Sports travel blog

Guide to sports travel and hotel accommodation

Doncaster – St Leger Meeting

Posted in  Horse Racing by Paul on the July 29th, 2009

doncasterFans of horseracing should not miss the opening day of the 2009 Ladbrokes St. Leger Festival September 9th. First held in 1776, this is the oldest of the British Classic races and it is the last leg of the Triple Crown. The Doncaster Racecourse is located in the heart of England, and is steeped in racing history.

How To Get There

It is easy to reach the track by train, as it is just 2.5 miles from Doncaster Station on the main London-Edinburgh line and a shuttle bus is generally available to take race fans straight to the track. The new Robin Hood International Airport is less than seven miles away, and Doncaster is within easy reach of the Manchester, Leeds, and East Midlands airports as well due to its proximity to the motorways. The track will also accommodate helicopters, but you will need to call ahead for permission.

Where To Stay

Of course, you could eliminate race day traffic by staying within walking distance at the Grand St Leger Hotel next to the track. The hotel has been carefully restored to offer modern accommodations for traditional tastes. Meet horseracing fans at the Paddock bar, or dine in intimate surroundings at Carrington’s Restaurant. Just a few more paces away is the Earl of Doncaster Hotel, recently renovated with its original Art Deco features preserved. The stylish hotel offers free parking and several new executive rooms. Located just half a mile from both downtown and the racetrack, this is a convenient location to enjoy your stay in Doncaster.

Enjoy a rapidly growing area of Doncaster and stay in the midst of shops, restaurants, pubs, and nightlife at the Sleep Inn. This newly built hotel is tastefully decorated with spacious rooms equipped with cable TV and computer hook-ups at a great value. The Regent Hotel is a more traditional English hotel. Housed in a charming Victorian building, this family-run hotel overlooks a secluded Regency park and is still close to the city center. The attentive staff will ensure you have a peaceful stay.

Well worth the 4 mile drive is the Old Rectory Guest House. This 400 year-old Elizabethan house has been awarded 4 stars for it luxurious bed and breakfast service. Nestled on over an acre of landscaped gardens, you will enjoy an elegant, comfortable, and very English stay without giving up modern conveniences like WiFi. The staff will attend to all your needs, and even make you a packed lunch if you like. Enjoy the English hospitality of Doncaster, whatever your tastes might be.

Ashes 2009: The Oval, London

Posted in  Cricket by Paul on the July 26th, 2009

ashes-ovalThe Oval hosted England’s first international cricket match in 1868, the first England-Australia rivalry played out here more than a century ago in 1880. This historic stadium in London has been recently renovated and is a worthy home for the 5th and final Ashes match.

The best base to enjoy the final Test match is the four star Caesar Hotel, located on a residential street in London. This white Georgian townhouse has an airy lobby and is quite modern. The restaurant Xo on the lower level serves a continental breakfast every morning. Walk to many of London’s attractions and ask about special Ashes packages. Another contemporary luxury hotel is the glass-clad Apex City of London Hotel. With views of the River Thames and the Tower Bridge, this is modern way to soak up the history of London. The hotel has several restaurants for any occasion from formal dining, quiet afternoon tea, quick breakfast or just a cocktail. Close to the theater district, ask the multi-lingual staff for theater tickets or about other famed London attractions.

Across the river from the London Eye is the French chateau-style Royal Horseguards Hotel, just blocks from Big Ben, Houses of Parliament and West End theaters. A pianist entertains guest as they sip cocktails at the lounge or outdoor terrace. Each of the 280 rooms are decorated in classic English style with armchairs, desks and high-speed internet access. For something a little more quaint, stay at the Sanctuary House and walk to Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey. Offering only 34 rooms, this hotel offers the best in service to each of its guests and each room is equipped with all the modern amenities. Enjoy a traditional pub-style breakfast at their restaurant in the morning and relax after the game with a selection of fine ales and wines. For those traveling with children, ask about rollaway beds and cribs.

