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winter // 2011 Edition

The Newsletter for Club Members | Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, malta Golden Sands www.azure.com.mt


‘Welcome to the winter edition of Seasons, another year is rapidly drawing to a close and the countdown to Christmas 2011 is upon us! So before you start (or finish for the more organised amongst us!) your Christmas shopping and become enveloped in the deluge of festive activities, take a moment to browse what’s been happening here at the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa and on the magical island of Malta. www.azure.com.mt


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contents

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Everyone’s talking about US!

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Words from the Project Director

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Being Ernest

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Chocoholics Delight

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Did you know?

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Va Va Vroom

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myoka spa

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4 winter walks

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What’s been happening?

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H2O Dive centre

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Calendar of Events

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What’s on at Golden Sands over Christmas

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What’s happening at Golden Sands

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Out and About with our Members

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The running man

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Client Referrals

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don’t forget...

10% saving 20

with air malta

go to: www.airmalta.com/islandresidenceclub www.azure.com.mt


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www.rci.com

www.tatoc.com

sharetime magazine - www.sharetimemagazine.com

Everyone’s talking about US! www.rdo.org

Azure has received some great coverage recently within the industry news. In the last edition we mentioned receiving the prestigious accreditation award from the Timeshare Association (TATOC). Since then we were featured on their website as the accredited resort of the month in November.

www.azure.com.mt

Popular British Television personality, Anne Davies and her film crew visited the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Golden Sands this summer, to see a little of the luxury that our members enjoy. A short video on the resort captured some of the sights on this friendly, sunny island along with showcasing the prestigious hotel and its first class amenities. Guests’ feedback was included along with a few words from the staff and Project Director, Perry Newton. This is an easy, visual way for

people wishing to visit on a preview invitation, to view the resort and understand what to expect during their promotional visit. www.azure.com.mt/ preview-incentives.html This video helped to raise our online profile further within the industry and we have been featured in the latest news sections on the Resort Development Organisation (RDO) as well as TATOC and RCI’s online Ventures publication.


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Hi To Everyone

perry newton // Project director

This year seems to have been jam packed with happenings, whether it’s been in the Vacation Industry or just plain Worldwide. I don’t know about you but I think it’s gone like lightening and there’s still so much left to do!

following. I believe that this page will be of great benefit to us all, increasing communication, so please take a look.

Feedback

We’ve had a steady business year and the results are encouraging, especially in a very difficult market and at a time of increased cautionary spending. Our new Non UK business has gained a strong foothold within the German and Scandinavian markets loving the Azure offerings, which is great news for all. We are now increasing this momentum whilst adding the Italian and Russian market for the New Year and 2012. We expect to have equally good results in sales and an increasingly diversified member base. Our multi lingual staff will ensure the same service and assistance is available to both members and potential members, in their first language.

a month, however our Marketing and IT teams will be extremely busy over the Christmas period to bring you the first phase of the brand new Azure website by the end of May 2012. We believe in building this website for our members. We want to ensure easier facilitation of online bookings and to enhance channels of communication. There is nothing worse than clicking on a website and not being able to navigate your way around it quickly and easily, which is why it is so important for us to receive your feedback at this early development stage of the process.

Website

Functions in the pipeline include

Our temporary website www.azure. com.mt has now been live for over

• Ability to make your own reservations online • Online payment facility

• Online store offering discounted member packages • The possibility of potential new members being able to take an online sales presentation and even purchase trial or full memberships online. • Online Rental facility. Has that got you thinking? Please send us an email to seasons@azure.com.mt with your thoughts, comments or suggestions. We would love to hear from you.

Facebook We are also now live on Facebook. Visit www.facebook/azure. This page is for you and will have lots of up to the minute information. It is already proving popular, receiving lots of great comments as well as an increasing

I would also like to send you all a survey, if you don’t mind. It will include a range of questions that will help Ernest and I guide the resort, its staff and the sales drive to meet everyone’s expectations. I really would like as many as possible to get involved so that we can start making some big improvements and really strive to give the members and potential new members much more from their membership and Azure. I should have this by the New Year and hope to have it to you directly from me. In the meantime, I would like to thank you all for the support you’ve shown Ernest and myself this year. I think it shows that together we really can get things done and look forward to another very productive and enjoyable year. From the whole team and myself I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and we look forward to welcoming you back home in Malta in 2012. www.azure.com.mt


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RADISSON BLU RESORT AND SPA, GOLDEN SANDS, MALTA DIVELINE (+356) 2356 1950

www.azure.com.mt


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being ernest ernest barry // coo // radisson BLU resort and spa, malta golden sands

Time has certainly flown this year! Eight months have already passed since I first joined the Golden Sands team…it has been a hectic time but I must say I have enjoyed every minute of this new experience at this beautiful resort. This summer was one of our strongest ever and it seems that the client satisfaction results through the Radisson Medallia system, have come in steadily throughout the season and the results achieved are amongst the highest ever. I thank you for both your valuable feedback and time. Opening... again The refurbished changing rooms were opened for use on Saturday the 19th of November, feedback was great and I must say the place looked fabulous…. unfortunately it wasn’t to be and just one week later all the hard work was destroyed. As I am sure some of you may have heard, a small fire broke out in the early hours of Sunday morning 27th November, in the new sauna and the changing rooms were sadly, completely gutted. The fire department were on site in minutes and the fire was extinguished very quickly. Unfortunately we had to evacuate block A and block B, yet the response received from many of our guests was very positive, many commenting to the local newspaper, commending the hotel and its staff on how the situation was handled. The main focus in any occurrence such as this is the rapid and safe evacuation of guests from their rooms. Whilst we are satisfied with the way in which the hotel and staff procedures were

carried out, we are aware that due to all available staff and management being involved in checking that rooms were vacated, communication with our guests at the hotel’s assembly points could have been better and we value the comments received from our members. As always we will take these on board and review accordingly. We have commenced with the clean up and the changing rooms will be reopened within a couple of weeks.

