Sports travel blog

Guide to sports travel and hotel accommodation

Spa-Francorchamps F1

Posted in  Motorsport by Paul on the August 29th, 2009

spa-francorchamps-f1In the 2008 Formula 1 race in Spa, Lewis Hamilton was stripped of his Belgian Grand Prix victory by race stewards who awarded the victory to the second place driver Felipe Massa. Hamilton was penalized twenty-five seconds for cutting the Bust Stop chicane while fighting his wheel to wheel battle with Kimi Raikkonen during the final laps of the race. Lewis Hamilton will be returning for the 2009 addition and will again face Raikkonen… no doubt he will have his focus squarely set on regaining the loss he suffered in 2008.

Where to stay?

Spa has a myriad of  accommodations available. It is a very popular destination due to its natural springs. Spa’s tourism trade is a thriving one,  and as such, accommodations are available to suit any traveller.

Built in 1880, and remodeled in 1997, the A La Villa Des Fleurs has earned every one of it’s five stars with it’s multilingual, friendly and effecient staff. The Dorint Spa Balmoral is a much younger hotel, built in 1975, and remodeled only 2 years ago in 2007. It’s Four stars, and only 2km from the city center, and less than 10 from the racecourse. Le Pierre would be your ‘budget choice’ that’s anything but. With a private parking lot, and within walking distance from all of Spa’s Major attraction, Le Pierre would be the best choice for the traveller who is looking to cut out cost, and retain experience.

Getting to the event

There is an aerodrome on the outskirts of Spa, but Brussels is the nearest international airport to the event location at a two hour drive away. The only practical way to get to the event is by car. If you are unable to rent a car, your next option is to ride the rails to Liege. From there you can take one of the many buses that will be servicing traffic to and from the event.

The Newmarket Champions

Posted in  Horse Racing by Paul on the August 25th, 2009

newmarket-championsThe Newmarket Champions is one of the highest classes of racing that is staged in the entire year in the United Kingdom. This two day event showcases the best racing anyone can witness, food that will send your stomach to heaven and an opportunity to place bets against the best and brightest. This event was the host for the amazing feats of Further Flight and Persian Punch; the former dominating the event in the early 1990′s and the latter defying both the odds and the test of time by winning the race at ages eight, nine and ten. During the Champions, you will have a mixture of races that show case from the young and upstart horses to the top breeds that you could see winning many championship crowns and titles.

Where To Stay

The closest hotel to the racecourse is the Rutland Arms Hotel, located in the center of Newmarket. With a laundry service while you’re at the track ,  award-winning food, and the  Newmarket less than two miles away, the Rutland Arms is an excellent option if you’re interested in convenience. If you prefer to find a place to rack up rewards programs, then the Best Western Heath Court will be your choice. It offers the same service you expect and receive from other Best Western hotels and is a good place to hold your next conference. The ultimate in luxury can be found at the Bedford Lodge Hotel, Leisure and Restaurant. The only four star hotel located in Newmarket, it offers a feel of a modern hotel in a setting of the Victorian age.

How To Get There

The location of the racecourse is in Newmarket, which is centered between Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. It is situated 12 miles from Cambridge and about 60 miles away from London. The main two roads you can use to get to the course is the A 4 from east to west and the A11 from north to south. Several major roads connect to them, such as the A1/M1. If you wish to go by rail, you can go from, lets say, London or Liverpool and reach Cambridge; later you will take more trains or vehicles to reach Newmarket. Taxis will be able to take you to the racecourse; you can either flag one on the street or have one hired for you before you get there. During racedays, there are hired coaches that can take you to and from the racecourse for a small fee.

If you want to fly instead of driving, the Stansted Airport is about 45 minutes away from the racecourse. Regardless of how you get there, there will be two colored markers. The markers will show you which racecourse you will need to head to: red for the July Racecourse and blue for the Rowley Mile Racecourse.

Ayr Racecourse

Posted in  Horse Racing by Paul on the August 13th, 2009

ayrAyr Racecourse is the only racecourse in Scotland that is rated Grade One. In the surrounding area, you can enjoy the beaches at the Ayrshire coastline and can also have a few rounds on the local golf courses. The area is also known for the Robert Burns pilgrims. While there are events year round for either flat racing or horse jumping, the famous events at Ayr happen during the summer months. The Scottish National in April is the major jump event of its kind; the Scottish Derby in July and the Ayr Gold Cup in September are the key flat racing events in Scotland. For the yearly schedule, May to October has flat racing while the rest of the year has jump racing.

Where To Stay

For the longer events, or for just wanting to make a holiday in Ayr (or Scotland in general), there are at least 14 hotels that are within a mile of the racecourse. The closest to the racecourse is the Western House Hotel, which is 0.3 miles from Ayr. The Victorian style hotel offers not only location, but also 24 hour reception, Internet access and even currency exchange for those coming from other countries. If you want to be close to town, the Swallow Station Hotel in the center of Ayr is your best bet. The oldest hotel in Ayr, it offers 73 rooms and opportunities to pick up gifts for friends and loved ones back home. If a bed and breakfast is more of your style, the Kilkerran Guest House will be suited for you. It is run by a family and offers close location to local airports and personalized Scottish hospitality.

