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August 15, 2019
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HUD Reaches 202M Settlement With Deutsche Bank

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies FHA HUD Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-05-10 Ryan Schuette HUD announced Thursday that it reached a $202 million settlement with “”Deutsche Bank””:https://www.db.com/us/ and Mortgageit over allegations of misconduct and false certifications with a government lender program.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]The agency said that Mortgageit acknowledged and accepted responsibility for false certifications it submitted to HUD in order to gain from a direct lender program under the “”Federal Housing Administration””:http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/fhahistory (FHA).For its part, Deutsche Bank admitted wrongdoing by failing to account for Mortgageit’s activities before it made the decision to close down the unit in 2008.The administration filed suit under the False Claims Act and U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan approved it.Manhattan U.S. Attorney “”Preet Bharara””:http://www.justice.gov/usao/nys/ said in a statement that the institutions “”treated FHA insurance as free Government money to backstop lending practices that did not follow the rules…. Their failure to meet these requirements caused substantial losses to the Government ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô losses that could have and should have been avoided.””A civil crimes unit helmed by Bharara’s office will oversee the settlement as it moves forward. May 10, 2012 419 Views HUD Reaches $202M Settlement With Deutsche Bankcenter_img in Government, Origination, Servicing Sharelast_img read more

August 15, 2019
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VIP Brings Top Talent to Tucson Branch

first_img Three “”stand-out mortgage professionals”” are now serving the Tucson, Arizona community at “”V.I.P. Mortgage, Inc””:http://www.vipmtginc.com/. [IMAGE]Carlos Gonzalez joined the Tucson branch as a loan officer. Gonzalez has an extensive financial and mortgage background, including time spent working in both commercial lending and investor relations. Having spent his childhood in both Mexico and the United States, he has familiarity with English and Spanish and will help V.I.P. serve the city’s substantial Latino population.A longtime resident of Tucson, Meg Swain is involved in a variety of mortgage and business boards and organizations, including the Southern Arizona Mortgage Lenders Association, the National Association of Women Business Owners, and AZ Small Businesses. In addition, Swain is involved with the Boys and Girls Club and National Charity League. V.I.P. celebrates her as an “”industry leader”” with “”out-of-the-box creative thinking.””Tina Steele is an 18-year industry vet and a specialist in reverse mortgages who possesses a special talent for explaining the complex reverse mortgage program to potential clients. Her strong suit is forging personal connections with reverse mortgage customers.””With nearly 50 employees–many of whom hold deep roots here in Old Pueblo–we are definitely on pace to fund double the amount of loans as last year, shaping up to be our best year yet,”” said Jim Kaiser, branch manager in Tucson. “”Each of these individuals adds such strong support in their respective niche; we are incredibly excited to have all of them on board.”” Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2012-10-29 Tory Barringer in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing V.I.P. Brings Top Talent to Tucson Branchcenter_img October 29, 2012 377 Views Sharelast_img read more

August 15, 2019
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FHFA Shifts Goals to Support LowIncome Borrowers

first_img Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac 2014-09-02 Seth Welborn in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News, Secondary Market September 2, 2014 450 Views Sharecenter_img FHFA Shifts Goals to Support Low-Income Borrowers The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) proposed last week a rule to establish new housing goals for 2015 through 2017 for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.The FHFA is required by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act to establish new housing goals annually for the GSEs, and the current rule expires at the end of 2014.For single-family housing goals for 2015 through 2017, FHFA requests comment on three alternative approaches. The first alternative involves using Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data to calculate both a prospective benchmark level and a retrospective market measure; the second alternative involves setting only benchmark levels; and the third involves setting only the retrospective market level measure.Under the first alternative, prospective benchmarks for the percentage of all single-family purchases would remain at their current levels of 23 percent for low-income families and 7 percent for very low-income families for 2015 through 2017, encouraging the GSEs to promote more “safe and sound lending” to low-income borrowers, according to FHFA.Under the second alternative, single-family benchmark levels would be lower than the levels that have been proposed; and under the third alternative, prospective benchmark levels would not be set.For multifamily housing, a subgoal would be established in an effort to make it easier for low-income families to afford smaller properties (those with five to 50 units).Under the proposed rule, Fannie Mae’s benchmark levels for the number of multifamily housing units will remain at their current levels of 250,000 units for low-income families and at 60,000 for very low-income families through 2017. For Freddie Mac, benchmark levels for low-income families would move upward from the current number of 200,000 units up to 210,000 for 2015; 220,000 for 2016; and 230,000 for 2017.For very low-income families, those levels would increase from their current level of 40,000 up to 43,000 for 2015; 46,000 for 2016; and 60,000 for 2017. The benchmark levels proposed by FHFA would require the GSEs to continue supporting affordable multifamily housing even though  market share in multifamily housing will decrease for the GSEs due to the private sector’s increased participation in multifamily housing.FHFA invites interested parties to comment by October 28, 2014.last_img read more

