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The Many Benefits of Membership

Don’t let our name mislead you. We have worked hard over the years to cultivate the perfect collection of luxury travel offerings in addition to global luxury hotels to ensure our Members’ travel experiences are exceptional. With the added ease of booking all travel, accommodations, transportation and activities in one place, we’ve built a remarkable travel booking experience for our Members.

We are continuously adding more experiences and opportunities for savings for our Members. Here are a few of our most popular and most recently added Member Benefits:

Woman holding cocktail by pool with ResortPass Logo

Resort Pass

Plan the perfect staycation. Get pool, spa, and amenity access at luxurious hotels with ResortPass, our newest Member Benefit. Club 1 Hotels Members receive an exclusive discount on every day pass, spa pass, or cabana booked for you, family or friends!

Club 1 Hotels travel destinations

Travel Insurance

With more booking choices, more available destinations, and more people traveling than ever before, you want to make sure you thought of everything before you travel. Travel insurance helps provide coverage for any unexpected travel problems. Choose from Platinum, Gold or Silver packages, each with trip cancellation, interruption, delay, 24/7 customer service and more. Insure your trip by clicking the Travel Insurance tab in our booking engine.

OC Jets Private Jet Travel jet interior and exterior photos

Private Jet Booking

Members access exclusive rates with OC Jets Private Charter. Members access the buying power of a market leader plus the personal service of a boutique agency. Where OC JETS leads the way: World Class Private Jet Fleet, Unbeatable Fares, Flawless Service, and Industry Leading Safety.

International Car Service

We have partnered with Carey International, premier provider of worldwide executive transportation services, to provide Member’s with global discounted ground transportation.

Club 1 Hotels Golf Collection Golf Course

Discounted Global Tee Times

Our Members access exclusive Deal Times, up to 60% off, at over 3,000 golf courses in more than 24 countries worldwide including dozens of courses in the US, Caribbean and Mexico.

Discounted Access to Airport Lounges

Escape into a place that’s perfect for a bit of relaxation before your flight. Club 1 Hotels Members can access over 1,200 airport lounges and VIP clubs with our Premier Membership or Base Membership Upgrade via Standard PriorityPass. View lounges here.

International Luggage Shipping

We’ve partnered with LuggageFree to offer our Members an exclusive discount on their global luggage shipping service, perfect for oversized luggage, skis or golf clubs! Skip the baggage line and step right into your vacation on your next trip!


If you have any questions about our Member Benefits, please email us! We’re happy to assist with any booking questions.

Not a Member? Join today and start enjoying the many benefits of membership!

We are very excited to announce ResortPass as our newest Club 1 Hotels Member Benefit. With ResortPass, you can plan a daycation or staycation with ease by booking nearby luxury hotel day passes for pools, spas or cabanas starting at just $25. And, Club 1 Hotels Members receive an exclusive discount on every ResortPass booked.

Booking is easy. Simply enter your destination and browse the list of available hotels and resorts. Once you choose a hotel, select a date and pass type: day pass, spa pass, or cabana. Finally, check-in at the hotel and enjoy your daycation!

Viceroy Santa Monica Cabana, starting at $400 USD on Resort Pass.

There are hundreds of hotels available, and ResortPass is adding new options each month. A few of our favorites include: Park Hyatt Chicago Spa Day Pass, Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort Cabana, SIXTY LES Lower Manhattan Day Pass, and Viceroy Santa Monica Cabana.

Whether you’re planning for a special event, or just looking for a way to break the weekday blues, ResortPass is a great way to book a fabulous day of relaxation, pampering and fun!

Club 1 Hotels Members save 10% on every daycation booked with ResortPass including those booked for family, friends and colleagues!

Not a Club 1 Hotels Member? Join today and enjoy all our exclusive Member Benefits!
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Anyone who has ever been on a private jet can tell you: it is the most convenient, comfortable way to travel. For those with the means to charter a jet, private air travel offers a variety of advantages over commercial air travel. Here are some of the benefits of chartering a personal aircraft.

