When a person thinks of a holiday, it should be based on the distinctive and luxurious hotel that he or she would stay in. Therefore, the more distinguished and luxurious the hotel is, the more successful and unforgettable the trip should be. In addition, if the hotel does not meet the expected standards for the resident, or rather live up to his/her expectations, then it will leave nothing but negative memories. Asharq Al-Awsat has chosen some of the most beautiful and deluxe hotels in Europe and South America as a guide that you can use for your vacations.
The hotels that we have selected are all included in the network of the Leading Hotels of the World. This network is a marketing company with its main headquarter in New York. The company has some 18 offices worldwide. The company evaluates the most distinctive hotels and includes them in its membership. The network is now includes 400 hotels and resorts spread out along the four continents. In 1990 the Leading Small Hotels of the World emerged from the group and includes 120 hotels with a high degree of distinctive and unique design. The hotels that the group includes meet the same standards of the same hotels under the Network of the Leading Hotels of the World. The only difference is that the rooms of this network are just a few, only 85 rooms at the most. In 2000, the Leading Hotels of the World network company merged with the Relais et Chateaux, for luxury hotels and restaurant known as the Alliance of Luxury.
The objective of the alliance is to establish a giant strategic marketing institution to include the luxurious and deluxe hotels. Six companies emerged from this alliance. These companies vary from marketing, quality control, financial services and reservations, employment services and an academy specialized in teaching hotel management. One of the hotels that we will refer to joined the network of the Leading Hotels of the World and the others to the Leading Small Hotels of the World.
It just so happens that there is more than one hotel reaching the standards of the two companies in the same one city. As we mentioned before, our list will include the most distinguished hotels in different countries and cities in the United States, North America, the Arab world, South Africa and Far East.
In general, regarding the hotels of the network, the list includes the famous Dorchester Hotel in London and Carlton Tower Hotel. In France, Hôtel de l”Athénée and Mores Hotel join the group. It is worth mentioning that Dorchester and Hôtel de l”Athénée, Mores, The Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows (in Beverly Hills) and Principe di Savoia in Milan join the chain of Dorchester Hotel Group owned by Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei. In New York, the famous Plaza Hotel, Managed today by the chain of Fairmont, also meets the requirements of the network.
The following is the list in detail:
In Austria, the country of music and alluring nature, the hotel you choose should suit the beauty of the country. Imagine your stay in was in the heart of the capital of the city of entertaining nights, Vienna?
Sacher Wien Hotel was established in 1876 and is located at the centre of Vienna near the Opera House. It is considered the meeting place for the first-rate politicians and artists. The furniture of the hotel is uses the old style of Baroque. It also contains paintings from the nineteenth century.
The Hotel Sacher Salzburg "Osterreichischer Hof", Salzburg”s "Grand Hotel", is also situated in the heart of the city on the quiet Salzach promenade. It offers an impressive view of the Hohensalzburg fortress. The Hotel Sacher Salzburg was built in 1866 and its rooms and suites have recently been renovated. If you are interested in skiing resorts in Austria, Thrnhers Alpenhof village is the perfect place.
The Hotel Zurs am Arberg is the most suitable place for enjoying a holiday with its romantic atmosphere amidst the snow. This hotel is included under the network of the Leading Small Hotels of the World. From Austria to Belgium, specifically the capital Brussels, there is the Conrad Hotel. It is situated in the heart of Brussels near the commercial centre of the Capital and other business centres. With its deluxe, the Belgium traditions, on one hand, and the modern facilities on the other, all come together at the Conrad Brussels.
Algerian Desert. Open-air mountainous museum
Night comers, known as the “veiled people” challenge the Algerian desert. They cross it and become familiarized with its warm sands. Moreover, they challenge its winds and sandy storms and burning sun.
Night comers fancy and live in a part of the great African desert know as “Azwad” area which attracts a great number of foreign tourists particularly the Germans who are always restless to explore the beauty and charmed desert of Africa.
Tourists cross vast spaces to reach the desert, Al-Ahqar area in particular. The journey starts from Algiers the capital, to the territory of Temnrast which is the capital of the desert area in Algeria. The trip takes about two and half hours by the plane, equal to the journey between London and the Algerian capital. In Temnrast, there is Tahat, a well-known hotel for foreign tourists, from which they usually start their journey to the deep desert. If you are the adventurous type who enjoys exploring the wildness of the desert with its charming and beautiful characteristics, you are advised to stay in camps all over of the city. These camps are owned by tourist agencies that organize what is today known as “Safari”. Camp residents can enjoy having barbeque and drinking tea in an open-air environment. Travel agencies organize the safaris and secure 4×4 cars suitable for the nature of the desert. They also provide water containers made from the skin of camels. In addition, they provide small camps and foodstuff.
