17Jun

Top 10 Best Flea Markets in France

The Porte de Vanves flea market in Paris is one of the best flea markets in France.

Porte de Vanves flea market

France has amazing flea markets, filled with vintage and antique furniture, kitchenware, paintings, vintage clothing, books, and home decor. It’s the perfect opportunity to shop for travel souvenirs and unique items to decorate your home!

1. Port de Vanves in Paris

This is known as one of France’s best flea markets, appreciated for its size and variety of items. Every Saturday and Sunday, 300 vendors sell items from France and beyond until 1pm.

Finds: Paintings, ceramics, 60s/70s era items, vintage clothing

2. Cours Saleya in Nice

Every Monday from the morning through mid-afternoon in sunny Nice, 200 vendors congregate to sell high-end collectibles. Although most finds here are pricey, you can find bargains at the adjacent Pierre Gauthier market.

Finds: Silver, vintage clothing, ceramics from Monaco and Vallaris, rustic wood items, and jewelry

3. Braderie de Lille

This is the best flea market in Europe and is held once a year in September. Thousands of vendors gather from Saturday morning through midnight on Sunday. Millions of visitors come from all over to shop.

Finds: Everything!

4. Annecy in Vieux Quartier

This is the most picturesque flea market in France, although smaller. The items reflect the town’s position as the gateway to the Alps. It is held on the last Saturday of the month.

Finds: Paintings, wooden chests, armoires, milk jugs, ski equipment

5. Villeurbanne in Lyon

Every Sunday morning 400 vendors join to create one of the biggest flea markets in France.

Finds: Rustic collectibles, kitchenware, furniture, copperware

6. Allees Jules Guesde in Toulouse

This flea market is held on the first Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of each month. Toulouse is a great place to visit and enjoy the pink medieval buildings and theme park dedicated to space exploration.

Finds: Books, military memorabilia, African art, fine French porcelain

7. The Porte de Clingnancourt

This is a combination of 12 flea markets, held every Saturday, Sunday and Monday. There are thousands of stalls that offer all kinds of collectibles.

Finds: Marche Vernaison on Rue des Rosiers offers kitchenware, books, and table lamps. Marche Daupin features market jewelry and ornate antique furniture.

8. Boulevard Beranger in Tours

This flea market is held once a month in the “Garden of France.” There are about 150 stalls. Once you’re done exploring the market, enjoy Tours, where you will find amazing architecture, vineyards, and botanical gardens.
Finds: Fine French porcelain, books, furniture.

9. Place Viarme in Narites

About 100 vendors set up shop along the Brittany cost. This picturesque location on the Atlantic coast is a great place to spend the day shopping for travel souvenirs.

Finds: Vintage nautical memorabilia

10. L’espace Mosson in Montpellier

Every Sunday in the far south of France. There are food stalls with delicious snacks of merguez and andouillette sausages.

Finds: Antique and vintage furniture, blue and white enamelware, paintings, and pottery.

27May

10 Best (Almost) Deserted Islands

Travel and Leisure’s new post about the Best Secret Islands on Earth inspired me to write about these stunning islands. Many of them are just off the coast of popular destinations and offer a great opportunity to experience real solace in the middle of a busy vacation!

1. Gozo, Malta

This hilly landscape in the Mediterranean will take you to another place and time with castle ruins and a Bronze Age fortress

This Mediterranean island is the perfect place for a secluded getaway.

Gozo

2. Robinson Crusoe, Chile

It’s easy to understand why this island inspired the novel Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe Island in Chile is so beautiful that it inspired the novel.

Robinson Crusoe Island

3. Gotska Sandon, Sweden

This island is covered in moss and pine trees

Gotska Sandon is located in Sweden.

Gotska Sandon

4. Skopelos, Greece

So perfect, they filmed Mama Mia! here…

Skopelos, Greece, is where Mama Mia was filmed.

