Sports travel blog

Guide to sports travel and hotel accommodation

England Vs. Australia ODI’s, The Riverside

Posted in  Cricket by Paul on the September 10th, 2009

england-vs-australiaIf you didn’t get your Ashes tickets, watch England and Australia compete in ODI, One Day International matches this September. The final ODI match will be played at the Riverside in Durham September 20, 2009. The Riverside is a relatively new stadium, established in 1995, and holds 17,000 fans especially for international matches like ODI. It is located along the River Wear and has a view of Lumley Castle.

Where to Stay

Staying within walking distance of the Riverside is also a convenient treat, especially since the Lumley Castle is the nearest hotel. This magnificent 4-star hotel overlooks the stadium, and the castle has been part of this countryside for over 600 years. Each of the 74 luxurious rooms are en suite and have complimentary WiFi. The Black Knight restaurant is so popular that you will need reservations.

Within 5 miles of the stands you will find several other quality hotels to accommodate different budgets and tastes. The Ramside Hall Classic Hotel and Golf Club has buildings dating back to 1820 on their 220-acre estate. The Ramside Golf Course boasts a 27-hole course, three loops of 9 holes, 14 lakes, and is known as one of the best courses in the area. The hotel offers babysitting, currency exchange, laundry and medical services, and has ample free parking. Close to Durham’s city center is the Hotel Bannatyne Durham. Guests enjoy complimentary use of the health club, with gym, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, and sauna.

Larger parties might enjoy a stay at the Radisson SAS Durham. All of the 207 guestrooms are air-conditioned and offer modern amenities like wireless internet and satellite TV. Complimentary newspapers are available in the lobby, where the multi-lingual staff will be happy to get you a taxi to the Riverside. No matter where you stay to watch the ODI at Riverside, you will enjoy the tradition and comfort of the English countryside.

How To Get there

Drivers to the Riverside are advised to get there early and carpool as parking is limited. You can also ride your bike as there are secured cycle racks. Several forms of public transportation are also available if you prefer to skip all those parking hassles. The local bus service is extensive, and easy to find your way to the stop only a few minutes walk from the stadium, at the Black Horse. Rail is also a convenient way to get to the match, especially if you are coming from farther away. The Chester-le-Street station is a 15-20 minute walk, sometimes there is a shuttle that takes fans to the stadium.

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.

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.

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.

Ashes 2009: Swalec Stadium, Cardiff

Posted in  Cricket by Paul on the June 24th, 2009

ashes-swalecIf you know cricket then you know that the rivalry between England and Australia is unparalleled in any other sport. The rivalry dates back to 1882, when Australia beat England on English grounds for the first time. The Sporting Times published a satirical obituary stating that English cricket had died, and “the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.” England and Australia continue this rivalry in a series known as The Ashes where the prize is an urn, supposedly containing the remains of burnt cricket equipment. Watch this 127 year-old rivalry open in 2009 at SWALEC Stadium in Wales.

Set in beautiful parklands, the stadium is just a short walk from Cardiff’s town center. Make your trip really something to remember by signing up for the Dragon’s Hospitality package. Along with premier match tickets, program and free gift, you will start the day off with coffee or tea and a fresh breakfast roll. Then you will enjoy a champagne reception and four-course luncheon. Afternoon tea will help keep you alert, or opt to indulge in the complimentary bar. This is a thrilling way to enjoy the match, entertain clients, or make lasting memories with family and friends.

Continue your extravagant day and stay at the St. Davids Hotel and Spa. This 5 star hotel boasts the ultimate in quality hospitality and has all the amenities including babysitting. Rooms overlook the bay and its distinctive sail-topped roof has become a landmark. If you are looking for something a little more Welsh but still luxurious, the Copthorne Hotel Cardiff is the place to stay. Located on the picturesque lakeside, the Copthorne is close to the Cardiff Castle, Welsh Folk Museum, and Cardiff Bay. There is a sports bar to enjoy all the cricket action and a delicious restaurant offering up traditionally Welsh meals.

For a real sense of history, stay at the Miskin Manor Country House that dates all the way back to the 10th century and is proud to have been a resting place for Edward VIII before he was king. The restored building is situated on 22 acres of gardens with glass-backed squash courts, badminton, swimming pool, gymnasium and helicopter pad. The rooms are individually decorated with all the modern facilities. A few nights here and you may forget you came to see cricket at all.

While there is certainly no shortage of luxury in the historic town of Cardiff, those on a budget will not be left out. Directly across from Cardiff Castle is the Barcel Cardiff Angel House. Built in 1833, the magnificently refurbished interior includes marble floors, crystal chandeliers and a grand, sweeping staircase. Its central location and excellent facilities seem like they should demand top dollar, but the room rates are very reasonable. It seems Wales likes to spoil her guests.

ICC World Twenty20 Venues & Accommodation

Posted in  Cricket by Paul on the June 9th, 2009

cricket playerThe ICC World Twenty20 is the international championship for the newest form of cricket organized by the International Cricket Council. 12 teams will now compete every 2 years to claim themselves world champs. The 2009 men’s championship is hosted by England at 3 locations: Lord’s, the Oval and Trent Bridge. The women’s tournament will be held at Taunton.

