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Seven affordable seaside getaways for you

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A vacation to a beautiful seaside destination does not have to blow your budget. Travelers who plan their visit for the right time — shoulder or offseason, perhaps, or on a weekday — can find plenty of deals in oceanside locales known for their high prices.

When it comes to Europe, for example, Simone Amorico, an owner of Access Italy, said that the prices drop by at least 25 percent in upscale spots like the Amalfi Coast after the middle of September. Besides the lower prices, there are other benefits to a post peak-season trip.

“You have a higher chance of getting room upgrades and reservations at popular restaurants,” he said. “Stores also offer discounts because they want to get rid of their merchandise from the season.” Overall, Amorico said that travelers can look forward to a trip with fewer crowds and plenty of opportunities to interact with locals in a relaxed way.

Here are seven options for your own luxury beach escape.

In Santa Monica, Hotel Casa del Mar, an exclusive beach club in the 1920s with panoramas of the Pacific Ocean, has an offer where guests who book three nights get a fourth night free. A daily $75 breakfast credit is included and can be used toward room service or at the property’s Coast restaurant. Bookings start from $489 a night after the discount. The promotion is valid through the end of the year.

— A long weekend in Bermuda

Bermuda is less than a 2 1/2-hour flight from New York or Boston, and CheapCaribbean has an air-inclusive package to the British island territory from both cities. In addition to airfare, the package includes a three-night stay at the Fairmont Southampton, a nearly 100-acre beach resort full of coconut palm trees. Bookings are valid from Nov. 1 to Dec. 30, and start at $629 per person. The package is also available with flights from Washington, Chicago and Philadelphia with prices starting at $679 per person.

— A Brazilian beach escape

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Located in the small beachside village of Trancoso, in Brazil’s Bahia state, UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa, a collection of 11 fishermen’s casas, offers three-, five- or seven-night Ultimate UXUA Experience packages, which include a welcome drink; a scenic boat trip to remote Espelho beach, considered to be one of the country’s most beautiful beaches; lunch at the property’s Asian-fusion restaurant, Silvinha’s; a private cooking class on Bahian cuisine; and a daily massage. Prices start at $475 a night for two people, and you can book at any time.

— A private couples getaway in Bali

For those up for a far-flung seaside holiday, the Belmond Jimbaran Puri, in Bali, has a Suite Life promotion, which includes a stay in a villa with a private terrace and pool, butler service, breakfast, dinner for two at the property’s Tunjung restaurant, a couple’s massage and a one-way airport transfer. Bookings are valid indefinitely, and start from $550 a night for two people.

— Fun in the Mexican sun

In Los Cabos, the Westin Los Cabos Resort Villas & Spa, which overlooks the Sea of Cortez and has three pools and a private beach, is offering the Los Cabos Getaway package. It includes accommodations in a two-bedroom villa, a private sunset sailing trip and a private tequila tasting. The promotion is valid through the end of the year, and bookings start at $169 a night.

— Wellness options on the Amalfi Coast

Two properties on the Amalfi Coast are offering wellness-focused packages in October and early November.

Monastero Santa Rosa, a former 17th-century monastery perched on a cliff and overlooking the Gulf of Salerno, has the Health & Hike package. Included are three nights’ accommodations; a guided hike through the Amalfi hills; a picnic lunch prepared by the resort’s Michelin-starred chef, Christoph Bob; a cooking class on healthy Italian food; and an arnica body wrap treatment in the spa. The promotion is valid from Oct. 15 to Nov. 4, and bookings start at $2,835, all inclusive, per person.

Hotel Santa Caterina, in the town of Amalfi, situated among groves of lemons and oranges, offers the Sense of Well Being package, which includes accommodations, breakfast, a welcoming package that includes sparkling wine, a fruit basket and flowers, a low-calorie lunch and a massage for two. The promotion is valid from Oct. 7 to Nov. 3, and tickets start from 593 euros (about $675) per night.

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World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021

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World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.

“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.

He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.

The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.

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People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.

For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.

Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.

“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.

ALSO READ:Global Economy Plunges into Worst Recession – World Bank

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Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans

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The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.

“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”

According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.

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Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans

The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.

Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.

Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.

SEE ALSO: Central Bank Unveils Measures to Tame Unregulated Digital Lenders

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Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options. 

This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.

The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.

The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.

The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).

The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.

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The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour;  Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).

The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.

Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”

He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.

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