Skopelos

5. Pico, Portugal

Great wine and footpaths through lava landscapes left by the volcano

Pico is an island off the coast of Portugal that has a volcano.

Pico

6. Mabul, Malaysia

Exceptional diving and wildlife, comparable to the Galapagos Islands

Mabul is a beautiful Malaysian island.

Mabul

7. Jicaro Island, Nicaragua

This 1 acre island is actually in the middle of Lake Nicaragua and has 1 resort, the Jicaro Island Ecolodge

Jicaro Island is an island in Lake Nicaragua.

Jicaro Island

8. Great Barrier Island, New Zealand

A great place for adventure seekers and the most untouched destination in New Zealand

The Great Barrier Island off the coast of New Zealand is one of the most untouched islands to be found.

Great Barrier Island

9. La Maddalena, Italy

Off the coast of Sardinia, has white sand beaches, secret coves and rare birds

La Maddelena is an island off the coast of Sardinia in Italy.

La Maddelena

10. Desert Islands, United Arab Emirates

These 8 islands are about 2.5 hours from Abu Dhabi and are filled with historic sights and exotic wildlife

The Desert Islands are about 2.5 hours away from Abu Dhabi.

Desert Islands

Categories: Leisure,Luxury Travel,Top 10
Tags:
20May

Best Summer Cocktails

 

The best summer cocktails contain fruit and are served cold.

Summer is almost here, and that means BBQs, beach, pool, and patio brunches! These delicious cocktails perfectly pair with summer food and activities. Try adding fruit garnishes for a little extra flavor and glamour.

Top 10 Best Summer Cocktails:

This Kumquat Caipirinha is a spin on the classic Brazilian cocktail.

Kumquat Caipirinha

1. Kumquat Caipirinha
This delicious spin on the Brazilian cocktail has soy caramel sauce (omg), lemon juice, raw sugar, kumquats, cachaca, and ice. This sounds perfect for a chic summer white party or cocktails by the pool with the girls.

The Royal Blush Cocktail is perfect for summer parties.

Royal Blush Cocktail

2. Royal Blush
This drink changes from green to pink! It has cherry puree, vodka, lime juice, simple syrup, mint leaves, and dry sparkling wine (like brut Champagne).

White sangria is easy to make and tastes delicious.

White Sangria

3. Sangria
Sangria is good anytime, anywhere! It is really easy to make and both the red and white are delicious. Try the white with Champagne, vodka, white wine, ginger ale, and any kind of fruit. It’s best if you let the ingredients soak for a day or two prior to drinking and let the flavors of the fruit really percolate.

A good Bloody Mary is the perfect brunch drink.

Bloody Mary

4. Bloody Mary
Another classic, great at those brunches on the patio, or for a little “hair of the dog” cure the next morning by the pool. Try using grated horseradish and Tobasco with your tomato juice and vodka. Blue cheese stuffed olives are always a nice touch as well.

The bazooka bubblegum cocktail is a great drink to serve at parties.

Bazooka Bubblegum Cocktail

5. Bazooka Bubblegum Cocktail
The pink color and bubblegum flavor make this drink fun for parties. Mix vodka with double bubble to achieve the bubble gum taste.

El Diablo is a cocktail that mixes beer, tequila, and creme de cassis.

El Diablo

6. El Diablo
This is a sophisticated version of beer, and is a good option for the men at your summer soirees. Mix tequila, ginger, beer, and creme de cassis and prepare for the compliments!

A Mint Julep is the perfect summer cocktail.

Mint Julep

7. Mint Julep
This classic cocktail is not for the faint of heart! It tastes great but packs a punch. Whiskey, mint, soda, water, sugar and crushed ice are the main ingredients, so it’s a relatively easy drink to make.

A French 75 cocktail is a great cocktail for those who love Champagne.

French 75

8. French 75
It’s just a little more intense than regular Champagne! Use Champagne, gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup.

A sidecar is a great summer cocktail.

