Top 7 Hotels in the World

This week the TripAdvisor (the world’s largest travel site), published their “Travellers Choice 2011” list for the Top Hotels in the World in 2010. In this list they included one hotel form my hometown, The Cliff Bay in Funchal, as the 8th best hotel in Europe. This brought me the opportunity to publish the Top 7 Hotels in the World:

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1. Golden Well Hotel

U Zlate Studne 166 / 4, Praha 1-Hradcany, Prague 11800, Czech Republic

Hotel class: 5 stars

Number of rooms: 19

Standard rates from: €173

The Golden Well Hotel is a luxury boutique hotel enjoying one of the best locations in the city of Prague. The Golden Well Hotel offers a superb choice of boutique accommodation with 17 rooms and 2 suites, all reflecting the building’s rich heritage and providing their guests with incomparable views, luxurious accommodation, exceptional service and exclusive amenities.

The Golden Well Hotel is located below the walls of the Prague Castle and surrounded by the Castle rose gardens in the quaint Mala Strana or the “Little Quarter” of Prague. Close to the Prague Castle and the Czech Parliament they are just a short walk away from some of Prague’s most impressive sights, including the Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge, the Royal Gardens, the St. Nicholas Church and the Old Town Square. Guests of The Golden Well Hotel are privileged in the summer months to use the Emperor’s private entrance that leads directly to the gardens of the Prague Castle.

www.goldenwell.cz

2. Anastasis Apartments

Imerovigli, Santorini Island, 84700 GREECE

Hotel class: Not available

Number of rooms: Not available

Standard rates from: €188

The hotel is located on one of the best places on the island, the top of Caldera cliff, 600m from Imerovigli Village and 2km from Fira town.

A complex of newly built accommodations all overlooks the Famous Caldera of Santorini and the sunset. Anastasis Apartments consist of fully equipped and elegantly furnished, spacious and sunlit Apartments, Superior Apartments and Suites which can accommodate two to three persons. Each accommodation has been designed with special taste following the traditional architecture of Santorini.

www.anastasisapartments.com

3. Riad Le Calife

19 bis derb el Ouarbyia, el Makhfia, Fes 30000, Morocco

Hotel class: Not available

Number of rooms: 7

Standard rates from: €100

This Riad is a historic home recently converted into a charming guest house. Constructed around a splendid shaded patio it has 2 terraces which offer a stunning panoramic view of the Medina.

This hotel is the ideal place for an unforgettable stay in the wonderful city of Fez. It is located in the middle of the Medina, just a short 3-minute walk from the famous R’CIF square. The 4 rooms and 3 suites of Riad Le Calife are elegant and comfortable. Each is uniquely and thoughtfully decorated and overlooks the patio.

This hotel sits just 25 minutes from the International Fez Saïs and provides delightful accommodation for your next stay in Morocco.

www.riadlecalife.com

4. Al Ponte Antico Hotel

Calle dell’Aseo, Cannaregio 5768, 30131 Venice, Italy

Hotel class: 4 stars

Number of rooms: Not available

Standard rates from: €280

A small, 4-star residence, facing the Grand Canal with a splendid view of the Rialto Bridge. The special quality of this small hotel depends not only on their steady family management but also on the special atmosphere created inside each of their properties and the exclusive customized service they offer.

www.alponteantico.com

5. La Villa Marbella – Charming Hotel

Calle Principe 10, Centro Histórico, 29600 Marbella, Spain

Hotel class: 2 stars

Number of rooms: 4 houses and 14 rooms

Standard rates from: €85

The hotel is located in the heart of the Old Town of Marbella. The 150 years old house has been fully refurbished and its 4 suites are decorated with the finest Asian style. From the top terrace the guess can enjoy stunning views from the Sierra Blanca, Old Town (XVI century) and Arab walls (IX century).

The hotel is close to finest restaurants and only 3 minutes walk from the famous Orange Square (XVI century), 7 minutes walk to the beach and 10 minutes to Marina of Puerto Banus

www.lavillamarbella.com

6. Hotel Prinsenhof Bruges

Ontvangersstraat 9, Bruges 8000, Belgium

Hotel class: 4 stars

Number of rooms: 19

Standard rates from: €135

The charming Hotel Prinsenhof is hidden in a quiet street nearby one of the main shopping streets of Bruges.

