Arena Travel Blog

Latest News from Arena Travel

  • News from the Bridge Room in the French Chateau

    Host report by Pauline Durie:

    The chateau of the Counts of Challes, is a beautiful and charming hotel and restaurant located in Challes les Eaux close to Chambéry in the Savoie region. It stands within the walls of the former 15th century castle of the Counts of Challes. The chateau has been completely renovated by the Treves family who bought it as almost derelict in 2002. This wonderful accommodation is surrounded by a park of more than 2 hectares that is an arboretum and has several places to sit in the sun, or the shade, and enjoy the stunning panoramic views. Accommodation in the chateau is often referred to as ‘quirky’ as all rooms are different. The chef prepared typical French cuisine made entirely of fresh produce and dinner was accompanied by wine from the cellars. Guests were invited to visit the cellars for a wine tasting session – enjoyed by all! Bridge sessions were well attended and closely contested in an excellent air conditioned room. The lounge area near the bar was often filled with a mixture of French staff and bridge players enjoying some friendly banter in front of the large screen watching both football and Wimbledon. Good luck to France in the final!

    Chateau Continue reading
  • News from the Bridge Room in Rab, Croatia

    Host report by Kathy Williams:

    The island of Rab is one of Croatia’s larger islands and probably one of the most beautiful.

    Our hotel overlooked the old town of Rab, which was a 20 minute walk around the bay or a 5 minute ride in one of the taxi boats which went from the jetty outside the hotel.

    rab

    Our guide Natali did a guided walk of old Rab, taking us to all the best view points.

    Continue reading
  • Andrew's bridge tips - The differences between opening and overcalling

    andrew

    The differences between opening and overcalling

    When your opponents open the bidding first your requirements for bidding are affected by the knowledge that they have opening values. We need to consider a little arithmetic. Opener has at least 12 high card points (HCP) and if you have a hand of approximate opening strength you have another 12. Therefore the two partners have at most 16 HCP between them, possibly considerably less! So how are they split? There are three possibilities (P), which will be extensively referred back to later:

    P1) Your partner has most of them. Therefore you should play in game.

    P2) Opener’s partner has most of them. Therefore they will outbid you, probably to game.

    P3) They are evenly split. It is probable that both sides can make a part score at the two or three level if their chosen suit is trumps, It is even possible, though less likely, that both sides can make game. Continue reading
  • Postcards from the Harz Mountains

    Hannover & Celle by Alison

    An early start from London Heathrow had us in Hannover before midday and an opportunity to visit the Kunst Textile Museum. This is a private museum, located in an old war bunker, displaying just some of the pieces that founder, Erika Knoop, has collected from her travels across the world. We had a guided tour of the collection by one of the museum volunteers exploring everything from elaborate evening dresses from New York to the finest hand-stitched silk from China. Here are a few of my favourite pieces:

    Continue reading
  • News from the Bridge Room in La Quinta

    Refreshers Bridge at La Quinta Menorca by Portblue Boutique - 4th - 11th May 2018

    This beautiful 5 star hotel was the setting for our friendly teaching bridge holiday. We were greeted with an amazing welcome meeting from the hotel and spa managers; the cava and wine flowed generously and a bountiful selection of tapas dishes wowed our guests. La Quinta has beautiful grounds, indoor and outdoor pools, wellness centre providing a range of relaxing / invigorating treatments and attentive staff who looked after us during our stay.

    A short walk from the hotel is the beach with coastal trails and coves to explore, and the marina with lots of tavernas overlooking the boats.

    menorca-wide

    Several guests explored the island during the two optional organised excursions. The first trip included a boat ride around the harbour at Mahon, a visit to the pretty village of Binibeca, with its whitewashed houses and then time at the Cova den Xoroi cave. Later in the week the Island Tour visited the nature reserve of Es Grau, which included a guide walk around the lagoon and national park. Spectacular views across the island were provided at Mount Toro when visiting Mare de Deu del Toro sanctuary.

    Continue reading

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