August 15, 2019
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Matt Martin Real Estate Rebrands to Chronos Solutions

first_imgMatt Martin Real Estate Rebrands to Chronos Solutions Chronos Solutions Matt Martin Real Estate Management Rebrand 2015-10-14 Staff Writer Matt Martin Real Estate Management, a national real estate finance services provider, recently announced that the company has changed its name to Chronos Solutions and expanded its brand and service offerings.This update signals the firm’s intentions to make its wide array of real estate finance services known to its national market, which will lead to another period of growth.Matt Martin, Co-Founder and CEO of Chronos Solutions, noted that the rebranding decision was “a very natural progression for the company.”“We felt that MMREM no longer conveyed the true breadth of our firm’s capabilities,” he said. “We were known for some of our services, however, much of the market was unaware that the firm is much larger and diverse in its offering,” he said. “We have grown exponentially since we entered the market and we will continue to do so. We’re a much larger brand than when we started. Chronos Solutions is a much better representation of our national reach and comprehensive offerings, and will position us to extend our client base across the board. “Chronos Solutions is a technology enabled real estate finance services provider offering comprehensive solutions for mortgage lenders, federal agencies, GSEs, mortgage servicers, real estate portfolio investors and more. The company offers a comprehensive array of services and solutions, including advisory and consulting; title and settlement services; valuation; acquisitions; Home Owners Association solutions; REO management and disposition; auction services; and accelerated marketing and field services. Headquartered in Frisco, Texas, the company has a national geographic footprint; and has an established client base which includes federal agencies; top national lenders and banks; leading mortgage servicing companies; and more.“Our clients tell us that we offer the same breadth and depth of services that any of the other national service providers do,” said Jo Ann Kruse, COO for Chronos Solutions. “However, they marvel at our ability to manage high volume projects with the same service levels offered by the best boutique firms. As Chronos Solutions, we want the mortgage and real estate industry to know us for our capacity, our capabilities, our creativity and our flexibility.” Sharecenter_img October 14, 2015 631 Views in Headlines, News, Servicing, Technologylast_img read more

August 15, 2019
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Servicers Get Ready for Record Low Mortgage Modification Rates

first_img Share in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News, Servicing Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Servicers Standard Modification Interest Rate 2016-05-09 Staff Writer Servicers, Get Ready for Record Low Mortgage Modification Ratescenter_img Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently announced a big change to the benchmark mortgage modification interest rate that will help servicers.In an effort to match the already historically low interest rates, the GSEs revealed that later this week the standard mortgage modification rate will decrease from 3.750 percent to 3.625 percent.Beginning on May 13, 2016, the benchmark rate for both Fannie and Freddie will fall to its lowest level ever, which should bode well for servicers. The current rate of 3.750 percent can still be used until May 12, 2016.The new rate is a full percentage point lower than when the GSEs established the mortgage modification interest rate in January 2012 at 4.625 percent. It was also 4.625 percent in September 2013. The rate has since fluctuated but has only hit 3 percent three other times. March 2016 was the previous low for the modification rate at 3.750 percent, while in February 2016 and November 2015, the rate was 3.875 percent.Source: Fannie MaeSource: Freddie MacFannie Mae stated that its standard modification interest rate is subject to periodic adjustments based on an evaluation of prevailing market rates. The servicer must use the current modification rate when evaluating a borrower for a conventional mortgage loan modification, excluding Fannie Mae HAMP Modifications.Freddie Mac said that servicers must use its standard modification interest rate when determining the terms of a standard modification trial period plan, Freddie Mac streamlined modification trial period plan, or a capitalization and extension modification for disaster relief trial period plan. In these situations, the same modification interest rate used for the trial period plan must also be used for the final modification.”By adjusting the interest rate from time to time, you will have the ability to provide borrowers with a rate that aligns more closely to current market conditions,” Freddie Mac said in its Standard Modification FAQs. May 9, 2016 540 Views last_img read more

August 15, 2019
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Price Cuts Hit Several Markets

first_img September 2, 2018 546 Views Inventory Price Cuts Prices rates Shortage 2018-09-02 Seth Welborn Home price cuts have increased across the country, according to a study from realtor.com. According to the inventory data from realtor.com, frequency of price cuts increased in in 39 of the 45 largest markets in the U.S. The 45 markets analyzed saw a median price cut of 22 percent, than percent higher than August of last year, and seven percent higher than August 2013.Nationally, the share of home price cuts went up to 19.1 percent in August, an increase from 17.6 percent year over year. Realtor.com notes that this may be an indication of a higher number of home sellers beginning to react to “buyer fatigue” and adjusting their reactions accordingly.Realtor.com also states that the combined median list price in the top 10 markets with the biggest jumps in price cut frequency was significantly higher than the top 10 markets with the smallest jumps. The top 10 markets with large jumps had a median list price of $500,000 compared to $278,000 for the smallest.Additionally, markets that have seen inventory growth appear to have shown the biggest jumps in price cuts. In the top 10 markets with the biggest jumps in the price cut share, inventory was up 19 percent year over year on average. The opposite is true for areas with low inventory. Inventory was down by five percent year over year in the top 10 markets with the smallest jumps in the price cut.According to realtor.com, the inventory shortage appears to be slowing, a factor in the increase in price cuts. There were only two percent fewer for-sale listings on the market in August 2018 than there were in August 2017, while inventory also increased 2 percent month over month in August. Around 488,000 new listings entering the market during that month, but realtor.com predicts it would take around 24 more months until the market flip into the buyer’s favor, even with price cuts across the country.For more info, visit Realtor.com. in Daily Dose, Data, Newscenter_img Price Cuts Hit Several Markets Sharelast_img read more

