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It’s simple supply and demand. You don’t need to be an economist to understand that concept. And when it comes to hotel rooms in Brazil, tourists may soon find themselves on the right side of the equation. With the country playing host to the 2014 FIFA World Cup (that’s soccer, folks) and Rio de Janeiro welcoming the Parade of Nations in 2016 for the Summer Olympics, 259 new hotels and 43,827 rooms will be available to visitors in the next two years. While occupancy rates will be high during the two major, international events on the horizon, that’s a lot of rooms to fill after the crowds have left (and before they arrive, for that matter). That glut of accommodations stands to create fare sales that surely will benefit those looking to visit South America in the coming years. Read more
A diverse country, both in terms of its people and its attractions, South Africa has always been a first-rate vacation destination. Yet, stuck somewhere between a developed and developing nation, it has often been over looked by travelers. Now, with the country making moves to become a member of the global economy and its current stint in the limelight, thanks to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, we foresee it transforming into one serious vacation hot spot.
In preparation for hosting the World Cup, the South African government put millions of dollars into preparing its host cities for the expected hundreds of thousands of visitors. While financially, these renovations may leave the country in debt once the competition ends, the improvements will make the lives of tourists (and residents) easier for years to come. Now, it will be even easier and safer to experience South Africa’s beautiful landscapes, exciting safaris, serene beaches, and unique cultures – in style. Read more
The excitement in South Africa surrounding the 19th Soccer World Cup is intense. Having left Cape Town just before the beginning of the competition, after a five-month stay, I can attest to the adrenaline that’s pumping into the country. The tournament is well on the way now, teams have been eliminated and teams have made surprisingly glorious feats (go USA!), but what it seems we’ve heard most about is the overuse of vuvuzelas (plastic trumpet-like horns) – the culprits behind the constant buzzing noise heard during every single soccer match. Players, coaches, and broadcast networks alike have called for a ban of the noise-makers saying that the amplified humming is distracting and annoying. FIFA, however, has refused the ban, as the instrument is a part of the South African soccer culture and has become a symbol of the 2010 competition. Read more
As part of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Johannesburg hosted the opening ceremony and will be the site of several key matches. The energetic city is also home to a burgeoning art scene that’s evolved leaps and bounds since the end of apartheid. At its axis is David Krut (pictured), founder of David Krut Publishing and Arts Resource, which essentially acts as a circuit board connecting the country’s artists, both emerging and established. For those traveling to Joburg this summer, Krut, who also owns a South Africa-centric gallery in New York City, shared a few of his favorite spots in and around the leafy Parkwood arts district where he’s based.
As everyone’s eyes turn toward South Africa and the upcoming World Cup, prices are about to skyrocket and crowds soon to descend to the tip of the African continent. With the terrific deal we found, you can soak up some of the excitement before the hordes arrive, in high style. Cape Grace, a premier luxury hotel right at the heart of Cape Town’s bustling Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, is offering a stellar pre-World Cup package. This special, seemingly expensive at $3,200, is in fact really well-priced, considering the iconic Cape Town experiences and exclusive perks that it includes. The package covers three nights in one of the luxury rooms at Cape Grace; a harbor cruise on Cape Grace’s own luxury yacht, Spirit of the Cape; a beach picnic on trendy Camps Bay Beach; a cable car up and rappel/hike down Table Mountain; a tour of local Constantia wineries in motorcycle sidecar; and a helicopter flip over Table Mountain. Apropos of the property: Winner of many awards, Cape Grace is a top Cape Town retreat, known for its outstanding service, the classic chic of its recently refashioned guestrooms and suites, and its top-notch facilities. Value-added elements include complimentary in-room Wi-Fi and chauffer transfers in a luxury BMW within a 12-mile radius of the hotel. The package is valid from April 1 till June 1, 2010.
See our Cape Town Travel Guide for more trip planning information.
While rumors are whirling that Cape Town hotels are booked solid for the World Cup, we’ve received word that Cape Town’s Radisson Blu Waterfront, a chic Beach Road resort with award-winning seaside bar, has available rooms in June and July – that’s prime game time.
The World Cup, the world’s biggest sporting event after the Olympic Games takes place this June 11 through July 11 (91 days away and counting); it’s also the first time an African country will host the soccer tournament. The Radisson Blu Waterfront is situated only about a mile from Greenpoint Stadium, one of two semi-final venues. All rooms have a nautical theme and sea or Table Mountain views. There’s a small infinity-edge, ocean-side pool, and Tobago’s, the hotel’s restaurant and bar, has a great, big terrace which has made it a hotspot for locals and tourists alike.
Granted, rates during this period have gone through the roof. Nightly rates at the Radisson Blu go for, ahem, $835/night (up from the usual $350/night) but inflated prices span across South Africa. At least here you get stunning views and free Wi-Fi and Nespresso machines . . . if that helps you rationalize it. South African Airways also still has availability on its direct flights from New York and Washington D.C.
For more info, see our Cape Town travel guide.
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