Category Archives: Fun

Are These the 5 Most Amazing Beach Resorts in the World?

Are These the 5 Most Amazing Beach Resorts in the World?

Do you ever dream about spending a stress-free weekend in an amazing beachfront villa hotel?

Us too (nonstop every day all day).

We were looking over the categories at this year’s World Travel Awards and there was a category that caught our eye: The World’s Leading Hotel Beach Villas (so many words to love in a single category name).

These are hotels that just happen to be by the beach in exotic locations, where the emphasis is on making the guest as relaxed as possible.

Just take a look at these nominees, the Top 5 Beach Resorts in the World.

1. Beach Villa @ Sofitel Dubai the Palm Resort & Spa

 

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All the accommodations at Sofitel overlook the sea, the palm or the resort. Each one offers a flat-screen TV, a minibar, coffee and tea amenities, a wardrobe and a Bose station. The suites and the apartments include a living room complete with a dining area and en-suite bathrooms that offer Lanvin or Hermes amenities.”

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Amenities include: 

Restaurants offering various cuisines, from French to Asian and Italian delicacies. Porter House offers succulent steaks and grills while Maui Beach serves cocktails by the beachside.

The Spa at the Sofitel offers 28 treatments rooms, seawater pool, sauna and French beauty treatments including massages and deep relaxation rooms. There is also a high-tech gym equipped with the state-of-the-art cardio machines.

For adventurous activities, guests have access to a boat jetty and 2 tennis courts.

Take a closer look

2. Beachfront Villas @ One&Only The Palm, Dubai

 

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The One&Only features spacious rooms, suites and villas that are either situated within the hotel’s Manor House or in private Beach Villas. The rooms and suites overlook the main pool and the palm-shaded terraces. The Beach Villas offer direct beach access and personalized service.

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Amenities include:

A choice of 3 restaurants, which includes the over-water Marina Restaurant, Bar & Lounge. Guests can also venture out by water taxi to the One&Only Royal Mirage to have dinner at any of its 7 restaurants.

Activities include golfing, water sports and excursions.

The resort’s One&Only Spa is set amidst outdoor gardens and features its own pool and 8 private treatment suites.

Take a closer look

3. Beachfront Villas @ Six Senses Zighy Bay, Oman
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“Set between the mountains and a 1.6-kilometre private beach on Zighy Bay, this village-style resort offers luxury villas with private pools and a comprehensive spa and wellness center including Moroccan hammams.”

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Amenities include:

A restaurant serving modern gourmet cuisine, Sense on the Edge, is located 293 m above the sea level, presenting panoramic views over the Gulf of Oman.

Six Senses Zighy Bay features extra large villas in traditional Omani style, with flat-screen TVs, home theatre systems and poolside dining areas.

Some villas have a wine cellar, and private massage rooms.

Private. Massage. Rooms.

Take a closer look

4. Sugar Beach Luxury Villas @ Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, St. Lucia

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“Located in beautiful grounds overlooking Pitons Bay, Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort offers luxurious accommodation with views of the surrounding valley. Set on Sugar Beach, it features a spa, outdoor pool and 3 restaurants.”

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Amenities include:

Villas with private plunge pools or swimming pools. All accommodation have a flat-screen TV, an iPod docking station, a coffee maker and a fridge. All rooms come with complimentary Piton beer, soda and water.

The on-site spa is set amongst the plantation’s lush gardens and next to a stream. It features a hot tub and a Temazcal outdoor sauna.

Treatments include wraps, massage and facials.

Take a closer look

 

5. Villas @ Six Senses Con Dao, Vietnam
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“Set on the untouched island paradise of Con Dao, about 230 km from Ho Chi Minh City, Six Senses features luxurious villas with private infinity pools and unobstructed views of the sea. It boasts a private beachfront, day spa and fitness facilities.”

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Amenities include:

Guests of the resort can enjoy butler service from their rooms at their convenience. Free WiFi, of course.