PRIVACY

When chartering a jet, you get that aircraft all to yourself. There is zero chance you will be sat next to a man who coughs the entire flight or in front of a child who kicks your seat. The only passengers on the plane are you and your party. Traveling is much more relaxing when you aren’t squeezed next to annoying strangers.

LUXURIOUS EXPERIENCE

Commercial planes may be much bigger than private planes, but they don’t even come close in terms of luxury. Private jets are much more spacious and have larger, more comfortable seats. Depending on the aircraft and the size of your party, you may even be able to lie down and sleep. Many planes also include amenities such as televisions, Wi-Fi, and catered meals that will make your flight even more enjoyable.

VIP TREATMENT

You don’t have to be a celebrity to fly private, but you’ll be treated like one when you do. The charter company may have a luxurious lounge – stocked with snacks and drinks – for you to relax in before it is time to board. You won’t have to worry about climbing over anyone to get your carry-on in the overhead bin; someone will take care of your luggage for you. Some jets even have a flight attendant whose job is to wait on you and your party only. Flying on a private jet is a sure way to feel like royalty for a few hours.

FEWER LINES

When flying commercial, you often have to show up to the airport two or more hours early just to get through all of the lines. You skip this part entirely when flying private. No long TSA lines and no waiting for groups A through C to board before you – you will have your own private terminal. In some situations, you can even drive right up to the plane in your car. With a private jet, you’ll be on the plane within minutes of arriving at the airport.

MORE OPTIONS

Nothing is worse than showing up at the airport and finding out your flight was canceled. This is a lot less likely in private air travel. In cases of bad weather or closed airports, private jets have more options. This is because private jets are significantly smaller than commercial ones, so there are more airports that they can land in. For instance, if you were planning on flying into John K. Kennedy Airport in NYC, but the airport is closed due to a snowstorm, this does not mean your flight has to cancel. Your jet may be able to fly into a smaller, less busy airport such as Teterboro Airport in nearby New Jersey.

ON YOUR OWN SCHEDULE

Perhaps the best part about chartering a private jet is that it’s on your schedule. You don’t have to search through a bunch of flights to find one that works for your trip – the schedule will be crafted around you. Running late? You don’t have jet will wait for you. Want to stay an extra day? The charter company will do their best to make that work. They want to make you happy, so they will do everything in their power to do so. You are not just another passenger when you fly private.

Debuting February 19th Club 1 Hotels members can access exclusive rates with OC Jets Private Charter. Members access the buying power of a market leader plus the personal service of a boutique agency.

OC JETS leads the way in:

-> World Class Private Jet Fleet

-> Unbeatable Fares

-> Flawless Service

-> Industry Leading Safety

One of the many benefits of a Club 1 Hotels membership! 

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1. Make a Destination List

If you’re planning a golfing getaway either as a solo trip or taking your family and friends along for the fun, don’t swing and miss. It’s important to do some advance planning first. These 5 tips will help you plan well, for a great golfing vacation.

Don’t just grab the first golfing vacation package you see. Research the courses you’d like to play the most and draw up a list of about 10 different possible destinations. Also, consider if a certain golfing destination has multiple courses you’d like to play, giving you more variety for your money. If you’re taking others along for the trip, ask for their input too. They might know about destinations that you haven’t thought of.

2. Search Club 1 Hotels for Golf Tee-Times

Once you’ve decided on your destination, next it’s time to search and book tee-times for your trip. Did you know, Club 1 Hotels offers its members Exclusive Deal Times, up to 60% off, at over 3,000 golf courses in more than 24 countries worldwide including dozens of PGA courses in the US, Caribbean, and Mexico. Try Club 1 Hotels for 30-days Free!

3. Go All Inclusive

Going with an all-inclusive golf getaway can make things much easier to plan. Everything is taken care of, so you can focus on what you came to do – playing golf. In addition to all of your basic needs, some all-inclusive golf resorts also include extras like equipment rentals – you don’t even have to pack your own clubs. Find out what is and is not included before deciding on your resort and pick the right options for you. Club 1 Hotels members have access to wholesale rates with Guaranteed Savings at over 1 Million hotels and resort! Search Club 1 Hotels entire database for 30-days Free!