Sidecar

9. Sidecar
A classic cocktail with a sugar rim, Cognac,, Cointreau, and lemon juice.

A mojito is the perfect summer cocktail.

Mojito

10. Mojito
Who doesn’t love a mojito? It’s super refreshing, perfect for the pool or beach. Mix mint, lime, rum, sugar and club soda for the perfect drink on a hot summer day.

Check out this
epicurious article
for recipes!

Categories: Leisure,Top 10
Tags:
11May

Top 10 Luxury Honeymoon Destinations

Mystique Santorini is a great honeymoon destination in Greece.

Mystique Santorini

1. Santorini, Greece
This amazing destination was created from a volcanic caldera, whose rim now hosts luxury hotels. From this elevated point you can view spectacular sunsets and views of the Aegean Sea. If you head down the cliff you will find shopping, amazing beaches, delicious food, and local wineries. Don’t forget to explore the Akrotini, a prehistoric settlement preserved under volcanic lava.

 

Where to Stay: Mystique Santorini

Mystique is perched on the rim of the caldera and has an incredible infinity pool, luxurious cave-like rooms carved into the cliff, and relaxing neutral tones.

 

 

The Palais Amani is a beautiful hotel in Fez, Morocco.

Palais Amani, Fez, Morocco

2. Fez, Morocco

 

Fez is Morocco’s second largest city and is bustling with bazaars and shopping opportunities. In the town center you will even find snake charmers and fortune tellers! Go to Old Medina of Marrakech for rugs, leather goods, and other travel souvenirs.

Where to Stay: Palais Amani

Palais Amani underwent a 3 1/2 year restoration that brought its existing features back to life and added work from local artisans. The spa offers massages in a room overlooking the hotel’s garden, and the rooftop bar has great views of the city below. Each room has embroidered linens, luxurious bathrobes, and complimentary embroidered slippers.

The Cap-Est Lagoon Resort & Spa is a luxury resort in Martinique.

Cap-Est Lagoon Resort & Spa

3. Martinique

 

This unique island can be considered the Paris of the Caribbean. It’s upscale and has over 150 restaurants. The locals close shop at noon for lunch and always eat out, which has led to the development of so many restaurants. Their cuisine is a delicious blend of French and Creole dishes. There is also a good nightlife, shopping, and sightseeing.

Where to Stay: Cap-Est Lagoon Resort & Spa

This resort has contemporary villas with Franco-Caribbean design. The soft, minimalist decor and lagoon views create a super relaxing and tropical vibe!

Villa San Michele is one of the most luxurious hotels in Florence.

Villa San Michele, Florence

4. Florence

 

Italian food, wine, Renaissance art & architecture, just enough sightseeing, and Italian fashion – need I say more?

Where to stay: Villa San Michele

This facade of this amazing hotel was designed by Michelangelo. If that isn’t cool enough, it’s also located on top of the hill of Fiesole so it has views of Florence and the Chianti countryside. The hotel amenities have great views, too. The heated pool and the open air restaurant, Loggia, look out over the city.

The Shangri-La Hotel Paris was once the home of Prince Roland Bonaparte.

Shangri-la Hotel Paris

5. Paris

 

A pretty obvious choice, but a great one nonetheless! Amazing food, sightseeing, entertainment, shopping, and opulent hotels sound like a pretty great way to spend a honeymoon.

Where to Stay: Shangri-La Hotel Paris

The building that is now the Shangri-La Hotel Paris was once Prince Roland Bonaparte’s home (Napoleon’s nephew). It was recently resorted to its former glamour and offers some of the largest rooms and suites among luxury Paris hotels. Most rooms have Eiffel Tower, Seine River, or the Louvre views.

The Gansevoort Turcks and Caicos brings urban luxury to the tropical environment.

Gansevoort Turks and Caicos

6. Turks and Caicos

 

This is one of the most underdeveloped islands in the Caribbean, and the tourism industry mostly caters to an upscale clientele. They have some of the most beautiful beaches and several luxury resorts to choose from.