‘Cheers!’

home for Maltese boys coming from families with social problems) with a cheque for over €1200. This amount was collected from Staff and guests during the Responsible Business week held in May. You may see photos of all these events on the Azure Facebook page www.facebook.com/azure. I invite you to LIKE the page to join it. We have created a VIP check in desk just for members, which is located on the right hand side of the lobby. Besides the personalised check in we are also offering refreshments including wine. This has been greatly appreciated by all our owners throughout the past couple of months. Obviously with a less frequent number of arrivals during the winter, the desk may not be in use every Tuesday and Friday although refreshments including wine will always be offered throughout the low season.

employee presentations, over the past three weeks. Personal concierge Henri Diacono’s professional service and attention to detail has attracted a phenomenal number of positive comments on Trip Advisor, Medallia and through word of mouth and we wanted to recognise his commitment and loyalty in a very official way, presenting him with the Sterling Service Award for performing above and beyond the call of duty. Once again I would like to thank Henri for his commitment to all our members.

Mistletoe and wine

Our weekly members drinks evenings are proving a popular event. It is a chance for members to get together and also to talk to the management team. It is of great importance to us to hear member’s views and receive vital feedback in all areas. We take pride in listening and have taken suggestions from our members, on board and implemented their ideas.

The following week we presented Joe Caruana front office porter and Frans Tesi from maintenance with special memento’s on their recent retirement. I felt that the presentation should be held with our members since you have actually known these members of staff for many years.

Christmas and New Year are fast approaching and we have put together some mouth-watering menus and fabulous entertainment for those of you that will be staying with us over the festive period, so be sure to check out our various prebookable menus.

What’s new?

These evenings have provided the perfect stage for three different

In other news, we recently presented St Joseph’s home (A residential

May I take this opportunity to wish you all the very best regards for the festive season and I look forward to meeting up with you very soon.

www.azure.com.mt


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Chocoholics Delight 60 Kgs Dark Chocolate 25 Kgs Milk Chocolate 10 Kgs White Chocolate 25 Kgs Icing Sugar Every year the hotel’s renowned patissier Jimmy Aquilina and his team never cease to impress everyone with their stunning chocolate works of art. This year guests are lured by the intoxicatingly mouth watering smell, to the hotel’s reception, where the enchanting Magical Cottage made entirely out of chocolate, is on display. A labour of love – 120 hours – to be precise and a whole heap of chocolate went in to the making of this chocolate delight, creating a truly delectable delight!

www.azure.com.mt


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Did You Know? That Malta’s most famous soft drink is Kinnie?

If you’ve been to Malta more than once it is likely that you’ve been curious to try the amber coloured drink on sale in bars, restaurants and kiosks and with Tiffany Pisani, winner of the sixth cycle of Britain’s Next Top Model in October 2010 as the face of Kinnie, this local Maltese drink is becoming a familiar brand worldwide.

An acquired taste some would say, due to it’s combination of bitter oranges infused with a variety of aromatic herbs. A non-alcoholic beverage, Kinnie is a common sight throughout summer around the island both during the day as a refreshing thirst quencher or by night as a wonderful mix for alcoholic drinks and cocktails. Kinnie was developed by the large drinks company Simonds Farsons Cisk, in Malta in 1952 as

an alternative to Cola that took precedence in Europe after the Second World War. Now with Diet Kinnie and the recently added Kinnie Zest, with no added sugar and less than one calorie, the range is more popular than ever. Kinnie is available for sale throughout Europe and on-line and the latest news is that for all Kinnie fans you can now order for the UK direct from amazon – with free delivery to anywhere in the UK!

So what are you waiting for? Add a touch of Mediterranean sunshine to your Christmas this year and create one of Kinnie’s delicious cocktails.

Mediterraneo •  Pour one measure of Campari Bitter and half measure of orange juice into a tumbler half-full of Kinnie • Stir and garnish with a slice of lemon or orange Recipe courtesy of www.kinnie.com www.azure.com.mt


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Va Va Vroom

Kirsti Newton speaking with Grazielle Camilleri // PR & Media Manager

This year has been a very exciting year in the Marketing department for Azure. A huge amount of work has gone on behind the scenes in continually raising the company profile and also in the planning of future projects that will add benefit for current and future members alike.

In July we welcomed on board Grazielle Camilleri who joined us as the PR & Media Manager. Grazielle previously worked for one of Malta’s leading automotive companies and local agents for some of the car industry’s prestigious brand names including BMW, MINI and Land Rover. Along with promoting these high end brands in her role as marketing and PR Manager, Grazielle made the most of this opportunity to increase her knowledge on one of her great passions outside of work – everything to do with the adrenalinseeking theme of the motor variety!