4. Ask About Short-Term Golf Club Memberships

You don’t always have to live in a city to get a golf club membership. Some clubs offer weekly or monthly membership passes that are available to anyone who wants them. If you are a serious golfer, getting a membership pass during your vacation can give you extra perks that you can’t get otherwise.

Golf Course

5. Book Off Season

Booking your golfing getaway in the off season can save you a bundle. Remember, warmer destinations generally have good weather all year round. No matter which time of year you book your vacation, you should still have a fantastic trip. If you book your golf excursion through a travel agent during the off season, you might be able to save even more, as agents are often desperate to fill these less popular seasons.

So, don’t just leave your plans to chance! Follow the tips above, and with a little diligent planning, you can create the perfect golfing getaway that will suit you to a tee.


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Christmas is that one time of winter many people look forward to, despite the short days and shivering temperatures. It’s the perfect time of year to explore some of Europe’s countless festive markets, enjoy a mug of warming mulled wine or even pay a visit to Father Christmas. Others prefer to use the Christmas holidays to escape from the cold and head for the warmer climes of southern Europe and beyond. However, Europe truly presents something for everyone:

1 ) Lapland, Finland

For families with children, there are few more magical places to visit than Lapland in northern Finland. Home of Father Christmas and guaranteed snow throughout the season, Lapland offers a truly festive experience that your children will treasure for the rest of their lives. The number-one destination in the region is the small city of Rovaniemi, where snow stays on the ground for almost six months of the year. Not only can you enjoy the whole Father Christmas experience, but you may even see the spectacular northern lights. Just make sure to bring plenty of warm clothes, since the mercury can plummet to 30 degrees below zero!

Featured Hotel: Arctic Light Hotel
 ⭐⭐⭐⭐Valtakatu 18, Rovaniemi, Finland, Finland
Arctic Light Hotel
Arctic Light Hotel
Arctic Light Hotel
Arctic Light Hotel

2 ) Leipzig, Germany

Germany is one of the birthplaces of the Christmas market, a tradition that has taken Central Europe and beyond by storm over recent decades. However, while many of the more famous Christmas markets are inundated with tourists, Leipzig remains relatively off the beaten track to foreigners. In fact, Leipzig’s Christmas market has been going for over 550 years! It starts on November 24, and it features both a medieval-style market and a more modern venue. Mulled wine flows in vast amounts, but there’s fun for all the family thanks to the Fairy Tale Forest and the Santa Claus stage on the Market Square.

Featured Hotel: Steigenberger Grandhotel Handelshof
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Salzgaesschen 6, Leipzig, Leipzig, Saxony 04109 , Germany
Steigenberger Grandhotel Handelshof
Steigenberger Grandhotel Handelshof
Steigenberger Grandhotel Handelshof
Steigenberger Grandhotel Handelshof

3 ) Strasbourg, France

Starting on November 27, Strasbourg’s Christmas market was first established in 1570, and it has continued the tradition ever since. The main event takes place near the truly spectacular 466-foot-high Notre-Dame de Strasbourg cathedral, a Gothic church that was the world’s tallest building during the Middle Ages. Several other markets are held throughout the city center, and you’ll find countless small wooden stalls selling local crafts, food and mulled wine. Other festivities include live music, sound and light shows, and street parades. If you’re still not convinced, Strasbourg’s Christmas market was voted Europe’s best in 2014 by Europe Best Vacation.

Featured Hotel: Sofitel Strasbourg Grande Ile
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4 Place Saint Pierre le Jeume, Strasbourg, Alsace/Lorraine 67000, France
Sofitel Strasbourg Grande Ile
Sofitel Strasbourg Grande Ile
Sofitel Strasbourg Grande Ile
Sofitel Strasbourg Grande Ile

4) St. Petersburg, Russia

Russia’s ‘Window to the West’ is also one of the country’s grandest cities, exemplified by such wonders as the Peter and Paul Fortress and the Winter Palace. Celebrating Christmas in St. Petersburg presents a very different experience from most other destinations in Europe. For a start, in Russia, the main festive figurehead is Father Frost and Christmas Day is held on January 7! A proverbial winter wonderland, visitors can expect a white Christmas and many winter activities such as outdoor ice-skating at the festive markets. For some cozier indoor entertainment, the Mikhailovsky Theatre also presents an outstanding Christmas program.