How To Get There

There are several ways to reach the racecourse; by air, land or rail. To reach it by car, the main road that you will need to find and get on is the A77. If you happen to come from the direction of Glasgow, you will need to take the M8, then jump on the A77. If you are heading from the south, you will have more roads to deal with. You first must get on the A74, then later the A70. You will need to get on the A713 before you even can reach the A77. The racecourse is hard to miss and can be reached from a dual carriageway. By rail, just head towards the Ayr rail station and take buses to the racecourse. Glasgow Prestwick airport is not that far from the course (approx 15 minutes), but if you plan to land at the racecourse itself, you can only do it with prior arrangements. Glasgow airport is about 45 minutes away from Ayr.

2009 F1 Telefonica Grand Prix Of Europe

Posted in  Motorsport by Paul on the August 7th, 2009


Valencia joined the Formula One circuit in 2008, when the checkered flag came down over Felipe Massa, the first Formula 1 winner there.

The track is made up of 5.4 km city streets that wind their way around the recently reconstructed America’s Cup marina.

The backdrop to the race is the beautiful Mediterranean. Spain has come a long way in a short period of time. They have gone from no television coverage, to hosting two Grand Prix.

Valencia is Spain’s third largest city; it is a compact city covering only 23 square kilometers. With the Formula 1 circuit in town, this city is going to be overflowing with excited race and party goers, what it won’t be overflowing with is accommodations so you’ll want to get your reservations in early.

Where to stay?

There is a full range of choices available when it comes to hotels, from the posh upper scale, to the mid range popular chains. The most expensive hotels are in the ‘Old Town’ and along the coast. There isn’t likely to be any bargain rates handed out during this event, the draw is expected to fill the local establishments to overflowing. If you cannot find a hotel with vacancies in the city, there are hotels in the surrounding towns that would be happy to accommodate you.

Here is a partial list of hotels to get you started on your adventure:

Hostal Residencia Torrijos
Poligono Industrial Castilla Area de Servicios, Cheste, 46380

Las Canadas
Carretera Godelleta -Turis, 8,
Godelleta, 46388

Hotel Muralleta
Cisterna, 31-33, Ribarroja, 46190

Mas De Canicatti
Ctra. Pedralba Km. 2,9,
Vilamarxant, 46191

Masia El Ferrajon
Partida Covatillas
S/N, Chiva, 46008

La Eliana Aparthotel
Pintor Domingo, 1, L’Eliana, 46183

You’ll want to make your reservations as soon as you can so you don’t end up commuting from another outlying town.

Getting to the event

If you’re thinking of taking a car, you may want to reconsider, Valencia is a small city and parking will be close to impossible to find. The public transport system is probably your best option for getting to and from the airport and the event. This will save you the cost of the vehicle, the aggravation of the crowded driving situations, and the long walks from where you finally find a parking space (if at all). If you have a mind to, another unique vantage point to watch the race would be from a boat in the marina, but you would need to negotiate that with the harbour master prior to locating yourself in your prime position.

RFU: Scotland Vs. Fiji at Murrayfield, 14th November

Posted in  Rugby by Paul on the August 5th, 2009

To this day, Murrayfield holds the record for the ‘Highest Attended Rugby Match’ for 34 years at over 104,000 attendees.   It’s is an imposing stadium with rabid, screaming fans, and it’s a long way from the South Pacific. this year, in the Bank Of Scotland Corporate Autumn Tests,  Fiji  has to face Scotland in on Murrayfield. The battle is set take place on November 14th 2009 with a kick off at 2:30pm local time.

Where To Stay

There are many hotels near Murrayfield to choose from, here are but a few of your choices.

Ellersly House Hotel retains a tranquil ‘Edwardian country house’ ambiance, with it’s original character, the hotel offers a relaxing atmosphere with open fires.

Mona’s Guest House is an elegant Victorian style house in Murrayfield, within walking distance of the stadium itself. This was originally a private residence and has been beautifully restored into luxurious accommodations.

Murrayfield Hotel and Lodge is located adjacent to Murrayfield Stadium on the West side of the city. Off street, private parking is available to the rear of the property free of charge to guests. With regular public transport services to and from the city and Haymarket train station only 1 mile away.

If elegance is your thing, you have two Five star options within half a mile of Murrayfield Stadium. The Kew House and Apartments offers contemporary luxury with free secure parking and free broadband Internet connection for hotel guests. Right along side it in quality is Kingsburgh House: a Victorian villa that, while built in the 1870′s, provides all the luxurious comfort a discerning business or pleasure traveler could wish for.

How To Get There

Murrayfield is located at the West end of Edinburgh city centre, six miles from Edingurgh International Airport. It is also 3 miles from Edinburgh Waverly Railway Station and one mile from Haymarket Railway Station. It is located close to the M8 and M9 motorways and the Edinburgh City bypass. If you have questions you would like to direct toward the stadium you can email them at

Two ‘park and ride’ sites are also available at both Hermiston and Ingliston. Hermiston runs evey ten minutes.

By car, coming from the West, take the M8 coming off at junction 2 (A8) heading for Edinburgh. At the double round about (just after the underpass), take the second exit at both parts to join Glasgow Road heading into Edinburgh. Follow the signs to Murrayfield Rugby Stadium.