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TRAVEL

Home & Away with Robert Walshe 2012 looks to be off to a great start with research from the US indicating that travel improves your health. The results are from the American Travel Behaviour Survey which found that 81 per cent of travelers reported feeling more energised and productive after returning from a leisure trip. Adding frequent travel to your list of New Year’s resolutions can, the survey suggests, provide substantial health benefits and contribute to your general sense of overall wellbeing. “Travel stimulates the brain and promotes the growth of new synapses, heightens creativity and may even resist Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr Matthew Edlund, director of the Centre for Circadian Medicine and author of The Power of Rest.” Your brain, like the rest of your body, rebuilds itself constantly, but it needs to be given the regular opportunity to do so.

Weekend Hotspot

Bergdorf’s and Van Cleef & Arpel’s. The $450 million dollar investment resulted in the removal of 500 rooms from the original design and incorporated suites and residences. The renovations gutted the inside of the 100 year-old landmark and the overhaul resulted in the restoration of both the interior and the exterior to incorporate an historic charm and elegance with all the modern conveniences and luxuriousness one would expect from Central Parks most popular resident! The changes include full restoration of the famed Palm Court where afternoon tea is served complete with white glove service. Everything at the Plaza is functional and reassuring and they’ve avoided the silliness & brashiness of more modern hotels. The Plaza’s Grand Ballroom, the setting for more than one famous wedding and reception including the late President Nixon’s daughter, Julie, Peter Lawford and Patricia Kennedy and the famous Black and White Ball hosted by Truman Capote, also received a complete make-over restoring its original detail and lavish splendor, so make sure to ask the concierge to organise a tour. The lobby is plush and very grand in traditional style with gilding and chandeliers. Huge floral arrangements on antique marble tables create a truly elegant mood. The property offers 282 guestrooms, including 152 residences. The.” Plaza” rooms where I stayed provide large accommodations inspired in the style of Louis XV with a king bed, a comfortable sitting area with

Midtown Manhattan is back as the place to stay in New York. It isn’t just new hotels capturing our attention - the old grand dames overlooking Central Park are also having a renaissance and none more so than the grandest of them all, The Plaza the cities most famous luxury hotel The Plaza built in 1907 by Henry Hardenbergh and Thomas Hastings is managed by Fairmont following its recent renovation and has hosted everyone from Marilyn Monroe to the Beatles on their first New York visit. In fact Kings, presidents, ambassadors, stars of stage, screen and sports, as well as business executives and travelers from all parts of the world have gathered and stayed at The Plaza. The Plaza was so well known that Ernest Hemingway once advised F. Scott Fitzgerald to give his liver to Princeton and his heart to The Plaza.The century old landmark situated on the corner of 5th Avenue and 59th Street is next to Manhattan’s famous four te. corners home to Tifn The Plaza New York Sui fany’s, Harry Winston,

Pet’s Corner...

n The Plaza New York.

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a table and one or two armchairs, plus a writing desk and chair. Each room features a bathroom finished with inlaid “earth stone” mosaics in floral motifs, with a bathtub as well as separate shower. The large open concept suites are equipped with a guest services panel, which controls not only lighting and heating but connects guests with hotel services. I love the fact that you will find an Apple iPad in each room. The device helps control much of the room’s properties and allows for quick and easy communications with the staff. Instead of using an older touch panel, you can now use the iPad to change the temperature of the room, contact the front desk, order room service, stay in touch with the concierge, arrange a wakeup call and the iPad can even help print your boarding passes. Designated a New York City Landmark in 1969, The Plaza is listed on the Register of Historic Places and the only New York City hotel to be designated as a National Historic Landmark. www.fairmont.com/ theplaza

Weekly Best Buy

Living

Pick up a deal in the Dominican Republic between April 14th and June with a week all-inclusive in the dreams La Romana Hotel from €1,099pps with