Grazielle enjoys the exhilaration of racing at professional track circuits and believes her love of cars began at a very young age, when she helped her father in his garage, wash cars, inspect the engines and go driving alongside him. Admitting herself that this was not a usual pursuit for a young girl, Grazielle became fascinated in cars and learning how they worked, something that is today very useful, as she takes her MINI Cooper to Sicily to participate in the racing events that she also helps to organise. I asked Grazielle a few questions to give our readers a little insight in to this action girl’s world. Here’s what she had to say.

www.azure.com.mt

Tell us a little more about these racing days and what your dream car would be? Paqpaq is a popular television programme, publication and website in Malta that preview and discuss new cars, motorbikes and boats etc. I together with the Paqpaq Track Days team assist the producer and director in organising the track days to Sicily, which are very popular with the Maltese car enthusiast because there is no professional racetrack yet, in Malta. These events happen twice a year and attract between 60 – 80 cars, which take part in the races. We also get to sample the fantastic Sicilian cuisine in some great restaurants and arrange gastronomic tours as well. The first time I raced was an unbelievable experience, the adrenalin was pumping through my body but everything seemed to pass in slow motion as my heart was racing so fast! Over time I became more competitive. There is a little pressure in the fact that I am the only female amongst almost 70 men! But once I put that aside and my foot hits the accelerator, there really is nothing that compares to reaching the high speeds on the straights and navigating the

hair pins, whilst focusing on the technique of racing! I saved long and hard for my first car a racing green Peugeot 306 hatch back with full body kit and alloy wheels. I loved it! I currently own a Mini Cooper and my dream car (at the moment!) is a white Porsche 911 Carrera S.

I understand your other interests are dancing and horse riding? How do you manage to fit these in to your busy schedule? With good time management I think! My interest in cars and dancing started from an early age and after attending dance college, natural progression took me on to a professional level where I enjoyed some wonderful experiences appearing on television, performing in musicals like Chorus Line & Fame and ballets as well as fun performances on Eurovision song contest and music awards. This is more of a part time hobby now, my work being a priority but I also love to water ski and am blessed to live on an island with beautiful waters that make this activity all the more enjoyable. I also enjoy jogging and horse riding when I can and we are fortunate enough to have a fantastic riding school just outside the resort!


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Now the preparation is underway for a new year, what can our members look forward to in 2012? I’m very excited to be on board as the PR & Media Manager at Azure and have enjoyed a fantastic summer working alongside the Marketing team and we are currently in the process of developing the next phase of Azure’s brand new website. This will offer some great functions for members including the easy booking of reservations and rental weeks, being able to make online payments and lots more! The new website will incorporate the social media sites such as Facebook (www. facebook.com/azure) and Twitter (@AzureResorts), which are already

active independently. This will assist in enhancing our communication and ongoing goal, to be interactive and transparent with our existing and potential new members. If you take a look at our temporary website www. azure.com.mt you will get a feel of the new look which we have chosen

for our brand and our products and you will see which direction we are looking to take. I would like to wish all our club members a Very Merry Christmas and an exciting 2012. All of us here at Azure hope that you will enjoy your special

moments with loved ones and closest families during the festive season and we look forward to welcoming you here at the resort in the New Year. In the meantime keep in touch with us via Facebook ! www.facebook.com/azure www.azure.com.mt


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Skin Deep

Every year those of us that failed our New Years resolution last year to keep fit, vow to put the lid back on the chocolate tin after Christmas and look after our bodies in the hope that we will be swimwear fit by summer!

But do we really take the time to look after our skin like we should? Keeping hydrated and following the health guru’s articles of do’s and don’ts gives us a kick start, but with busy lives and work and family it can be inevitable that spare time, especially for pampering ourselves becomes quite hard to find. Holidays are all about taking time out of your normal routine and calming your mind from the stresses and strains of daily life to return relaxed and refreshed and hopefully with a large boost of Vitamin D from the glorious sun’s rays! Why not enhance that glow with an innovative new facial at the hotel’s renowned Myoka spa. Offering the latest in non-invasive ultrasound technology, your skin will be in for a treat. www.azure.com.mt

Using NO crystals or chemicals this medically proven process uses sound waves to help remove dead skin cells and debris, cleaning deep in to the pores gently restoring the cells natural electrical charge.

Perfect for sensitive skin of all ages you can benefit from •A  ssistance in penetrating skin care products deep in to the skin • Dead skin cell exfoliation creating a clearer complexion • No lasting redness or irritation sometimes caused by harsh cleansing treatments • Gently stimulated skin aiding collagen and Elastin production • Diminished appearance of scar tissue and pigmentation • Improved circulation

Easy as 1,2,3 One: A hydrating lotion is applied to the skin and a hand instrument resembling a spatula is moved softly over the skin, the science behind this bit simply is that the ultrasound waves vibrations power the water molecules deep in to the pores removing more debris than is possible by a normal facial alone. This is called cavitation. Imagine your very own soft facial jet wash, cleaning your pores, allowing your skin to shine!

Two A serum is applied to the face; you will feel the moisturising refreshingly cold cream. Again the hand instrument, glides over the skin creating an extremely relaxing experience, the sound waves create a very slight warmth adding to the relaxation process and allowing the product to penetrate deep in to the skin releasing its antioxidant properties, promoting better and longer lasting results in your skins appearance. A smaller attachment is then used for the area around the eyes and the lips, to rejuvenate the areas where lines are more likely to appear through age as well as assisting in diminishing broken capillaries. This stage concentrates more on the layers beneath the skins surface and it is said that you will benefit from further results up to 28 days after treatment.