Bruges is a small social city, where everything is within a few minutes walking distance.
The charming hotel is centrally located, at about a 3 minutes walk from the Market Square. All attractions and restaurants are within a few minutes walk from the hotel.

Bruges has almost 120.000 inhabitants and is the third largest city in the Flemish part of Belgium. The medieval streets and buildings and the lovely canals make of Bruges a unique place that enchants millions of people.

Bruges is as a cultural historical city, an artwork on its own. The whole inner city of Bruges was only recently declared to be a UNESCO World Heritage. But Bruges is more than a historical city. The city has many art galleries, trendy businesses, nice bars and pubs and many exquisite restaurants. The city and private theatres offer a diversity of classical concerts, jazz, blues, pop, rock, ballet, contemporary dance, opera, theater and film. Bruges is a city in full development, a city with ambition that does not avoid new challenges.
The titel of Bruges 2002, the cultural capital of Europe, has started a cultural dynamism. The city invested in large restoration projects, in contemporary architecture and in cultural infrastructure.

www.prinsenhof.com

7. The Tuscany

Grace Bay Beach, 90201, Providenciales, BWI, Turks e Caicos

Hotel class: 4 stars

Number of rooms: Not available

Standard rates from: $525

This beachfront resort is located in Providenciales, close to The Regent Village Shopping Mall and Salt Mills Shopping Plaza. Other nearby points of interest include Grace Bay Beach.

Even though guests rave about the privacy, luxury, and intimacy of their oceanfront suites, what really sets them apart from other Turks and Caicos resorts and Turks and Caicos hotels is their warmth and hospitality.  Their passion is helping to create a Turks and Caicos vacation their guess will remember for the rest of their life.

www.thetuscanyresort.com
Source: TripAdvisor
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Top 7 Highest Paid Football Players in 2010

As we mentioned in our post of January 16, 2011 of the Top 7 Football Coaches of the Decade, last week FIFA, along with Ballon D’Or, had their annual “European Footballer of the Year” ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland, won by Leonel Messi. Having won this prize for two times in a row and being a very important player (if not the most important) of a very successful team like FC Barcelona, would have made us believe that Leonel is the highest paid footballer now but, he is not! This prize belongs to someone else. Let’s check the Top 7 highest paid footballer, according to their salary in 2010:

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Salary: €12 million

Team: Real Madrid

Country: Portugal

Date of birth: February 5, 1985

2. Wayne Rooney

Salary: €11.5 million

Team: Manchester United

Country: England

Date of birth: October 24, 1985

3. Lionel Messi

Salary: €11 million

Team: FC Barcelona

Country: Argentina

Date of birth: June 24, 1987

4. Yaya Toure’

Salary: €10.8 million

Team: Manchester City

Country: Ivory Coast

Date of birth: May 13, 1983

5. Samuel Eto’o

Salary: €10.5 million

Team: Internazionale

Country: Cameroon

Date of birth: March 10, 1981

6. Bastian Schweinsteiger

Salary: €9.7 million

Team: Bayern Munich

Country: Germany

Date of birth: August 1, 1984

7. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Salary: €9 million

Team: Milan

Country: Sweden

Date of birth: October 3, 1981

Source: Footballpress
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Top 7 Most Expensive Hotel Rooms

Looking for a place for your next vacations? What about spending some time in one of the Top 7 most expensive hotel rooms in the world. Here we have some suggestions for that paradisaical weekend you are planning for some time now…

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1. Royal Penthouse Suite, President Wilson Hotel

Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Nightly rate: $ 53 000.00

The Imperial Suite, which is actually an entire top floor of the hotel, is reached via a private elevator and has four bedrooms, six bathrooms with mosaic marble floor, a cocktail lounge and a terrace with a dramatic view through the bulletproof windows over the city, Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc — all of which overlook Lake Geneva. The suite is decorated in a contemporary style, with marble and hardwood floors. The living room has a billiards table, a library and a cocktail lounge with a view of the water fountain, and can accommodate 40 people. The dining room seats 26 people around an oval mahogany table.

