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March 2015, Tel Aviv, State of Israel – The Queen of the Desert, a prestigious and all-female club in Israel consisting of 7,000 women leaders in various fields, has chosen the Philippines as its next destination for its annual caravan tour.

 

On 12 March 2015, the Philippine Embassy in Israel met with Yosha Sigal, Manager of the Queen of the Desert, Raanan Ben-Bassat, CEO of Geographic Society (a major tour company in Israel), and Yariv Fisher, Philippines-Israel Tourism Chamber Chairman and FlyEast Ltd. CEO, to discuss plans and preparations for the Philippine tour of about 400 Israeli women consisting of executives, community and government leaders and top professionals and celebrities. The first group of "Queens" will tour the Philippines in April-May 2015, while the next batches will go in October - December 2015.

 

The Queen of the Desert tours are very popular in Israel. Founded by the Geographic Society in 1999, the Queen of the Desert conducts an annual expedition combining adventures in off the beaten tracks and routes not usually found in regular tourist maps, and activities that challenge the participants' physical and mental strength and teamwork skill. The tour is different from other travel experiences as it gives participants more opportunity to immerse themselves in and learn from the culture of the places they visit, and contribute to communities in the form of humanitarian projects. Joining the tour is a most sought-after "badge of honor" among Israeli women of substance who are in their 40s and up.

 

Philippine Ambassador to Israel Neal Imperial welcomed the decision to embark on an expedition in the Philippines and assured the group that the participants, as well as the rest of Israelis following the event, will be treated to beautiful sights and a wide range of unique and unforgettable experiences.

 

He stressed that "The Philippines is the most gender-equal country in Asia and the Queens will feel at home there. Our country is well-known for its smart and independent-minded women who are in the same mold as the fearless members of the Queen of the Desert."

 

The Queen of the Desert's upcoming trip to the Philippines will be a big boost to PH tourism, currently enjoying 30% growth in Israeli tourist arrivals. The new direct flight between Turkey and the Philippines, which started this March, offers more options for Israeli tourists going to the Philippines via Istanbul.

 

Last year, Israeli news and travel agencies, News1 (http://www.news1.co.il), Walla (http://travel.walla.co.il), Terminal (http://www.terminal.org.il), and International Air Services (http://www.ias.co.il) featured the Philippines in their websites, referring to it as the next must-visit destination for Israeli travelers because of its rich cultural heritage and world class tourist attractions. The Queen of the Desert is the latest to consider the country as a preferred destination.

 

The Queen of the Desert tours continue to attract thousands of women in Israel and even from other countries. It owes its prestige to the fact that applicants have to qualify in a rigorous screening process in order to participate in the expedition. Since its first trip to Jordan in 1999, the group has gathered more than 7,000 women from Israel to travel to far and exotic places in countries such as Turkey, Ethiopia, Georgia, Thailand, Romania, Morocco, Uganda, Spain, South Africa, Albania, Lapland, China, India, France, Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan, and Laos.

 

Photo  : Yosha Sigal, Manager of the Queen of the Desert, Philippine Ambassador to Israel Neal Imperial, Raanan

Ben-Bassat, CEO of Geographic Society, and Yariv Fisher, Chairman of the Philippines-Israel
Tourism Chamber Chairman (from left to right).

 

 

 

 

HOLLANDIA, the company specialized in sleep engineering, launches for the first time in Israel three innovative products:

 

· Tempur Sleep Center, experiential simulation room that provides a feeling of floating in space.

· Pierre Cardin collection.

· 4 SEASONS warm cover.

 

HOLLANDIA brings to Israel for the first time the experiential Tempur Sleep Center, a revolutionary sleep center, a sleeping room that makes you feel as floating in space.

 

This room is presently available in the company branches in Herzliya, Jerusalem, Haifa and other cities. Now, everyone can try the Tempur mattresses in previously unseen conditions. The experiential Tempur Sleep Center is a simulation room having adjustable beds with the pampering Tempur mattresses. The room is built without ceiling, it is not opaque nor transparent, and with soft lighting to provide sleeping room atmosphere. The screens in the room show a film that explains the unique development of the Tempur mattress, where the Tempur Sleep Center, also known as Space Cabin, operates continuously, every item in it moves, so that a vivid experience of floating in space is created.

 

Tempur mattresses are especially pampering. The Tempur material was originally developed by NASA for the production of space pillows for astronauts. It has an unusual capability for pressure spreading. This capability enables these mattresses to provide an experience of healthy and comfortable sleep, and a feeling of weightless sleep. The Tempur mattress structure provides all the conditions for natural, deep and continuous sleep.