If you would like to completely spoil yourself for the final Ashes match, stay at the Swissotel The Howard. Located on the River Thames, guestrooms have garden or river views, plush duvets, espresso machines, and high-speed internet access. The hotel’s stylish 12 Temple Place restaurant serves modern British cuisine where you can enjoy alfresco dining in the open courtyard surrounded by a pond, trickling waterfall and giant yucca plants. The staff is on call to attend to your every need, this is sure to be a relaxing and extravagant end to the Ashes matches in England 2009.

Ashes 2009: Headingley, Leeds

Posted in  Cricket by Paul on the July 19th, 2009

headingley-ashesThe fourth ashes test is 2009 will be played at Headingley Carnegie Stadium, in the Leeds suburb of Headingley in West Yorkshire, England. Opened to test cricket in 1899, the stadium has hosted over 40 international matches. This is the most north the Ashes will be played this year, and they are expecting quite a crowd.

If you are coming this far north for Ashes, you might as well enjoy the quaint countryside by staying at a bed & breakfast or small hotel. The Headingley Lodge Hotel is actually part of the stadium’s redevelopment and has several rooms overlooking the cricket pitch. The rooms are modern and stylish, perfectly designed for sports fans. The St. Michaels Guest House in the heart of Headingley is walking distance from the stadium, restaurants and bars. It is a warm, friendly guesthouse with standard and en suite rooms and extremely competitive pricing. Also nearby is the Butlers Hotel with en suite rooms individually decorated with Victorian and Edwardian themes. There are happy hour specials at the bar and home-cooked meals to keep you energized for the match.

Step up service and comfort a notch and stay just a bit farther from the stadium at Haley’s Hotel and Restaurant. The award-winning Oaks restaurant serves excellent food in a stylish décor. Breakfast is served in-room and the hotel is known in the area for its attention to individual service, it is the perfect place to rest after a long and exciting day of cricket. If you travel with a family of cricket fans, the Cliff Lawn Hotel offers single, double, twin and family rooms. Set in the quiet woods, you are still close to all the action. The friendly service of this family-run establishment will make you truly feel like a welcome guest as you enjoy a fresh-cooked English breakfast every morning.

Stay as long as you like at the brand new Roomzzz Aparthotel. Roomzzz combines spacious living with the luxury and service of a hotel. You will enjoy all latest technologies and comforts of home, you may never want to leave. In the city center is another luxury hotel with all the amenities, The Park Plaza Leed offering 185 superior and executive rooms and penthouse suites. Dine at the unique award-winning restaurant that combines Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese flavors for your taste-buds’ pleasure. Bewleys Hotel Leeds is the peek of affordable chic. This hotel is contemporary, relaxed and informal and located in the heart of Leeds with dining, shopping and nightlife right at the doorstep.

For a more traditional English luxury experience, stay at the refreshingly different 42 The Calls. Set in a refurbished riverside corn mill, the interior is distinctly modern English. No detail was overlooked from handmade beds with Egyptian cotton linens, original paintings and drawings, interactive plasma TVs, and friendly touches like homemade cookies and fudge.

Accommodation at Hungaroring: Hungarian Formula One GP 2009

Posted in  Motorsport by Paul on the July 14th, 2009

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On July 24, 2009 Heikki Kovalainen will return to Hungaroring Budapest to defend his 2008 victory over the dominant favorite Felipe Massa in The Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix 2009. While Massa and a strong field of challenging formula one drivers plan their strategies to unseat last year’s champion.

This formula 1 battle has taken place every year since 1986, filling all of the local establishments with people who are electric with excitement over the upcoming spectacle.

If you plan on being one of these fortunate spectators, you will want to book your hotel room or apartment well in advance, as accommodations always fill up quickly. If you procrastinate, you may end up sleeping in a tent in the wilderness wondering in the darkness, why you waited to set your reservations.

What hotels are available?

There are a number of hotels available and all are filling up quickly. Many hotels are offering last minute deals and there are also apartments available. Budapest is a very large city with accommodations running the gambit from large luxurious five star hotels (Where the drivers themselves stay) to converted apartment hostels. Fortunately for the budget-minded traveler, there is no shortage of options in-between.  As a general rule, the closer you stay to the Danube the more expensive your stay will be, and the further you stray, the more you’ll save.