Lazy afternoons can be spent in the library lounge or diving in the sparkling ocean or pool waters.

Guests have the choice of eating in the Six Senses restaurant, private beach area or in the comfort of their own villas.

Take a closer look

And of course, all these hotels are bookable on Dohop’s hotel search 😉

Reykjavik Celebrates Cultural Exchange

Reykjavik Celebrates Cultural Exchange

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Reykjavik Culture Night

Saturday, 20 August 2016, marks the official start of the city of Reykjavik’s annual cultural and event programming– when the museums, galleries, theaters and other culture-focused organisations announce their annual schedules.

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For the past 21 years, Reykjavik has celebrated the occasion with a full day of activities under the umbrella Menningarnótt (Culture Night). The name is a bit misleading, as the day’s events kick off in the morning with the Reykjavik Marathon, end with an impressive late night fireworks show and sandwiched between is a full schedule of welcoming cultural events, celebrating both Iceland’s commitment to the arts and it’s long history of cultural exchange.

We’re really looking forward to the many music, theater, live art and social events for both kids and adults. One of the best traditions during Menningarnótt, is the “vöfflukaffi” where residents of the Þingholt neighborhood open their homes, offering waffles and coffee to passers-by. Waffles! Coffee!!

The full event schedule can be found here

New Neighborhoods Festival

Dohop is so happy to be a part of Menningarnótt this year through our support of the New Neighborhoods Festival happening at Kex Hostel on 20 August from 14:30 (2:30pm).

Dohop partnered with New Neighborhoods Festival to celebrate our mutual love of cultural exchange through travel, art, music and collaboration.

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New Neighborhoods Festival, organized by the Chimes Agency in Poland, mixes a Polish and Icelandic musical lineup and includes visual artists from the two countries, providing exceptional visual elements for attendees – thus, incorporating artistic exchange into the spirit of the festival.

New Neighborhoods Festival Schedule (20 August):

14:30-15:10 – Beatmakin Troopa

15:30-16:10 – Hatti Vatti

16:40-17:10 – Úlfur Úlfur

17:40-18:10 – The Stubs

18:40-19:10 – Tonik Ensemble

19:50-20.30 – Baasch
The visual design of the festival is produced by photographer and video producer Guðmann Þór Bjargmundsson and video projections designer Stanisław Zaleski, of YesEyeDo who has previously collaborated with Grzegorz Jarzyna, Keith Warner and Amon Minamoto as well as designed video projections for Metropolitan Opera New York, Royal Danish Opera and National Opera in Warsaw.

The Reykjavik event is part of a two-city cultural exchange through music and art, also taking place 10 September in Warsaw, Poland.

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4 Tips to Make Left-handed Travel the Best

4 Tips to Make Left-handed Travel the Best

Left-handed people don’t have an easy lot in life, living in a world where almost everything is “vice versa”.

This can get especially frustrating while traveling. Well, we have a small something for the left-handers of the world, seeing as Saturday is International Left-Hander’s Day.

Personally, we think every Saturday should be Left-Hander’s day, seeing as about one in seven people are left-handed. But what do we know.

Introducing Dohop‘s four tips for left-handers to make travel more enjoyable.

1. Own the Armrest.

When a left-handed person boards a plane, there is always that sigh of frustration; they know that the armrest-hassle is about to begin with whatever right-handed person they will be sitting next to.

However, there is a solution to this as there are two stand-outs for the left-handed traveller.

Make sure to select the aisle seat in the left row (from the front) or the window seat in the right row. This is actually, for once, worth the extra euro or two the airlines charge for selected seating.

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2. Keep it Right (Sometimes).

When traveling, the left-hander can accidentally make some cultural no-nos. Let’s avoid that.

Always offer your right hand when greeting someone (you probably do this anyway). If you try to shake hands by extending your left hand in some Asian countries in might be considered impolite.

In Africa, Asia and in some Muslim countries it is frowned upon to eat with the left hand, as this can be seen as unclean.

