August 14, 2017 652 Views in Headlines, Technology Gabe Minton Guild Mortgage Independent Mortgage Lender Mortgage Lending mortgage lending technology 2017-08-14 Krista Franks Brock Guild Mortgage, a large independent mortgage lender with offices in 25 states, welcomes experienced mortgage technology professional Gabe Minton to its leadership team as EVP of information technology.Minton brings to his new role more than 25 years of experience spanning the realms of strategy, software development, vendor relations, and communications.”I am pleased to be joining Guild as it enters a new era of technology innovation with MyMortgage and other IT platforms and applications to improve the experience for every customer, employee, partner and supplier that we work with throughout the entire mortgage lending process,” Minton said.In his new role, Minton will report directly to Guild Mortgage President and CEO Mary Ann McGarry, who said she selected Minton after a nationwide search for the right candidate.“Gabe will lead our technology information strategy, bringing a fresh perspective and broad experience to our company as we seek to reach new levels,” McGarry said.“We have many critical initiatives already underway, including our MyMortgage digital mortgage portal and new approaches to quality assurance. Gabe’s visionary leadership and expertise will help Guild reach its strategic growth goals as we use advanced technology to enhance our culture of customer service excellence that has distinguished the company for more than 50 years,” she said.Prior to joining Guild Mortgage, Minton served as SVP and CIO at PHH Mortgage, overseeing its IT division. He also held the role of SVP of Information Services at ServiceLink, where he was responsible for strategy and implementation of products and services.Minton has also held roles with Motivity Solutions, Mortgage Cadence, and the Mortgage Bankers Association. He was one of the founding members of the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO). His career began in engineering for the U.S. Navy.“Guild is already a strong technology company and poised for more growth. In reviewing its history, I found ongoing innovation and sound technology investments,” Minton said.“The company developed its own proprietary, integrated technology platform over two decades ago and kept improving it to provide high levels of customer service and maximize operational efficiencies, while maintaining ownership of its core systems and data. It has strong strategic partnerships with industry-leading providers including: Roostify, Salesforce, Tavant and IBM,” he added. Share Guild Mortgage Welcomes Gabe Minton as EVP, Information Technology
Share in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, Headlines, News, Origination August 16, 2017 530 Views The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) released its minutes from its meeting in July on Wednesday, which detailed the Fed’s outlook on the state of all facets of the economy since its meeting in June, when it decided to raise interest rates.In their staff review of the economic situation, the FOMC reported that investment in real estate declined slightly in the second quarter of 2017, even though starts in single-family homes and multifamily homes rose in June. The number of building permits that were issued for both single-family and multifamily homes was also lower in the second quarter than it was in the first. In May as well as June existing home sales decreased; however, new home sales in May were on the rise.The FOMC also reported that Treasury yields for long- and intermediate-term securities showed a slight increase in June, which was attributed to potential declines in the long-term neutral real interest rates in the past few years as well as an accommodative foreign monetary policy. Commercial real estate financing conditions also remained accommodative, although loans slowed.In the residential mortgage market, the Fed observed that the market was hardly changed and new credit continued to flow at a reasonable pace, while at the same time many respondents of the Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey (SLOOS) reported that standards for most residential loans were not as tight as they have been in the past.Participants of the meeting did unanimously agree that regulatory and supervisory tools that have been developed since the housing crisis have been paramount in helping maintain financial stability, as well as the fact that a continued, slow increase in the federal funds rate was an appropriate solution to maintain their goal of maximum employment and an inflation rate that hovered around 2 percent.You can read the full details of the minutes here. Fed Federal Reserve FOMC Minutes 2017-08-16 Joey Pizzolato FOMC Update: July Minutes
The Arizona Cardinals may have found the answer to their quarterback woes after finalizing a trade with the Oakland Raiders for veteran Carson Palmer Tuesday.Arizona sent a 2013 sixth-round draft pick and a conditional 2014 seventh-round selection to Oakland in exchange for Palmer and the Raiders’ seventh-rounder this year.The Redbirds have worked out a two-year, $16 million contract — $10 million of it guaranteed — with the 33-year-old who led the Raiders to an 8-16 record in 24 starts over two seasons. “He’s got a lot of tread on his tire and a lot of football left to play in his career,” Bidwill said. – / 11 Cardinals president Michael Bidwill thinks Palmer will fit in well in Arizona.“He’s a great quarterback, a great leader, a great person,” he said. “It’s exciting to have a player like Carson who’s excited about coming to this organization and coming to the Valley.” With the acquisition of quarterback Drew Stanton last month, some believed that the career backup would be the solution at the position for Arizona in 2013. However, a player that threw for 4,018 yards and 22 touchdowns with a mediocre team last year was too good for the Cardinals not to pursue.Rumors about Palmer leaving Oakland surged after he objected to taking a pay cut. “It was unanimous, a no-brainer,” Bidwill said. “When we learned that he would be available via trade and that we had a shot at getting him, we were aggressive; we went out there, put our best foot forward and made sure that we got the deal done.“I don’t think I ever dreamed that we could have a quarterback the quality of Carson Palmer to come to the Cardinals as an opportunity that fell.” The arrival of Palmer brings stability to the quarterback position that the team hasn’t had since Kurt Warner’s retirement in 2010. Even at his age, Bidwill believes Palmer has plenty left in his tank. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Comments Share Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling
“Must-win” is probably overused. A team is on a losing streak? Their next contest is a must-win. A team goes down 2-0 in a seven-game series? Game three is a must-win. A team is playing an inferior opponent late in the season with a slew of far more difficult opposition awaiting them? That’s a must-win.Of course, none of these scenarios are technically true must-wins — in a “win or go home” sense — but their gravity cannot be understated, thus the emphatic tag. Top Stories Mathieu’s absence will surely be felt in the Cardinals’ secondary, but it is up to Cason and company to play stopgap — minimizing the effect of Honey Badger’s injury. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick’s frequent downfield throws will make this especially difficult for the secondary. Deep threats like Kendall Wright, Nate Washington, Justin Hunter and company will surely test a Mathieu-less defensive back core.3. “There’s no place like home; there’s no place like home”The Cardinals get homesick easily. With their only road wins coming in Florida against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, on Sunday against the Titans, it’s crucial that they play as if they’re at University of Phoenix Stadium, where they’ve gone 6-1. Of course, none of the Cardinals’ previous losses have come to particularly easy opponents, nor easy environments — including the Super Dome, Candlestick Park and Lincoln Financial Field.LP Field and the Titans don’t look to be as trying as previous contests, but they’re neither as easy as the Cardinals’ two trips to Florida. Finding a way to cope with the environment, and the weather — which is expected to be in the 30s around the time of kickoff — will prove trying for Arians and team. Comments Share Big plays in the first half will make things all the more trying for the Cardinals, who will be facing more pressure than their opponent in the game who will also be dealing with colder, foreign temperatures than they’re used to.Getting pressure on Palmer will likely be key to this effort, as will the Titans’ ability to hold playmakers like Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Ellington and Michael Floyd in check.3. Delanie WalkerA 6-foot, sixth-round pick out of Central Missouri State can be key to the game? Against the Cardinals’ defense, you’d better believe it.Tight ends have been the Cardinals’ kryptonite all season long, making Walker a key to the Titans’ offensive attack. Of course, Walker is no Jimmy Graham, Vernon Davis or Jared Cook — all of whom torched the Cardinals earlier in the season — but his playmaking ability against the most vulnerable part of an otherwise strong defense means more than can be stated.Walker has 45 receptions for 454 yards so far this season. Keys for the Titans1. Stretch the fieldThe Cardinals may have one of the top rushing defenses in the NFL, but Chris Johnson and the Titans’ ability to establish the run and draw in the opposition’s secondary will be crucial for the offense. Despite Mathieu’s absence, the Cardinals’ defense is too good to get much traction against if they don’t have to worry about a rushing attack. Johnson, the AFC’s fourth-leading rusher, has 820 yards on the year, but has been held to under four yards per carry over 217 rushing attempts. In 13 games this year, the running back has already surpassed last season’s receiving numbers, however, logging 277 yards and three touchdowns through the air. Short, efficient plays for the Titans must precede the chunk yard plays.2. Early environmentThe longer the Titans can keep the home crowd engaged in the game, the better, given the Cardinals’ road struggles. An early lead at home may prove the difference for the Titans, just as it has in each of the Cardinals’ opponents home wins this season. First half deficits against the Rams, Saints, 49ers, and Eagles were too much for the Cardinals to overcome. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Such is the case for the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday in Nashville, Tenn. as they face the Tennessee Titans. Must-win? Basically, but not technically.The Cardinals, themselves, feel that they have to win out in order to make the playoffs, although a loss on Sunday doesn’t completely knock them out of the picture.That they control their own destiny down the stretch, however, is the bigger point. And Sunday’s game at LP Field in Nashville looks to be the most winnable of the three remaining games, with others coming against the Seattle Seahawks on the road and the San Francisco 49ers.The Titans, 5-8, have struggled throughout the season, and especially of late — losing their last game at Mile High 51-28 to the Denver Broncos and dropping four of their last five and seven of their last nine.The Cardinals, meanwhile, at 8-5, are riding something of a hot streak into Music City, with a +46 point scoring margin over their previous three games, including a 30-10 blowout win over the division rival St. Louis Rams their last time out.Keys for the Cardinals1. Protection packagesOffensive line woes have been the yarn in Glendale for each of the previous two seasons — weaving their way into most Cardinals happenings. Did the Cardinals win? They must have done well with pass protection. They lost? The offensive line will eat at least a slice of the pie of blame. So coach Bruce Arians’ recently-upped utilization of tight ends and backs for quarterback Carson Palmer’s protection. As ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski pointed out following the Cardinals’ 41-10 over the Indianapolis Colts, “(Palmer) feels comfortable with multiple tight ends on the field; I think he feels comfortable because he feels protected.” Added Jaws: the Cardinals tight ends do “a tremendous job in pass protection in some very well-designed scheme protections.”With the Cardinals’ seemingly unavoidable O-line struggles, helping Palmer as much as possible — as Arians, offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin and company did in the team’s eye-opening 30-10 win last weekend — should find itself atop the team’s offensive priority list. 2. Antoine Cason, Javier Arenas and Jerraud PowersWith rookie sensation Tyrann Mathieu out for the season with an ACL and LCL injury, roles are shifting.Among those most affected by Mathieu’s absence are defensive backs Javier Arenas, Jerraud Powers and Antoine Cason. And Cason, in particular, will see the most dramatic increase in playing time, after spending most of the Cardinals’ previous 13 games on special teams, despite playing defense in all 16 of the San Diego Chargers’ games last year. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo
Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling As for the best cornerback debate with Richard Sherman, the Seattle Seahawks standout came in at No. 6 on PFF’s latest list.Sherman’s claim that Peterson “gives up too many touchdowns” does seem to be confirmed by PFF — at least for 2013 — which said he allowed seven TDs, tied for third-most in the league.Former Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby came in one spot behind Peterson at No. 59, while then-rookie Tyrann Mathieu put together a campaign that was good enough for 84th on the list.The highest-rated Cardinal was defensive end Calais Campbell, who came in 19th. No Cardinals offensive players made the cut.Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt placed No. 1 on the PFF list. Pro Football Focus annually concocts a “Top 101” list of best players in the NFL based on an individual season.The analytics site recently came out with its list for 2013, and even though Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson made the cut, an ESPN Insider article on Monday — titled “NFL’s most overrated players” — explained why the three-year pro wasn’t rated higher. The analysts felt the need to qualify the “overrated” list with, “Here’s a look at the players many fans and media will be surprised to see at the bottom half of the PFF 101.”Peterson came in at No. 58 on the list, which PFF acknowledges is rather low considering the three-time Pro Bowler’s high regard in the league.Here’s the reasoning behind Peterson’s seemingly underwhelming ranking:The hype for Peterson has been mostly of his own doing of late, as his social media “feud” with his fellow cornerbacks has made headlines.Similar to (Cincinnati’s A.J.) Green, Peterson has all the physical talent in the world and uses it well for the most part, but he hasn’t done it on a weekly basis like some of league’s other top cornerbacks. Overall, Peterson ranked 15th among cornerbacks with a plus-5.9 coverage grade, but he did so while tracking the opposition’s top wide receiver 55 percent of the time.His assignment may be more difficult than some of the league’s other corners, but he has yet to perform at a level that puts him into the top echelon at the position. He surrendered seven touchdowns into his coverage — tying for third most in the league — while his 1.00 yards/cover snap tied for 15th. Using interception numbers to judge a cornerback may be even worse than using tackles for a linebacker, but Peterson got his hands on only nine passes (three intercepted, six passes defensed), a number you would expect to be a little higher for a top cornerback that was targeted 90 times.Another similarity to Green is Peterson’s week-to-week consistency issues, as he finished seven games with negative coverage grades, including a disastrous Week 15 performance that saw him surrender nine catches on 10 targets for 146 yards, most of which came at the hands of Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kendall Wright. While we’re certainly not going to hold one game against a player, these are the types of performances that must be avoided if Peterson is going to take the next step to rank among the best cornerbacks in the league. Until then, he’s a very good player who takes on assignments of above-average difficulty on a weekly basis.Peterson had 42 tackles, three interceptions and 13 passes defensed in 2013. Those numbers were down from his sophomore year, in which he compiled 55 tackles, seven picks, 16 passes defensed and one fumble recovery. Comments Share
Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Comments Share Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Arizona Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington has been suspended by the NFL for the 2014 season due to violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Washington missed four games last season due to the same issue.Friday afternoon, he released a statement through his agent:Daryl Washington Statement on suspension: pic.twitter.com/pUfxyx9WlY— Jordan Woy (@JordanWoy) May 30, 2014
It has been a disappointing season statistically for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd. Expected to take the next step in his development and possibly emerge as the team’s bonafide No. 1 pass catcher, Floyd’s numbers left a lot to be desired.However, the 25-year-old ended the season with a bang. The third-year receiver out of Notre Dame led all players in catches, yards and touchdowns with eight receptions for 153 yards and two touchdowns in the Cardinals’ 20-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. It was by far his best showing of the year, setting season highs in catches and yards while catching a pair of touchdowns for the second time this season. Eight receptions was the most Floyd hauled in since grabbing eight in the final game of his rookie season. His 153 yards was the most since his 193-yard performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars last season.Each of Floyd’s touchdowns gave the Cardinals a lead.Floyd’s first touchdown, a 20-yard flea flicker, opened the scoring for Arizona and was the first touchdown of quarterback Ryan Lindley’s career. His second score was a 41-yard bomb that capped off with Floyd keeping his arm in bounds while in the air to give Arizona a 17-13 lead.The 49ers had no answer for Floyd, who was targeted 12 times on Sunday. No. 15 accounted for nearly half of Lindley’s 316 passing yards.Something about playing against San Francisco in Week 17 gets Floyd going. He has played the 49ers in the final game of the regular season in all three of his NFL seasons, combining to catch 22 balls for 410 yards and three touchdowns.Floyd finishes the 2014 regular season with 39 catches for 688 yards and four touchdowns in 15 games. His 39 catches are a career-low as is his 2.8 yards-after-catch average. – / 27 Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact 0 Comments Share ErrorOK ErrorOK The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron prepares to in the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers) 21 Comments Share In 2015, he filled in for the injured Dalton, completing 76 of his 115 passes (66 percent) for 832 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. In his four starts in the regular season, McCarron was 2-2, not including a playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.McCarron has been heavily linked to the Cleveland Browns, as their head coach Hue Jackson was McCarron’s offensive coordinator in that 2015 season. The Browns agreed to a trade for McCarron before the 2017 trade deadline, but the deal did not go through because of late paperwork from the Browns.Due to the retirement of Carson Palmer and every other quarterback on the Arizona roster becoming a free agent this offseason, the quarterback position is under a major spotlight for general manager Steve Keim and new head coach Steve Wilks to fill. Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron won a grievance against his team and will now be an unrestricted free agent, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter.According to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Mike Jurecki, the Cardinals planned on watching film of McCarron this week.The 27-year-old was selected 164th overall by the Bengals in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Playing behind starter Andy Dalton his entire career, the three-time national champion at Alabama has only thrown 133 passes in his NFL career. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling
Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Comments Share The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Fantasy football players, this will be right up your alley.Simply put, your Trivia Tuesday task this week is to name the top 25 active NFL tight ends in terms of career receptions.We’ve given you the number of catches for each tight end and the teams for which each man played. You’ve got eight minutes on the clock…good luck!Statistics complete through games played on Sunday, December 16, 2018 Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Go back to the e-newsletter >Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has announced that it has agreed to sell The Westin Excelsior, Rome to Katara Hospitality for US$251 million.As part of the deal, the historic hotel will be renovated in the next 5 years, including a top-to-bottom transformation of all guestrooms, as well as upgrades to the hotel’s public areas. Additionally, as has been the case with other sales of Starwood hotel assets, it will continue to be operated by Starwood under a new long-term management agreement.Adam Aron, CEO of Starwood on an interim basis, said: “On the heels of our recent high-profile sales of The Phoenician and The Gritti Palace, along with other hotel asset transactions, the sale of the Westin Excelsior Rome brings us to $817 million of hotel assets sold so far this year. Accordingly, Starwood has now exceeded our stated goal of completing at least $800 million in hotel asset sales by the end of 2015.”Simon Turner, President of Global Development, Starwood, added: “We continue to see strong interest in our remaining owned hotels from a broad array of high-quality investors from around the world as we look for the right sale opportunities and long-term partners to create value for our shareholders.”“This agreement marks our third property in Italy. The Westin Excelsior Rome is the epitome of what Katara Hospitality looks for in a hotel,” said Sheikh Nawaf Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al-Thani, Chairman of Katara Hospitality. He continued, “Its grand and statuesque appearance is the ultimate in luxurious hospitality. The hotel is a welcome addition to our growing global portfolio of iconic properties, and we are delighted to be continuing to set the standard for luxury hospitality the world over.”Opened in 1906, The Westin Excelsior Rome is located on Via Veneto and features 316 rooms. Hotel amenities include two restaurants and a bar, a WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studio, Kami Wellness Centre, an indoor pool and a 24-hour business centre.Hamad Abdulla Al-Mulla, Chief Executive Officer of Katara Hospitality, said: “For nearly a century, this legendary hotel has provided exceptional hospitality and hosted dignitaries and celebrities, as well as business and leisure travelers. We look forward to making further improvements to The Westin Excelsior Rome and continuing its long-standing tradition of excellence.”Michael Wale, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa, and Middle East, concluded: “We are thrilled to expand our relationship with Katara Hospitality, owner of both Sheraton Doha Resort & Convention Center and The Excelsior Hotel Gallia, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Milan. We look forward to working together on the continued success of The Westin Excelsior, an architecturally stunning property and one of the most iconic hotels in Rome.”The transaction increases Katara Hospitality’s portfolio to 35 properties in operation or under development and marks its third owned hotel in Italy.Go back to the e-newsletter >
Scenic Sapphire, AvignonGo back to the e-newsletterScenic has launched its 2017 Europe River Cruising programme which includes a rebuild of three Scenic Space-Ships in France and the launch of on board cooking school, Scenic Culinaire, plus new Freechoice activities, Scenic Enrich experiences and a number of new combination cruises.Scenic Diamond in Bordeaux plus Scenic Emerald and Sapphire on the Rhône and Saône in the South of France, will be rebuilt for 2017 opening up public spaces and reducing the number of guests to 155 (78 cabins) but not staff numbers; offering guests an even more personalised level of service than ever before.The redesigned ships will all feature two 47 square metres Royal Owner’s Suites on the Diamond Deck – the biggest suites on board European river cruise ships, larger wellness centres and gyms plus a vitality pool.Scenic has transformed one of the onboard dining venues into a private cooking emporium offering tailored cooking classes. The dedicated space will feature cooking stations, a cheese and wine cellar, fresh ingredients will be sourced from local markets and our cooking instructors will introduce guests to regional recipes based on the regions we are cruising through. Scenic Culinaire features a real-time camera and screen to ensure each participant can see every cooking move in detail. Plenty of sessions are scheduled throughout the cruise, however with exclusive numbers, guests are encouraged to register their interest early.Scenic has also launched six new combination cruises ranging from the 19-day Eastern European Endeavour which travels from Prague to Bucharest along the Danube and through the less-travelled Black Sea region, to the 27-day European Sojourn which begins in Budapest cruising the popular Rhine-Main-Danube rivers and connecting with the Rhône in Lyon, ending in Nice.Aleisha Fittler, GM Product Development, commented: “France is the epicentre of cuisine and fine dining so we are delighted to introduce Scenic Culinaire to our guests. We know many have a huge passion for food and wine so we believe this is something that will really enhance their cruising experience and immerse them even further into the delights of French gastronomy.