That being said, you’re there for the Grand Prix.  Here are four Hotels near to Hungaroring and their Rating:

3 star Erzsebet Kiralyne Hotel, only 4.7 miles from Hungaroring
5 star  Kis Tirol, near the center of the city and 6 miles from Hungaroring
4 star Ramada Resort – Aquaworld Budapest, almost 7 miles from Hungaroring

A quick search on MATCHhotels.com will get you even more hotels and possibly land some very good deals, but you’ll want to do this quickly before all of the hotels are full!

How do I get to Hungaroring by car?

The event location is approximately 22 km (14 miles) from the center of Budapest. Take the M3 highway from Budapest to get there.

How do I get to the race grounds by public transit?

There is a free shuttle bus that leaves the bus station on the Pest side of the Árpád Bridge. In order to qualify for the free transport you must present a valid Formula 1 ticket for 2009. The arrival location will be Mogyoród church square. A detailed itinerary for the free shuttle can be found here.

How do I get to the race grounds by train?

Transportation by train is also available. You can locate the exact arrival and departure times and locations at www.bkv.hu. The cost for riding this train is approximately HUF 430,00 for a one way ticket. (roughly 2€, or $4)

Ashes 2009: Edgbaston

Posted in  Cricket by Paul on the July 12th, 2009

ashes-edgbastonEdgbaston has a long history of hosting domestic and international test matches, and is the only stadium in the West Midlands. Located near Birmingham, the UK’s second largest city, staying near these grounds is easy for those on a budget. With many small hotels and bed & breakfasts nearby, it is easy to get caught up in the English excitement of the Ashes match.

The Apollo Hotel is located in Edgbaston and within walking distance of nightclubs and casinos. The in-house restaurant offers vegetarian and children’s menus along with a traditional English Sunday dinner. The Copperfield House is an expertly run establishment in the exclusive residential suburb of Selly Park that offers a warm and comfortable stay.  All rooms at Etap Birmingham Centre can accommodate up to 3 people and each has a separate shower and toilet room. There are also self-catering apartments like the Stay Birmingham Apartment Hotel, where guests can live like the locals and enjoy a low-key visit.

For something a little more modern and elegant, stay at the Radisson SAS Hotel. With its sleek glass façade, Sardinian-fusion cuisine restaurant and international wine bar, it may be hard to remember you are in the English countryside. You are sure to miss none of the cricket action with the Grab & Run breakfasts and fast express check-out. Equally modern is the City Inn Birmingham located near Symphony hall. Two heated terraces offer al fresco dining year-round. The fitness room has floor-to-ceiling windows to match the modern style. The Novotel is another modern delight, with a contemporary restaurant, spa, sauna, and secure parking.

If you would like all the modern conveniences with the traditional style of England, the Birmingham Marriott is a restored Edwardian building in the city center. The five-story hotel has 99 guestrooms and 6 suites all with premium bedding. The Britannia Birmingham is an excellent value, refurbished, and close to stores, designer shops, and jewelry markets. The 9th floor offers panoramic views and this open feel extends to the restaurant where you can watch the chef prepare your standard or vegetarian meals. Nightlife and entertainment are literally at your doorstep when you stay at the Britannia.

Guests that stay at the Ramada Birmingham City Center like that the glass-fronted building overlook the canals. Within walking distance you will find the convention center, designer boutiques, restaurants and nightlife. Sports fans can watch the game on the big screen TV in the bar lounge, while light meals and buffets are served in the informal restaurant. Birmingham has a lot of variety to offer guests of Edgbaston, whether they like to travel in luxury or enjoy their new surroundings as locals do.

Hotels near Sandown Park

Posted in  Horse Racing by Paul on the July 5th, 2009

209789_horse_and_jockyWith spectacular views of Heathrow and London, Sandown Park is a racecourse and leisure facility in Surrey, England. It hosts the Eclipse Stakes a group 1 flat race, as well as multiple other horse races on weekends. There are also toy fairs, car shows, golf courses, and a go-cart track, among other sports and activities available. Many people host their wedding reception here.