Where to Stay: Gansevoort Turks and Caicos

Experience modern urban luxury in a tropical setting. The 7000 square foot infinity edge pool is one of the hotel’s best features, and they also have the famous Bagatelle Bistrot.

 

The Missoni Hotel Edinburgh is a luxury hotel that incorporates Missoni's eclectic modern style.

Missoni Hotel Edinburgh

7. Edinburgh, Scotland

 

Edinburgh is a beautiful destination, offering rolling Scottish hills, castles, vibrant theater scene, hiking, and sightseeing.

Where to Stay: Missoni Hotel Edinburgh

This hotel is exactly what you would expect from the Italian fashion house. The hotel was designed with distinctive use of color, pattern, and textiles.

The Viceroy Bali offers luxurious accommodations just minutes from Ubud.

Vicory Bali

8. Bali, Indonesia

 

Bali is an amazing place with tropical beaches, forests, cliffs, museums, historical towns and temples. The resorts promote spiritual health and well being, and there is a general aura of tranquility. Definitely a place to get away from it all!

Where to Stay: Viceroy Bali

The Viceroy consists of 25 villas on a secluded ridge of the Pentau river, just minutes from Ubud, one of Southeast Asia’s most charming villages. The villas are super luxurious and offer everything you could need, including espresso machines and private pools.

The St. Regis Resort Princeville offers luxurious accommodations on one of the most beautiful Hawaiian islands.

St. Regis Resort Princeville

9. Kauai, Hawaii

 

Kauai has everything a couple who loves the outdoors could need – tropical beaches, hiking on the Na Pali coast, and kayaking on the Wailua River.

Where to Stay: St. Regis Resort Princeville

Relax in the infinity pool overlooking Hanalei Bay, lay out at the private Pu’u Po’a Beach, or golf at their 2 courses.

The Anantara resort in the Maldives offer luxurious overwater villas.

Anantara, Kihavah, Maldives

10. Maldives

 

Experience white sand beaches, remote location, privacy, and delicious tropical food. The islands are located along the trading route of the Indian Ocean, resulting in an interesting mix of cultures.

Where to Stay: Anantara, Kihavah, Maldives

These overwater villas offer the ultimate tropical getaway surrounded by white sand, coconut palms, and reef waters full of marine life. The famous underwater restaurant is a once in a lifetime experience!

 

22Apr

Top 10 Food Tours I Want To Try

A food tour is a great way to experience a new city and learn about its culture.

Go on a guided food tour to learn about a new city.

One of the best parts of taking a luxury vacation is going on a food tour! It’s a great way to sight-see and learn about your destination’s history. The following places are all on my travel to-do list, along with their amazing food tours…

1. Napa Valley: Gourmet Napa Walking Tour
It’s a 3 hour walking tour through downtown Napa with 8 tasting stops. Learn about the local history and meet organic farmers and boutique winemakers! By the end of the tour, you will have a curated list of expertly recommended recipes.

Tastings:

    - Coffee from one of San Francisco’s premier roasters

    - Oysters on the 1/2 shell from a renowned North America oyster producer

    - Excellent  California artisan cheese

    - Artisan salumi and chance to observe sausage production

    - Wine infused chocolate and brittle from local chocolatiers

    - Award-winning extra virgin olive oil

    - Handcrafted whoopie pies

2.  San Francisco: Gourmet on Hayes
Another 3 hour walking tour, this time of San Francisco’s trendy Hayes Valley. This tour features 7 tasting stops and will take you off the beaten path to what’s really hot on the San Francisco gourmet food scene. You will be taken to specialty shops and restaurants and experience the results of sustainable ingredients and fair trade partnerships.

Tastings:

    - Specialty teas at a Zen inspired tea lounge

    - Belgian fries with 22 dipping sauces!