Featured Hotel: Belmond Grand Hotel Europe
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/7 Mikhailovskaya Ulitsa, Saint Petersburg, Northwest 191186, Russia
Belmond Grand Hotel Europe
Belmond Grand Hotel Europe
Belmond Grand Hotel Europe
Belmond Grand Hotel Europe
Belmond Grand Hotel Europe
Belmond Grand Hotel Europe

5) Canary Islands, Spain

While guaranteed snow, mulled wine and festive markets usually pique people’s interest when it comes to Christmas, others would rather get away from the cold. The Canary Islands are one of the few European destinations that offer consistently mild weather even during the depths of winter. In fact, there’s nowhere else in Europe where you can spend Christmas Day reclining on a beach in preparation for a big dinner. All of the islands celebrate Christmas in their own way, and being a relatively religious country, traditions are still an important part of the routine. Hotels and resorts in the region also offer plenty of family-orientated Christmas activities.`

Whether you’re looking for Christmas festivities at their finest or a warm-weather getaway during the holiday season, you’re sure to find something in Europe, particularly with the extensive network of cheap flights to take advantage of. Those seeking to spend Christmas further afield will also find plenty of popular options, such as New York, Melbourne or even Sri Lanka.

Featured Hotel: Vincci Selección La Plantación del Sur
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Calle del Roque Nublo, 1, Costa Adeje, Tenerife 38670, Spain
Vincci Selección La Plantación del Sur
Vincci Selección La Plantación del Sur

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And get up to $500 off any hotel stay when you book before December 31, 2018*
Join Now

*Save up to $500 at checkout with the correct discount code below: 
    NM50 = $50 credit on bookings of $500 or more
    NM100 = $100 credit on bookings of $1,000 or more
    NM200 = $200 credit on bookings of $2,000 or more
    NM500 = $500 credit on bookings of $5,000 or more
​​​​*Booking credits valid only on hotels, resorts, car rentals, and cruise bookings
*Offer Expires December 31, 2018, at 11:59 pm CST

Do you have an exceptionally dedicated and hardworking team?

Why not consider conducting your next business meeting on a cruise.

Demanding projects can sometimes stagnate the minds of even the most talented business professionals. A break away from the traditional confines of the concrete business world could be just the incentive plan your team needs to kick it into high gear. A business meeting cruise is also an exceptional performance reward for a job well done. Planning, motivation, training, and even team building are all possible at sea aboard a luxury cruise line. What you can accomplish with your team in the boardroom, can now be accomplished on a business cruise.

Cruises are all-inclusive, therefore very cost effective in the business world. Due to the sheer size of a luxury cruise liner, accommodations for large groups are not an obstacle. If you book a business cruise you can also rest assured that the necessary business tools will be on hand for your use. Most large cruise lines offer audio-visual equipment and high-speed internet access as part of their business meeting cruise package. Some cruise lines are even offering the entire ship for private business cruise charter. The cost of a business cruise can vary greatly and sometimes depends on the services required while onboard. One little-known perk to a business cruise is that participants may be eligible to write off up to $2,000 of the cost on their taxes. (ask your tax account for more details)

When considering a business cruise, especially if your group is exceptionally large or you require the charter of the entire ship, is to make your reservations for up to a full year in advance. In most cases, you will be held responsible for payment in full regardless of whether you’re actually able to sail on your business cruise charter date or not. Therefore, planning is crucial when considering a whole ship charter or booking for an exceptionally large group.

Club 1 Hotels has exclusive rates on 15 cruise lines with 3,000 worldwide itineraries and over 1,000 ports of call.

Try Club 1 Hotels for Free 

Limited Time Offer

By K. Ong

A picturesque tropical beach as a winter getaway makes for a smart vacation idea. Imagine frolicking in one of the world’s most spectacular warm-climate beaches as you wait away the passing of the cold months.