It should be expected that the Algerian desert trip will last over several days. The traveller may enjoy the interpretations presented by the tour guides of the night visitors, who provide a lot of interesting information. They know every span of the desert in intricate detail. It is always advised not to travel alone for long distances in the desert without being accompanied by the tour guide, as it is very easy to get lost.
Tourism-related persons in Algeria, expect positive turnouts for the desert festival, on of which recently took place in Temnirast city (80 km south the capital). Mohammed al Sagheer Garah, the Algerian tourism minister, believes that the gross promotion focused on “Al-Ahqar” and “Taseli” protected areas, would bring vast numbers of foreign tourists during 2005.
For the first time, hundreds of foreign tourists have explored the charm and beauty of “Al-Ahqar” heights through a journey that begins at Temnirsat originally subtended at the middle of Rocky Mountains surrounded by hills that reach 2000 meters. Al-Ahqar is a mountain range of 3000 meters high which are called “Al-Atakor” which means the head in the Turqian dialect, spoken by Turqs, who are Al-Ahqar’s original habitants. UNESCO has classified the Rocky Mountains as ancient heritage. Moreover, it also considered as a spring for the researchers specialized in Variola major of the domestic animals that lived within the territory a hundred thousands years ago. Specialized studies show that the age of Al-Ahqar site is between six hundred thousand and one million years. Visitors of the site have seen thousands of pictures carved into stone, and uncounted manuscripts, caves and havens. The site has included mammals, rare birds, and species of reptiles and insects. Tourists have discovered Al-tasely range, 200 kilometres from Al-Ahqar perimeter, and the UNESCO classified it as a world heritage and a resource of scientific research of humans and animals. Al-Tasely, a space that covers ten thousand hectares, includes thousands of carvings in stone reflecting the human struggle of living. This was shown through the pictures of the chase between the gazelle and other animals. Also in the site, there are castles built from clay and ceramics along the side of Jav valley.
At the north of Tasely, there is what is called “tasely nowaider”, “Tasely Anager” from the east, tasely anhaqar and tasely En Rouh from the southeast. There also other mountains related to the Tasely called “ Tasely Sesaw”.
Al-Ahqar and “Tasely” cover 55 thousand square kilometres, which amounts half the area of Belgium. Tasely Anhaqar is 100 kilometres to the borders of Niger, while Tasily Anager is located close to Libyan border.
Available routes for visiting Al-Ahqar
Ascreme or Ice crème Route: is located about 100 km north Temnrast. Its length equals three thousands meters, and it leads to the Atakor hill which is one of the most beautiful views in Al-Ahqar. There is also a silo established in 1910. Inside that silo, there is a temple built above the stone consisting of a narrow room which contains historical books. The unexpected scene in the Ascreme is that fresh water comes out from the mountain trails and pierces through its rocks and stagnates down to a small pool next to its foot.
The night visitor seeks that pool to drink water and provides it for his camel to proceed with his/her journey.
Alektishaf or Discovery Route: is made up of oases located east of Temnrast. These oases are full of rocky houses made of a type of granite. Other two routes are branched from the Aliktishaf Route. One of those routes leads to a castle that became relics while the other leads to a village that is full of cottages.
Antiquarian sculptures: leads from Temnrast heading to Jant city. The history of this route goes back to 6 thousand years BC. All those who visit Al-Ahqar and Tasely meet the indigenous people: the Night Visitors, known as “imohar”, single of “imhar” in the old ancient language. The night visitors stayed scattered into tribes in the desert. Their lands have been divided into several parts. Their population all over Algeria is now about 200,000. This population lives in Tamnrast, in Al-Ahqar Mountains and beside Al-Tasely Anajer. The bulk however, lives particularly in Aqadees of Niger. They centred in Gao city in Mali. There are also thousands of them live in Burkina Faso and Libya. The caste system overwhelms the society of night visitors. Their general ruler is called “Amenokhal” and each tribe has its own officer called “Amrar”. As the legends say, the female night visitor is called “Ten Henan”, which means the mother of sheriffs reflecting the great significance of women who live within the society of night visitors. Individuals of that society live on raising camels and sheeps with tents as their homes. As for “Imohar” the language of night visitors, originates from a barbarian delicate called “tamahak”, or “ tamachak” in the Nigerian language. The letter of this language is called “tefenag”. The majority of the night visitors are fluent in speaking Arabic, yet only a few of them can fluently write their language.