 

The Tempur Sleep Center experience is offered free of charge for everybody.

Simulation duration: 7 minutes.

This room is available in the company branches in Herzliya, Jerusalem, Haifa and other cities.

 

HOLLANDIA presents, toward winter of 2015, a new collection of blankets, bed covers, and a variety of textile items from Pierre Cardin's fashion house.

 

HOLLANDIA offers also a collection of blankets, bed covers, and textile items manufactured by the French prestigious Pierre Cardin's fashion house.

 

The designs of the blankets and bed covers are inspired on nature and characterized by a variety of earth coloring, such as brown, red, dark gray, and more. The blankets are manufactured from natural and synthetic fibers in different textures, and weaved with high-quality embroidery, and the exclusive Pierre Cardin's logo impressed in their center. The unique design of these blankets allows their use with no need to cover them, and their wide sizes make them suitable for use as bed covers.

 

The blankets and bed covers are part of a larger collection that includes a separate set of towels in 3 sizes for the hands, face and body, and another set that includes the towels, and an additional set that includes the towels plus a bathing robe. The collection also includes towels in a variety of colors and shapes.

 

HOLLANDIA launches an innovative blanket: 4 SEASONS.


A special patent makes this blanket suitable for the coming winter and the following seasons.
A high-quality blanket that is healthy, and friendly to the user and the environment.

 

 

 

The blankets and bed covers are part of a larger collection that includes a separate set of towels in 3 sizes for the hands, face and body, and another set that includes the towels, and an additional set that includes the towels plus a bathing robe. The collection also includes towels in a variety of colors and shapes.

 

HOLLANDIA launches the 4 SEASONS innovative, high-quality and pampering blanket, for the coming winter and the following seasons.

 

This blanket consists of two parts that can be attached or separated, as needed, and, as labeled, can be used during all 4 seasons. In the transitional seasons, autumn and spring, you can use a blanket that weighs 250 grams. In the summer you can suffice with a 125-grams blanket, and in winter you can attach both for a warmer and pampering 375-grams blanket.

 

The blanket is made of 100% fine and softened polyester micro fibers, with a texture made of squares. The blanket quality is determined by the number of contained stitches. Since this blanket contains long fibers and relatively few stitches, the quality of its isolation is high.

 

The 4 SEASONS blanket is especially healthy. It is anti-bacterial and repels dust mites. The blanket fibers undergo a special treatment that impedes living space for dust mites. In addition, the blanket is well ventilated and enables pleasant and good sleep during the whole night.

 

The blanket is very comfortable for use. Unlike other blankets, it can be cleaned very easily, using a washing machine, and dried easily using a drier.

 

The blanket is produced in Spain using 100% recycled materials.

 

Prices:

Single-size blanket, 150-200 cm at launching price of 785 NIS.

Double-size blanket, 200-220 cm at launching price of 1275 NIS.

 

Selling place:

HOLLANDIA chain stores throughout the country.

 

About HOLLANDIA:

HOLLANDIA chain is owned by the Barseset family. It includes 7 branches throughout the country and a logistic center in Sderot. It represents the international companies TEMPUR, AUPING, Elegante and Pierre Cardin in Israel.

 

 Photo Silvia Golan

 

 

 

 

 

 "Desert Oasis", beautiful estate of Health and Spa, provides:

· 9 large and especially designed treatment rooms, and beautiful lobby.
· Large variety of health treatments, among the most advanced in Israel, provided by specialized masseurs.
· 2 special treatment rooms for couples, which include private Jacuzzi tubs that provide intimate, romantic and relaxing atmosphere.


· VIP Spa site - private Spa facilities and especially designed lawn, which includes sun-tanning terrace, comfortable sun tanning with outdoor Jacuzzi and Spa.

· "Spa in the Desert" is suitable for private events, fun days and social celebrations.
· Culinary experience, lead by the chef chain of Guy Peretz, Eli Uzan – a variety of traditional and new menus per order.

 

"Desert Oasis", the estate of Health and Spa, is located in the Ramat Negev region, 20-minute drive south of Beer-Sheva, and covers an area of 8000 square meters. It launches these days the "Spa in the Desert", a new and elegant Spa site. This new site has a unique design, which provides its visitors with a feeling of entrance to a calm, harmonic and charming world. This Spa site was built with an investment of 3 million NIS.

 

"Spa in the Desert" is a secluded site within the "Desert Oasis" estate, and the entrance to this site is allowed to the Spa visitors only. This site is roofed, and has a vast parlor at its center. It includes 9 especially designed treatment rooms that inspire a relaxing atmosphere, where light food and refreshment are served. Two of the treatment rooms are dedicated to couples, and include private 2 beds and Jacuzzi tubs that provide intimate and romantic atmosphere for a few hours.

