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CAR_Tres ciudades que recorren la vida y la obra de Gabriel García Márquez

The recently deceased writer Gabriel García Márquez is globally renowned, and not just for his excellent works but also because he gave birth to the concept of magical realism, which exists thanks to the narrative and experiences of this Colombian writer who resided in Mexico had throughout his life. To learn more about him and his work, there are three cities which you absolutely must visit, three cities which, without doubt, maintain the spirit of the magical realism so characteristic of the work of the author of the excellent One Hundred Years of Solitude.

The city that has marked a large part of the literary history and life of Gabriel García Márquez is undoubtedly Cartagena de Indias. As he once said about this beautiful city: “it was enough for me to take a step inside the wall to see it in all its grandeur in the mauve light of six in the evening, and I could not repress the feeling of having been born again.” Anyone who sees it for the first time, like him, will surely not be able to repress the feeling of having been born again. And it is because this city is magical. Exploring its streets –particularly those of the old town, inside the wall– it is possible to make two trips at the same time, through the real city and the invented one, in the hope of seeing the points at which they meet.

Cuba, and more specifically Havana, is a mandatory stop-off for those who adore the Colombian’s work. For decades, Gabo had a close relationship with Cuba and was a good friend of Fidel Castro. The Nobel Prize winner was one of the founders of the renowned San Antonio los Baños School of Cinema and he was also the driving force being the International Festival of New Latin American Cinema which is held in Havana.  Strolling through Havana is placing yourself in a historical moment full of culture, entertainment and a unique lifestyle.

And last but not least is Mexico City. García Márquez decided make this great metropolis, where he met with other writers such as Carlos Fuentes in historical bars such as La Ópera (highly recommended), his home. The Mexican capital is known as the City of Palaces, as Alejandro von Humboldt baptized it in the 19th century because it was made up of many architectural masterpieces of both the Baroque and neoclassical styles.  These include the Palacio del Ayuntamiento (Town Hall Palace), Palacio de Buenavista, Palacio de Bellas Artes and the Palacio de las Comunicaciones… Sufficient grounds for it to bear this name, right?  Thus, the Nobel Prize winner decided to set up home in the City of Palaces in 1981 and he stayed their until the end of his life.

 

The IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts establishments in Mexico are located in spectacular locations to bring guests closer to all the country’s great features: they are situated just a few meters from the best beaches, surrounded by nature and within reach of the most important archaeological sites.”

 

MED_Agadir

Agadir is a city situated in the southern part of Morocco. Above all, it owes its interest to its location, as it is surrounded by the Anti-Atlas, the Sahara Desert, natural parks and isolated beaches of great quality, which can be easily accessed from the city. It has a miraculous climate and the sun shines an average 300 days per year, which makes it an ideal destination for relaxed vacations by the seaside.

The terrible earthquake which Agadir suffered in February 1960 is no more than a bad memory; it has been rebuilt from top to bottom and now paints a beautiful picture. The new medina, with carefully-designed, original and innovative urban planning, where the Moroccan soul still exists, is well worth a prolonged visit, just like the old Kasbah, which, although it lost its crenelated walls in the earthquake, offers an incredible panoramic view of the city, the port and the bay, particularly if you go at sunset.

Don’t forget a stroll along Boulevard Hassan II, a magnificent promenade, with its pedestrian streets and numerous restaurants, boutiques and stores, which divides the city center and, together with the Avenue du General Kettani, Avenue des FAR and Mohamed VI avenue, constitutes the vibrant center of the modern city of Agadir.

Agadir is also known for its picturesque markets (the most famous and one of the biggest in the Maghreb region is the Souk Elhed), its Berber culture and its remains.  Just like many other markets in the city center, the central market is famous for the variety of spices on offer, the majority of which are locally produced.

Lovers of nature will have a great time in Souss Massa national park, a nature reserve situated to the south of the city, which is home to a great number of migratory birds such as pink flamingos, storks and even the most significant colony of bald ibises in the world. Towards Tiznit, to the south, the almond path is an trip which allows you to gaze at amazing landscapes such as the Anti-Atlas: palm trees, magnificent pink granite blocks which redden with the sunset and the many almond trees which produce sine qua non parts of the delicious Moroccan gastronomy.