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Or just be a rebel: eat and drink with your left, local custom be damned!

Important business tip: In Asian countries, the business card should not be handed over or received with the left hand.

 

3. Bring Your Own Utensils.

Accommodation is not made for leftys, to put it mildly.

Most right-handed people don’t realize it, but appliances and utensils work differently for left-handers.

Parachute cords are almost always on the right side, for instance (this just means that skydiving is even more extreme for left-handed people).

There are a few common items we suggest left-handers pack and bring with them when they travel, just in case.

It starts with the corkscrew, but also a pair of scissors, a pocket knife and a can opener (what’s the deal with right-handed can openers anyway?).

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Medieval torture-device for lefties. Scissors to most people.

Just remember not to put them in your check-in bags, as we doubt that security will accept “but I’m left-handed” as an explanation for having a knife in your hand luggage.

4. Use Your Superpowers.

Sometimes, being left-handed can actually seem like a superpower.

You see, most countries have right-hand traffic so the cars are designed for right-handed drivers. This means that all operating elements, including gear change, are on the right side.

However, there they are a few wonderful countries with left-sided traffic where you sit on the right side of the car. So the controls – for once – are on the left.

Here, being left-handed is actually like a superpower.

I’ll handle this,” you can say and drive like the left-handed god you are.

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To make the most of this superpower, book trips to England, Australia, Thailand, South-Africa or Mauritius.

Share this with your left-handed friends. Then give them a left-handed high-five.

What to wear when traveling to Iceland

What to wear when traveling to Iceland

What to Wear: Iceland Insider Style tips

What to wear in Iceland

We bet one of your first thoughts after booking your flight and adventure itinerary to Iceland is “What to wear?” It’s a legitimate question, particularly because it’s a known fact that Iceland’s weather is constantly changing. More so, one of the very common sayings in Iceland is “Don’t like the weather? Just wait for 5 minutes!”

Yet, Icelanders generally manage to be stylish every day while keeping up with the weather, both in the cities and in the highlands. With that in mind, we asked our in-house style guide, Armina Ilea to share her thoughts and Iceland insider style tips on keeping both warm and fashionable while traveling to Iceland.

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Here’s Team Dohop’s in-house style icon, Armina Ilea, layering a cozy lopapeysa over a fleece top while touring around Vík.

Layers over layers

In Iceland, layering is a must. The first step in answering “what to wear” is figuring out “what’s the weather.” You want to be prepared both for a random blizzard and for those very much appreciated warm sunny moments– all in one day.

For efficient layering, start with a base-layer like a cotton/silk tank-top or even one of the super soft wool-thermal tops offered by specialized stores like our very own, Icelandic brands – 66°North or Cintamani. Then, add a tight, long-sleeved shirt or zip-up– fleece is good if you plan to hike or go for a long walk. Throw on a cardigan or a jacket. You can layer them quite nicely and guarantee an eclectic, stylish look. Oversized parkas are very chic in Iceland, particularly those with and fur-trimmed (faux fur-trimmed) hood can work magic! Add a chunky scarf and you’re done.

Contrary to popular belief, you do not need your hiking boots just because you’re going to Iceland. For strolling through the city or dressing up for a night on the town, waterproof walking shoes or sleek boots do the trick (buy a pair in Iceland if you want truly unique style). Save the clunky hiking shoes for the countryside and highlands.

Chunky warm knits

The knits can be as chunky as you like and nobody will raise an eyebrow. If you want something traditionally Icelandic, the lopapeysa is always a great choice and comes in a large variety of styles. Many stores carry them in Reykjavik and the small towns dotting the countryside. Or, try a poncho or cape with a modern cut, both are becoming quite popular among Icelanders and are chic alternatives to the basic sweater. You’ll find plenty of these brands like Farmers Market and shops like Geysir on Skólavörðustígur, downtown Reykjavik.

What to wear: "Farmers Market's design concept and inspiration draws from Icelandic roots, combining classic Nordic design elements with chic modernity."