August 15, 2019
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Cities Where Housing Costs Are Becoming Less Burdensome

first_img May 10, 2019 639 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Cities Where Housing Costs Are Becoming Less Burdensome A recent study by Magnify Money of LendingTree, with research by the Pew Research Center, concluded residents in an average household in each of the 100 largest metros takes home more cash after paying for housing than they did three years ago.“In other words, even though housing costs have risen over the last three years, the dollar amount of wages have grown faster and exceeded the dollar pricing increases for both renting and owning a home,” the report stated.The report, which used data from the U.S. Census Bureau, compared local incomes to housing costs in the top 100 metros. Magnify Money then ranked them based on how much wages increased compared to housing costs.Although California is known for its rising home prices, residents in San Francisco and San Jose retain the most incomes after paying housing costs.Despite home prices being on the rise, First American Financial Corporation’s February Real Housing Price Index (RHPI) stated that affordability is rising in California.Four cities—San Jose, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego—where among six whose RHPI decreased and affordability increased.According to the Magnify Money report, San Francisco residents, annually, have $10,642 of incomes remaining, thanks in part to wages increasing by $12,706 over the past three years. San Jose was a close second, with residents having $9,909 remaining after housing costs. Wages in San Jose have increased by $12,849 over the past three years—the largest increase in the nation.“Despite having one of the largest increases dollar-for-dollar, however, San Jose’s numbers are less impressive when comparing housing costs directly to income,” the report states. “The percentage of the city’s median gross income required to cover median housing costs fell by just 0.8% in the past three years — the smallest decrease of any city we surveyed.”The metros of Seattle, Washington; Austin, Texas and Portland, Oregom, round out the top-five performing markets.Residents in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Little Rock, Arkansas, have the least amount of money after housing costs, with $1,750 and $1,931 remaining annually, respectively. center_img 2019 Housing Market Home Prices housing costs LendingTree 2019-05-10 Mike Albanese Sharelast_img read more

August 15, 2019
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Tracking the Drop of the 30Year Note Rate

first_img Share Ellie Mae’s June Origination Insight Report revealed that the 30-year note rate dropped for the sixth-consecutive month to 4.40%, which is down from 4.52% in May. The 30-year note rate for FHA loans fell from 4.63% the month prior to 4.49% in June. Rates for conventional loans declined to 4.41% from May’s 4.52% and VA loans saw rates fall to 4.20% from May’s rate of 4.31%. Closing rates hit historic highs in June, according to Ellie Mae, as the average closing rate on all loans for June was 76.8%—an increase from 75.6% in May. Closing rates on purchase loans was 78.8% and closing rates for refinancing was 73.4%. “As the 30-year note rate continues to decline, we are seeing robust purchase and refinance activity,” said Jonathan Corr, President and CEO of Ellie Mae. “Closing rates have hit the highest percentage since we began tracking data in 2011 and even with heavy summer activity, Ellie Mae’s customers are still seeing their times to close loans remain well below the industry average.”Ellie Mae also states that the percentage of refinances for the month decreased to 31%. Purchases accounted for 69% of total closed loans. The amount of Adjustable Rate Mortgages decreased to 6.3%, which is a slight decrease from May’s 6.7%. Low mortgage rates could mean big savings for homeowners who decide to refinance. A report by CNBC earlier this month  that the average borrower could save about $266 per month because of the low mortgage rates, which could bring potential savings to about $2.2 trillion. Those eligible for refinancing increased by 6.3 million since last November when rates were more than 5%. CNBC stated that about 1.5 million borrowers, or roughly 35% of those who took out loans last year, could benefit from lower mortgage rates and refinancing. Mortgage applications to refinance rose 92% last week, and refinances for loans originated last year increased 300%.“While we’ve observed increases across nearly every investor type, product type, credit score bucket and vintage, some changes stand out,” said Ben Graboske, President of Black Knight Data & Analytics. “For instance, prepayments among fixed-rate loans have hewed close to the overall market average, rising by more than two times over the past four months. However, ARM [adjustable-rate mortgage] prepayment rates have now jumped to their highest level since 2007 as borrowers have sought to shed the uncertainty of their adjustable-rate products for the security of a low, fixed interest rate over the long haul.” in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination Ellie Mae Loan Origination 2019-07-18 Mike Albanesecenter_img Tracking the Drop of the 30-Year Note Rate 15 days ago 593 Views last_img read more

August 13, 2019
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Around 42 containers will travel between the stati

first_imgAround 42 containers will travel between the stations, at a frequency of three times a week during 48 weeks a year.”Following extensive preparations and the first pilot run, we are now taking the giant step towards drastically reducing the carbon footprint associated with fresh produce transport,” according to Gerjo Scheringa, CEO of Euro Pool Group.The intention is to grow the initiative and create CoolRail rail links to Germany, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom. Ethical Trading Initiative terminates Fyffes’ memb … Argentine apple and pear exports suffer 15% price … Spain is the major trading partner of northwestern Europe for the import of fresh fruit and vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and oranges.Bakker Barendrecht has been involved in the CoolRail initiative from the very start and developed this rail link between Spain and the Netherlands in cooperation with Euro Pool System.Euro Pool System works with the following partners: Shuttlewise, Bakker Barendrecht/Albert Heijn, Visbeen, Kloosterboer, DailyFresh, EasyFresh, Primaflor, Bollo, Agroiris, Fruveg, TobSine, Pozo Sur and Samskip. Bayer hit with US$2B verdict in third Roundup tria … A new fresh produce direct rail connection between Valencia in Spain and Rotterdam in the Netherlands has begun operating.The dedicated, temperature-controlled CoolRail service began operating from May 6 and will transport fresh fruit and vegetables between the locations three times a week.Transporting goods using this direct rail link is just as fast as road transport, but far more sustainable, as a CO2 reduction of 70% -90% is realised.It is an initiative of Euro Pool System, a provider of logistics services and reusable standard packaging in the European food supply chain. Parties from the retail, logistics and fruit and vegetable sectors are also participating in this sustainable initiative. You might also be interested in May 08 , 2019 U.S.: Salmonella outbreak linked to pre-cut melon … last_img read more