    - Hand painted artisan truffles from a luxurious chocolate lounge

    - Rainbow assortment of Parisian macaroons

    - Gourmet imported cheeses and Russian River Sauvignon Blanc in a beautiful garden setting
    - Artisinal salumi
    - Gingerbread cupcakes from European style confiserie

3.  Aspen: Foodie Food Tours

Aspen is a great luxury ski destination and summer vacation destination as well! I love how Colorado is obsessed with local, sustainable ingredients and small farmers. This tour, called the “Off the Beaten Path” tour will do just that! You’ll visit locals favorite restaurants and specialty shops that you probably wouldn’t find on your own and mingle with restaurant owners and chefs.

Tastings:

The tasting stops are always changing, but may include Specialty Foods of Aspen, Boden’s Butter, The Restaurant, Sabra’s Deli, The Aspen Brewery, 39 Degrees, Ellina, J-Bar, and more.

Side-note: Whenever I visit Aspen, I stay at a Ritz Carlton Aspen Highlands vacation rental!

4. Miami: Little Havana Food Tour

I don’t often get the opportunity to try authentic Cuban food. Miami, one of the most luxurious destinations in the world, is just the place! This food tour will help you experience traditional Cuban cuisine by visiting family owned restaurants along Calle Ocho in one of Miami’s oldest neighborhoods – Little Havana. This particular tour focuses on smaller, hole-in-the-wall places where you will learn the history behind dishes that have been handed down for generations. Meet local artists, watch cigar rollers, and see the famous Domino Park!

Tastings:

    - Specific dishes you will sample include coladita, mariquitas, masitas, moros, and guarapo juice

    - Learn the relationship between Spanish and Cuban cuisine

5. Houston: Where the Chefs Eat

I have always wanted to go to Texas for one reason – to eat! This tour showcases Houston’s mom and pop restaurants and introduces people to Houston’s culinary diversity. You know these restaurants will be good because they are all patronized by chefs on their days off. You’ll discover new restaurants and markets where chefs get their ingredients and experience true southern cooking.

Includes:

    - Gift bag

    - Free Saint Arnold’s beverages

    – Limo-bus transportation

6. New Orleans: Tasting Tour of the French Quarter

I regretfully admit that I have never been to New Orleans, but one of the main attractions for me is the amazing food (actually that’s one of my main attractions for just about any place). This tour focuses on the history and evolution of the city’s famous cuisine. You’ll tour select historic restaurants and discuss their culinary contributions, including the two oldest restaurants, Antoine’s (opened in 1860) and Tujague’s (opened in 1856).

Tastings:

    - Learn the difference between Creole and Cajun cuisine

    - Seafood gumbo, red beans & rice, beef brisket with Creole sauce, praline, muffulettas, turtle soup, and shrimp remoulade

7. New York: Chelsea Market/Meatpacking District Food & Culture Walking Tour

It would take days to try all the amazing food in NYC, but I would start with Chelsea Market and the Meatpacking District! This tour gives you the chance to explore two of the oldest industrial areas that have become some of the hottest NYC destinations. The tour showcases mom and pop food shops, ethnic restaurants, a little boutique shopping, and the new “highline” elevated outdoor park. The tour is 3 hours long and features 6 specialty food shops (Chelsesa) and 1 restaurant (Meatpacking).

Tastings:

    - Amy’s Breads: Artisinal French/American bakery

    - Ronny Brook Milk Bar

    - Sarabeth’s Bakery: gourmet American bakery

    - Lobster Place: high-end fish market

    - Buon Italia: Italian specialty food

    - Chelsea Market Baskets: Gourmet specialty food store

    - Eleni’s: Classic American bakery

    - Macelleria: Italian steak house

8. Chicago: Bucktown & Wicker Park Food Tasting and Cultural Tour

The Chicago food tour should be great – Chicago has some of the best and most creative restaurants in the States. This tour features 6 tasting stops in the trendy neighborhoods of Bucktown and Wicker Park, where you will experience mom and pop specialty restaurants and one of a kind cafes.