The hotel’s staff reassures guests that the security in the Imperial Suite is among the best in the world, ideal for celebrities or traveling heads of state who visit the United Nations headquarters next door at the Palais Wilson.

2. Hugh Hefner Sky Villa, Palms Casino Resort

Location: Las Vegas, USA

Nightly rate: $ 40 000.00

If anyone knows how to vacation in Las Vegas, that will be Hugh Hefner. Even though he is known as a homebody he has spent a few nights away from the mansion at the Sky Villa. The suite itself was built to model the original playboy mansion; it also incorporates elements derived from a vintage Playboy magazine article about the ultimate bachelor pad. The suite cost roughly $10 million to build but the high-rollers can rent it for a small $40,000 a night. Everything screams S-E-X-Y at the Sky Villa. The two-story 9,000 square foot Villa includes a glass elevator, a rotating bed set beneath a mirrored ceiling, and a glass wall Jacuzzi that extends out over the hotel and offers amazing Strip views, around-the-clock butler service, massage and spa rooms, work-out room and poker table, fireplace, three bedrooms, and pop-up plasma TVs.
Sorry, Bunnies not included.

3. Ty Warner Penthouse, Four Seasons Hotel

Location: New York, USA

Nightly rate: $ 35 000.00

The $50 million Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons in NY was designed by legendary architect I.M. Pei, Peter Marino and hotel owner Ty Warner.

The nine-room suite has walls inlaid with mother of pearl, gold and platinum-woven fabrics. The suite is located on the 52nd floor of New York’s tallest hotel with floor-to-ceiling bay windows offering a breathtaking 360 degree view of the City. If that is not relaxing enough you can enjoy a waterfall in the Zen Room, play the grand piano in the library or soak in a tub overlooking Central Park. Full spa treatments, a personal trainer and a 24/7 butler are all included, and if you still find a will to leave, you can choose to be chauffeured in a Rolls Royce or Maybach, and you’re always guaranteed a table at the hotel’s renowned L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon restaurant.

4. Penthouse Prestige Apartment, Hotel Martinez

Location: Cannes, France

Nightly rate: $ 35 000.00

Why stay in a hotel room when you can stay in a penthouse apartment? The penthouse has two bedrooms and two bathrooms.  The bathrooms have hammam, a traditional Turkish bath.

After enjoying a relaxing spa bath or sauna sit, step on the terrace, which overlooks the Bay of Cannes with views of the Lérins Islands and Estérel Range.  Still missing something? Just contact your personal butler, and he’ll bring you whatever you need.

Villa La Capula Suite, Westin Excelsior

5. The Presidential Suite, Hotel Cala di Volpe

Location: Costa Smeralda (Sardinia), Italy

Nightly rate: $ 34 000.00

Over 250 square meters of space spread out over multiple rooms and a rooftop terrace with a swimming pool are just a few of the hundreds of luxuries available in this suite. You’ll also have access to a private wine cellar, multiple balconies with gorgeous sea views, a sauna room, and three marble-coated bathrooms.

And after a long night on the town, come back and listen to Mozart on your super-fancy Bang & Olufsen stereo that comes complete with its own CD collection.

6. The Royal Villa at the Grand Resort Lagonissi

Location: Athenes, Greece

Nightly rate: $ 32 000.00

There’s not only butler at your service when you stay in this villa, but a private chef and a pianist work for you too. Request your favorite classical song while you watch your chef prepare dinner and you watching the Food Network becomes obsolete.

Sip a martini from the butler as you float in the private indoor pool, or the private, heated, outdoor pool. The choice is yours.

7. Villa La Cupola Suite, Westin Excelsior

Location: Rome, Italy

Nightly rate: $ 31 000.00

The suite is located on the fifth and sixth floor underneath the cupola of the hotel which was made famous by Fellini’s movies. It covers 6,099 square feet and has an additional 1,808 square feet of balconies and terraces. While it only has two bedrooms, five more can be joined to it. The entire suite was just remodeled in 1998 for a cost of around $7 million. So now you will have all things Roman and excessive – a cupola, a Pompeii-style Jacuzzi pool, frescoes (the painted horizons on the frescoes were designed to match perfectly with the real Roman one), stained glass windows, and almost 2,000 feet of balcony space including a sun deck overlooking the Via Veneto district.

