at the old headquarters of the Belfast shipyard, Harland and Woolf, where the doomed liner was built.
If the planning application goes through, there will be a 90-bedroom boutique hotel at Queen’s Island in the east of the city with a swimming pool, gym and spa facilities. It will form part of a redevelopment of 185 acres of former shipyard land.
The area is already known as the Titanic Quarter in memory of the liner which sank on its maiden voyage in 1912 with the loss of more than 1,500 lives.
A spokesman for the developers, Titanic Quarter Ltd, said: “Given the enormous global interest in the Titanic and the building’s close association with the ship, such a hotel will add to the Northern Ireland tourist experience.”
Northern Ireland’s capital, for so long blighted by sectarian violence, is now mostly at peace and welcoming tourists from all over the world. The recent Tall Ships Festival attracted 500,000 visitors in three days to the Belfast waterfront and developers believe the Titanic plan will draw around 400,000 people a year.
by Andy Moreton
As surveys go, this one is pretty gross. Our friends at Tripadvisor.com have come up with a top five tourist attractions that could be bad for your health as they’re so germ-ridden. Here they are in reverse order:
At number 5 is the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, where celebrities leave their hand- and footprints for posterity. Apparently, it’s covered in grime from the countless visitors who see if their hands and feet match those of the stars.
St Mark’s is a beautiful square in Venice, but it’s always suffered from a surfeit of hungry pigeons and the mess they leave behind. That brings it in at number 4.
At number 3 is Oscar Wilde’s tomb in Paris. People clearly like to kiss it, because it’s covered with lipstick prints. Yuk!
A wall outside Market Theatre in Seattle was placed runner-up in the survey. Since 1990, tens of thousands of people have stuck their unwanted chewing gum to the wall, turning it into a tourist attraction. The display was started by people waiting in line to visit the theatre. The wall has been scraped clean twice but is still covered with gum, some moulded into shapes and faces.
But the ‘favourite’ tourist attraction for picking up germs is the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle near Cork in the Irish Republic. More than 400,000 tourists a year literally bend over backwards to kiss the Stone, as legend has it that it will give you the gift of eloquent speech.
by Andy Moreton
Luxique can promise you ultra-hygienic facilities at top-class hotels close to all the tourist attractions mentioned above: browse our selection of luxury hotels in Los Angeles, Venice, Paris, Seattle and Cork.