Tastings:

    - Hot Chocolate: Chicago’s top pastry/dessert restaurant, a James Beard Award finalist
    - George’s Hot Dogs: Chicago style hot dog “stand”

    - Piece: Internationally acclaimed brew pub, New Haven thin crust pizza

    - Goddess and Grocer: Gourmet deli, local organic grocer

    - Sultan’s Market: Middle Eastern restaurant and authentic falafel deli

    - iCream: Custom ice cream, sorbet, yogurt created instantly on the spot

9. Boston: North End Market Tour

Boston’s North End is the city’s “Little Italy” and is filled with cafes, Italian bakeries, and authentic Italian restaurants. This tour will educate you on the history of authentic Italian food, Italian recipes, and where to identify and buy fresh ingredients.

Tastings:

    - Discover pasticcerias that offer the best biscotti, amaretti, sfogliatelle, cannoli and more
    - Visit authentic salumeria in search of the best olive oil, balsamic vinegar, olives, salami, cheese, prosciutto, and pasta
    - Visit an “Old World” candy store and smell 79 year old coffee

    - Tour an enoteca and learn how to select aperitivi to begin, wine to compliment, and digestivi to conclude the meal

10. Los Angeles: LA Latin Spice Food Tasting Tour

This tour will take you to places you wouldn’t typically explore in Los Angeles, many of which are hidden in the downtown area. Travel by foot and the Metro Gold Line through downtown LA and Boyle Heights & Mariachi Plaza. Learn about the Latin culture and traditions, and sample traditional handmade foods!

Tastings:

    - LA’s first tortilla factory

    - Taste time-honored family recipes

    - Visit a nationally renowned tamale restaurant

    - LA’s first birreria

    - Health consciuos pupuseria

    - Contemporary Latina cafe

8Nov

10 Most Romantic Spa Getaways

- Hotel Guanahini & Spa
St. Barth’s

Hotel Guanahani & Spa is a luxury spa in St. Barth's

Hotel Guanahani & Spa

This European style Clarins and Frederic Fekkai spa has 11 treatment rooms (each emphasizing a different French technique), steam room and rejuvenation packages. The spa is located on the northeast part of the island, in the middle of a tropical garden.

- CINQ MONDES Spa at the Beau Rivage Palace
Lausanne, Switzerland

CINQ MONDES Spa at the Beau Rivage Palace is a luxury spa in Switzerland.

CINQ MONDES Spa at the Beau Rivage Palace

CINQ MONDES Spa at the Beau Rivage Palace is a luxury resort spa in Switzerland.

CINQ MONDES Spa - Beau Rivage Palace

CINQ MONDES Spa at the Beau Rivage Palace is a luxury resort spa in Switzerland.

CINQ MONDES Spa - Beau Rivage Palace

This Swiss spa overlooking Lake Geneva uses the prestigious Parisian brand CINQ MONDES. There are indoor and outdoor pools with views of the Alps, 8 treatment rooms featuring techniques from Japan, India, North Africa, China and Bali, and a private spa suite with a Japanese bath, private Hammam, and garden.

- Las Ventanas al Paraiso
Los Cabos, Mexico

Las Ventanas al Paraiso Spa is a luxury resort spa in Los Cabos, Mexico.

Las Ventanas al Paraiso Spa

Las Ventanas al Paraiso is one of the first and most luxurious resorts in Los Cabos. Spa treatments performed en suite are very common at this resort. The spa offers a variety of restorative treatments, holistic therapies, healing rituals, organic products, and native remedies from Baja California and Mexico. The Director of Romance is available for couples and honeymooners who want exotic massages and romantic treatments together.

- Oasis Spa at Couples Isle Tower
Jamaica

Couples Tower Isle is a couples only luxury resort spa in Jamaica.

Couples Tower Isle Jamaica

Couples Tower Isle is an all-inclusive, couples only resort on 19 acres of beachfront property. They offer wedding and honeymoon packages, as well as full salon services and spa services that include body wraps and scrubs, massages, facials, and aromatherapy.