 

A hidden gem: Quartier d’été, situated 27 km to the north of Agadir, is a real hidden gem. An excellent mixture of traditional Moroccan cuisine and French cuisine. Don’t miss out on the dessert, it is out of this world!

 

IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has a 4-star hotel in Agadir: the IBEROSTAR Founty Beach, boasts a bank of fine sand just opposite its facilities and is close to the center of Agadir, the main tourist destination in Morocco.”

 

MED_Túnez

Tunisia is a hospitable country where you will find people who do not skimp on paying attention to visitors on every corner. Their Berber roots are what have taught them that a good cup of tea cheers up and relaxes the weariest of travelers. But in addition, Tunisia has excellent beaches of white sand and transparent waters, a mild climate, green valleys full of flowers, charming oases with refreshing palm groves, golden dunes, delicious dates, captivating handcrafts and exciting trips across an immense desert, in which you can feel the most complete silence.

Every Arabic city has at least one mosque, public baths and a souk. These three elements constitute the nucleus of Tunisian life. The souk, which is usually divided into sections according to the various craft groups, is mainly set up around the mosque, branching out through all the narrow streets and adjacent courtyards. The baths or Hammams, also known as Turkish baths, are another of the most characteristic features of Tunisia.

On the edge of the desert, southern Tunisia is wrapped in ocher land and golden sand from which fortified towns emerge, among the mountainous slopes, still demonstrating their magnificent past splendor. An ocean of dunes full of pink and orange tones as far as the eyes can see on the horizon, where were an enormous red sun slowly falls. There, in the sandy waves of growing shadows, almost like Chinese shadows, the silhouette of a dromedary caravan reveals the only presence of life in this mineral universe.

As if it were the prow of a boat, Tunisia sticks out into the Mediterranean in the extreme north of Africa. Bordered with beaches, on the edges of which urbanizations dedicated to tourism and vacations have been created, the Tunisian coasts offer a great and varied setting in which to relax, have fun with friends and disconnect. The coastlines of Djerba, with its 125 km of coastline, and Hammamet, Tunisia’s tourist center par excellence, which boasts a marina, two golf courses and two medinas, are famous.

What more could you ask for?

 

Don’t miss: the best fish on the bay is served at Le Barberousse restaurant. It is a very pleasant restaurant on the high part of the medina wall of Hammamet. The views over the bay are spectacular.  The impeccable service and the quality and freshness of the fish and seafood are undeniable.

 

“The IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts establishments in Tunisia offer peaceful or adventurous vacations next to the Sahara, always providing guests with the greatest comfort and most comprehensive services so that they can make the most of their stay in Tunisia.”

 

CAR_La curiosa celebración en México del Día de los Muertos

November 1, the Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos), is a real fiesta in Mexico, a celebration which shocks, full of colors and cheerful motifs… which refer to death, but from a different perspective! The spirits of your ancestors are nothing to fear, just the opposite in fact, and the Day of the Dead is the occasion to meet with them in an atmosphere very similar to that of the Anglo-Saxon Halloween, and thus it is something that must be seen to be understood from this perspective. This tradition comes from the pre-Hispanic era, although nowadays it also incorporates elements of Catholicism and even modern touches.

According to tradition, during the Day of the Dead fiesta, the souls of the dead come out from the places where they went to die (such as Mictlan in the case of the indigenous peoples and Purgatory for the Catholics) and return to visit their loved ones on Earth.

To receive their dead, the people set up altars, on which they offer the dead the things they liked most: their favorite food, drinks, candy, toys and Mexican marigolds (cempasúchil) which, with their color and scent, help to guide the paths of the dead.

The offering should be laid out on October 31 and nobody can touch it, as the guests are the dead and they are the ones who initiate the feast; later, when they return to the underworld satisfied, the items from the offering are shared among family members and friends. Thus, the cemeteries become a real feast among family and friends.