Lord’s, known as The Home of Cricket will host the opening and final games. Opened in 1814, these grounds have a long history and tradition in the game of Cricket. Stay at the 4 star Danubius Regents Park hotel that is just a 5 minute stroll from the grounds, some rooms even overlook the grounds. It is a large modern hotel with easy access to the London underground and Regent’s park with reasonable rates. Also nearby is the staunchly British Dorset Square Hotel, overlooking the site of Sir Thomas Lord’s first cricket pitch. Small and luxurious, they offer fresh cheeses, ales and jams.

Semi-finals will be held at The Oval and Trent Bridge. Despite not being as famous as Lord’s, the Oval dates back to 1845 and hosted the first FA Cup Final for rugby in 1872. Nearby is the luxurious Plaza on the River Club and Residence offering modern suites and superb service along with views of the River Thames, House of Parliament and Big Ben. Save some money and stay at the Belgrave Hotel in central London. The friendly staff and homely atmosphere make this an enjoyable place to relax after the games.

Trent Bridge is the world’s third oldest Test ground, having hosted country and Test cricket since 1838. Trent Bridge hosted its first international cricket match in 1899 and has recently been upgraded. Enjoy a comfortable stay in Nottingham at the Rufford or Balmoral Hotels and walk to Trent Bridge for the matches. The Ibis Hotel in Nottingham Centre is a short taxi ride away and close to the main nightlife areas.

Taunton will host the Women’s championship. Known as the “Home of Women’s Cricket”, Taunton will stage 12 games before the semi-finals at the Oval and Trent Bridge, and the final will be played at Lord’s all on the same ticket as the men’s matches. Treat yourself to a stay at The Castle at Taunton and enjoy their local produce and delicious muesli. The lovely Salisbury House Hotel offers a great breakfast, is very comfortable and reasonably priced. If romance is in store while visiting, The Mount Somerset Hotel offers plenty of private luxury that is sure to make a lasting impression.

For fans of cricket the world over, the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 international championships couldn’t be hosted at more deserving grounds. Whether you like to travel and enjoy all the modern conveniences or are looking for a more rural British experience, there are many hotels within walking distance of all these grounds to suit your needs.

Euro 2008 St Jakob Park Basel

Posted in  Cricket,  Football by David on the March 1st, 2008

Euro 2008 Travel Guide > St Jakob Park

This guide to Basel and St Jakob Park has been written for football supporters visiting St Jakob Park during Euro 2008. Discover how to make the most out of a trip to watch the European Championships whether you are visiting for the day or staying overnight in one of the many hotels in Basel, Switzerland.

About Basel

Basel is the third largest city in Switzerland, it is in the north-west of the country on the River Rhine, the city borders both France and Germany and the city has train stations that run into both these countries (Paris is only three and half hours away on the TGV-EST line). The city is  noted for its innovative building design, energy efficient way of living and its incredible blend of international culture. It is also dually noted for its old world medieval town centre, which was recognized as a culture centre of the world in recent years.

This visionary city is also known for its place in the business world; particularly the business of pharmaceuticals and chemicals. The city has recently shifted its focus to these two industries which provide an outpour of money that is put right back into the energy efficiency and other pioneering projects.

The Euroairport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiberg is the sole bi-national airport in the entire world. It was originally in France but has stretched into neighboring Basel. Because of this overlap visitors must be cautious or they could easily end up in France. The airport hosts several big international headliners including Swiss, Air France, British Airways and Lufthansa. It is recommended that visitors take a train into town or bus transport that is provided by most hotels.

Where to Stay in Basel

There are no hotels near St Jakob Park so it is advised to stay in the city centre as it is only a short commute to the stadium, try either the St Gotthard Swiss Quality Hotel or the Ramada Plaza Basel both are well located and are in also in tripadvisors top 5 Basel hotels.

About St Jakob Park

The stadium is relatively new stadium and was opened in March 2001 with a capacity of 39,000. The stadium has a UEFA 4 star rating (the highest allowed for a stadium of it’s size). The stadium will be extended to have a capacity of 42,500 for the European Championships and shall host 6 games including two quarter finals and a semi final.

Getting to St Jakob Park

The stadium has parking spaces for 680 cars on two different floors, however if taking public transport to the stadium it can be easily reached either by bus, tram or train (the stadium has its own train station).

After the Match

There are plenty of options for you to enjoy a night out in Basel, why not try the Restaurant Stucki Bruderholz for some French food before heading to the Stadtcasino, Barfüssenplatz for a venue that has live music acts along with other bars inside, another bar that should be visited is the Campari bar which has a younger crowd and sociable feel to it.

Euro 2008 Matches at St Jakob Park

Match 1 – 07/06 – Group A – Switzerland vs. Czech Republic – 18:00
Match 10 – 11/06 – Group A – Switzerland vs. Turkey – 20:45
Match 17 – 15/06 – Group A – Switzerland vs. Portugal – 20:45
Match 25 – 19/06 – Quarter Final – Winner Group A v Runner-up Gp B – 20:45
Match 27 – 21/06 – Quarter Final – Winner Gp C v Runner-up Gp D, Quarter Final – 20:45
Match 29 – 25/06 – Semi Final – Winner of Match 25 v Winner of Match 26 – 20:45