Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

An Elegant and Tranquil Christmas and New Year at Hotel Villa Padierna, Marbella

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

The Christmas and New Year holidays should be a time for relaxation, for coming together with loved ones and for a chance to reflect on the past year and look forward to the next. There is no better place to do this than in one of the leading luxury resorts on the Costa del Sol, Hotel Villa Padierna, Marbella ( the perfect backdrop to an elegant and tranquil Christmas and New Year.

Hotel Villa Padierna, Marbella is one of the finest luxury five star hotels in Marbella and boasts two 18 hole golf courses; a Thermae Spa, fitness centre and indoor heated swimming pool; stunning accommodation in the style of a grand Tuscan villa; and some of the area’s best cuisine. This all adds up to a setting for the most memorable of occasions. This Christmas and New Year, Hotel Villa Padierna, Marbella is offering guests festive packages which provide a peaceful and effortless way to relax and fully enjoy this special time of the year, in an elegant and refined setting.

The hotel’s Christmas programme includes dinner in La Loggia by Manolo Navarro or La Veranda by Victor Taborda on Christmas Eve and Christmas night. Starting at 159 € per person, per night (excl. VAT), on the 30th a stunning Flamenco show with cava and Christmas pastries. The New Year’s Package offers accommodation with buffet breakfast; New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner in La Loggia restaurant, followed by chill out blues in the hotel’s lounge, New Year’s lunch in La Loggia from a 3 course menu. Guests will have access to the Kid’s Club, parking, the fitness centre, Finnish saunas and the indoor heated swimming pool. Starting at 259 € per person staying on December 31st, 2009 only, the New Year’s Eve 1 Night Package offers accommodation with breakfast in the hotel restaurant; New Year’s Eve Gala dinner in La Loggia restaurant followed by a blues show in the hotel lounge.

Christmas and New Year at Hotel Villa Padierna, Marbella provides the opportunity to experience the festive period in five star luxury; what better way to herald the coming year?

Hotel Villa Padierna, Marbella

The luxury five star hotel in Marbella, Hotel Villa Padierna, Marbella ( offers a personalised service and the best facilities on the Costa del Sol. Located at the Flamingos Golf Resort, its two 18 hole golf courses make of it one of the main golf hotels in Marbella, and its impressive Thermae Spa is considered one of the best luxury spas in Marbella.

This hotel is also an ideal conference venue in Marbella, perfect for company events and special celebrations such as weddings, anniversaries, incentive trips and product launch venues on the Costa del Sol, with more than 1,000 square metres of reception rooms and terraces and also with its own stunning Roman Amphitheatre.

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Christmas Gift Ideas – Video Game Consoles

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

There are three major player in the console wars this Christmas, the Nintendo Wii, the Sony Playstation 3 (PS3) and the Microsoft Xbox 360. Each console has it’s own niche advantages and minor disadvantages, but the one major difference between choosing a console in 2007 is that there is no bad choice. There may be no wrong choice, but there are choices which are more “right” than others, this is mainly dependent on the types of games you and your kids enjoy.

If you had told me a year ago that I would be standing in a room, playing video games with people old enough to be my parents (and in some cases they were my parents) I would have told you that you were crazy, but that’s what the Nintendo Wii brings to the table.

The Wii is different than the other consoles and that difference is due to the new motion sensitive controller which ships with the console. Imagine that you’re playing a golf game, typical controllers would have you push a thumb switch back, then forth to mimic a golf swing. The Wii on the other hand would have you stand up, draw back the controller (like a golf club) and swing. Ok, maybe you’re not a golfer, how about bowling? If you could have seen my 79 year old mother using the Wii controller to bowl and my 8 year old son laughing his head off then you would make your decision to buy a Wii right now. The Wii comes with a package called Wii Sports which features bowling, golf, baseball and boxing.

In some games, like bowling or baseball, the Wii controller makes playing the game easier than a standard controller. However in some more traditional games it can make games harder to play. For instance, Mario Strikers was one of my favorite games on the Gamecube, but on the Wii I find the new version difficult to play (my eight year old seems to have the hang of it though). In any case, the Wii makes an excellent party system, sure to be enjoyed by kids of all ages and is the least expensive of the three systems, although the other two are coming down in price rapidly to try to compete.

The Xbox 360 is the safe middle ground of the three systems. It will play DVD’s if you desire that functionality and can hook up to your HDTV via included component video cables (note that the low end $299 Xbox 360 Arcade does not come with the hookup cables for HDTV). Halo 3 and BioShock type games should be your yardstick for whether or not you want an Xbox 360. For us, my son could not live without his beloved Halo 3, so off to the store we went to get the Xbox 360.

I’ve been very happy with the system, the graphics on our 42″ plasma HDTV are outstanding and it came with a free month of Xbox Live Gold, which I just extended another 13 months for $59. Xbox Live and Halo 3 may be the Xbox 360’s distinguishing features, Xbox Live allows you to download demo’s of games, video clips and of course play multi player games online. There are many other great games for the Xbox like Gears of War and BioShock, in fact as of this Christmas the Xbox 360 probably has the best library of great games of all three systems, with the Wii in second and the Playstation 3 third.

The Sony Playstation 3 is the most expensive of the three systems, it was also the last one to hit store shelves. The Playstation 3 features include the best graphics subsystem of any of the consoles and of course the Blu-Ray DVD player which is built in. If you have a high def TV and want a Blu-Ray player, then the Sony Playstation 3 is the right choice for you.

The Playstation 3 was delayed many times and because of that it has the least number of games for it of all three systems, but if the new price reductions of the system are any indication (you can get a 40GB version for $399) then the Playstation 3 will make up lost ground quickly in 2008. I don’t personally have a Playstation 3, so can’t really comment on first hand knowledge of the system, but I know that Sony will not give up it’s position as market leading in the video game console wars without a fight.

So, will it be the funky remote, the most games, or the Blu-Ray player and the promise of future dominance? Your decision is not an easy one, but I believe that there are no loosers in this race. All three systems will have an excellent library of games, amazing graphics and sound and none of them are going anywhere for a few years. Choose the fun and cute Wii with it’s revolutionary controller, the sure footed and proven Xbox 360 with it’s library of exciting games (mostly aimed at teens and young men) or the ultra powerful Playstation 3 with it’s Blu-Ray player.

While I don’t think that you should buy a system based on backward compatibility it is worth mentioning that all three gaming systems mentioned have some degree of backward compatibility. This may be important to you if you don’t already own a system and are interested in picking up some inexpensive older games, beware however that not all older games will play on these systems. I believe the Wii is the most backward compatible of the three (with the Gamecube), but I do not have any hard/fast numbers.

Pick a system and have fun, after all isn’t that what gaming is all about?

Merry Christmas from North Pole Christmas at North Pole Christmas has a Christmas gift ideas section, check it out you might just find some good Christmas gift ideas. For Christmas wallpaper visit North Pole Christmas.