Monday, March 3, 2008

Winter resort: Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

Whistler, what and where it is

Whistler is a popular winter in British Columbia, Canada. It is located about 125 km north of Vancouver in the Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains. It seems the resort was named after the hoary marmots which live in the area. Hoary marmots are squirrels and is one of the largest squirrel. Its nickname "the whistler" originated from its habit of issuing high-pitched warning to alert other hoary marmots of danger.

Whistler as a ski resort

According to Wikipedia, Whistler has been voted among the top destinations in North America by major ski magazines for the past 15 years and its pedestrian village has won numerous design awards. Whistler will host the 2010 Winter Olympics. If you plan to go for the 2010 Winter Olympics, my opinion is that you book your Whistler accommodation as booking is expected to be heavy and if you wait till the last minute, you will probably not be able to find the accommodation you want.

Whistler attractions

However, you don't need to wait for the 2010 Winter Olympics to enjoy Whistler winter resort and you don't even need to wait for winter. In summer, you can go hiking in mountain paths (guided), fishing in various attractive fishing locations, go boating, mountain biking, whitewater river rafting, practice your golfing skills, perhaps even try horseback riding.

However, the major attractions of Whistler is during winter when you can go for skiing or snowboarding, tubing, dog sledding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling (as an environmentalist, I hope you wouldn't go for that), fishing, horse-drawn sleigh riding and cross-country skiing if you have the stamina and the patience.

Whistler accommodations

Whistler accommodation, British Columbia, CanadaAmong various kinds of Whistler lodging are condos, slope side luxury homes, town homes and ski chalets. Many of them are ski-in, ski-out accommodations located right at the edge of the snow covered slopes from which you can just step right out of the door and be a few steps from your skiing pleasures. An example is the Benchlands Marquise which also offers common hot tub and pool. However, description of this accommodation says it has "ski-in/ski-out access just across the street, so it is not exactly ski slope right at the door steps. However, search hard enough or make some enquiries, I am sure you will find something.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

London, a world City?

There are cities and there are cities. What I mean is, most cities are run-of-the-mill cities but others are international cities which are center of commerce, finance, education and great tourist attractions. These are what I would call world cities much visited by businessmen, government and other officials, diplomats, and of course, tourists.

London, once capital city of the world

There was a time when London was the center of an empire on which the sun never set, and my country was a part (colony) of that empire. When my country did not have a Patent office, I had to file (and successfully obtained) for a patent from the London Patent office via a London patent agent. My country still has plenty of ties with London. Many of our important personalities and leaders obtained their tertiary education form London, including many of the royalties and former Prime Minister. Many parents from my country send their children to London for their education. When it comes to graduation time, expect them to make a bee line to attend their children's graduation ceremony (convocation).

For them, I would suggest that they book their accommodation in advance, preferably online via websites like London Hotels. I am giving this advice from personal experiences from travel around Europe during the time when the word Internet or World Wide Web hadn't even been coined yet.

One hotel I may consider would be Covent Garden Hotel London. From this site, the hotel had been described the City’s business center, Soho and the Royal Opera House being within walking distance. Plus it seemed to be furnished with lots of modern gadgets like CD system, cellular telephone, voicemail, etc. as well as having spacious rooms and luxurious bathrooms, etc. However, that is a 5 star hotel, and I doubt I can afford or be willing to pay its room rates although those with deeper pockets and/or willing to pay for what they want may have different perception.

Maybe I would go for 1 star hotels like Ascot Hyde Park Hotel London. It is near the famous Hyde Park and not very far from Oxford Street.