The tradition of pedir calaverita has undergone changes due to the influence of Halloween. This practice originally referred to the children going from house to house carrying a skull, asking for sweets to feed it.

The fiesta dedicated to death and the humor of the Mexicans, being able to mock it, is reflected in the “Calaveras literarias” (“literary skulls”), irreverent poems written as epitaphs, portraying people as if they were dead.

In 2003, UNESCO declared the Day of the Dead a “masterpiece of the cultural heritage of humanity.”

 

“There is no doubt that Mexico is an attractive destination that guarantees unbeatable vacations, full of new experiences, moments of tranquility and calm, as well as images to remember. And furthermore, guests will be more than satisfied by the professional services on offer in the resorts and hotels of IBEROSTAR in Mexico.”

 

BRA_Recife tiene mucho que ofrecer

Recife is the capital of the Brazilian state of Pernambuco. It was founded in 1537 and was one of the first settlements of the Portuguese colonists to arrive in the Americas. In the 19th century the zone was under Dutch control, a period in which bridges were erected and the canals which nowadays characterize the city were dredged. Its name, Recife, makes reference to the large quantity of coral reefs present on its coasts.

Recife’s attractions are endless, but perhaps one of the main ones is its beaches, which offer light sand and crystal waters. The temperature of the water is lukewarm all year round, which makes it an ideal destination for diving or a prolonged dip in some of the natural pools which create the many reefs on the coast. The two most popular beaches among tourists and locals are Praia do Pina and Boa Viagem, you’ll love them!

The city has a colonial-style historical center which contrasts with the modern buildings of the financial district and is well worth a look. Some of the most highly-recommended buildings to see are the Governor’s Palace, the Palace of Justice, Santa Isabel Theater and the House of Culture, where there used to be a prison which has been turned into a market. The tour is complete with a walk along the banks of its rivers.

Some 7 km from Recife city center is Olinda, a colonial city which was founded in 1535 by Portuguese man Duarte Coelho Pereira and was the first capital of Pernambuco. Its historical center keeps its typical colonial style intact, with emblematic buildings such as the Iglesia do Carmo church. The city was declared Historical and Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco in 1982.

The Pernambuco State Museum is another wonder. In it, a collection of pieces which reflect the history of the state and the city of Recife since its foundation is exhibited, with musical instruments, items related to cookery, paintings, clothing and furniture. The museum, which was created in 1929, operates in a small palace built in the 19th century. It also has the Cícero Días Space, which regularly presents exhibitions of local and international artists, and a specialized library.

As you can see, a visit to Recife is more than worthwhile, and not just for its unforgettable beaches!

 

IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts in Brazil offer visitors the opportunity to experience the most incredible emotions during their vacation in Brazil. The excellent location of IBEROSTAR hotels in Salvador de Bahía and the Grand Amazon hotel boat moored at Manaus are an unbeatable opportunity to discover the most beautiful parts of the country.”

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In the scope of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, held worldwide during the month of October, the Iberostar Bávaro complex completed a 5 kilometer race in its facilities on October 19 (World Day of the Fight Against Breast Cancer). This initiative proved very popular, with large numbers of the guests of the four hotels, and of the management teams and staff of the whole complex, participating. In addition, the staff and owners of the Iberostate property section and the staff of the Golf Course were also well-represented.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a World Health Organization (WHO) initiative which forms part of the integral programs of the fight against breast cancer. The recommended strategies are early detection through knowledge of the initial signs and symptoms, and the demonstration of how to perform self-examination of the breasts. Early detection improves the prognosis and survival rate of patients and continues to be the cornerstone of the fight against this aggressive illness whose victims are mostly women.

At the end of the race, those who finished first through third in the men’s and women’s categories received their prizes. Coming first in both categories was married couple from Argentina who were staying at the Iberostar Punta Cana: Vanesa Mereles and Fernando Mosquera. In the women’s category, Gloria Morini, a client of the Iberostar Bávaro, came second and Iberostar Bávaro employee Ángela Cabrera was third.  Second place in the men’s category was taken by Christian Fernández, son of employee Gorka Fernández, who in turn finished in third place in the category. All of them were well deserving of excellent prizes.