August 12, 2019
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The Travel CorporationTTCVizEat

first_imgThe Travel CorporationTTCVizEat The Travel Corporation has entered into a global partnership with VizEat, an innovative food experience platform that brings travellers together through immersive culinary experiences, enabling all TTC brands to connect their guests with VizEat hosts.The app first launched in Paris in 2014 and has now become the world’s most popular meal sharing platform. App users are welcomed into a global network of hosts’ homes while making authentic connections with both locals and travellers before sampling regional specialties and traditional cuisine in unique locations.Beginning this European summer, TTC’s guests will have an opportunity to enjoy these food experiences on selected trips, or as optional experiences. last_img

August 11, 2019
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South squad quarterback Jake Coker of Alabama si

first_imgSouth squad quarterback Jake Coker, of Alabama, signs autographs after the Senior Bowl NCAA college football game, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, in Mobile, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson) Thanks to everybody for all the support, I really appreciate it. Can’t wait to chase another dream in Arizona!— Jake Coker (@RealJakeCoker) May 1, 2016Elie Bouka – DB, University of CalgaryMatthias Farley – DB, Notre DameAmir Carlisle – WR, Notre DameClay Debord – OT, Eastern WashingtonChris King – WR, DuquesneDanny Dillon – LS, CampbellGarrett Swanson P, Fresno StateHakeeem Valles – TE, MonmouthChris Hubert – WR, Fayetteville StateTrevon Hartfield – DB, Southwestern Oklahoma State – / 35 Here are the rest of the reported free agents signed by Arizona signed Saturday. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellingcenter_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories 0 Comments   Share   You didn’t think they were done, did you?The Arizona Cardinals wrapped their 2016 draft class Saturday with four more picks and quickly began signing undrafted free agents.The highlight of that group, so far, appears to be a quarterback — and one you might know.Jake Coker led the Alabama Crimson Tide to win the 2016 College Football Playoff, and it appears he will have a chance to compete for an NFL job in Cardinals camp, reports the Tuscaloosa News’ Cecil Hurt.last_img read more

August 11, 2019
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Go back to the enewsletter There is only one mo

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >There is only one month remaining for Scenic guests to take advantage of the Earlybird offers on Europe River Cruising, which ends on 31 October 2015.Guests can enjoy significant savings of up to $6,090 per couple on 2016 Europe river cruises with free return flights to Europe including taxes or fly for $995 per person including taxes – a saving of up to $3,640 per couple.Other special offers available on the 2016 river cruising program include no single supplement for the solo traveller and business class flights to Europe from $2,995 per person.Aleisha Fittler, GM Journey Design, commented: “With free return flights to Europe, now really is the best time to book. We stand by our Earlybird Philosophy and protect those that book early with us so these deals will never be repeated. We encourage all agents to book their clients onto their chosen river cruise now as there are only four weeks left to enjoy these fantastic savings. After which prices will increase.”Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more

August 11, 2019
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Go back to the enewsletter Raffles Singapores re