“Farmers Market’s design concept and inspiration draws from Icelandic roots, combining classic Nordic design elements with chic modernity.”

Chunky tops are usually paired with skinny jeans or slim fit waterproof pants for a minimalistic nordic-style.

When traveling in the highlands, it’s also important to know what not to wear.  Huge pieces might get in your way (it’s windy out there!), and definitely stay away from regular denim jeans (if they get wet, you can lose precious body heat).  Keep your layering to slim-fitting, lightweight and weatherproof pieces.

When in the cities, you can return to embracing the chunkiness.  

Weatherproof 

Another famous saying in Iceland is: “It’s not the weather. It’s how you dress.” Though you think you can easily tolerate a little rain (it rarely downpours), the wind combined with the rain can be quite bothersome. It can start out of nowhere. Knowing what to wear– a waterproof jacket that is also wind-proof– is a must to keep you warm and allow you to continue your hiking trips around Iceland. For a trip downtown in Reykjavik, a stylish waterproof coat or raincoat will do. There are quite a few fashionable brands in Iceland like Reykjavik raincoats. We’re fans of the classic yellow one.

JUST ADD WATER ! At Reykjavik Raincoats we are extremely passionate about raincoats and our goal is to make the perfect raincoat that makes you wish it would rain every day just so you can wear your Reykjavik Raincoat.

JUST ADD WATER ! At Reykjavik Raincoats we are extremely passionate about raincoats and our goal is to make the perfect raincoat that makes you wish it would rain every day just so you can wear your Reykjavik Raincoat.

Swimwear

One of our biggest “what to wear” recommendations is to not come to Iceland without a swimsuit and don’t leave it in your hotel. In your travels around Iceland, you will stumble upon many natural and man-made thermal pools. You don’t want to miss this unique experience just because of logistics. You will definitely need swimwear whether it’s for the spontaneous dip in a natural thermal pool, a pampering experience at the famous Blue Lagoon or a visit to the many swimming pools in each city and town. Yes, going to the pool is a very popular activity in Iceland no matter the weather. They make for a relaxing, warming activity after a long hike and a great way to watch the Northern Lights in the winter. You’re swimwear choices should follow the same rules and styles that apply everywhere else– pick the suit that makes YOU feel great!

Fur and Faux Fur

Once again, blame it on the weather but fur (whether you choose faux or real) is the perfect way to keep both warm and fashionable when in Iceland. It’s not unusual to see revelers in vintage fur jackets when going downtown. Gyllti kötturinn, The Red Cross and Spúútnik usually have plenty in stock. Or, you can opt for something luxurious and brand new from Eggert, Pelsinn or Feldur Verkstæði. It’s easy to find a gorgeous pair of fur-lined gloves, a fluffy warm hat or just a fur-trim jacket while in Reykjavik.

 

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Pokémon Go and Next Level Travel

Who didn’t go crazy collecting Pokémon on the new Pokémon GO game this weekend? While the game is officially limited in availability to countries like the US, New Zealand and Australia, it was easy for those in other countries to get in on the action. Plus, if you’re from those regions and happen to be traveling, you can use the app to break the ice and meet new people.

 Pokémon Go for Next Level Travel

pokemon go dohop travelImagine the impact on an international level, where your bucket list trip abroad to, say, see Iceland’s Northern Lights is elevated by grabbing Pokéballs and Pokémon at PokéSpots atop glaciers, inside a volcano or when visiting cool historic landmarks like Thingvellir. NEXT LEVEL TOURISM!

We weren’t kidding about using the app to meet new people while traveling. Communities all over the world are connecting in new ways through the game, forming new teams and using the hunt to inspire new connections (of course, being aware of your surroundings to stay safe is still recommended). Here are some of the coolest Pokémon Go sightings yet

Pokémon Go at Dohop HQ

Since our office is above Reykjavik’s popular comic and gaming shop Nexus, we’re anticipating a few Pokémon Hunter sightings throughout the week.

