Travel Expert and Radio Talk Show Host Stephanie Abrams - "Travel with Stephanie Abrams!" Radio Show Shownotes for MM DD YYYY
Travel with Stephanie Abrams! - December 27, 2009 - Shownotes & Audio Archive

Travel Packages in Ireland from Dooley Vacations; Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort, County Limerick, Ireland; The Green Dragon Racing Team at the 2009 Volvo Ocean Race Galway Stopover; Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Hour 1

Topics Include:

Travelers411 Ireland Mini-Site


Link to this segment

During her recent trip to Ireland Stephanie visited with good friend Pat Dooley, CEO of Dooley Car Rentals and Dooley Vacations. Dooley Car Rental is the only independent car rental company in Ireland and it is Stephanie's favorite rental company to do business with. Stephanie met with Dooley at the Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort, a castle resort located in the village of Adare. Stephanie arrived from Ennistymon in County Clare where she spoke at the Clare Tourism Conference.

Ireland Street Signs.
Ireland Street Signs.

Pat Dooley comments on the beautiful views at Adare Manor especially of the River Maigue which runs through the property. Dooley also notes the 18-hole championship golf course on site designed by Robert Trent Jones Senior and the American flag flying next to the Irish flag outside of the building. Dooley says this is because the owners, Tom and Judy Kane, are American. They purchased the property over twenty years ago when it was still a private home and have invested much in its refurbishments. Dooley says he believes the Kanes originally purchased the property as a holiday home but when they realized the size of the estate and its potential they turned it into a hotel. They built an extension onto the property that Dooley says blends perfectly with the original house.

Pat Dooley and Stephanie Abrams.
Pat Dooley and Stephanie Abrams.

Current packages available through Dooley Vacations provide accommodations at Adare Manor. Dooley says they are ideal for a couple staying in Ireland for a week. Travelers have the ability to design their trip around the area and visit attractions such as the Ring of Kerry, Cork City and many other destinations in western Ireland. Dooley recommends also spending time in the quaint village of Adare. The town has only one main road but contains a total of four established pubs. Dooley states if you were to visit other local shops and restaurants in town you will find they all have bar licenses and serve beer in their back rooms as well.

Adare Manor Entrance.
Adare Manor Entrance.

In 2010 Dooley Vacations is promoting several vacation packages in Ireland, Italy and Scotland. The biggest seller is what Dooley refers to as the usual “fly drive” packages in Ireland which includes either five or six nights at bed and breakfasts or in the self-catering (residential) villas at Adare Manor. The three bedroom villas are similar to the townhouses but more luxurious. Each villa is approximately 2,200 square feet and spans two levels. Pat Dooley states that the packages range from $499 USD to $799 USD per person depending on season.

The Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort package starts at $499 USD. The rate is based on a roundtrip flight from JFK to Shannon Airport. It is an additional $20 USD to fly out of Boston and an additional $30 USD to fly out of Chicago. The package includes an economy car with the option to choose an automatic vehicle for $50 USD more and six nights in a three-bedroom villa. The villa package is based on quadruple occupancy and Dooley Vacations' bed and breakfast packages are based on double occupancy.

Local Irish Pub.
Local Irish Pub.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1090

For more information visit http://www.dooleycarrentals.com
http://www.dooleyvacations.com and http://www.travelers411.com/minisite/ireland/


Link to this segment

Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Resort is an amazing castle estate in County Limerick, Ireland that is easily accessible. It is a thirty minute drive from Shannon Airport. Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams says it is a great place to begin or end an Irish itinerary.

Ireland Golf Course
Ireland Golf Course.

Graeme Dunlea, Golf Pro at Adare Manor Hotel, joins “Travel With Stephanie Abrams!”.

Adare Manor hosts an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Senior. There is also a putting area and a driving range. The resort has had several tournaments at the property. Its most recent and most prestigious tournament to date was the Irish Open in 2007 and 2008.

Adare Manor Dining Room from Travelers411 Members Photo Gallery.
Adare Manor Dining Room from Travelers411 Members Photo Gallery.

Dunlea states that in preparation for his job he had to learn about all aspects of golf and golf business. This included teaching, equipment, repairs and how to run a golf pro shop. Alongside his golf obligations at the estate Dunlea is also invited to participate in numerous golf competitions. He states that he has participated in mainly Irish pro tournaments and he has qualified to play in a championship in London as well. Dunlea states that Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort is consistently voted the number one parkland course in the country. Its layout differs slightly from the links courses on the coasts.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1091

For more information visit http://www.adaremanor.com


Link to this segment

John Greville, Doorman for Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort, joins “Travel with Stephanie Abrams!”. Greville says that the resort has a fantastic team and he loves working there. Before he was employed at Adare Manor Greville said he visited the building out of curiosity and was bowled over by the property's architecture.