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterRaffles Singapore‘s reopening is planned for the second half of 2018. Since February 2017, the heritage hotel has embarked on a careful and sensitive phased restoration. Its reopening will see the introduction of new suite categories, lifestyle experiences and refreshed dining concepts.New suite categories For more than a century, Raffles Singapore has offered its guests all-suite accommodations. The restoration will update its suites with new amenities and technology while maintaining the colonial ambience and sense of space.When Raffles Singapore reopens, it will have three new suite categories: Residence Suites, Promenade Suites and Studio Suites. The total suite count increases from the existing 103 to 115.The new Residence Suites, comprising four one-bedroom and one two-bedroom suites, will be located in the Raffles Arcade and are named after famous local cinemas during the early- to mid-1900s: the Alhambra, Diamond, Marlborough, Odean and Theatre Royal Suites. This is in homage to the days when the neighbourhood was known as ‘The Place of Cinemas’.Nestled in the front-most corner of the Main Building are two new Promenade Suites that overlook Beach Road. A tribute to the late-1800s era when Raffles Singapore faced the beachfront, the suites will be named Lady Mountbatten Suite and Lady Sophia Suite, which were converted from existing boardrooms.Lady Mountbatten was the Countess of Burma and wife of Lord Louis Mountbatten who was the Earl of Burma, last Viceroy of India and also Southeast Asia’s Supreme Allied Commander during the Second World War. In September 1945, Lord Mountbatten was in Singapore to witness the surrender of the Japanese Forces.Lady Sophia was the wife of Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Modern Singapore, and for whom Raffles Hotel Singapore is named after.The Studio Suites that are being added aim to complement the array of suites in the Main Building, enveloped by the colonial charm of the Grand Lobby.Raffles Singapore will continue to provide existing suite categories including:Presidential SuitesGrand Hotel SuitesPalm Court SuitesCourtyard SuitesState Room Suites, formerly known as Raffles Inc. State Room Suites. The renaming reflects the conversion of the workspace into a parlour as well as the spaciousness of the suite.Raffles Arcade: A lifestyle destination for the community and SingaporeOnce reopened, the Raffles Arcade will showcase social spaces and lifestyle experiences. This includes a refreshed Raffles Gift Shop that will house a History Gallery to illustrate the heritage of Raffles Singapore. The Arcade will also be home to a brand-new Raffles Spa, a holistic sanctuary for hotel residents and the community to escape the bustle of the city.“The History Gallery exhibits the hotel’s heritage over the past 130 years, and highlights the role Raffles Singapore played as a landmark in the country, and also in the region,” explained Christian Westbeld, GM, Raffles Singapore. “We are confident the local community will enjoy the refreshed facilities within the arcade that would rejuvenate the experiences within our neighbourhood.”Signature dining experiences at RafflesSignature restaurants and bars since the 1900s, Long Bar, Tiffin Room and Writers Bar, will continue to be a part of Raffles Singapore dining experiences when the hotel reopens.Home of the Singapore Sling for over 100 years, the Long Bar’s plantation-inspired decor will be refreshed, and the famous Long Bar counter restored. Visitors and guests will be welcomed to continue the tradition of throwing peanuts on the floor as they sip on a chilled glass of Singapore Sling.A part of Raffles’ history since 1892, Tiffin Room will continue to serve up delectable North Indian cuisine. Offering authentic specialties served in Tiffin boxes, it will also present an interactive dining experience with tableside service by chefs, complete with freshly ground spices to enhance the occasion. The restored interior decor includes reinstating the wooden floorboards in Tiffin Room to bring back features from the early 1900s based on research by heritage consultants.Furthermore, the Afternoon Tea will now be served at the new lounge in the Grand Lobby, allowing guests to enjoy a quintessential Raffles dining experience amid the soft daylight streaming in from the skylight.Established as a tribute to famous writers that have come through the doors of Raffles Singapore over the years, Writers Bar will be expanded to a full bar and be the place for bespoke cocktails, elegance and intimate conversations.The restoration of Raffles Singapore is supported by award-winning interior designer Alexandra Champalimaud, who has worked on numerous restoration projects around the world.Phase Three of the restoration will commence on 13 December 2017, when the hotel will be fully closed. Raffles Gift Shop will move to a temporary location along Seah Street and remain open throughout.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

August 10, 2019
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The Isles of Scilly have been named among the worl

first_imgThe Isles of Scilly have been named among the world’s top-ten destinations for 2010 by travel guide Frommer’s.They were the only British destination to make the list, with other locations including Abu Dhabi, Copenhagen, Hawaii and Hanoi.Isles of Scilly tourism officer Kate Steep said it was a “major coup” to have made the list, which was compiled by travel industry insiders, writers and Frommer’s readers.”When you look at the other locations we are rubbing shoulders with, and consider we are the only UK destination to make the list, it is the perfect way to kick start the 2010 season,” she commented.The Cornish archipelago has been well documented on TV over the past year, with BBC series An Island Parish following the lives of Scillonians, while Countryfile and Top Gear have also visited the islands.Previously, Adidas filmed a series of adverts on St Mary’s, the largest island, which saw locals rub shoulders with footballers David Beckham, Patrick Viera and Steven Gerrard.The Scillies, which are located 28 miles south-west of the mainland, are accessible on flights from Newquay, Exeter, Bristol, Southampton and Land’s End.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map Related9 european alternatives to the world’s top travel must-seesFrom island paradises to active volcanoes- you don’t have to travel half-way around the world to complete your travel bucket list.The best beach campsites in the UKLove life on the ocean wave? Then pitching up (excuse the pun) at a beachfront campsite is a good place to start. Unfurl your tent at one of these fantastic spots for a sun-soaked burst of coastal cool.Increased demand for flights to Isle of Wight?Flights to Isle of Wight could become more popular after the location was named as one of the top 25 UK destinationslast_img read more

August 10, 2019
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1 Oslo Norway The Norwegian capital may be the p