Three Finally the face is cleansed and a massage cream applied, a divine facial massage this time by the therapists hands moving deftly across your face and neck and shoulders, sending your further in to a total state of peace and tranquility – that’s if you are still awake? Warm lavendar scented facial towels remove the traces of cream and a hydrating mask is applied first around the eyes, followed by the face. A tingling sensation signals activation of the treatment. Once removed, a moisturiser and lip balm complete the last stage of this incredible skin rewarding treatment and you will leave, glowing, relaxed and ready to enjoy the ongoing visible results that set this facial apart from all others! Turn back the time and enjoy an ultrasound facial for the discounted member price of €105 . Talk to Maria or one of her team at Myoka on Ext 1191


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the perfect walks in northern malta Make sure to add these walks to your list

Blessed with over 300 days of sunshine a year, Malta really is the perfect destination for a fabulous winter escape. The odd rainy days allow welcome hydration for the countryside helping restore it to its lush green vibrancy, after the long dry summer. These days from mid November to mid May are generously interspersed with sunny dry days but unlike the still days and nights of summer, a complementing breeze creates the perfect weather for walking.

1. Il Majjistral Nature & History Park With Malta’s largest park on your doorstep, why not set off and explore the breathtaking coastline, see evergreen honeysuckle, breathe in the wild thyme and witness historical remains such as cart ruts, tombs from the classical period, small beehives and remnants of British military architecture too, mainly from the early 20th century. The park run guided walks from October – May. They cover approximately 6 km and last around 2.5 hours. A great way to get a little exercise and immerse yourself in the local scenery. Please ask for further information.

2. From the hotel to Popeye village For those of you that feel a little adventurous, it is possible to walk either through the park or out along the road heading behind the hotel, through the nearby village of Manikata and up the (very steep) hill towards Mellieha. You will see a signpost that takes you (down hill) to Popeye Village. The views are quite stunning and you can rest with a welcome drink or bite to eat at Popeye Village. View the original film set from the Robin Williams film, if you wish, before regaining your energy and returning back to the hotel

3. Mellieha Bay to Armier

4. Xemxija Heritage Trail

Mellieha Bay beach, known as Ghadira Bay (pronounced Ah-deerah), is a perfect starting place for a walk up along Marfa ridge, taking in spectacular views out over Gozo and Comino and a visit to the Red Tower.

This is a must for walkers, photographers and those interested in history.

You can reach Ghadira Bay by bus (101 or 102) or car, easily from the hotel and the bus stop is right by the beach. Set off up another steep hill towards Cirkewwa (where the ferry to Gozo departs) and take the first road on the right. Once pretty much a dirt track, this year, resurfacing and pavements has made this a much more enjoyable walk. Depending on your pace 45 minutes should be a comfortable time to reach the end of this peninsular, passing little Armier and Armier bays, popular beaches with the locals and those prepared for the extra trek, in the hot summer. Visit Malta offer a more detailed walk, taking in The Red Tower, down to Paradise Bay – a charming little beach offering kayaking on good weather days and great food at the beach bar restaurant. The road down to Cirkewwa is presently undergoing improvements and until completed, is a little difficult to navigate on foot, so a detour around the Ramla Bay hotel is advisable. www.visitmalta.com/ebrochures/ Marfa.pdf

Xemxija (pronounced shem shee ah) is approximately 5 miles from the hotel and about 45 minutes walk, or 5-10 minutes by bus (222/223) or car. Walk past the ice cream kiosk and fruit and vegetable stalls, passing The Fortress wine bar. Turn left and carry on up (yes another) steep hill (Triq Ir Ridot). Until you reach the top, then turn left where you see a sign headed Heritage Trail and so your walk begins. Ceramic plaques along the way point out areas of interest but it is definitely worth setting off with the ‘Xemxija Heritage Trail leaflet’ as this will give you a rough map and more detailed descriptions of some of the ancient remains. You will uncover an abundance of ancient sites including roads, houses, baths, caves, and amazing apiaries from the Roman era. What’s special about this trail is that it is still relatively undiscovered on a large scale, so keep your eyes peeled and cameras at the ready to capture some incredible sights including a 1,000-year-old Carob tree, a Punico-Roman structure over 2,000 years old, evidence of pilgrims and even an ancient temple site, all within approximately 1.5 miles! www.azure.com.mt


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Your key to

www.azure.com.mt


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A few things have happened since our last newsletter that we have all found very exciting and hope you do too

What’s been happening?

To the Batmobile Most of you will now be familiar with Henri Diacono, from our previous newsletter - our fabulous Personal Concierge. A popular figure with our guests, Henri’s helpful and professional attributes have led to a deluge of happy reviews from guests. So much so that Azure wanted to reward Henri for his efforts and continuous hard work. The award was designed around a ‘Batman’ theme. Some of you may

Azure’s on Facebook! Once, for only the technologically advanced amongst us, Facebook is a place that you’re just as likely to be chatting to your Nan as well as your friends and family. A social network site that brings people together seems the perfect place for Azure to share amongst its members, the daily happenings and moments of interest. With photographs, news extracts and www.azure.com.mt

competitions, click the like button on Azure’s page and you can visit us all year round on-line. As with the newsletter we love to hear from our readers and welcome comments online from our newsletter and feel that Azure on facebook is the perfect addition to our growing on line community. Visit us at www.facebook.com/azure

World Clean Up Azure’s marketing team and Project Director, Perry Newton, volunteered some of their spare time to assist in the regeneration of the Ghajn Tuffieha Barracks (situated behind the hotel). A clean up day was initiated in celebration of world clean up day and was also attended by local residents and members of That’s Rubbish Malta. This day was to be the start of many

remember the reference in the last issue to Henri’s comparison to Batman’s butler. During one of the weekly members drinks evenings, Azure’s project Director Perry Newton & Radisson Blu Resort & Spa’s Chief Operating Officer, Ernest Barry thought this the perfect opportunity and presented Henri with the ‘Sterling Service Award for performing above and beyond the call of duty’, leaving him – for once – speechless. Well-done Henri!

to come to turn these vacant barracks in to something worthwhile today, environmentally and educationally. Seventeen rooms, which used to form part of these barracks at Ghajn Tuffieha have recently been handed over to the management of Il Majjistral Nature & History Park, who wish to create a visitors’ centre and an adventure village. This will be great for the local area and allow visitors to the park a point of information.