Cliffs of Moher - Doolin Ferries Cruise Excursion.
Cliffs of Moher - Doolin Ferries Cruise Excursion.

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams inquires about the celebrity guests. Tiger Woods has visited the estate multiple times. John Travolta has been a guest twice and Greville states: “he is an absolute gentleman”. The porter services are available twenty four hours a day. Greville says that they can escort guests to the golf course or provide coffee and cigarettes at late hours of the morning. Greville says the staff is very natural with people and “are themselves”. He says furthermore that they have a genuine affection for American people.

Alwee Cave Excursion.
Alwee Cave Excursion.

Adare Manor was featured in the 1977 “The Last Remake of Beau Geste” starring Marty Feldman, Ann Margaret and Michael York. Exterior and interior shots of the resort are shown during the first forty-five minutes of the film. The resort spans 842 gorgeous acres. The Manor House (as it stands today) dates back to 1832. It was turned into a five star luxury hotel in 1987 when it was purchased by the current owners.

Adare Manor Table Arrangement from Travelers411 Members Photo Gallery.
Adare Manor Table Arrangement from Travelers411 Members Photo Gallery.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1092

For more information visit http://www.adaremanor.com


Travel Tips:

Stephanie recommends packing your luggage carefully. She suggests taking matching outfits so that you're not lugging around additional shoes and accessories. She says “think in terms of simplicity”. Limitations on checked baggage vary airline to airline. A cheap fare can quickly turn expensive if you are paying an additional fifty dollar per bag or between twelve and eighteen USD for each pound or kilo that your bag weighs over the limit.


Fun Facts:

Mark Twain said that “Golf is a good walk ruined”.


Guests Include:

Pat Dooley, CEO, Dooley Car Rentals and Dooley Vacations.
www.dooleycarrental.com
www.dooleyvacations.com

Graeme Dunlea, Golf Pro, Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort, Adare, County Limerick, Ireland.
www.adaremanor.com

John Greville, Doorman, Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort, Adare, County Limerick, Ireland.
www.adaremanor.com

Hour 2 - Encore Presentation of May 31, 2009 Hour 3

Travelers411 Ireland Mini-Site

Topics Include:

Link to this segment

The ships of the Volvo Ocean Race had to travel 28,000 miles from Boston Harbor to Galway Harbour. Stephanie has been at both ends of the Volvo Ocean Race though her journey was considerably less difficult then the crew of the Irish Green Dragon. Stephanie first met the CEO of the Green Dragon Team, Jamie Boag, in Boston when the Volvo Ocean Race Fleet departed May 16, 2009. Galway is the finish of the Atlantic leg of the race.

Green Dragon Racing Ship part of the Volvo Ocean Race in 2009 Entering Port in Galway Bay Ireland.
Green Dragon Racing Ship part of the Volvo Ocean Race in 2009 Entering Port in Galway Bay Ireland.

Stephanie interviewed CEO of the Green Dragon Team, Jamie Boag, harborside in Galway. Boag and partner Ian Walker manage sailing sports teams and were the masterminds behind entering Ireland into the race. They have coached Olympic competitors and Walker himself has two silver medals for sailing in the 1996 and 2000 games.  Walker is the Green Dragon's skipper. Jamie got the idea to enter the race when the Ryder Cup was in Ireland. He decided another major sport event should come to the country.

Crowds gathered in Galway Bay to welcome in the racing ships of the Volvo Ocean Race 2009.
Crowds gathered in Galway Bay to welcome in the racing ships of the Volvo Ocean Race 2009.

The Green Dragon is the smallest team in the fleet. It took 6 million dollars to construct the boat and takes another 12 million to operate it through the course of the race. Other teams in the race spent 4 times that amount on their boats. Boag explains that the Irish team is the underdog and it was a long uphill battle to raise the funds and make the entry happen.

Crowds gathered in Galway Bay to welcome in the racing ships of the Volvo Ocean Race 2009.
Crowds gathered in Galway Bay to welcome in the racing ships of the Volvo Ocean Race 2009.