Here are ten of the world’s great tropical beaches to consider as your holiday vacation destination.

Bamboo Island Beach, Thailand

(a.k.a Phi Phi Island/Ko Pee Pee)

Located in Southern Thailand and protected by cliffs of limestone that tame the waves, the fantastic Bamboo Island is a remote tropical paradise of white sand and shimmering turquoise-colored waters. It is near the bustling Maya Bay, where The Beach was filmed.

Eleuthera, Bahamas

Eleuthera is a narrow island in the Bahamas. It sports rolling beaches of pink sand and fabulously huge outcroppings of coral reefs. The beaches of Eleuthera are unspoiled as the island is not heavily inhabited by people.

Featured Hotel & Resort: The Cove Eleuthera, Eleuthera, Bahamas

The Cove Eleuthera
The Cove Eleuthera

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Ipanema Beach, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro’s popular Ipanema Beach offers a lively, beach-party atmosphere where tourists and Brazilians gather as they sunbathe, drink beer, surf, and enjoy the warm weather. The western part of Ipanema Beach is framed by Dois Irmãos, a graceful-looking pair of mountains.

Featured Hotel & Resort: Belmond Copacabana Palace, Ipanema Beach, Brazil

Belmond Copacabana Palace
Belmond Copacabana Palace

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Jobson’s Cove, Bermuda

Jobson’s Cove is an enchanting spot in Bermuda. It features a natural formation of limestone. The limestone outcropping creates a shallow pool of around forty feet in diameter in the Bermuda waters. The pinkish sandy beach of Jobson’s Cove treats you to experience clear waters, reefs, and a view of the towering cliffs made of limestone that borders the pool.

Featured Hotel & Resort: The Fairmont Southampton, Bermuda

The Fairmont Southampton
The Fairmont Southampton

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Kadmat Island Beach, India

The immaculate beaches of Kadmat Island rest on a coral reef. The clear shallow waters washing off from the Indian Ocean make diving, snorkeling, and swimming much more enjoyable. Dolphins and other marine animals are also abundant in the beaches along Kadmat Island.

Matria Beach, French Polynesia

This dazzling white-sandy beach in Bora Bora is a heaven of tropical sun and gleaming blue-green waters. There are also bungalows by the beach where you can relax and marvel at the stunning French Polynesian views.

Featured Hotel & Resort: The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, French Polynesia

The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort

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Navio Beach, Puerto Rico

Located in Vieques, Navio Beach’s charm includes rough waves that are perfect for surfing, natural rock formations ideal for rock climbing, pristine and empty coastlines, and the rural island-municipality’s old-world vibe.

Perhentian Island, Malaysia

The tropical beaches along the pair of Malaysian islands called the Perhentians feature a postcard-perfect scenario complete with palm trees, white sand, warm climate, and crystal blue sea waters. Marine life—the likes of jellyfish, sea turtles, reef fish, and corals—is abundant, so you get the most out of any snorkeling and diving adventures.

Tulum Beaches, Mexico

Located southeast of Cancun, Tulum is a well-known archaeological site, as well as the location of beach resorts that deliver awe-inspiring views of the Caribbean. After spending time visiting Pre-Columbian ruins and cenotes, unwind under the sun and walk along the gorgeous coastline of Tulum.

Yasawa Island Beach, Fiji

You can’t go wrong with this warm-weather paradise popular for its unmarred beaches and clear blue-green waters. The volcanic Yasawa island group also features breathtaking mountainous terrain. In 1980, The Blue Lagoon was filmed in some parts of the Yasawa.

Club 1 Hotels Featured Hotel & Resort: Viwa Island Resort, Viwa Island, Fiji

Viwa Island Resort

About Club 1 Hotels:

Club 1 Hotels is a global luxury hotel travel club that offers Guaranteed Savings at over 1,000,000 of the finest hotels and resorts when you book more than 7-days from date of arrival. Plus, exclusive savings on flights, car rentals, golf, cruises and more.