“Our combination cruises continue to grow in popularity so we have added a number of these to our brochure for the first time this year, some of which are based on guest feedback. Each itinerary in France has been designed to seamlessly connect across these diverse regions by air, rail or road, to deliver the ultimate French cruising experience. The Seine and Bordeaux and Seine and Rhône have been our most popular combination cruises with our new 10-day Douro river cruise also combining easily with France and proving to be popular combination too.”New Scenic Enrich experiences include Scenic Rouge – performed under a big-top in Lyon where guests will enjoy a traditional French cabaret performance including the famous can-can, and an exclusive four-course dining experience with matched vintages at the acclaimed Mumm Champagne house in Riems. New Scenic Freechoice activities include a gingerbread cooking class in Nuremberg; guided tour of Bratislava; Tournon vineyard hike and wine tasting, and for the more active there are three new cycling options in Caudebec, Arnhem and Bordeaux.Scenic has a number of Earlybird offers available until 30 September or until sold out – included flights to Europe; fly for $995 per person; Eco-Biz Flight combos and fly business class to Europe from $3995 per person.Go back to the e-newsletter
Go back to the e-newsletterThe Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company has teed up a second resort hotel on China’s only tropical island of Hainan, signing a management agreement with Hainan Golden Tide Tourism Development Co., Ltd. The luxury development underlines the provincial government’s drive to enhance the destination for international visitors with prestigious new projects, balancing cultural heritage and preserving the island’s natural beauty.Commanding a prized east coast location near the city of Wanning, the private oceanfront setting of The Ritz-Carlton resort with its two crescents of white sandy beach, will also include the debut of the first Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in China. The challenging 18-hole course will be designed by golf legend, Jack Nicklaus.“Nanyan Bay will be a sensational new resort destination for The Ritz-Carlton in the much heard about but relatively under-explored ‘Hawaii of the East’,” said Herve Humler, President and Chief Operating Officer for The Ritz-Carlton. “We are pleased to be working with our partners, Hainan Golden Tide Tourism Development, to create a new international ocean front resort for sophisticated travellers looking to explore the unexplored.”The Ritz-Carlton, Nanyan Bay is scheduled to open in 2017 offering 244 generous guestrooms and suites in addition to 14 private villas. Five dining options include a Chinese restaurant, pool bar and grill, all-day dining restaurant and lobby lounge. Weddings and meetings will be hosted in lavish settings amid the 800-square-metre Grand Ballroom and the 1600 square metres of meeting and event venue space. A luxury spa, fitness centre, recreation pavilion and multiple swimming pools are among the resort’s private facilities. Completing the ocean view development will be residences, entertainment and luxury retail stores.Just a short speedboat ride away, a myriad of secluded islands such as Dazhou and Jiajiang are famed for their scuba and water-sports.The Hainan government has highlighted Wanning as a new tourism hub by completing infrastructure projects such as a new nearby airport, a high speed railway and new roads to improve accessibility.It has placed emphasis on showcasing the island’s rich cultural heritage and wealth of natural landmarks. The Ritz-Carlton, Nanyan Bay is surrounded by the famed Dongshan Ridge which is known as the First Mountain of Hainan with the oldest Buddhist temples in the province. The location is also close to several natural hotsprings and nature trails leading into the ancient tropical rainforests with 4600 kinds of flora and fauna and the home to one of the three important local ethnic tribes – the Miao people. Wanning prefecture is also home to the largest surf club in Asia and the home of international surfing competitions.Go back to the e-newsletter
Go back to the e-newsletterFor all those who dream of 365 days a year of sun, the members of international expat community InterNations have identified the places around the world with the best weather: if you move to Costa Rica, Cyprus or Greece, you can be sure to enjoy the outdoors almost every day of the year. Other destinations with fine temperatures include Malta, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Spain, Portugal and Mexico.Who considers weather and climate important?For the annual Expat Insider survey, InterNations asked more than 14,000 people living in 195 different countries about their satisfaction with the climate in their current place of residence. The results conveyed that 45 per cent of British citizens considered weather to be an important factor before relocating to a new country. That is a whopping 16 percentage points more than the global average. Other nationalities that thought about the weather a lot before making their move abroad include the Swiss (41 per cent), Irish (39 per cent) and Belgians (38 per cent).InterNations CEO Malte Zeeck puts special emphasis on weather being an important factor for certain nationalities. “It is clear to see from the survey results that depending on expats’ origins, they do not necessarily prioritize hard factors, such as safety and job security, over soft factors, such as the weather and climate, before moving to another country — sometimes it is even the other way round.”Where the sun is shining everydayExpats around the world rated the weather and climate favourably in sunny spots spread along Europe, South America and Africa, whereas North America, Oceania and Asia — left alone Antarctica, the seventh continent —did not receive much appraisal when it comes to good climate. Here are ten best countries for those ready to wave goodbye to the gloomy weather in their home country:1. Costa RicaThe country clinches the 12th spot out of 64 countries in the overall ranking of the survey. One prominent factor for its high rank is the weather and climate, with 71 per cent of the respondents living there rating it as very good. The friendly locals and