The race started in October 2008 in Alicante, Spain and then moved on to Cape Town and Cochin, India. The ships spent Christmas in Singapore and then went to Qingdao, China where the boat was built. Qingdao was also the site of last year's sailing Olympics. Many of the Greendragon's sponsors are from China and there are Green Dragon team members from China.

Stephanie Abrams interviews members of the Green Dragon Racing Team
Stephanie Abrams interviews members of the Green Dragon Racing Team.

The longest leg at sea for the ships was 42 days when they were between Qingdao and Rio de Janeiro. The ships departed Rio for Boston and then left Boston bound for Galway. The remainder of the trip includes ports at Marstrand, Stockholm, and St. Petersburg.

Stephanie Abrams on the Volvo Ocean Race Stage.
Stephanie Abrams on the Volvo Ocean Race Stage.

The Green Dragon is 70 feet long but provides almost no amenities. It has lightweight bunks and other furniture made with carbon fiber designed to save on weight. Boag states “it is all about weight saving”. The crew eats all freeze-dried food and has a device to desalinize the ocean water to make it drinkable. Boag explains that all of a person's belongings must fit inside a gym bag. He says that one scientific study compared life on a race boat to a soldier's in combat.

Green Dragon Racing Ship ported in Galway Bay 2009.
Green Dragon Racing Ship ported in Galway Bay 2009.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1093

For more information visit http://www.greendragonracing.com/


Stephanie plays audio taken early Sunday morning on May 25th when the Volvo Ocean Race had just arrived in Galway. She spoke briefly to the Mayor of the city of Galway at 5am. City officials, press and the general public gathered around the bay at 2am to await the Irish Green Dragon's arrival. The crowd sang songs and cheered for the Irish team as the ship arrived at its home port. People of the Aran Islands lit bon-fires along the shoreline. Stephanie broadcasts the sounds of celebration at Galway Bay. Stephanie says the ships got not only a true Irish welcome but “a true Galway welcome”. After living on freeze-dried food and no amenities being fed Irish smoked salmon must have felt good.

Volvo Ocean Race in Boston Harbor 2009.
Volvo Ocean Race in Boston Harbor 2009.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1096

For more information visit http://www.galwaycity.ie/
For more information visit http://www.greendragonracing.com/


Link to this segment

Link to this segment

Stephanie interviewed crewmen from the Green Dragon just 30 minutes after they finished the race. Both Ian Budgen the Helmsman/Trimmer and Andrew McLean the Pitman/Trimmer, state the highlight of the trip is arriving to a crowd of enthusiastic spectators. North Atlantic is a challenging leg of the journey this time of year. It is very cold and the crew had to wear helmets and gloves because of the conditions. Budgen participated in two legs of the race, Singapore to China and Boston to Galway. He had the particular pleasure of sailing to two home ports, China and Ireland.

Tall Ship in Boston Harbor during the 2009 Volvo Ocean Race.
Tall Ship in Boston Harbor during the 2009 Volvo Ocean Race.

Stephanie quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm”.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1094
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1095

For more information visit http://www.greendragonracing.com/


Guests Include:

Jamie Boag, CEO, Green Dragon Team.
www.greendragonracing.com

Ian “Budgie” Budgen, Helmsman/Trimmer, Green Dragon Team.
www.greendragonracing.com

Andrew McLean, Pitman/Trimmer, Green Dragon Team.
www.greendragonracing.com

Padraig Conneely, Mayor, Galway City, Ireland.
www.galwaycity.ie

Hour 3

Topics Include:

Link to this segment

Travel Expert and Radio Show Host Stephanie Abrams recently spoke with David Rothwell, General Manager of the Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, North Carolina regarding the property's green initiatives. Stephanie was impressed with the hotel's ecologically minded policies. In the coming weeks Stephanie hopes to focus more on sustainable tourism and green initiatives in other properties in the US and around the world. Stephanie says that Mexico is an example of a destination that has done much in ecological tourism. She says there are many individual hotels and resorts as well as chains that have created special programs that benefit not only the guest but the local community that they are based in.

Ritz Carlton Charlotte, North Carolina.
Ritz Carlton Charlotte, North Carolina.

While abroad Stephanie saw a CNN broadcast that she felt was “slanted reporting” against the hotel industry. The program had panelists who stated that green policies at hotels are often a publicity stunt. Stephanie has interviewed several hoteliers and says that she has seen the conservation efforts of hotels first hand. She says these efforts represent a sincere movement to better the health of the planet.