first_img1. Oslo, NorwayThe Norwegian capital may be the priciest city in Scandinavia but one of the most unforgettable experiences of the region is yours to be had for free: the Northern Lights. Oslo is up there in the list of places to see the Aurora Borealis. In fact, it is possible to see the lights almost every night during the winter time in clear conditions. You could take a special Northern Lights Safari out of town, but hiring a guide will cost. Alternatively, just gaze up at the night sky to see the spectacular bluey-green light-show absolutely free.More: Tripping the northern lights fantastic: the best places to see the Aurora Borealis2. Zurich, SwitzerlandSwiss chocolate is as famous an export as Heidi and cuckoo clocks. Although Zurich may be punishing on the wallet, you can visit the Lindt Chocolate Factory for free! Chocoholics are in for an unforgettably sweet experience with a tour around the famous factory which has churned out chocolate since 1845. It includes a visit to the chocolate museum and, best of all, free chocolate samples at the end of the tour. Heaven.3. Geneva, SwitzerlandOne of the loveliest places to visit in Geneva also happens to be free. Genevans themselves love to spend balmy summer and crisp winter days walking and swimming (well, probably not in winter) in and around beautiful Lake Geneva, or Lac Leman as it is known locally. There is even free wi-fi in the area, while free bike hire is available for those who want to cycle around the lake.4. Copenhagen, DenmarkDenmark’s beautiful capital city, Copenhagen, with its picturesque streets, vibrant art and long, leafy canals with miles of cycle paths lends itself beautifully to exploring by bicycle. The Go Bike scheme in Copenhagen offers trendy, free urban bikes for all which are a popular and fun way to whizz around the city seeing the sights. You need to leave a coin deposit but you get this back when you return the bike. 8. Helsinki, FinlandNot one, not two but three festive Christmas markets grace the glorious streets of Helsinki come winter time. Helsinki’s buildings, boulevards, statues and narrow cobbled streets are covered in lights. Wrap up warm, wander the Christmas markets and soak up the festive atmosphere.9. Toronto, CanadaThe funky city of Toronto is another of the world’s most expensive, famed for its fresh food, healthy living and outdoor lifestyle. Toronto does have some little gems up its sleeve that doesn’t cost a thing: Riverdale Farm, slap bang in the city centre.This sanctuary houses farm animals like pigs, cows, chickens and shee, and provides a gorgeous green space for bringing your own picnic and relaxing admidst city life.10. SingaporeWith its cloud-piercing skyscrapers that reflect the urban landscape in their shimmering glass fronts, Singapore is a super-efficient, super-clean and super-expensive city. However, there is a bastion of elegance and colonial grandeur that must be seen: Raffles Hotel. This iconic hotel is one of the oldest in Singapore and still requires an elegance of dress just to enter the lobby, but its free to take a look.The effort is well worth it though as you glimpse the bar where James Bond ordered his famous Martini, marvel at the interior of the toilets, drink a Singapore Sling (not free – but the nuts are!), sit in the courtyard surrounded by tropical plants, pretend you’re staying in one of the luxuriously appointed rooms and watch Singapore’s colourful past come to life.More: 10 cool cities to visit in 2013ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map Related10 best places to visit in KyotoHang out in stations, unearth the world’s most expensive mushrooms and more in Japan’s former capital, Kyoto.10 of Europe’s most expensive cities to visit while euros are cheapFly for under £80 and see your spending money go further in these 10 traditionally expensive European cities.Best things to do in Copenhagen on a budgetThink Copenhagen is an expensive city? Don’t fret: you can still enjoy the high standard of living in this classy Scandinavian city while sticking to your holiday budget. Here are our top picks for cheap (or free!) things to do in Copenhagen. 5. Stockholm, SwedenIce skating is one of the most pleasant ways to spend a winter day in Stockholm. From mid-November until March, there is free skating at the Kungstradgarden ice rink in the heart of the city, with live music and stands serving hot drinks to keep you warm.6. Tokyo, JapanThe neon lights of Tokyo are an urbanite’s paradise. Frenetic streets and frenzied traffic create the electric atmosphere that this city is so famous for. However, if you need an escape from the hawkers, take a trip to the Imperial Palace. Free to visit, this one of the most venerable sights in Tokyo. Surrounded my ancient moats and thick stone walls, it boasts lovely gardens, as well as Emperor Hirohito’s collection of kimono and magnificent Japanese paintings. People flock to the palace in early April to catch sight of the gorgeous pink cherry blossoms coming in to full bloom; a tranquil sight in a full-on city.7. Sydney, AustraliaAlthough Sydney can be expensive, thanks to the almost endless summer sunshine and outdoor lifestyle that Australia is famous for, there are plenty of free outdoor activities to enjoy. One of the most exciting is a FREE walk across the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge that joins the north and south parts of the harbour. How much? £16 for an ice cream? You must be joking!You may remember us featuring the story of the four British tourists who were charged £54 for a round of gelati in Rome that was in the news last month… We’ve all been there – it’s easy to pay over the odds in the captive market of tourist traps abroad, while some cities suffer from the reputation of being outrageously expensive across the board.While you may not get your whole holiday for free like the Bannisters (who were treated to a return trip to Rome by the city’s mayor after overpaying for icecream) you can still get something for nothing in the priciest of places. They may some of the most wallet-unfriendly destinations, but don’t let that put you off going to them. We’ve put together a list of wonderful, quirky and best of all FREE things to do in 10 of the world’s most expensive cities.last_img read more

August 10, 2019
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Lucky winner Nigel says Whoop whoop Im heading

first_imgLucky winner Nigel says:”Whoop whoop! I’m heading out to Johannesburg to see a good friend – and of course to visit a town called Nigel! I can hardly miss that opportunity can I? Otherwise it will just be a relaxing few days away from running my micro-pub, Anchored in Worthing.” Well done Nigel and thank you to everyone who entered. To find out first about the latest giveaways and competitions, join Skyscanner on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or why not sign up to our weekly newsletter, Airmail?Next time it could be you who’s Flying Anywhere!ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedWinner of Twitter flights competition announced!Are you the lucky winner of our amazing competition to win £500 worth of flights? Find out!Winner of Twitter flights competition announced!Are you the lucky winner of our amazing competition to win £500 worth of flights? Find out!Winner of Twitter flights competition announcedAre you the lucky winner of our competition to win £300 worth of flights? Find out! A huge thank you to everyone who entered our #FlyAnywhere competition!We’re delighted to announce that Nigel Watson from Worthing in West Sussex is our lucky winner, picking up a free return ticket to Johannesburg.Nigel was one of the many of you who entered our #FlyAnywhere competition to be in with the chance of winning flights to anywhere in the world worth up to £500. All the entrants had to do to be in with a chance of winning was search for flights up to £500 on Skyscanner, tweet the search results to @Skyscanner with the #FlyAnwhere hashtag and then keep their fingers crossed.last_img read more