Open to thoroughbreds which are three-years-old or above, the Eclipse Meeting has a lot to offer guests and fans. The event is named after the eighteenth century racehorse Eclipse, and was first run in 1886. A popular attraction for both riders and fans, the Coral-Eclipse day is among the best flat racing events in the world. It’s a prestigious and luxurious event that takes place each year in the summer.

Sandown is in the beautiful park area of the town of Esher. Travel options to the park are convenient and plentiful. Along the M25, it is less than thirty minutes from Waterloo by rail. If you are coming by train from Waterloo or Clapham, arrive at Esher station. From here you can take a taxi or a free bus to Sandown Park.

The Sandown Park Lodge is highly recommended for your accommodation needs. This is an on-site hotel, right next to the Sandown Park Racecourse. You can walk within minutes to the track’s main entrance. This hotel has 21 rooms, and a lot of convenient parking available, but rooms do book quickly. Some of the rooms overlook the pre-parade ring and some overlook the stables as well. If you are booking on the weekend, there are special rates you may want to look into.

Other options in the area include bed and breakfasts, and luxury hotels. Check out the Pennyhill Park Hotel and Country Club. It’s an English manor house which has been converted into a first class-traditional hotel. The estate is located on 120 acres of beautiful land in a perfect location close to London, in Bagshot.

If you’re more interested in a quaint guesthouse, bed and breakfast style, check out the Abeille Guest House, in Guildford, Surrey. It’s a Victorian home, converted into a bed and breakfast, mini-hotel, which is conveniently located near the town and stations. A full English breakfast is served by the owners every morning, and there is free TV, Wi-Fi and coffee all year-round.

Ashes 2009: Lords

Posted in  Cricket by Paul on the July 2nd, 2009

ashes-lordsThe second Ashes Test Match will be held at the historic Lord’s grounds in London, England. Opened in 1814, these grounds are known as the Home of Cricket and house the oldest sporting museum in the world.

Enjoy an exclusive hospitality package with the four-star Danubius Hotel located opposite the grounds. With this package you will enjoy a reserved seat in the Mound Stand, match program, commemorative pass and a continental breakfast upon arrival. There is a champagne reception prior to a three-course lunch with televisions in the hospitality area to keep you informed on the game. Revitalize with afternoon tea or enjoy the complimentary bar at the hotel, which is only a minute away. The hotel itself is comfortable and beautifully decorated, with some rooms even overlooking the grounds.

A little farther from the excitement, but still within walking distance is The Colonnade. Built in 1865, this Victorian building has its original Wedgewood fireplace and Art Deco lift. Enjoy 24-hour room service or in-room spa treatments. The hotel’s E Bar offers authentic tapas with ingredients imported from Spain. The 43 guest rooms have served the likes of Sigmund Freud and JFK and are exquisitely decorated in English style. Located in a part of town known as Little Venice, guests can enjoy a canal-boat ride to the London Zoo.

Another indulgent hotel is the Dorset Square Hotel. The Dorset Square is a regency property overlooking tree filled gardens. Its traditional English décor combines antiques, classic fabrics and original art with modern amenities. There is an open fireplace in the 24-hour lounge bar with complimentary newspapers, comfortable armchairs and wi-fi access. In the same fashionable neighborhood of Marleybone, you will find Hotel 82, a boutique hotel set in a typical London townhouse. The 20 guestrooms are decorated in light, relaxing tones. Close by are Reagent’s Park, Madame Tussaud’s Waxworks, and great shopping on Oxford Street.

Trafalgar Square is the focal point of central London, so why not at The Grand at Trafalgar Square? The Grand is a recently renovated Victorian built in 1887. There are 63 guest rooms over 8 floors, all with high ceilings, opulent windows, historic features, pillow-top mattresses and flat-screen TVs. Within just 3 blocks, you can enjoy the National Gallery, Covent Garden and theater district while just across the River Thames is the entertainment and dining center, South Bank Centre. A leisurely stroll along the river is Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. Enjoy all the class and history of Lord’s and London at any of these fine hotels.