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IBEROSTAR CHEF ON TOUR

octubre 23rd, 2014 | Posted by CM Iberostar in Press Release - (0 Comments)

SIXTEEN MICHELIN-STARRED CHEFS GATHER FOR

IBEROSTAR HOTELS & RESORTS INTERNATIONAL CULINARY TOUR

chefs

Year-long “IBEROSTAR Chef on Tour” Program will Offer Thirty Dinners with Prestigious Chefs at Properties in Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Spain

Madrid, Spain (October 22, 2014) – The Spanish hospitality brand looks to further enhance its competitive edge in the all-inclusive marketplace with the introduction of “IBEROSTAR Chef on Tour,” an initiative focused on sharing IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts’ indigenous Spanish-style cuisine with guests around the world. Kicking-off this month, the tour is comprised of 16 internationally-recognized chefs who collectively hold 22 Michelin Stars. Over the course of 12 months, IBEROSTAR will organize a total of 30 dinners with the various chefs in five-star properties across Mexico (Riviera Maya), the Dominican Republic (Punta Cana), and Spain (Mallorca and Tenerife).

The 16 renowned chefs participating are as follows (with Michelin Star annotation): Dani García**, Ángel León*, Quique Dacosta***, Andoni Aduriz**, Nacho Manzano**, Manolo de la Osa*, Pepe Solla*, Fernando Pérez Arellano*, Jordi Cruz**, Pepe Rodríguez*, Paco Morales*, Fina Puigdevall**, Beatriz Sotelo*, Yolanda León*, Macarena de Castro* and Begoña Rodrigo, voted “Spain’s Top Chef 2013.”

Beginning in late 2014 and continuing through 2015, each of the 16 chefs will travel to IBEROSTAR’S luxury resorts to create an exclusive menu tailored to each destination for the enjoyment of guests, who can sample the finest in Spanish cuisine with the accompaniment of the most exquisite international wines.

BEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has also designed iberostarchefontour.com, where consumers interested in this unique experience can access any of the IBEROSTAR Chef on Tour dates as well as detailed information about the culinary tour.

With this project, IBEROSTAR has strengthened its commitment to its culinary offering and unites the most talented chefs from Spain with the finest hotels in IBEROSTAR’S portfolio.

IBEROSTAR Chef on Tour is developed under the umbrella of Iberostarchef, a seal of quality that encompasses all of the company’s culinary initiatives.

Below is the complete IBEROSTAR Chef on Tour schedule:

CHEFS

CHEF TOUR

WHERE AND   WHEN

DANI GARCÍA **

November   2014

Dominican Rep. – Oct. 31

Cuba – Nov. 4

Mexico – Nov. 8

ANGEL LEON *

December   2014

Dominican Rep.   – Dec. 5

Cuba – Dec. 9

Mexico – Dec.   13

QUIQUE DACOSTA ***

January   2015

Dominican Rep. – Jan. 16

Cuba  –   Jan. 20

Mexico – Jan. 24

ANDONI ADURIZ **

February   2015

Palma de Mallorca – TBC

NACHO MANZANO **

March   2015

Dominican Rep.   – Mar. 6

Cuba – Mar. 10

Mexico – Mar. 13

MANOLO DE LA OSA *

April   2015

Dominican Rep.   – Apr. 17

Cuba – Apr. 21

Mexico – Apr.   25

PEPE SOLLA *

May   2015

Dominican Rep. – May 8

Cuba – May 12

Mexico – May 16

FERNANDO PÉREZ ARELLANO *

June   2015

Dominican Rep. – May 29

Cuba – Jun. 2

Mexico – Jun. 6

JORDI CRUZ **

July   2015

Dominican Rep.   – Jul. 10

Cuba – Jul. 14

Mexico – Jul.   18

PEPE RODRÍGUEZ *

August   2015

Tenerife – TBC

PACO MORALES *

September   2015

Palma de Mallorca – TBC

MUJERES CON   ESTRELLA

Fina Puigdevall 2*

Beatriz Sotelo 1*

Yolanda León 1*

Macarena de Castro 1*

Begoña Rodrigo “Top Chef España 2013”

October   2015

Dominican Rep. – Oct. 16

Cuba – Oct. 20

Mexico – Oct. 24

 

 

About IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts

IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts is a resort hotel chain based in Palma de Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Spain), founded by the Fluxà family in 1986. IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts is an integral part of GRUPO IBEROSTAR, one of the main Spanish tourist companies with over 50 years of experience, which currently has around 100 hotels across the world.