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We mentioned in our last newsletter that H2O Divers had been nominated for the prestigious PADI centre of the month, for September and since our last publication we are thrilled to share that they did indeed win this coveted award. Below is the press release explaining a little more

H2O Divers - PADI Dive Centre Of The Month

So, with Malta being a popular year round diving destination, the hotel’s on-site dive centre, fully caters for intrepid underwater explorers and will plan an itinerary to suit every holidaymakers experience and diving desires.

H2O Divers, based at the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Malta, Golden Sands has been awarded ‘PADI Dive Centre of the Month’. PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors), the largest dive training agency in the world, which has just certified its 20 millionth diver, has awarded H2O Divers the prestigious title of ‘PADI Centre of the Month’. H2O Divers was chosen from all PADI Dive Centres worldwide, totalling over 6,300! The association has dive centres in 180 countries, serving more than one hundred and thirty five thousand professional members. Winning this award is a wonderful honour and an accolade of the

quality of service that is shown to each individual diver that walks into H2O Divers. The Malta Tourism Authority was very happy to hear about this award. Such efforts continue to put our Islands on the map and highlight our diving offer. MTA will continue to support H2O Divers and all other stakeholders to continue to strengthen this very important niche for Malta. Malta, was recently defined as the ‘world’s third best dive destination’, after The Maldives and Egypt, which is now generally regarded as ‘unsafe’.

between an award winning centre, like H2O Divers, and the ordinary dive centre.

From the inauguration of H2O Divers, five years ago, it has focused on customer satisfaction and the quality of its services. The hand chosen crew makes the difference

H2O Divers is the only dive centre based in Malta to have won such an internationally recognized award. H2O Divers have launched some special offers to commemorate the award, for

Stephen Clough, owner of H2O Divers, said ‘I am absolutely delighted to have won this award, which will give us a higher profile amongst international divers and is a great reward for the splendid efforts of all our staff’. He added that ‘We now hope our forthcoming bookings will reflect our supreme efforts to satisfy our customers with fantastic diving’. further information on H2O Divers and these offers please visit their website: www.h2odivers.com or call them on their Dive Line + 356 21521329.

www.azure.com.mt


www.driftercarhire.com

excursions

Tel: 00 356 21523535 Email: drifter@driftercarhire.com

Wine Tasting in Gozo Gozo Jeep Safari Blue Lagoon Boat Trips Malta Knights Extravaganza Village Festa Marsaxlokk Market Mosta Dome Open Market & Palazzo Parisio and lots more...

car hire

scooter

Shuttle Bus

Frequently to and from: Mellieha Bugibba St. Julian’s Sliema Valletta Mdina Marine & Water Park Gozo Ferry and more...

See us direct at our desk in the reception lobby at the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Malta Golden Sands or call extension 1868

hire cab & transport

services


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Calendar of events

Highlights of the next few months events 2/12/2011 - 30/12/2011

23/12/2011

.15/01/2012

26/02/2012

BETHLEHEM IN GHAJNSIELEM

MAGICAL WISH

MCCA CULTURAL TOUR

IN GUARDIA PARADE

Nativity Village Ghajnsielem – Gozo

A Christmas Concert MBC Theatre - Nadur, Gozo

Maltese historical heritage, traditions and skills. Gharghur

Re-enactment. Fort St Elmo - Valletta

16/12/2011 - 06/01/2012

24/12/2011

MALTESE CRIB AND CHRISTMAS ART EXHIBITION

Midnight Mass

20/01/2012 - 22/01/2012

CHANGING OF THE GUARD

Mellieha

ALICE IN WONDERLAND

A formal military ceremony. St. George’s Square - Valletta

25/12/2011

A musical The Manoel Theatre - Valletta

Cribs and artistic objects on display related to the Nativity scene Auberge d’Italie - Valletta 17/12/2011 - 24/12/2011

CHRISTMAS DAY Celebrating the birth of Christ Malta & Gozo

CHRISTMAS IN MELLIEHA Music, Art, Food, Cribs and more... Main Square - Mellieha 17/12/2011 - 21/12/2011

EUROMED U/17 SAILING COMPETITION A memorable week of competitive sailing in fun company Mellieha Bay

Massed band of the Armed Forces and Police Valletta

04/03/2012 05/02/2012

IN GUARDIA PARADE

MCCA CULTURAL TOUR

Re-enactment. Fort St Elmo - Valletta

ALI BABA

Maltese historical heritage, traditions and skills. Mqabba and Qrendi

Christmas Panto The Manoel Theatre - Valletta

05/02/2012

26/12/2011 - 08/01/2012

30/12/2011

VIENNESE NIGHT A magnificent musical kaleidoscope The Hilton Grand Masters Suite Portomaso

11/03/2012

MCCA CULTURAL TOUR IN GUARDIA PARADE

19/12/2011

MILITARY BAND MARCH & DISPLAY

02/03/2012

Re-enactment. Fort St Elmo - Valletta

Maltese historical heritage, traditions and skills. Fawwara & Siggiewi 11/03/2012 I