- LeSpa at Sofitel
Los Angeles, California

LeSpa at the Sofitel is a luxury hotel spa in  Los Angeles.

LeSpa Sofitel Los Angeles

LeSpa Sofitel Los Angeles

LeSpa Sofitel Los Angeles

LeSpa is a luxury Los Angeles spa that features 5,000 square feet of dark wood and candlelight that create a tranquil ambiance. There are 2 VIP suites, 6 luxury treatment rooms, an outdoor cabana, serenity lounge, individual tea service, and a complimentary foot soak. Try the Touch of Love with your partner and learn techniques from a masseuse and then practice on each other during a 60 or 80 minute session.

- Spa at Mandarin Oriental
New York City, New York

Mandarin Oriental Spa is a luxury hotel spa in New York City.

Mandarin Oriental Spa - Spa Relaxation Room

Mandarin Oriental Spa is a luxury hotel spa in New York City.

Mandarin Oriental Spa - VIP Spa Suite

Mandarin Oriental Spa is a luxury hotel spa in New York City.

Mandarin Oriental Spa - Vitality Pool

The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental is a luxurious New York City spa, perfect for couples. There are 6 treatment rooms with private showers, amethyst crystal steam rooms, a 75-foot naturally lit lap pool, Thai Yoga Suite with deep soaking tub, VIP Spa Suite with fireplace and private steam and shower, Oriental Tea Lounge, and vitality pool. There are separate lockers and showers for men and women.

- The Spa at Sandy Lane Hotel
Barbados

Spa at Sandy Lane Hotel is a luxurious hotel spa in Barbados.

Spa at Sandy Lane Hotel Barbados

Spa at Sandy Lane Hotel is a luxury resort spa in Barbados.

Spa at Sandy Lane Hotel Barbados

The  Sandy Lane Hotel is a  luxurious, Old World resort and spa in the Caribbean. The lavish spa is 47,000 square feet and features 14 treatement rooms, a full menu of spa treatments (herbal wraps, hot stone, chakra therapies, Ayurvedi massage, facials, etc.), VIP treatment suite with private landscaped gardens and hydrotherapy pools. The Rhassoul is an Oriental steam bath that begins with an application of Pink Kaolin clay from the neck down. Dry heat is applied first to extract impurities, followed by an herbal steam to soften clay and moisturize skin. Warm cascading water is applied to finish.

- Lanna Spa at Four Seasons Resort
Chiang Mai, Thailand

Spa at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai is a luxury resort spa.

Spa at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai

Spa at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai is a luxury resort spa.

Spa at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai

This luxurious resort spa features seven treatment suites offering total privacy for couples, outdoor showers, private herbal steam rooms and outdoor soaking tubs. Two of the suites have tropical rainshower massage tables. The Lann Chang Suite has a sunken bath with views of the mountains, and the Prae Garden Suite has Thai massage style beds next to a fireplace and private pool.

Spa Hayman, Hayman Island Resort
Queensland, Australia

Spa at Hayman Island Resort is a luxury resort spa on Haymand Island, off the coast of Australia.

Spa at Hayman Island Resort Australia

Spa at Hayman Island Resort is a luxury resort spa on Hayman Island off the coast of Australia.

Spa at Hayman Island Resort Australia

The Hayman Island Resort is located on Hayman Island, a private island in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. It is only accessible via boat, sea plane, or helicopter from Hamilton Island. The Spa at the Hayman Island Resort features 13 private treatment rooms, including a romantic couple’s room, hydorotherapy tubs, vichy, sauna, steam rooms, and one of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest pools. The Spa has many unique treatments, like the famous Guerlain Methode 90 minute facial, Caviar & Pearl Rejuvenation Facial, Tropical Papaya & Pineapple De-Aging Body Wrap, Balneotherapy, fitness class + massage, and Volcanic Body Wrap.