The downstairs also has a private kitchen, and the dining room features an antique Murano glass chandelier, a private wine cabinet with over 150 wines to choose from and a study/library covered in hand-carved wood. And what really makes this suite over the top is a private cinema with Dolby surround sound.

Now that’s living la dolce vita.

Source: Business Insider, do-while.com, www.dirjournal.com
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Top 7 Sites

Now that “The Social Network” film won the best film award on the Golden Globe ceremony last Sunday, it would be nice to check how far (or high) the Facebook site has gone, according to Internet traffic. These are the Top 7 Sites on the Internet:

1. Google.com

Alexa traffic rank: 1

Traffic rank in the U.S.: 1

Enables users to search the Web, Usenet, and images. Features include PageRank, caching and translation of results, and an option to find similar pages. The company’s focus is developing search technology.

Google is ranked #1 in the world according to the three-month Alexa traffic rankings. The site has been online for at least thirteen years. About 33% of visitors to this site come from the US, and roughly 26% of visits to Google consist of only one pageview (i.e., are bounces). The time spent in a typical visit to the site is about thirteen minutes, with 34 seconds spent on each pageview.

2. Facebook.com

Alexa traffic rank: 2

Traffic rank in the U.S.: 2

A social utility that connects people, to keep up with friends, upload photos, share links and videos.

Facebook is the second most popular site in the world according to the three-month Alexa traffic rankings. Search engines refer approximately 7% of visits to it. This site has been online since 1997, and the time spent in a typical visit to Facebook is roughly 32 minutes, with 35 seconds spent on each pageview. Relative to the overall population of internet users, this site’s audience tends to be users who browse from school and home; they are also disproportionately women.

3. Youtube.com

Alexa traffic rank: 3

Traffic rank in the U.S.: 4

YouTube is a way to get your videos to the people who matter to you. Upload, tag and share your videos worldwide!

Youtube.com is ranked #3 in the world according to the three-month Alexa traffic rankings. Roughly 22% of visitors to the site come from the US. It has a bounce rate of about 25% (i.e., 25% of visits consist of only one pageview), and Youtube.com has been online since 2005. The site belongs to the “Video Sharing” category.

4. Yahoo.com

Alexa traffic rank: 4

Traffic rank in the U.S.: 3

Personalized content and search options. Chatrooms, free e-mail, clubs, and pager.

Yahoo.com is ranked #4 in the world according to the three-month Alexa traffic rankings, and roughly 29% of visits to the site consist of only one pageview (i.e., are bounces). While we estimate that 32% of visitors to the site come from the US, where it is ranked #3, it is also popular in Taiwan, where it is ranked #1. Compared with internet averages, the site’s audience tends to be aged under 25 and over 45; they are also disproportionately women browsing from school and home. The fraction of visits to Yahoo.com referred by search engines is approximately 7%.

5. Live.com

Alexa traffic rank: 5

Traffic rank in the U.S.: 11

Search engine from Microsoft.

There are four sites with a better three-month global Alexa traffic rank than Live.com. The site has been online for more than sixteen years. About 4% of visits to the site are referred by search engines, and the site is located in the US. Visitors to Live.com view an average of 6.0 unique pages per day.

6. Baidu.com

Alexa traffic rank: 6

Traffic rank in China: 1

The leading Chinese language search engine, provides “simple and reliable” search experience, strong in Chinese language and multi-media content including MP3 music and movies, the first to offer WAP and PDA-based mobile search in China.

Baidu.com is ranked #6 in the world according to the three-month Alexa traffic rankings. The time spent in a typical visit to the site is approximately eleven minutes, with 29 seconds spent on each pageview. Compared with internet averages, the site appeals more to Asians; its visitors also tend to consist of women browsing from work and school who have no postgraduate education and have incomes between $30,000 and $100,000. The site is in the “搜索引擎” category of websites. Baidu.com has been online for more than eleven years.