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www.tropicalsky.ie Places are still available for walking tours of La Gomera in the Canary Islands for February 1st-8th from €699 per person sharing, including accommodation, guided walks, transfers & dinners. www.gomerawalking.com Book Azamara European clubs cruise in 2012 with Joe Walsh Tours and you will get a free return air fare to the country where you embark. Also included are free transfers and a night’s stay in a selected resort before or after the cruise. This offer applies to selected Azamara Club Cruises sailings in 2012 (sail dates run from May 6th to October 27th), if you book before January 31st to destinations including Venice, Athens, Corfu and Croatia. The price for a cruise departing until May 29th, including a pre-cruise stay in a hotel in Amsterdam, is €2,851 per person based on an ocean view cabin. The offer is only applicable to the first and second full fare paying guests. Additional guests on each booking have to pay full airfare, taxes/fees, transfer and accommodation costs. Mozambique’s summer runs from now until April. See the sights and bars of the capital, Maputo, and then head out to the white-sand islands of the Bazaruto and Quirimbas archipelagos. Flights in early January from Heathrow to Maputo cost around £750 with Kenya Airways. www.kenya-airways.com Robert Walshe is a freelance contributor / broadcaster and guest travel writer for River Media newspaper titles across the island of Ireland 

Home and Away Extra This is not exactly the sort of gadget you might have on your wish list, but we’ll all be grateful if the world’s airlines get one. And soon, to skip the sort of travel disruption that Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökul eruption caused in recent years a Norwegian engineer may have ash-proofed us even a little with his “AVOID” technology. The real problem before was no one was sure exactly where the dense, dangerous ash plumes really were, so there was a mass grounding. AVOID uses two infrared cameras tuned to see volcanic silicates up to 100km in front of the airplane and so let pilots maneuver around areas of trouble. Testing is ongoing and, if all goes well and certification is approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency, airlines will start installing AVOID devices on planes from next summer.

with Kathleen Murray

Does your dog cry, bark or whine a lot?

We have all seen the cartoon or watched a film where a dog is barking in the night and someone gets up, opens a window and throws a boot or something at the dog. They are usually at the end of their tether and the frustration and anger is plain to be seen and heard. Does this method cure the problem barker permanently? No. Can you be done for cruelty? Yes. If we look at reasons why dogs bark then you will know how to deal with the problem. If a neighbours dog is barking then it can be for many reasons. Some of these reasons are: It could be that the dog is new and

feeling a bit insecure. It could be that the dog is alone a lot and is very lonely. It could be that the dog has been used to being in the house a lot and is now growing up into a nuisance because nobody put manners on it and now it has been put outside, causing much stress to the dog, the family and all the neighbours. Another reason for barking a lot is that the dog could be scared. A dog could be ill, have an injury that nobody knows about, has an owner in hosptal suddenly and left to it’s own devices for a bit in the heat of the moment. None of these reasons are the

dogs fault but the dog is the one that “gets the boot”. What can you do if there is a problem with nuisance barking in your neighbourhood.? It is usually a good idea to approach the owner of the dog when they are at home. Tell them their dog has been barking a lot and ask if there is a problem? Maybe you could help in some way? You could offer some support if it is a temporary situation and the dog has nobody to walk it or look in on it for a short spell, you could suggest a dog trainer if you think the person simply doesn’t know how to fix it themselves or call for some help if

the person is an addict and is not fit to look after the animal. If it is something that you can work out between you then all the better. If you get a hostile response from the neighbour then you have some options also. You can ring the Gardai, Social Services, Animal Welfare, Dog Wardens or whoever you think could help. The animal may be a nuisance to you but it is not the animals fault, remember?. It is depending on you to help it. If it is your own dog then do something about it. There is no need for a dog to be barking all night or all day if the owner and the dog have the right relationship. A dog that is a nuisance

barker does not make a good guard dog as nobody pays much attention to it after a while. They just turn up their television to block it out. If someone comes to your door in a civilised manner and explains to you (in a civilised way) that your dog is causing them distress, then please try to work with them rather than against them. They are not doing it to annoy you, it is you that has annoyed them.


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