August 10, 2019
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Paris France – Reported by Elite Traveler the pr

first_imgParis, France – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazineThe buzz of Paris, with its art galleries, shops, gardens and breathtaking buildings, is a pull for children and adults alike. With this in mind, Mandarin Oriental, Paris has come up with the Mandarin Oriental Family Travel package (from $1,830), which offers one night in a spacious luxury suite with an adjoining child-friendly guest room that comes complete with a popcorn machine, chocolate lollipops, and mini bathrobes and slippers. Plus, there’s a treat for little ones at check-in and daily breakfast for the whole family.To really embrace the Gallic joie de vivre, and a chance for toute la famille to brush up on their French language skills, the hotel’s bespoke J’aime Paris en Famille activity is the perfect add-on ($614 for a family of two adults and two children). This will include a guided trip through the city, taking in the sights and history, and the favorite spots of many Parisians, such as the Tuileries Garden, the Louvre, the River Seine, the Jardin d’Acclimatation (a beautiful park with play areas for children) and the Jardin des Plantes and Ménagerie (a botanical garden and the oldest civil zoological garden in the world, which once housed the royal menagerie).Children will also be entertained with fascinating facts and stories about Paris and will learn about Parisian family life. At the end of the day of exploration it’s back to the hotel to the Cake Shop at the Camélia restaurant, where young ones can sample the goûter, a snack that French children traditionally have at 4pm. Not to be left out, parents can relax with a well-earned glass of champagne.www.mandarinoriental.com/parislast_img read more

August 10, 2019
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Hong Kong – Reported by Elite Traveler the Privat

first_imgHong Kong – Reported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle MagazineMandarin Oriental, New York celebrates the new location of Fall Fashion Week at Lincoln Center this September with its Fall Fashion Week and NYC Stylist packages.Fall Fashion Week Package Whether attending Fall Fashion Week for personal or professional reasons, Mandarin Oriental, New York, Manhattan’s most stylish hotel, will be fashion headquarters this fall with the tents a quick and convenient two blocks away at their new location at Lincoln Center. Mandarin Oriental, New York has created a special “long stay” package for seven nights with a USD 500 credit and a complimentary treatment in its award-winning Spa – the perfect retreat after a fashion-filled day spent running from show to show in stilettos.NYC Stylist Package Fashionistas from around the world will have the opportunity to enjoy award-winning, Five-Star accommodations in Manhattan’s most sophisticated hotel and a day of professional, one-on-one personal shopping with stylist Stacey Mayesh, one of the city’s top celebrity and socialite stylists. As part of the package, guests will receive a detailed questionnaire prior to arrival to get a clear picture of the goals for the full day of shopping, styling and scouting to come. Guests can tailor their stylist consultation with Stacey to fit their need for personal shopping, styling a new look, scouting for the perfect outfit for a specific event, wardrobe updates with “must haves” for the 2010 Fall/Winter season, or choosing the perfect clothes and accessories for an upcoming vacation. Fashionistas will feel right at home checking into one of Mandarin Oriental, New York’s stylish and sophisticated rooms or suites with stunning floor-to-ceiling views of the Manhattan skyline. The next day, a private car will whisk away the guest and her personal stylist for a day of shopping at Manhattan’s hidden boutiques, couture hot spots, department stores and/or private showrooms. Stacey Mayesh has over 15 years experience as a stylist and wardrobe consultant for top models, socialites and celebrities, including Cameron Diaz, Susan Sarandon and Jessica Alba. She was also recently featured in Vogue magazine as a “one to watch” stylist. Highlights: * Two nights’ accommodation in a Deluxe room or higher * Questionnaire consultation prior to arrival * A day of shopping with professional Stylist Stacey Mayesh (up to eight hours) * Mercedes car service during the shopping session www.mandarinoriental.comlast_img read more

August 10, 2019
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5 things you probably didnt know about the Oscars