7. Wikipedia.org

Alexa traffic rank: 8

Traffic rank in the U.S.: 6

A free encyclopedia built collaboratively using wiki software. (Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License).

Wikipedia is ranked #8 in the world according to the three-month Alexa traffic rankings. The site has been online for at least ten years. The site is particularly popular among users in the city of Berlin (where it is ranked #5). Wikipedia.org belongs to the “Wikipedia” category. Visitors to this site spend approximately five minutes per visit to the site and 60 seconds per pageview.

Source: alexa.com
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Top 7 Football Coaches of the Decade

At the beginning of this week FIFA, along with Ballon D’Or, had their annual “European Footballer of the Year” ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland, an again (as in 2009) this award went to Leonel Messi (Argentina / FC Barcelona). But this time there was something new:  for the first time they gave the award for the best coach in 2010, and this prize went to Jose Mourinho, after leading Inter Milan to the European Champions League title, beating Vicente del Bosque of World Cup champion Spain and Pep Guardiola of Spanish champion Barcelona in the inaugural prize.

This event would made us believe that Mourinho, after all the trophies he already has in only ten years, would be consider Coach of the Decade but, according to the IFFHS (International Federation of Football History & Statistics), this prize belongs to someone else. Lets check who is in the Top 7 Football Coaches of the Decade:

1. Arsène Wenger

Points: 156

Country: France

Date of birth: October 22, 1949

Club: Arsenal

2. Sir Alex Ferguson

Points: 148

Country: UK

Date of birth: December 31, 1941

Club: Manchester United

3. José Mourinho

Points: 135

Country: Portugal

Date of birth: January 26, 1963

Club: FC Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid

4. Fabio Capello

Points: 120

Country: Italy

Date of birth: June 18, 1946

Club / Country: Roma, Juventus, Real Madrid / England

5. Guus Hiddink

Points: 112

Country: Nederland

Date of birth: November 8, 1946

Club / Country: Real Betis, Chelsea / South Korea, Australia, Russia, Turkey

6. Carlo Anceloti

Points: 108

Country: Italy

Date of birth: June 10, 1959

Club: Milan, Chelsea

7. Luiz Felipe Scolari (tie)

Points: 101

Country: Brazil

Date of birth: November 9, 1948

Club / Country: Chelsea, Bunyodkor, Palmeiras / Brazil, Portugal

7. Marcelo Alberto Bielsa (tie)

Points: 101

Country: Argentina

Date of birth: July 21, 1955

Country: Argentina, Chile

Since this post refers only to the last decade, I’m only including in “Club / Country” only the Clubs and/or Countries teams these gentlemen worked with in the last ten years.

Source: IFFHS
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Top 7 Largest Crane Vessels

I’m now living in Madeira Island, Portugal, and at the beginning of this week (Monday, January 10th) we all woke up with the beautiful view, south of the Funchal coast and close to the cruise port, of the Saipem 7000, the second biggest crane vessel in the world. As usual, this brought to me the curiosity to check the Top 7 Biggest Crane Vessels:

1. Thialf

Company: Heerema Marine Contractors

Capacity: 14 200 Tons (2 x 7 100)

Type: Semi-submersible

2. Saipem 7000

Company: Saipem Italy

Capacity: 14 000 Tons (2 x 7 000)

Type: Semi-submersible

3. Svanen

Company: Ballast Nedam

Capacity: 8 700 Tons

Type: Catamaran

4. Hermod

Company: Heerema Marine Contractors

Capacity: 8 165 Tons (1 x 4 536 + 1 x 3 629)

Type: Semi-submersible

5. Lan Jing

Company: CNOOC

Capacity: 7 500 Tons

Type: Monohull

6. Balder

Company: Heerema Marine Contractors

Capacity: 6 350 Tons (1 x 3 629 + 1 x 2 722)

Type: Semi-submersible

7. Borealis

Company: Acergy

Capacity: 5 000 Tons

Type: Monohull

Source: Wikipedia, cranevessels.com
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