Try Club 1 Hotels for Free + up to $200 in Booking Credits

By Lisa-Anne Sanderson

Singapore is often regarded as a very modern city because of its huge, bright shopping-centres, high-rise buildings, and luxurious hotels.  However, it was once a British colony and the colonial area of Singapore is one of its most interesting.  Here the visitor can find many grand and imposing historical buildings, such as the Raffles and Fullerton Hotels, St. Andrew’s Cathedral, and the Supreme Court and City Hall.

It is easy to imagine being back in the days of long Edwardian summer days as one walks around the wide, tree-lined streets in this area.

RAFFLES

Raffles Hotel, founded in 1887 by the American Sarkies brothers, has a long and illustrious past. The Singapore sling was invented here. No visit to Singapore is complete without enjoying this relaxing cocktail in the cool garden courtyard at this famous hotel. Hollywood stars, including Ava Gardner and Charlie Chaplin, stayed in sumptuous suites at the elegant white building. The dark and stylish Writer’s Bar pays tribute to them and features photographs of some of the great authors, such as Joseph Conrad and Somerset Maugham.

Studying the history of the hotel at the Raffles Museum is well- worth it.  Here there are photos of the many famous guests, antiques, and travel items.  One can imagine the elegance and excitement of travel in bygone days in this museum.

Most people can’t afford to stay at Raffles but there is a wide choice of eating places which range from expensive restaurants to the rather cheaper Empire cafe. This has large American-style meals and delicious desserts.

The modern extension includes an exclusive shopping arcade with purveyors of luxury items, such as Louis Vuitton.

THE FULLERTON HOTEL

The Fullerton Hotel overlooking the Singapore river is another luxury hotel worth seeing.  This building with its wide columns used to be the site of Singapore’s General Post Office and exclusive Singapore Club and other government buildings.  Staying here is very expensive but having a drink at the tastefully furnished Post Bar won’t ‘break the bank’. The huge lobby with its atrium and extremely modern look is worth exploring and doesn’t clash with the colonial style of the building.

CAVENAGH BRIDGE 

The Victorian Cavenagh Bridge, the oldest bridge in Singapore, is near the Fullerton Hotel.  This iron and steel suspension bridge is worth walking over to see the spectacular views, especially at night.  An old-fashioned police sign at the end which forbids some vehicles and all cattle and horses ‘by order of the Chief Police Officer’ adds an air of nostalgia.

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ST. ANDREW’S CATHEDRAL

Consecrated in 1862, this Anglican cathedral was built by convict labour.  The large light-filled church built in the Neo-Gothic style with its romantic arches and a towering ceiling is a pleasure to visit.  Interesting memorials to eminent people in colonial Singapore line the naves.

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OLD SUPREME COURT BUILDING 

This impressive colonial building features wide Corinthian columns and a large dome. The Italian artist, Cavalieri Nolli, designed the murals inside.

CITY HALL

The long rectangular structure also has Roman columns but isn’t as attractive as the Supreme Court Building which looks more elegant. This is probably because of its classical dome.  This building was the site of the Japanese surrender to Lord Mountbatten in 1945.

The Old Supreme Court Building and the City Hall are soon to be converted into the National Art Gallery of Singapore.

OLD PARLIAMENT HOUSE 

Built in 1827, this was originally the residence of a Scottish merchant, John Argylle Maxwell.  Although Singapore now has another Parliament House, this Neo-Palladian building has been restored and now houses the Arts House in which exhibitions and concerts are held.

Colonial Building: The Old Parliament

Posted by Hang Siu on Wednesday, July 22, 2015

SINGAPORE CRICKET CLUB

Located in the Padang (the CBD) of Singapore, this is another historic building worth seeing.  Cricket was once the most popular game in countries of British origin and the grand style of the building reflects this.

After the bustle of the shopping and Chinatown districts of Singapore, it is a good idea to wander around the much more peaceful colonial area of the city and become immersed in the history and grandeur of its early days.

SCC Introduction Video

Welcome to the Singapore Cricket Club.