David Rothwell returns to “Travel With Stephanie Abrams!” to further discuss its focus on green initiatives. The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte was the first Ritz Carlton hotel constructed specifically to meet strict environmental standards. Rothwell says it was also the first environmentally built hotel in the greater Charlotte, North Carolina area. The property opened its one hundred and forty six guestrooms in October of 2009. The management team designed the hotel to obtain two tiers of LEED gold certification; the new construction certification as well as the existing build certification. The second certification will be awarded to the hotel after the property has been in operation for twelve months. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green certification system for builds was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. The Council dictates the standards and guidelines that earn a hotel LEED points.

Ritz Carlton Charlotte, North Carolina.
Ritz Carlton Charlotte, North Carolina.

Many of the green efforts provide direct benefits to the guest. The hotel has improved the air quality in guestrooms by circulating large amounts of air from the outside. Air is circulated through at sixty cubic feet per minute. The hotel has reduced their water usage by thirty percent by installing high efficiency plumbing fixtures. The shower heads still provide the pressure that guests are accustomed to but without compromising the water savings. Ultra efficient materials and the latest construction technology allow a thirty percent reduction in energy usage overall. Rothwell also mentions the use of light sensors strategically placed throughout the building to control lighting when no one is in a particular space.

Travel Expert and Radio Show Host Stephanie Abrams recently visited the Columbus Hotel in Monte Carlo, Monaco. The Columbus Hotel has been phenomenally successful at saving on costs of electricity and water. Energy conservation efforts extend to the lighting systems at the hotel as well. When a guest steps out of an elevator they will see the lights come on. These operate by sensors and do not remain on continuously.

Ritz Carlton Charlotte, North Carolina.
Ritz Carlton Charlotte, North Carolina.

Each Saturday evening the Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte celebrates “earth night”. The hotel turns off the lighting in the lobby and uses battery powered candles to light the halls. Stephanie says this must have an incredibly romantic effect.

The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte is an eighteen story building. On the top story of the hotel the management team is in the process of planting eighteen thousand sedum plants. When planted, the plants measure three inches in diameter. Over time they will come together and make the entire rooftop green. Rothwell states that this reduces the urban heat island effect. The green roof insulates the hotel to keep it cooler and reduces rain runoff. Also in this area is an herb garden that allows the chef at the hotel to use the fresh herbs grown. In spring the team will plant organic vegetables that will be utilized in the hotel as well.

Ritz Carlton Charlotte, North Carolina.
Ritz Carlton Charlotte, North Carolina.

Each Ritz-Carlton hotel has undertaken some level of green policies. One program that extends to all properties is an extensive recycling effort. Cardboard and glass are recycled and all food waste is composted. All dining menus incorporate local, organic food. The spas also incorporate one-hundred percent organic and vegan made products. Collateral used in the hotel such as menus and business cards are also made out of one-hundred percent post-consumer waste paper. Rothwell states there is much happening behind the scenes that people do not see. Members of the various Ritz Carlton teams meet on a monthly basis to discuss future improvements at their property. Ritz-Carlton hotels work with their local food banks, focus on community action and continually extend all efforts within the hotel.

Ritz Carlton Charlotte, North Carolina.
Ritz Carlton Charlotte, North Carolina.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1097

For more information visit http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/Charlotte/


Travel Expert and Radio Show Host Stephanie Abrams says that there are places in the world that rely on the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. Some destinations have built their economy solely on these markets. Stephanie recently attended the international luxury travel market in Cannes, France. Simultaneously there was an international luxury travel market taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada. Both of the venues have taken placed annually for a number of years. Stephanie noted however that while there were major brands with properties around the world there were very few American representatives at the France expo.

France; Cannes International Luxury Travel Market Show.
France; Cannes International Luxury Travel Market Show.

When Stephanie returned from her recent trip to Europe the Pound sterling (GBP) was approximately $1.70 USD. The Euro was approximately a $1.50 USD. She says that people coming from the UK and France would do well to shop in the US as luxury products in the US would be affordable to the European traveler. She says it is unfortunate that companies and destinations put their money towards exhibiting in Las Vegas as it was a loss to not have had more of a US presence at the expo in France.

Cannes France Street.
Cannes France Street.

Stephanie says to look at Cancun, Mexico which thirty years was “a strip of sand”. Many places in the world have the potential to be developed. Stephanie says if you create a tourism attraction or a cultural trail in your state it will need people to market it, run it and operate other industries that tie into it. Tourism, she says, creates a large amount of business.


Guests Include:

David Rothwell, General Manager, The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, North Carolina.
www.ritzcarlton.com

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