For more information, please visit iberostar.com.

MED_Budapest y sus increíbles alrededores

The region of Budapest and its surrounding areas is perhaps the most interesting region in Hungary. Together with the capital, the Danube Bend, a spot that hides thousands of wonders and a strong candidate to be declared Heritage of Humanity, offers the possibility of an attractive visit.

The mountains of Visegrád, with their great artistic beauty full of fast-flowing streams; the Pilis Mountains, which hide a beautiful karst, dolomite landscape; the Buda Mountains, entangled with green hiking paths; the Budakeszi WIldlife Park, a preferred destination for Hungarian families; the recently renovated and globally famous Vácrátót Botanical Garden; and the dense and preserved forests of Börzsöny all await lovers of forest excursions, of nature, flora and fauna.

Very close to Budapest and on the banks of the Danube, the small town of Szentendre or St. Andrew is located. Its pastel-colored houses, cobblestone narrow streets, souvenir stores, churches and walks on the banks of the Danube are the attractions offered by Szentendre. Another must-visit is Eger, one of the most popular cities in Hungary among tourists. It is known for its castle, its minaret, its historical buildings and thermal water tourism but, above all, it is known as the place where the best wines in all of Hungary come from. In the streets of the city, Baroque-style buildings and squares dominate. Gödöllö is a small town situated around 30 kilometers from Budapest, and is again very popular among tourists. In it you will find a Baroque palace of the House of Habsburg, built in the mid-18th century. At the end of the 19th century, the palace in Gödöllö was the preferred residence of Duchess Elisabeth of Bavaria, the wife of Emperor Franz Joseph and best known as Sissi, much loved by the Hungarian people.

The largest lake in Central Europe is Lake Balaton, which has a long shape and is some 80 kilometers long and 14 kilometers wide, with an average depth of 3 meters. The Hungarians usually call Lake Balaton the “Sea of Hungary.”  Who said Hungary had no coastline? The lake has two different banks: the South, with its beaches, hotels, resorts, campsites, bars and nightclubs; and the North, more wild and mountainous, with small, scarcely-visited towns and hills covered in vineyards.

Budapest and its surrounding areas – a real country within a country, where you will find almost everything that is so easy to love about Hungary – is the region of harmony and variety.

 

You cannot leave without trying Hungary’s most famous liqueur: Unicum, which, with its unmistakable bottle and bitter flavor, is said “to cure all.” It has been being produced for more than a hundred and fifty years using a secret formula that combines more than forty different herbs and is the property of the Zwack family. The taste that leaves no-one indifferent.

 

“Linked to the innovative concept of a Boutique Hotel with an inviting spa, the IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Budapest is designed for luxury getaways and travel, as it not only boasts style and good taste but also a prime location across from Liberty Square (Szabadsag tèr) in the Pest area, near the Danube, which separates this area from the popular Buda.”

Festa do Senhor do Bonfim Na foto: Foto:Alberto Coutinho/AGECOM

The capital of Bahia brings together all types of tourism and, for this reason, pleases different kinds of tourists, both Brazilian and foreign. Those interested in the religious, cultural and historical aspect of the country can visit the city’s old churches. Among them are the Igreja da Ajuda, founded by the Jesuits in the 16th century, and the Igreja da Ascensão do Senhor, which honors the apostles of Christ. The church houses a chapel, a baptistery and a sacristy in its lower level. Another famous place of worship is Nosso Senhor do Bonfim (Our Lord of the Good End), built in the 18th century. Precisely in this church, one of the most important religious and cultural gatherings in Bahia, the Lavagem do Bonfim (“washing of Bonfim”), which is an attraction in itself, is held.