10/02/2012

N GUARDIA PARADE

FEAST OF ST PAUL

Re-enactment. Fort St Elmo - Valletta

31/12/2011 - 01/01/2012

Public Holiday and Religious Feast Valletta

NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATIONS

10/02/2012

CHANGING OF THE GUARD

CHANGING OF THE GUARD

A formal military ceremony. St. George’s Square - Valletta

Join this spectacular Street Party St. Anne’s Street - Floriana

16/03/2012

A formal military ceremony. St. George’s Square - Valletta

20/12/2011

31/12/2011 - 01/01/2012

MUSICAL TIDINGS

DCLINIC - NEW YEAR’S EVE

12/02/2012

19/03/2012

FEAST OF ST JOSEPH

Celebrating Christmas with the New Choral Singers The Carmelite Priory - Mdina

Where music heals Sky Club - Paceville

IN GUARDIA PARADE

Traditional religious festivity Rabat

Re-enactment. Fort St Elmo - Valletta

01/01/2012 - 31/05/2012

25/03/2012

PERFORMANCES AT THE MANOEL

17/02/2012 - 21/02/2012

MCCA CULTURAL TOUR

CARNIVAL IN MALTA & GOZO

Events Programme : Jan-May 2012 The Manoel Theatre - Valletta

A season of colour and fun Malta & Gozo

Maltese historical heritage, traditions and skills. North of Malta

WINTER WONDERLAND

01/01/2012

24/02/2012

A XMAS LIVE EXPERIENCE Splash & Fun Park - Bahar ic-Caghaq

NEW YEAR’S DAY

AFM BAND DISPLAY AND CHANGING OF THE GUARD

22/12/2011

WINTER SOLSTICE Mnajdra Temples - Qrendi 22/12/2011 - 31/12/2011

22/12/2011 - 08/01/2012

Public Holiday Malta & Gozo

Military band display. Valletta

THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA Christmas Pantomime MFCC - Ta’ Qali

Transport arranged by drifter where you see this symbol

Download the free iPhone app Visit Malta! www.visitmalta.com Your online guide to the Maltese Islands. www.azure.com.mt


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Golden christmas As usual the festive period here at Golden Sands will be celebrated in true tradition. As well as the beautifully decorated Christmas tree, in the hotel reception there will be a live choir, on Christmas Eve. Come along and enjoy some roasted chestnuts too! Take a look at the other events you can book during your stay with us at this magical time of year.

fantastic menus to bring in 2012

CHRISTMAS DAY Sunday 25 December 2011 Flavours Restaurant Treat yourselves to a sumptuous Xmas buffet lunch in Flavours Restaurant A Corner comprising of kids’ delights will also be available.

Buffet Lunch Menu

agliolio’s New Year’s EVE

ESSENCE NEW YEAR’S EVE

Antipasto • An array of mezze, tapas, platters & crispy salads served with chilled sauces & flavoured oils

Adults

Adults:

€ 45.00 per person

€ 85.00 per person

Children (6yrs -12yrs)

Beverages:

€ 28.00 Agliolio Kids Menu also available

A la carte – wines from Essence’s extensive wine list.

Beverages:

Entertainment:

A la carte – wines from Agliolio’s wine list with particular emphasis on Italian regions.

Pianist in attendance

Bakers’ Corner • Assorted crusty rolls, ciabatta, multi grain, Maltese and focaccia Shellfish Station • A selection of shellfish cooked a la minute

Smart

Entertainment: Soup • Cream of celeriac & roasted pistacchios • Split pea & hamhock soup

Mario & Giselle Duo

Pasta • Baked cannelloni with chicken & mushroom • Strigoli with baby squid shrimps, courgettes & shellfish sauce • Tortelli mezzaluna, ricotta e spinaci tossed in creamy pesto sauce

Dinner Opening Hours:

Entertainment: Mike Spiteri Children’s play area & kids entertainers will keep the little ones amused, special appearance by Santa Claus

Adults: €48.00 per person

Children (6yrs -12yrs): €24.00 (Children under 6 years eat free)

Recommended Attire:

Carvery • Traditional roast turkey with festive trimmings • Slow-cooked rib eye of beef with thyme jus lie • Pan-fried sea bass on creamed leeks & herb oil • Grouper fillets en croute with cabernet veloute • Goat cheese & Parmesan pie

Smart casual

Lunch Opening Hours: 13:00hrs – 15:00hrs

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Accompaniments • Seasonal Brussel sprouts • Glazed carrots

Dinner Opening Hours: 19:30hrs till 23:00hrs

Recommended Attire: Smart

Beverages: A la carte – wines from Flavours’ extensive wine list

Recommended Attire:

19:30hrs till 23:00hrs


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what’s Happening at golden sands We are now approaching the winter season and the hotel provides a fabulous backdrop for you to enjoy some fun activities or gentle relaxation, making the most of your winter escape.

Diving

Country Walks

With an award winning PADI dive centre on site, a try dive for beginners or underwater exploration for the more advanced, are all within easy reach.

Explore nature through parks and countryside, along dramatic coastlines and down rugged shorelines, all within a few steps of the hotel. Guided walks are available at certain times of the year.

Horse Riding Cycling Enjoy the surrounding countryside on horseback taking in the breathtaking views. Be sure to have your camera handy for those amazing panoramics.

Resort Entertainment There is always lots of fun to be had for the little ones at Golden Sands. Children’s face painting, balloon art, crafts, and lots more! Check out the indoor kids club, downstairs opposite Flavours restaurant.

Exercise

Spa

Visit the hotel’s fully equipped gymnasium to maintain your fitness regime.

Enjoy a little pampering during your stay. Visit the professional team down at Myoka Spa and open the door to relaxation and rejuvenation.

Mountain biking across challenging terrain or a gentle cycle exploring neighbouring countryside makes for a great day out. Bicycles can be hired from the hotel.