Pokémon Go travel Dohop headquarters

We’ve already caught Rattata harassing our front end dev team. So who knows what you’d find popping by for a latte.

We’re no strangers to foot traffic here, as in addition to our award-winning travel search engine, <advert> we also offer a (paid) offline service to travelers and would-be travelers looking to get detailed assistance booking their travel plans. </advert>

 

If you’re at a loss for what the fuss is about, The Guardian has a comprehensive Pokémon GO for the n00bs” guide and Reddit has this handy thread full of tips and tricks.

 

 

How to get to Paris for Euro2016

How to get to Paris for Euro2016

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Get to Paris from Anywhere for Euro2016

After Iceland’s epic win over England last night, Icelanders from around the world (and newly acquired Team Iceland fans) are using Dohop to get to Paris for the July 3 match against hosting team France.

Over 71,000 Team Iceland Fans Dohop to France

Over 71,000 Team Iceland fans hit the Dohop travel search engine during and immediately after the 2-1 Iceland vs. England match last night.

Best connecting cities

Other than the obvious routes (i.e. direct to Paris from your home airport), crafty fans are looking beyond Paris, using trains, planes and automobiles to get to the game on time.

London, Brussels and Luxembourg City are great alternate airport cities to consider, since all connect to Paris (or at least France) by train or car.

Book flight

Dohop Car rentals

If you want flexibility, hiring a rental car is one of the best options (ROAD TRIP!!!!) for getting to the match. Like Dohop’s flight search engine, our rental car engine is loaded with the best and cheapest car rental options available.

Book rental car

Where to stay in Paris

So, now that you have your flight and your ground transport, where are you going to stay?

Dohop Hotels shows you the best hotel options at the best prices, from the cheapest hotels available to the best options to meet your need. You can spend more time prepping for the game, instead of worrying about where to rest your head after your team’s certain victory.

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Dohop is so proud to have helped thousands of fans, from Iceland and around the world, get to the European Championships (#Euro2016) this month.

Iceland cheers new President and Euro2016

Iceland cheers new President and Euro2016

In Iceland, there is plenty to cheer about

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It is an exciting time to be in Iceland! We have near-eternal day light, the countryside is lush and green, summer holidays are under way and over the weekend, our home country elected a new President, Gudni Johannesson. President-elect Johannesson was a well known and respected historian and political commentator before deciding to run for office. Our new First Lady is Canadian-born Eliza Reid, a writer and co-founder of the renowned literary event Iceland Writers Retreat, which is held in Reykjavik every April.

As we’ve mentioned previously, Iceland has only had 5 Presidents since it gained independence from Denmark in 1944. Johannesson will be the 6th President.

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One of Gudni’s first official duties as President-elect was to fly to France today to support Team Iceland in the #Euro2016 match against England, a country that has had a bit of an exciting week itself.  Gudni is joined by some 3,000 Icelanders at the eco-friendly Allianz Riviera stadium and another 5,000 across fan zones throughout Europe.

While we at Dohop are cheering for the home team today, we continue to celebrate our customers from all over the world who use our meta search engine every day to research and book their travel– from flights to hotels to car rentals (car hire)– at the best possible prices.

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Iceland Dohops to France in great numbers

Iceland’s remarkable win last week against Hungary at the European Championships helped create a historic moment for us too, as a record number of Icelanders used Dohop at the very same time to book their travel (flights, hotels and rental cars) to and within France (except this guy). Like we did during the match against Portugal, we monitored Iceland engagement on our site at various points throughout the game, especially after the first goal. Once the team nailed the final goal that clinched the win against Hungary, traffic literally skyrocketed.

If you’re feeling particularly optimistic about tonight’s outcome, why not go ahead and book your flight to Paris?

10 Facts about Iceland Independence Day

10 Facts about Iceland Independence Day

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First, on Iceland Independence Day, let us say Áfram Ísland!! We really look forward to tomorrow’s European Championships match against Hungary at Stade Vélodrome.