first_img5 things you probably didn’t know about the Oscars LOS ANGELES, Calif. – You have a firm grip on this year’s Oscar nominees, last year’s winners and what host Jimmy Kimmel will undoubtedly joke about (and the best picture award goes to … oops).But there are aspects of Hollywood’s stellar night that may be a surprise. Let’s pull the curtain back a bit on a ceremony that strives for effortless glamour but, like any machine, is made up of nuts and bolts and simple human need.Besides stars, designer duds and lots of close-ups, here’s what else the 8 p.m. EST Sunday, March 4, telecast on ABC will include:STAND-INS, AKA SIT-DOWNSCameras never find an empty seat at the Academy Awards, with a troop of seat-fillers at the ready to occupy any chair vacated by a bathroom- or bar-bound guest. A parade of extras in tuxedoes and gowns arrive hours before the show begins and are ready to swoop in and sit once the cameras start rolling. Getting the gig, like so much in Hollywood, depends on who you know: Seat-fillers are family and friends of movie academy staff and accounting firm. Are there polite tussles to sub for Streep, Hanks or other A-listers, earning bragging rights? We can only hope.___STOMACH PAINSOscar guests are often hungry. It may be self-imposed, either because of nominee nerves or a skin-tight gown with no room for error or eating. Attendees do have a chance to nibble during a pre-show cocktail hour that includes hors d’oeuvres trays, but skip that and it’s three hours or more until a post-ceremony dinner at the Governors Ball. Not all are invited, which means some famished guests end up asking their limo driver to head to fast food, fast. Advice from an insider: carry a clutch roomy enough for a ham sandwich and don’t fret that you’ll get busted by security.___STAY IN YOUR LANEThere are two paths on the Oscars red carpet: one for famous people, and one for everyone else. Stanchions and velvet ropes separate the recognizable from the not. Famous folks walk on the side of the carpet closest to the cameras and reporters, and stars often collide or share impromptu carpet greetings. The non-famous, meanwhile, walk along the carpet closest to the fan bleachers, with beefy-looking security guards ushering them along to reduce star-gazing across the aisle. There’s everything to see, folks, but move along.___WRITERS, STAT!Live shows inevitably hit speed bumps, such as last year’s supersized-one in which Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway presented “La La Land” with the top trophy that belonged to “Moonlight.” Such gaffes and other standout moments become fodder for the host, with a village of comedy writers backstage to help craft witticisms. The best, like Kimmel’s teasing rebuke to Beatty (“Warren, what did you do?!”) feel spontaneous and are out quickly so the audience doesn’t lose the thread. Hosts also need to be ready with “savers” to follow a joke that bombs, says longtime awards writer Bruce Vilanch, who offers up an example: “That was about as funny as a screen door on a submarine.”__WINNERS, MEET MEDIAOscar recipients are shepherded backstage for photos and video and to face a rapid-fire Q&A session with a packed room of journalists (yes, “how does it feel to win” and “where will you keep your trophy” are staple queries). While the winners clutch their award and, in some cases, a celebratory glass of booze, reporters hold up numbered cards to be called on by an academy representative. This has caused more than one star to exclaim they feel like they’re at an auction and playfully call out numbers. Reporters giggle. With backstage monitors showing the ceremony, some winners ask to pause the questions to hear outcomes for nominated friends or colleagues. Reporters oblige.___Online:http://www.oscars.org/___For full coverage of awards season, visit: https://apnews.com/tag/AwardsSeason FILE – In this Feb. 22, 2015 file photo, actress Rosamund Pike arrives at the Oscars in Los Angeles. There are two paths on the Oscars red carpet: one for famous people, and one for everyone else. Stanchions and velvet ropes separate the recognizable from the not. Famous folks walk on the side of the carpet closest to the cameras and reporters, and stars often collide or share impromptu carpet greetings. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File) center_img by Sandy Cohen And Lynn Elber, The Associated Press Posted Feb 23, 2018 11:25 am PDT Last Updated Feb 23, 2018 at 12:00 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Emaillast_img read more

August 10, 2019
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Cyprus regains rare Orthodox Christian mosaic stol

first_imgCyprus regains rare Orthodox Christian mosaic stolen in 70s Cyprus’ Archbishop Chrysostomos II is seen in the background next to the extremely rare 6th century mosaic depicting St. Andrew, during a ceremony of repatriation at the Archbishop in capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Monday, April 23, 2018. Archbishop Chrysostomos II told a ceremony Monday that the artistry coupled with the rarity of the mosaic – one of only a handful which survived a period in the 8th and 9th century which saw the destruction of many such mosaics and icons – had become a symbol of Cyprus’ “stolen heritage.” (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) NICOSIA, Cyprus – A rare 6th century mosaic depicting the St. Andrew that was taken from a looted church in the Cyprus’ breakaway north has been returned after four decades, the head of the island nation’s Orthodox Christian Church said Monday.Archbishop Chrysostomos II said that the artistry that went into the mosaic coupled with its rarity made the work a symbol of Cyprus’ “stolen heritage.”It is among only a handful of mosaics to have survived a period during the 8th and 9th centuries when many Orthodox icons were destroyed.The mosaic showing a bearded St. Andrew — among Christ’s first Apostles — was one of several that went missing from the Church of Panayia Kanakaria after Cyprus split into ethnic Greek and Turkish sides in 1974.A Turkish art dealer, Aydin Dikmen, was arrested a quarter-century later for selling that piece and others from Kanakaria Church, as well as artworks from other churches.Most of the Kanakaria Church mosaics have now been repatriated with the exception of one of St. Luke.London-based Greek Cypriot art dealer Maria Paphiti located the St. Andrew mosaic in 2014 after another dealer asked her to verify the origin. When the dealer was informed that the mosaic belonged to the Cyprus Church, he agreed to return it as long as his expenses were covered.Paphiti reached out to Greek Cypriot businessmen Roys Poyiadjis and Andreas Pittas for help covering the cost of the mosaic’s repatriation, which came to 50,000 euros ($61,200.)Archbishop Chrysostomos honoured the three of them Monday during a ceremony at Cyprus Church headquarters.Cyprus hosts a second mosaic of the same rarity and time period depicting the Virgin Mary. A third resides in the Orthodox monastery of Saint Catherine at the foot of Mount Sinai.center_img by The Associated Press Posted Apr 23, 2018 12:09 pm PDT Last Updated Apr 23, 2018 at 1:01 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Emaillast_img read more