Evening Entertainment Tennis Nightly entertainment including Jazz, Piano, acoustic sessions, four piece bands, singers & dancers

Stay on top of your game at the hotel’s tennis court. www.azure.com.mt


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Out and about with our members and through various organisations and local farmers. People can personally donate and plant their own tree, or sponsor this initiative through the bigger company organisations. All trees are tagged with the donators names and date planted, so their progress can be followed over the years. Putting something back and lending a helping hand to nature is important for future generations to come.

Out and About with our Members

Extending the Olive branch Malta is a popular destination for many reasons and its size plays an important role, small enough to circumnavigate easily and discover a wealth of thousands of years of history, including a magnificent nine UNESCO world heritage sites, seven of which include the island’s megalithic temples. Uncover their secrets along with those of previous invaders and settlers, who have landed on this fascinating Mediterranean isle. Some say the knights planted Olive trees and that the Roman’s were

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responsible for the cultivation of the island’s abundant Olive trees that once dominated the horizons during the Roman era. They believed in the beneficial properties of this fruit’s glorious oil, once referred to by Homer as ‘liquid Gold’. The Olive tree symbolised abundance as well as peace and glory and was a symbol of great power. Remains of the stone oil presses from that era along with tools can still be seen today, indicating evidence of widespread oil production. Further reference to this can be taken from the meaning of two of todays towns. Zebbug (meaning olive) and Zejtun (meaning oil)

Our members enjoyed the first pickings of this years olive harvest, here at the hotel. Guests were invited to pluck the olive trees and assist in the pressing of these succulent olives releasing the beautiful liquid. The delectable olive oil was then bottled and displayed within the hotel. Unfortunately over time and due to the ravages of further invaders, sieges, wars and this century’s human intervention and construction, the island has seen a drastic decline in forestation. This has been addressed in recent years and there is a concerted drive to ensure that new trees of different varieties are being planted, via the Government, the tourist authorities

This year in celebration of World Tourism Day on 27th September the Malta tourism authority invited two of our Heavenly Members, Dr David & Dr Marion Balex along with Golden Sands Chief Operating Office, Mr. Ernest Barry to a tree planting initiative in the local area.


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ernest Awards retiring Joe Caruana & Frans Tesi

MEMBERs drinks

Maltese delicacies and delights Further client events organised by Henri Diacono, personal concierge for the Heavenly Collection included a Maltese evening at the hotel, where guests enjoyed sampling the local Maltese delicacies and beverages, served by staff in typical Maltese costume. This proved a successful night and was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

The following day, guests enjoyed a guided tour of the magnificent Palazzo Falson, in the medieval city of Mdina. Parts of the building date back to the thirteenth century and house a museum of many historical and unique artifacts, including fascinating displays of armour, silver, and exquisite jewellery. A definite one for the “to see� list on your next visit.

rachel sullivan, graham sullivan, kurt camilleri

www.palazzofalson.com

our wonderful Henri diacono with members

pierre c. micallef & ernest barry entertaining www.azure.com.mt


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Harmoniously located along the marina in Vittoriosa, the historic Captain’s Palace houses Casinò di Venezia – MALTA – , the largest most attractive casino on the island, offers its guests three levels of experiences and suggestive atmospheres. The ideal place to play, dine and have fun as a couple or in company with friends, where you will be attended to by hospitable staff who are attentive to your needs. Whatever your passion may be, at Casinò di Venezia – MALTA – it will surely be satisfied.

In the splendid Venetian style rooms, you will find over 100 new generation slot machines and tables of Trente et Quarante, Black Jack, Punto y Banco and Fair Roulette, with minimum and maximum bets to suit every player and every purse. Your enjoyment is never ending.

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In the most original and lively poker hall in Europe, you will find live poker in all of its variants and with more than 40 tables you can observe our grand events and tournaments. Last but not least, overlooking the most breathtaking views of Malta, Ristorante Panoramico is located on the second floor of the casino, offering exquisitely flavoured Mediterranean cuisine where care for detail and creativity meet the Italian passion for fine food.

Continue to follow us on www.casinodivenezia.com.mt to learn all about our products and services while availing yourself of discounts and benefits connected to your stay. You will be able to take advantage of special offers and promotions and stay updated on our events, activities and upcoming appointments.


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The Running Man

Simon Mamo is a familiar face in Azure’s team of membership consultants, having met a lot of members during his eight years with the company. He is passionate about the product he promotes and the benefits that people get to enjoy by becoming a member. As with a lot of the exceptional people who work at Azure, their life outside of work is just as full and we caught up with Simon to ask him to share with our readers his views and tips on island life, along with his accomplishments this year. Malta is a favourite year round destination with visitors, what is it, do you think that makes this island so special? Being Maltese I may be somewhat biased but I think I am pretty fortunate to live on a beautiful Mediterranean island and to work at the island’s top location. How many people get to see the breathtaking views I encounter daily from the hotel! From the people I have met over the years, the top two reasons I hear time and again on why visitors return to this island year after year are primarily the friendliness and hospitality of the people of Malta, along with the agreeable year round climate.

Please share with our readers your favourite place on the island and why? I would have to say Mdina. With it’s beautiful architecture and historic feel, visiting here for the day you will get to experience some of the real Malta, how it would have looked in Medieval times. Make sure you stop for a drink and a slice of homemade cake at Fontanella tea gardens – the view from there is as amazing as the cake!

So what’s been keeping you busy outside of work this year, Simon? (Apart from the children!) Yes the children AND training!. I have been doing a lot of running for

the last three years and this year, I decided to train and compete in the Venice Marathon.