In the procession, which stretches to kilometers in length, all the locals dress in white and walk from Conceição da Praia church to Bonfim church, which is at the top of the Sacred Hill. The event, which attracts up to 800 thousand people each year, takes place every Monday in the month of January. The procession begins with the Bahia locals, with their opulent, immaculate white dresses and their cups full of perfume, which are spilled in the church and on the heads of the followers who accompany the procession. All the followers and Afoxé groups pay tribute to Obàtálá, singing special hymns to praise the Senhor do Bonfim.

It is an impressive spectacle which shows the strength of the religious syncretism of Bahia and which, without any doubt, is well worth witnessing.

 

“IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has two 5-star, all-inclusive vacation complexes in Salvador da Bahia: the IBEROSTAR Praia Do Forte and the IBEROSTAR Bahía.  Both hotels offer guests the ideal Brazilian vacation and beautiful natural surroundings.”

ESP_Mallorca

The coastal, mountainous landscapes surrounded by tranquil, crystal waters in contrast with the beauty of its towns and pleasant climate have made Majorca one of the most important tourist destinations Spain has to offer among its territories. And in the case of Majorca, this offer includes much more than beaches.

Towns of great historical and cultural interest, museums, churches, beaches, mountains, water sports, adventure, nightlife, etc. The beaches and coves of Majorca are something that you cannot miss out on during your vacations, even in winter! Endless stretches of sand, small coves, unspoiled beaches with cliffs, rock formations… there is something to suit all tastes. All of them, with their fine, golden sand and turquoise waters, are spectacular spots in which to relax and make the most of the sunny days.

But in addition, you must set aside some time for essential cultural visits, of which there is no shortage. In Palma, the capital, you cannot avoid a visit to the stunning Cathedral, “La Seu”, and the interesting old town, La Lonja, La Almudaina, the churches and cloisters of San Francisco, Santa Eulalia… All must-visit locations!

The Tren de Sóller is another of the excursions that you must not miss during your visit to the island of calm. A trip which takes you back into the past; its wooden seats and perfectly-conserved structure ensure that passengers enjoy a unique experience. The highlights of the tour include the long tunnels, the Cinc-Ponts viaduct and the Mirador de Pujol d’en Banya viewpoint, which offers spectacular views of the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range and the Sóller Valley.

In addition to Sóller, other must-visit towns are Valldemossa, Deià, Alcudia, Orient, Fornalutx and Artà, to name but a few!

Enjoy the Majorcan night in some of the island’s most famous night spots. There is a great variety of bars, pubs and nightclubs open every day of the year to welcome the biggest of party animals. We recommend two of the best streets to have a few drinks and a great time: The district of La Lonja is a very busy area at night; there are plenty of restaurants serving Majorcan and international cuisine as well as a great offer of bars and pubs which stay open until two in the morning. And the most vibrant area of the island is the Passeig Marítim (the promenade), where you will find the big nightclubs to dance in until sunrise, such as “Tito’s” or “Pachá”.

The typical product that identifies Majorca is ensaïmada, an exquisite sweet dish that can be eaten on its own or stuffed with angel hair pasta and cream. If you want to buy a souvenir for family members and friends, the best idea is undoubtedly bringing them home a delicious ensaïmada as a gift. Make your purchase in the traditional bakeries on the island to taste the authentic ensaïmadas; avoid buying them in airport stores and on the promenade.

 

Do you want to eat well in Palma? If you want to eat good rice, fish, shellfish or tapas, or to simply have a drink, make sure you visit the traditional and refurbished Restaurant Pesquero, in the middle of Moll Vell, a unique spot overlooking the small fishing boats and nets. Furthermore, they arrange several days of live music.

 

“The  IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts hotels in Majorca put the most exciting experiences that the Balearic Islands have to offer within the reach of the visitor. The excellent locations of IBEROSTAR hotels in Majorca, spread across the island, provide an unmatched opportunity to discover all of its secrets.”