 

The Spa treatments include: Medicinal massage, massage with hot stones, massage with hot sesame oil, Ayurveda massage, massage of body extremities, and body massage combined with feet massage.

 

The VIP Spa site is located outside the roofed "Spa in the Desert" site. It is open and limited to the VIP guests. It includes private Jacuzzi and sauna, sitting spots and sun-tanning terrace in a calm and relaxing atmosphere. The Spa guests are provided with personal dressing rooms, which include two bathing rooms and personal lockers, so they can walk around comfortably within the site. Each VIP guest receives at the entrance an elegant robe and personal Spa shoes.

 

Among the first guests at the VIP Spa site inauguration, was President Shimon Peres, who invited the president house workers and their families, about 70 people, to a charming and relaxing evening that included a variety of indulgences, dinner and public singing in the "Desert Oasis" estate and the new Spa site.

Udi Zilberstein, "Desert Oasis" CEO, said: "This new Spa site is one of the most prestigious in Israel and we invested millions of NIS in its construction. The site was planned and designed to provide the Spa guests a special physical and spiritual experience, so that along with the professional treatments, they can enjoy the unique, inviting and relaxing design. The site provides suitable solutions for guests interested in privacy and enjoyment of personal Spa facility, and for others that prefer social celebrations in this estate."

 

I strongly recommend it !!!

 

 

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of  Spa in the Desert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Waldorf Astoria Hotel offers now the possibility to experience a sensational breakfast experience accessible to the general public.

 


The menu combines specialties from the Palace Restaurant together with a reach buffet that includes different types of fish, bread, salads, yoghurts, cheese, seasonal fruits, natural juices and desserts.

 

The Jerusalem Waldorf Astoria Hotel offers its breakfast to the general public. The menu combines specialties from the Palace Restaurant together with a reach variety of the best dishes in the frame of an aristocratic atmosphere.

 

The menu includes, amongst others, omelets with salmon, champignons, goat cheese, mozzarella and pecorino, benedict eggs with hollandaise sauce accompanied by smoked salmon and spinach, fresh pastries, Belgian waffles and even oat cereals with blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and seasonal fruits for the lovers of healthy food.

 

Besides the above, the Palace Restaurant offers the most extensive breakfast buffet ever seen in Israel. This buffet includes various types of fresh and smoked fish (smoked and coiled herring, smoked salmon, tuna fish, halibut, mackerel and home maid garb lacks) as well as a series of fresh salads, warm dishes, different seasonal vegetables, soft and hard cheeses (Manchego, Camembert, Brie, Saint Moor, Grana Padano, Gouda, red wine goat cheeses), a variety of yoghurts and seasonal fruits.

 

Guy Kleiman, the manager director, stressed that "Those who are looking to enjoy an extraordinary breakfast adventure, either a romantic encounter or a business meeting, will have the pleasure to meet a unique experience never seen in Israel before. The aristocratic international atmosphere, the unique gastronomic variety as well as the outstanding service assure the guests an unforgettable experience".

 

In addition, a healthy corner provides sugar free tarts, gluten free bread, a big variety of exotic dried fruits, vegetables, etc. The cost per person is 144 New Shekels.

 

Breakfast times:

Sunday to Friday: 06.30 to 10.30 hs.

Reservations: Tel. 02-5423353 – Address: Irgun St. 26, Jerusalem

It is advisable to reserve places in advance.

The Waldorf Astoria Hotel that was built on the foundations of the re-known Palace Hotel in Jerusalem, is considered the most expensive hotelier project in Israel. Its cost required an investment of about 150 million dollars. The hotel, the first and only international prestigious hotel in Jerusalem, counts with 226 rooms, 29 of which are suites, an elegant dancehall, high elaborated meeting rooms, gourmet restaurants and a highly qualified service that was not yet seen in Israel.

 

In order to make a reservation to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Jerusalem or to learn about the Waldorf Astoria chain of hotels all over the world you are invited to visit the site www.waldorfastoria.com .

 

For additional information about the chain please look into the following web address http://news.waldofastoria.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aerial map of Rosh Tzippor, which looks like a bird's head. Photo: Yoav Devir

On December 18th, a ceremony was held to celebrate the laying of the foundation stone for the new Rosh Tzippor bird-watching center to be established in the forest with the support of the Besen Family Foundation and Friends of JNF Australia. Among those present were KKL-JNF officials, the Mayor of Tel Aviv, the Australian Ambassador to Israel and relatives of the donors.

http://youtu.be/LUjuaUnKUugFor Tel Aviv residents who want to enjoy an excursion in natural surroundings close to home, Rosh Tzippor Park is the perfect venue. Situated in the city's Yarkon Park, this site is a paradise for nature lovers.