Tell us what it’s like to train on Malta and the challenges you faced? Well with an island that is 17 miles long and 8 miles wide, I would say that’s challenging to begin with! No seriously, there is no feeling more uplifting than running alongside the scenic coastlines around the island. The biggest challenge I faced was during the summer months when the temperature rises rapidly, I had to be very disciplined and be up and out of the house extremely early. I remember one morning I was out at 5am and it was already 27 degrees!

You competed in the Venice Marathon at the end of October. Share with us some of the challenges you faced along the way? The marathon started from the countryside town of Stra, 42.195km (26.224 miles) west of Venice and followed a scenic route through towns and villages, by rivers and over bridges (lots of bridges!) Crossing the main bridge from the mainland to Venice Island was the most challenging, this section measured 5km straight and felt never ending. Then having done around 33km I found the last push coming in to

Venice very tough. I was amazed at the amount of older people who did so well in this race, this made me even more determined not to give up! With the end in sight I began to feel elated. Running through St Mark’s Square gave me a huge feeling of achievement.

So what next? Are you going to take time off from training and enjoy a few mince pies at Christmas? Absolutely! I will be enjoying Christmas at home with the family then I will start training again for the Virgin London Marathon on 22nd April. I’m hoping to improve on my time and run this one in under four hours. It’s the same distance so training will be the same, although this time I will be training throughout the winter which hopefully will allow me a little longer in bed each morning!

Any finally tips for people whose New Years resolution is to run a marathon? To coin a famous quote, in the name of Nike, I would say, “Just do it! “And never give up when the going gets tough. Walk if you need to, crawl if you have to but NEVER give up! This came in very handy for me especially when nearing the end and I could feel blisters on every part of my feet! www.azure.com.mt


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Client Referrals

Don’t forget to tell your friends and family about the great membership benefits. If you know people that may be interested and who would like to visit us in Malta, for a luxury escape at a very affordable price, then let us know their details and we will help make this a possibility for them. As a special thank you, you will receive £50 per couple that arrives and a further £250 from anyone that you suggest, who becomes a Member*. Email us now at referrals@azure.com.mt *any booking must be made through Azures marketing department in order for it to be registered as a referred guest.

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hotel reviews Featured letter “...your new Seasons newsletter is, I found, excellent... it tells us exactly what we want to hear... the written word on paper is mightier then the sword!!...” congratulations to: Mr & Mrs Cunliffe their letter won them €500 resort credits to spend on their next stay

testimonials from trip advisor “Wonderful, Remote Property on a Beautiful Beach”

“Five Star Value.”

December 5, 2011

November 1, 2011

There aren’t many hotels in this area -- which lends to the beauty of this property because the viewlines aren’t marred by gigantic concrete slabs of neighbouring properties. If you’re looking for a remote property to get away from it all, this is it! My husband and I spent a week here, and we loved every minute of it. Having driven through St. Julian’s, we’re glad we chose this part of the island. It is much quieter and more relaxed than the other “resorty” parts of the island. That being said, there aren’t many restaurant options nearby, and the roads are difficult to navigate in the dark, so be prepared to eat at the property or self-cater. The hotel’s restaurants are tasty; and there’s something at nearly every price point. Some of the nicer restaurants nearby will pick you up and return you to your hotel; ask the concierge for advice on which ones offer this service.

Just back from a week at the Radisson Blu Resort at Golden Bay in Malta. This is the second time we have stayed there because we enjoyed it so much before. The sea was crystal clear and warm and apart from one day of rain it was delightful. Try and stay in an upper room overlooking the sea. We had a superb corner apartment on the top floor and the sunsets were quite beautiful.

We stayed in the timeshare portion of the property, so our room included a full kitchen and living room. Our balcony overlooked the pool and the bay, and we couldn’t have been happier drinking our morning coffee and evening cocktails on our balcony. We bought a few sundries at the on site shop, which offered the basics to get us through the week, including delicious selection of fresh, local dips. (It makes my mouth water, just thinking of them!) I can’t think of a single amenity this property lacks, other than ample parking space.

The hotel complex is a good taxi or bus ride from the City of Valetta, but the journey was well worthwhile. A boat tour of Valetta Harbour is a must. Cocktails on the hotel terrace in the evening followed by a sumptious buffet dinner or from the a la carte restaurants, followed by a stop in the small cabaret club, rounded off the day perfectly.

This is a wonderful, remote property set on a beautiful beach. We would gladly return.

Mr & Mrs Deone, UK

The resort has no fewer than five restaurants. The breakfast buffet was most impressive and the restaurant staff really helpful. During the day there was much to do within the hotel and down on the beach, such as catching the sun and enjoying a drink or two at the beach restaurant and bar. I liked the spa and Romanesque indoor pool…

It was great value and a superb place to stay. We will be back again !

Mr & Mrs Well, Washington DC

Reader Views As this newsletter is for you, the Member, we would love to hear from you with any suggestions you may have for topics for future newsletters. If you would like to know more about Malta, the culture, food or wine etc. or would like a feature on a particular area of the resort, then please drop us a line at seasons@azure.com.mt. The featured letter will receive €500 resort credits to be used on your next visit! So email us and you could be off to a head start on your next break!

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www.azure.com.mt

Azure Services Ltd • Radisson BLU Resort & Spa

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+356 2356 1811

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www.azure.com.mt

Golden Sands • l/o Mellieha • MLH 5510 • Malta

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+356 2356 1801

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info@azure.com.mt


Seasons Newsletter - Winter 2011