great work-life balance are just some of the reasons why expats decide to move to this tropical paradise. Unlike many other destinations that are mostly career-focused, the most popular reasons for moving to Costa Rica are for a better quality of life and a thirst for adventure.2. CyprusAlongside the uplifting weather, which 69 per cent of expats rate as very good, there are several other aspects that can be appreciated in Cyprus. Making new friends, personal safety and feeling at home in the local culture are among the top criteria that were praised by expats living there. In fact, 21 per cent of the respondents were completely satisfied with their social circle in Cyprus, whereas the global average stands at 15 per cent.3. GreeceAbout 76 per cent of expats in Greece rate the weather and climate there as very good, which is a staggering 53 percentage points more than the global average. With such pleasant weather, expats in Greece are able to enjoy a variety of leisure activities. Some 38 per cent of expats rate the availability of leisure options as very good. On the other hand, the country’s political stability is in the time being non-existent, which has been detrimental to the peacefulness and the state of the economy there. Indeed, 39 per cent of the respondents rated the political stability in the country as bad or even very bad, whereas the global average stands at a meager eight percent.4. MaltaMalta is ranked first overall in the Working Abroad Index, as well as in its sub-categories Job Satisfaction and Work-Life Balance The country clinched the third sport in the Work-Life Balance sub-index. Therefore it is no surprise that expats working in Malta still seem to have enough free time left to enjoy the good weather, which is appreciated by 68 per cent of the respondents.5. UgandaDelightful weather and friendly locals are what make Uganda splendid. However, the country’s political instability is a considerable lowlight for expats’ personal safety. Only 15 per cent of the foreign residents there rate their personal safety as very good. Other setbacks include poor transportation infrastructure, a struggling economy and not up to par medical care.6. KenyaThis culturally-rich country has good weather all year round, but it lags behind in several other categories. Personal safety is one of them, where 28 per cent of expats rate it bad or very bad. That is 23 percentage points less than the global average. In addition, the cost of living is also very high, with only three percent of the respondents rating it as very good.7. SpainLocated in Southwestern Europe, Spain has a plethora of attributes: a Mediterranean climate, excellent opportunities to travel, a robust transport infrastructure, as well as various socializing and leisure activities.In fact, 51 per cent of the expats in Spain rated the leisure activities there as very good. That is 19 percentage points more than the global average. Nonetheless, Spain may not be the place to find a good job in: About 30 per cent of expats find the state of the economy not up to global standards, whereas the global average stands at 10 per cent.8. South AfricaOut of all of the countries in the top ten, South Africa has the lowest percentage of expats who feel positively about their personal safety — some 31 per cent of expats rated it bad or very bad. Nonetheless, enchanting weather, high quality of environment and availability of leisure activities are all positives of life in South Africa.9. MexicoMexico offers much more than good weather, as 55 per cent of the respondents rated the climate and weather there as very good. The country also occupies the second spot out of 64 countries in the overall rank of the survey, thanks to several other factors such as the career prospects, job security and the friendliness of the local population.10. PortugalExpats in Portugal can enjoy the fine weather in peace and quiet, as 62 per cent of the respondents rated their personal safety there as very good. That is a whopping 20 percentage points more than the global average. In addition, the country is considered the third most welcoming country for expats overall and ranks fifth in both, the Quality of Life and the Ease of Settling In Index.Go back to the e-newsletter
Sheraton on the Park, Sydney has announced a comprehensive renovation of its Sheraton Club Lounge and 558 guestrooms, including 50 suites. Scheduled for completion in early 2018, the extensive $40 million refurbishment will combine modern design with classical elegance.“We’ve reinvented the hotel’s top-tier offering, including our Sheraton Club and suites, as well as the guestrooms, to enhance our offer for discerning travellers seeking a more residential style of accommodation that reflects the level of luxury they are accustomed to,” said David Fraser, GM, Sheraton on the Park. “We have fused the hotel’s classic grandeur and location to create a sophisticated hotel that responds to the expectations of the modern traveller for more authentic experiences and personalised service.”The project, spearheaded by interior designer Joseph Pang, will see the guestrooms and Sheraton Club transform from floor-to-ceiling with an emphasis on approachable luxury. Located on the 21st floor, the layout of the Sheraton Club will be reconfigured to frame the spectacular views of Sydney Harbour, Hyde Park and St Mary’s Cathedral, which can be enjoyed throughout the lounge and from the outdoor terraces.The entrance to the exclusive Sheraton Club will be elegantly defined by Bubinga wooden panels, with sliding doors revealing the sophisticated setting within. Inside, the lounge will offer spaces for guests, including a private reading room, an open lounge with an impressive fire place and executive board room. A semi-circular skylight will be the signature architectural feature of the Sheraton Club Lounge, using natural light to create a focal piece.The contemporary design will extend to the guestrooms, where the furniture styling has departed from the conventional city hotel norm, with an injection of modern residential pieces, including plush chaises longues and walk-in robes.The hotel’s exclusive Hyde Park location has inspired the guestrooms’ colour scheme of subtle celadon green and grey tones, complemented with stained, natural oak timber furniture and lush fabric upholstery. The bed-to-ceiling stitched, leather bedheads form a focal point in the rooms and create a subtle definition between the lounge and work spaces. Conceived with today’s business traveller in mind, the work spaces blend formality and functionality, accommodating the needs of today’s tech-savvy travellers.