"Residents of central Israel deserve to have a green area that will be accessible to everyone. The bird-watching center will add another natural gem to Yarkon Park," said KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler at the ceremony. In his speech he recalled the task that JNF Australia had taken upon themselves in the wake of the Maccabiah disaster: to work for the rehabilitation of the Yarkon River. "In those most difficult times the community displayed exceptional generosity of spirit," said the world chairman.

KKL-JNF began to plant the Rosh Tzippor (Hebrew for bird's head) Forest in the 1950s, and work still continues there today. The first trees to be planted were eucalypti, themselves natives of Australia. In recent years, however, local varieties such as Tabor oak, Judas trees and two species of mastic tree have been added to the mix.

Aerial map of Rosh Tzippor, which looks like a bird's head. Photo: Yoav Devir
The forest has dense undergrowth and it is home to a variety of songbirds and waterfowl. These, however, are not the source of its name, which derives instead from the shape of the forest: when viewed from the air it has the appearance of a bird's head with an eye in the appropriate spot.

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, a former pilot and commander in the Israeli Air Force, is probably long familiar with the landscape of the park as seen from above. In his present capacity as mayor, he is well aware of the park's special importance to the residents of his city. "This park is a miracle, a green oasis surrounded by fast highways and urban development," he told those present at the ceremony.

The mayor added that the site is one of the most frequently visited in the country. And, indeed, on a weekday morning the park is thronged with people: cyclists, joggers, groups of schoolchildren, courting couples and parents with baby buggies.

The park is crisscrossed by a number of walking routes, cycle paths and jogging trails. The easier footpaths are suitable for family outings and accessible to people with disabilities; children will enjoy the zip lines, rope bridges, roundabouts, seesaws and wooden climbing equipment in the adventure playground.

Other places to visit in Rosh Tzippor Forest include the historic Seven Mills (Sheva Tahanot) site, where water mills constructed along the banks of the Yarkon River in the 19th century remained in use until around a hundred years ago. On Napoleon Hill the remains of settlements dating back thousands of years can be seen.

Right: Eva & Marc Besen, Efi Stenzler, and H.E. Dave Sharma sign the document to be placed in the cornerstone. Photo: KKL-JNF Photo Archive.
Left: Birds on the Yarkon River. Photo: Yoav Devir

Australian Ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma said that on his travels around the country he had been greatly impressed by everything Israel has managed to achieve in such a short time against all the odds. "Thanks to the active Zionist Jewish community of Australia and its collaboration with KKL-JNF, we have had the privilege of taking part in the building of the State," he added.

The main contribution towards the establishment of the bird-watching center was donated by the Besen Family Foundation of Melbourne, and over thirty members of the family took part in the ceremony. Foremost among them were Marc Besen, who celebrated his 90th birthday in the course of the visit, and his wife Eva.

"Our family has grown since our last visit to Israel, and the State, too, has grown and developed," said Mr. Besen. "We are very happy to be here playing a modest role in making the region green and contributing in a small way towards the growth of the State of Israel as a whole."

Australian donors Geoffrey and Velmae Morris of Perth were likewise present at the ceremony. "I learned from my father that Israel is our native land and our second home, and everything we can do for the State brings us great happiness," said Geoffrey Morris. "I regard the rehabilitation of the Yarkon River as a particularly important project, and, of course, developing nature tourism in Israel is vital, too."

The list of Australian donors who contributed to the establishment of the bird-watching center includes the Ferster and Schaffer families, the estate of Stephen and Rita Gerstl, Sussanne Pinkus and Esta Blashid; an additional donation was made by the Beer-Gabel family of France.

After the speeches were over, all those present made their way to the spot where the foundation stone would be laid. Before the hole was covered up with cement, the participants filled it with documents bearing their signatures in order to mark the establishment of this new site.

Architect Gidon Sarig presented the plans for the bird-watching center, Dr. David Pergament, Director of the Yarkon River Authority, told those present about the park and the rehabilitation of the waterway, and the day's activities concluded with a tour of Yarkon Park in a vehicle resembling a motorized train. Like the residents of Tel Aviv and its surrounds and visitors from all over the country, the Australian guests enjoyed the lake, the tropical garden, the rock garden, the park landscapes and the riverbank scenes.