Posted by Singapore Cricket Club on Monday, June 18, 2018

Club 1 Hotels Members can book exclusive wholesale rates at over 1 Million hotels and resorts including The Raffles and Fullerton Hotel in Singapore. Join Now

The small town of Kaikoura, on the eastern coast of New Zealand’s South Island, is a place not to be missed. Its stunning location, with turquoise seas and snow-capped mountains, makes it an attractive destination in its own right, but Kaikoura can also lay claim to being one of the world’s best sites for viewing marine life. Sperm whales, dusky dolphins, the rare Hectors dolphin and fur seals are among the many mammals to be seen, while bird life includes the wandering albatross, petrels and fulmars.

Source: Hapuku Lodge and Tree Houses

ACTIVITIES

Whale watching is probably the highlight for many visitors to Kaikoura. Northerly and southerly currents meet off the coast, and this, combined with an offshore continental shelf which drops suddenly into an 800 metre deep canyon, forces nutrients up to the surface, attracting whales and other marine life. Local companies offer whale watching by boat, helicopter and aeroplane, and all trips can be booked at the friendly and helpful Visitors Centre. A half hour flight is similar in price to a three and a half hour boat trip, and both offer a high chance of spotting sperm whales. Guides on the boat trips use their experience to predict exactly when the whales are about to dive, allowing photographers to be ready in time to catch the typical shot of the whale’s tail disappearing amid flying water droplets.

A whale watching trip often includes sightings of other marine life, with dusky dolphins frequently jumping and diving alongside the boat, but true dolphin fans may wish to take the opportunity to swim alongside them. Both whale watching and dolphin swimming should be booked a few days ahead to avoid disappointment, and as they are dependent on good weather conditions, it is advisable to be prepared to stay on in Kaikoura and wait for better weather. 

Although most visitors come to Kaikoura for the marine life, the area offers other attractions, particularly its beautiful scenery. The town is situated on a tiny peninsula, providing spectacular views to both north and south. Short circular walks can be made from the town along the cliffs and back along the beach past the fur seal colony, although tide times should be checked first. For more seasoned walkers there is a three-day loop walk, with opportunities for luggage to be transported each day.

Other Kaikoura highlights include the Seafest, an annual food and wine celebration in early October, the Maori Leap Cave, a limestone cave with stalagmites, and the Kaikoura Wine Company, which offers guided tours.

HOW TO GET THERE

Kaikoura is around 180 km north of Christchurch, the main city on South Island, and is easily reached by road and rail. The TranzCoastal train passes through Kaikoura on its way from Christchurch to Picton, from where ferries leave for the North Island. It is a beautiful train journey, with mountain ranges on one side and the coast on the other, and 175 bridges and 22 tunnels en route. The road also hugs the coast for much of the journey from Christchurch, and plenty of view stops are recommended for drivers.

ABOUT KAIKOURA

Kaikoura itself has a population of less than 4000, but became one of New Zealand’s premier tourist attractions after the first whale watching trips were made in the late 1980s. There is much evidence of early Maori settlement, and the area is thought to have been a base for hunting the giant moa bird, now extinct. Captain Cook sailed past Kaikoura in 1770 but did not stop, and the first European settlers were whalers, who came in 1842. Whaling, along with agriculture, was the town’s main industry until tourism took over. 

WHERE TO STAY AND EAT

There is a plentiful supply of accommodation in Kaikoura, ranging from backpacker hostels and bed and breakfasts to holiday parks, motels and boutique hotels. However, despite the abundance, it is advisable to book ahead in the summer months. There is also no shortage of places to eat, with various budgets catered for and seafood a specialty. Crayfish is the feature meal in many establishments, and even the town’s name means ‘crayfish food’ (‘kai’ means ‘food’ and ‘koura’ means ‘crayfish’).

There cannot be many more enjoyable ways to spend a day than watching whales and dolphins swim and dive, then going for a walk along the stunning coastline and finishing up with a fresh seafood meal under a starlit sky. Kaikoura is truly a place well worth visiting.

CLUB 1 HOTELS PREFERRED ACCOMMODATIONS

Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses

State Highway 1 at Station Road RD 1

Kaikoura 7371 . New Zealand 

Hapuku Lodge was built to give all guests a great night’s sleep in one the most beautiful places in the world. Located 12kms north of the world-renowned eco-marine town of Kaikoura, on New Zealand’s South Island, Hapuku Lodge shares the land with a deer stud and olive grove, nestled between the Kaikoura Seaward Mountain Range and famed Mangamaunu Bay.