Go back to the e-newsletterIn spring 2018, Quito’s iconic mansion house hotel, Casa Gangotena, will launch a heritage and history package celebrating the 40th anniversary of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Granting guests special-access to some of the city’s most cherished monuments, the newly introduced day-long experience includes a heli-tour, an unrivalled walking tour of Quito Old Town and a taste of yesteryear through a newly introduced culinary experience at Casa Gangotena.After a traditional Quiteño breakfast at Casa Gangotena, travellers will take to the skies for a 30-minute helicopter adventure. Soaring high above the Ecuadorian capital’s gothic churches and ornate squares, this special experience offers sightings of the Atacazo and Pichincha Volcanoes, the rural village of Lloa, and El Panecillo neighbourhood from an entirely different perspective.After lunch, guests will be introduced to ancient Andean traditions, age-old architecture and iconic colonial culture by way of a walking tour in the city’s old town. Highlights include a visit to Catédral Metropolitana de Quito – where guests can now descend into an underground catacomb-filled crypt for the first time and the chance to visit traditional hat makers and Andean herbal healers.After a day of historical exploration, guests will return to Casa Gangotena for a taste of Quito gone-by. The hotel’s newly introduced culinary concept aims to celebrate Quito’s rich Mestizo culture that developed with the arrival of the Spaniards in the fifteenth century. Celebrating the blend of cultures that has made the city what it is today, the menu champions locally and sustainably sourced produce, whilse featuring re-imagined traditional dishes including local paiche with white coconut sauce, squid ink tuile and cassava puree, and slow cooked Galapagos lobster with mashed chaucha potatoes and ajillo garlic foam.Casa Gangotena is the perfect base for exploring Quito. Overlooking Plaza San Francisco in the heart of the city’s old town, the hotel is made up of 31 rooms and showcases an eclectic mix of classic architecture, contemporary interior design, modern technology and quintessential comforts. Its privileged location in Quito’s charming old town makes it great for city adventures and the perfect starting point for wider explorations of Ecuador.Go back to the e-newsletter
RelatedSterling launches flights to NaplesScandinavian cheap flights airline Sterling has announced the launch of two new routes to NaplesSterling plans Lisbon and Milan flightsScandinavian carrier Sterling Airlines has announced two new flights to Lisbon and Milan as part of its winter schedule.Sterling Airlines adds 27 new connecting flightsSterling Airlines adds 27 new connecting flights Scandinavian travellers now have new destination options following announcements by Polish airline Centralwings and Danish based airline Sterling.Centralwings has announced that flights from the Norwegian city of Haugesund to Gdansk and Warsaw in Poland will begin later this month.Meanwhile travellers from Billund will be able to fly direct to Salzburg from December thanks to the new route included in the Winter timetable for Sterling.Earlier this year the airline announced the launch of its Sterling Connect service which offers customers the option to purchase tickets on flights connecting through Copenhagen, on the same booking.As part of the service it is possible to book flights from Nice, Barcelona, Budapest, Faro, Milan, Malaga and London via Copenhagen to Aalborg in Denmark and Gothenburg in Sweden.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map
RelatedNew flights to Prague will be launched by Wizz AirCheap flights carrier Wizz Air will launch new flights to Venice/Treviso from Prague in September.Wizz Air to offer flights to Madrid from SofiaEuropean cheap flights carrier Wizz Air will launch new flights to Madrid after basing an additional aircraft at Sofia.Wizz Air to introduce flights to Paris from GdanskWizz Air to introduce flights to Paris from Gdansk European cheap flights carrier Wizz Air will launch additional flights on some of its routes from Prague this autumn.The airline will increase its number of flights to London Luton, Rome Fiumicino, Milan Bergamo, Brussels Charleroi and Eindhoven from the Czech capital.Wizz Air, which is now the largest low-cost airline in central and eastern Europe, will base a third aircraft in Prague, allowing it to expand its route network from June next year.Jozef Varadi, Wizz Air’s chief executive officer, said that the new aircraft would allow the carrier to introduce and expand both its summer and year-round services.”With these frequency changes we are stepping up immediately to accommodate the increased demand and from summer next year we will be operating a three aircraft base in Prague,” he commented.The airline will launch new flights to Catania and Bologna Forli on September 21st and October 28th respectively.Wizz Air currently offers 12 flights to Italy from its Romanian bases.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map
Skyscanner presents Festival in the Sky is touching down in Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens this summer. After delighting guests from Monaco to Las Vegas, this unique attraction will be premiering at the Edinburgh Festival from the 1st to the 31st of August.Enjoy the most thrilling dining experience of your life and take in Edinburgh’s spectacular skyline as you’ve never seen it before.At a luxury 22 seater table, you’ll be treated to a sample of Scotland’s finest food & drink whilst suspended at 100 feet above the capital.If you only do one thing at the festival this year, make sure you fly with Festival in the Sky!Follow Festival in the Sky on Twitter and Facebookwww.festivalinthesky.com Skyscanner is proud to present Festival in the Sky – the ultimate Edinburgh festival experience! ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedWIN: tickets to dine at Festival in the SkyWIN: tickets to dine at Festival in the SkyEdinburgh Festival Fringe 2010: ten great websites for Fringe fansGet the best out of the Fringe Festival with these great websites for Fringe fans…12 unmissable Edinburgh Festivals experiencesThe Edinburgh Festival Fringe may be over, but Edinburgh has many more exciting festivals coming up!