This week’s tied (1-1) #Euro2016 match against Portugal showed that Iceland and Icelanders should never be underestimated.

If you look at the history of Iceland, the small nation (note: not small minds, eh em, Cristiano Ronaldo) of 331,667 people (as of 14 June 2016) has achieved many great successes and serves as a model for how a small group of people can accomplish great things when they band together under a common goal (see what we did there).

Iceland Independence Day

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Today is Iceland Independence Day, or Þjóðhátíðardagurinn (Thyoth-how-teeth-ar-daggur-inn). It marks the day in 1944, when Iceland successfully gained independence from Danish rule. To celebrate, we’ve pulled together…

10 fun and interesting Iceland Independence facts:

  1. Iceland has the oldest parliament (Alþingi), established in Thingvellir in 930 A.D.
  2. Revisions to the 1918 Act of Union between Iceland and Denmark were postponed due to the war in 1943, thus delaying Iceland’s independence to 1944.
  3. 17 June was chosen as the official day of Independence to honor the birthday of Icelandic cultural icon Jón Sigurðsson, who was a leader of the Icelandic independence movement.
  4. It almost always rains on June 17th.
  5. The 1st President of Iceland, the office which replaced the Danish Monarch, was Sveinn Björnsson.
  6. Iceland has had only 5 Presidents, including Vigdís Finnbogadóttir,the 1st woman to hold the office of the President in Iceland and Europe (1980-1996).
  7. In 2009, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, became Iceland’s first female Prime Minister and the world’s 1st openly Lesbian head of government in the world in 2009.
  8. The Presidential Residence, Bessastaðir, was completed in 1766.
  9. The original settlement period (landnám) took 60 years, growing from 435 to +20,000 inhabitants.
  10. Viking explorers settled in Iceland as farmers. You can tour Þjóðveldisbærinn,
    a re-creation of a typical Commonwealth-era viking village.

Bonus fact: Iceland’s national anthem, which is in part about a delicate flower, is also extremely difficult to sing. It requires the ability to sing in a diverse vocal range that is generally unattainable for the average person. In lieu of this, Icelanders can often be heard singing the “other national anthem” as witnessed during the European Championships earlier this week.

If you happen to be in Reykjavik today, here’s a schedule (dagskrá) of family-friendly happenings for Iceland Independence Day.

Wow Cyclathon

Team Dohop in WOW Cyclothon

Dohop knows all about being small but mighty, as we scale to reach new customers and travel territories across the world. Adopting the Icelandic “can do” attitude is deep within our company culture, too. Like Team Iceland,  Team Dohop took on a great challenge this week, participating in the WOW Cyclothon and raising funds for Hjolakraftur (“Cycling Energy”), which helps children and teens in need gain access to an active and healthy lifestyle.

If seeing this post makes you curious about exploring the small but mighty nation of Iceland, let Dohop help you get the best prices on flights, hotels and rental cars.

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The Wynn and Encore hotels in Las Vegas

The World’s 10 Biggest Hotels

Everyone, it seems, wants to build the world’s biggest hotel.

Moscow, Las Vegas and Malaysia have exchanged the title as hotels got bigger and new hotels were built, each trying to one-up the other.

But what are the biggest hotels in the world today?

1. First World Hotel, Malaysia

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The First World Hotel in Malaysia is made up of two separate buildings; there are 24 floors in Tower 1 and 28 floors in Tower 2.

9 Of Your Best Contest Selfies (So Far)

9 Of Your Best Contest Selfies (So Far)

Have you ever dreamed of standing on a big stage, cameras flashing as you accept an award? Well, as you may know, we are running a little contest where the winner accepts an award for Dohop (in the case we win, of course).

Dohop is nominated The World’s Leading Flight Comparison Website at the World Travel Awards this year and we are having a contest to find a great person to attend the final gala for us.

We pay for the winner to fly to Morocco and spend 5 days in a 5-star hotel. If we win the award again, this person would go up on stage at the gala and accept the award for us.

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