A contemporary country lodge, Hapuku Lodge has four luxurious lodge rooms (including two suites), five luxury Tree Houses, built in the canopy of a native Manuka grove, one spacious stand-alone apartment, and multiple meeting and event venues. All rooms at Hapuku Lodge feature custom designed, handcrafted furniture, tailor-made beds and mattresses, Japanese soaking tubs (in the four lodge rooms), heated towel rails and floors, raindrop showers, and individual balconies.

The Tree Houses and apartment also have large spa baths and fireplaces. Breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains and surf-washed coastline are seen from all rooms. The food at Hapuku Lodge is fresh, uncomplicated and flavorful, sourced whenever possible from their garden and other local organic farms and nearby waters. 

For some people, Las Vegas consists of nothing more than the Strip and McCarran International. That’s understandable given the wealth of entertainment options, but Las Vegas Boulevard is really just one small part of the city.

If you’re interested in exploring beyond it, these are five of the best places to start.

Welcome to Downtown Las Vegas

1) DOWNTOWN

Downtown is where the Vegas gambling industry got started. The area is still home to the second-largest concentration of casinos outside of the Strip, centered on the covered Fremont Street Experience. Free concerts are frequent in this area, and it’s also where major annual multi-day shows like Life Is Beautiful and Las Rageous take place.

If you’re willing to explore just outside of the casino corridor, you’ll encounter the recent fruits of a decade-long renovation effort. The downtown area just outside of the Fremont Street Experience is the city’s new hot spot for live music, nightlife and dining. You can even do some upscale shopping at Container Park and the Premium Outlets North, and the Mob Museum and Neon Museum are unique exhibits worth seeing.

Swing by the Visitor Center anytime from 11AM until 3PM on Sunday, December 11 to see photographer & musician Michael…

Posted by Red Rock Canyon Las Vegas on Thursday, December 8, 2016

2) RED ROCK CANYON NATIONAL CONSERVATION AREA

A short drive west of the Strip is one of the country’s best places for hiking and rock climbing. The canyon area consists of a 13-mile loop along which you can either drive and enjoy the unique Aztec Sandstone formations or get out at various points to explore any of the two dozen trails.

The park is open from sunrise to sunset all year long and climbing is always allowed, though it is strongly discouraged for about 48 hours after any rainfall.

Eastside Cannery Hotel and Casino Vegas

3) BOULDER HIGHWAY CASINOS

Originally intended to be a rival to the Strip, the casino corridor on Boulder Highway has suffered an unfortunate slide into crime and disrepute. So why go there? Some of the casinos are actually pretty good and tend to offer better odds and promotions to attract locals and more savvy gamblers. The casinos are safe, and travel along the street by car or bus is generally very safe during the day — most of the crime is confined to low-rent apartments and motels.

The nicest properties along Boulder Highway are the 4-star Eastside Cannery Hotels and Casino (see photo), Sam’s Town and Boulder Station, but the smaller ones offer some of the most enticing meal deals and gambling promotions in the valley.

The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa

4) LAKE LAS VEGAS

Just east of Las Vegas is a man-made 320-acre lake perfect for all sorts of boating and water sports. There are also a number of resorts at the lake that have private beaches, along with shopping and dining at The Village and a 12-hole course at the Reflection Bay Golf Club.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

5) SPEEDVEGAS RACING / LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY or EXOTICS RACING

Three different companies in Vegas have private tracks and a collection of exotic sports cars that anyone with a driver’s license can take for a spin. A private instructor will teach you how to handle them in a warm-up lap, or you can opt to simply ride shotgun while a professional driver shows you some tricks straight out of the movies.

Other interesting areas off the Strip include Boulder City, Railroad Pass, the Pinball Hall of Fame, the Atomic Testing Museum and the Springs Preserve. Just remember to pack a good sunscreen and plenty of water if you’re adventuring between May and September.