Cancun, Mexico – Reported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle MagazineDuring the months of January through June, the waters near the natural paradise of Contoy Island welcome the beautiful species of the Sailfish. The island’s shallow waters and richness in plankton attracts a specific type of sardine, a delicacy that sailfish prey on.The behavior of this magnificent species and its presence in the waters of the Caribbean was discovered thanks to a deep investigation headed by Mexican diver, Alberto Friscione.According to Friscione, the sailfish, a ferocious predator, more than feeding itself, appears as if it’s dancing on water, due to its swift movements and the use of its large bill among prey. By doing so, it creates small groups, driving them to the surface of the water, and eats them.The spectacle is crowned when the sailfish opens its dorsal fin, known as sail, and changes drastically from an opaque tone to sparkles of silver and blue, a distraction to its prey and announcement to its species, that it’s going to attack to avoid hurting each other.www.cancun.travel
PUNTA DE MITA, MEXICO —Los Veneros, an ultra luxurious oceanfront community with 239 residences and an 100-suite boutique hotel in Punta de Mita, Mexico, today announced that its first phase of development—which includes three buildings, Agave, Buganvilla, and Pacífico, as well as a poolside grill—will open in January 2009. Located in the heart of the Mexican Pacific on the north shore of Banderas Bay along 1,262 feet of white sandy beaches, Los Veneros is an ideal retreat for individuals who want to escape the stress of everyday life and create unforgettable experiences. From relaxation to adventure, the elite Punta de Mita community, located just 30 miles from Puerto Vallarta International Airport, offers the best in fine dining, outdoor activities, and tranquil beaches.“Los Veneros combines the comforts and amenities of a world-class destination with the exceptional beauty of Punta de Mita to create a serene ambiance offering the ultimate in lavish living,” said Hugh McCarthy, director of sales and marketing for Los Veneros Luxury Real Estate. “From private terraces and personal concierges to an exclusive spa and Beach Club, Los Veneros is perfect for discerning individuals who crave new experiences.”Residences in the first phase of Los Veneros will vary in size between 2,787 to 6,329 square feet and feature three- or four-bedroom units. Each luxury residence will offer a complete gourmet kitchen, dining room, living room, terrace or balcony and, in some instances, private pools. Also in phase one, the poolside grill will ensure every desire is satisfied from delectable bites to savory drinks, allowing residents to lounge by the pool and enjoy the delicious flavors of Punta de Mita.In addition to the poolside grill and fine dining at multiple restaurants, Los Veneros will offer other amenities such as four tennis courts, more than 85 pools (eight shared, 80 private), a business center, complimentary Wi-Fi, fitness center, Kid’s Club and Beach Club. Residents and future guests will also delight in sumptuous spa treatments, either in the tranquil atmosphere at the spa or in a private beach palapa. Meanwhile, for adventure seekers, Los Veneros residents and guests will find kiteboarding, windsurfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, golf, kayaking, horseback riding, surfing, tennis, whale watching, and sport fishing—right at their fingertips.Los Veneros’ contemporary Mexican architecture and design simplicity, incorporating natural elements, impeccable finishes and exceptional craftsmanship, create the perfect balance between refined beauty, comfort, and style. Golden Tepeji Busardeado marble floors, Parota wood closets, solid wood entrances and interior doors will be featured throughout the residences. Kitchens will include Santa Cecilia granite countertops, solid wood cabinetry, and state-of-the-art appliances such as a SubZero refrigerator, Frigidaire dishwasher and microwave, among others. Adding to the luxe finishes, residents will enjoy marble counters, walls and floors throughout.Professionals involved in the development, design, construction, sales and management at Los Veneros include a team of talented and experienced individuals who respect the environment and are committed to superior quality and excellence. Fusing the creative ideas from internationally recognized Barba+ Ramirez Arquitectos and world-class interior designers from Farca and Uribe & Krayer, Los Veneros will provide residents with the perfect sanctuary boasting spacious dwellings with exquisite interiors. Additionally, George W. Girvin Associates, who created the site plan and landscape architecture, has created a surrounding that evokes pleasure while emphasizing the location’s natural beauty. Co-developers of the project, Icon Group and Ouest Developments, were the visionaries behind the creation of Los Veneros.Residences at Los Veneros begin in the $700,000s for a three-bedroom residence and move into the $2 million range for a four-bedroom penthouse. Los Veneros offers furniture packages upon request, tastefully designed by Farca and Uribe & Krayer.Los Veneros: Located in the heart of the Mexican Pacific in Punta de Mita, only 30 minutes from the Puerto Vallarta International Airport, Los Veneros is an ultra luxurious oceanfront community with 239 residences and a 100-suite boutique hotel. Situated on 1,262 feet of fine white sand, the community is distinguished by its spectacular ocean view, impeccable décor, and endless resort amenities. For discerning individuals, Los Veneros is the ideal retreat for escaping the stress of everyday life, taking in each moment and creating unforgettable experiences. Phase one of Los Veneros, which includes three residential buildings, will be completed in January 2009. For more information please visit www.losveneros.com.