- Marù Spa at Bora Bora Lagoon Resort
French Polynesia

Maru Spa at Bora Bora Lagoon Resort is a luxury resort spa, and the only treetop spa, in French Polynesia.

Maru Spa at Bora Bora Lagoon Resort

Marù Spa is the only tree top spa in Polynesia, located in one of the world’s most beautiful lagoons, surrounded by waterfalls, white sand beaches, and tropical flora and fauna. Their wooden treatment rooms are located high up in two giant Banyan trees. On the ground floor of the spa guests will find a quartzite bath of coconut milk and fresh local flowers. The spa also offers couples massage rooms and rain showers and several signature treatments.

4Nov

Top 10 Best NYC Hotel Restaurants

1. Jean Georges
Trump Int’l Hotel

Jean Georges at Trump Int'l Hotel is one of the best hotel restaurants in New York City.

Jean Georges at Trump Int'l Hotel

Jean Georges at Trump Int'l Hotel is one of the best hotel restaurants in New York City.

Jean Georges at Trump Int'l Hotel

Inventive, understated and elegant modern decor, great service and a $32 prix fixe lunch make Jean Georges a hot spot for trendy NYC diners.

2. L’Atelier de Joel Rubuchon
Four Seasons Hotel

L'Atelier de Joel Rubuchon at Four Seasons Hotel is one of the best hotel restaurants in New York City.

L'Atelier de Joel Rubuchon at Four Seasons Hotel

L'Atelier de Joel Rubuchon at Four Seasons Hotel is one of the best hotel restaurants in New York City.

L'Atelier de Joel Rubuchon at Four Seasons Hotel

3. Cafe Boulud
Surrey Hotel

Cafe Boulud at Surrey Hotel is one of the best hotel restaurants in New York City.

Cafe Boulud at Surrey Hotel

This Uptown “cafe” doesn’t exactly have cafe prices, but the French cuisine, sophisticated setting, attentive but unobtrusive service and new cocktail lounge makes it a worthwhile experience. They offer a great selection of wines and a $35 prix fixe lunch menu.

4. Adour
St. Regis Hotel

Adour at the St. Regis is one of the best hotel restaurants in New York City.

Adour at the St. Regis

Adour at the St. Regis  is one of the best hotel restaurants in New York City.

Adour at the St. Regis

Alain Ducasse’s Midtown French restaurant is vinocentric and emphasizes wine and food pairings. Adour is pricey, but just as good with renowned NYC restaurants like Daniel or Per Se.

5. Maialino
Grammercy Park Hotel

Maialino at Grammercy Park Hotel is one of the best hotel restaurants in New York City.

Maialino at Grammercy Park Hotel

Maialino at Grammercy Park Hotel is one of the best hotel restaurants in New York City.

Maialino at Grammercy Park Hotel

Danny Meyer’s Italian restaurant in the Grammercy Park Hotel serves rustic fare (roast pig highly recommended). Try the wine bar for a pleasant, more casual dining experience.

6. Benjamin Steak House
Dylan Hotel

Benjamin Steak House at Dylan Hotel is one of the best hotel restaurants in New York City.

Benjamin Steak House at Dylan Hotel

This pricey steak house at the Dylan Hotel serves meat in big portions.

7. DB Bistro Moderne
City Club Hotel

DB Bistro Moderne at City Club Hotel is one of the best hotel restaurants in New York City.

DB Bistro Moderne at City Club Hotel

DB Bistro Moderne at City Club Hotel is one of the best hotel restaurants in New York City.

DB Bistro Moderne at City Club Hotel

This French bistro in the Theater District draws a chic crowd thanks to the modern setting. Try their signature $32 burger, or their $45 prix fixe pre-theater menu.

8. Norma’s
Le Parker Meridian

Norma's at Le Parker Meridian is one of the best hotel restaurants in New York City, and is especially popular for brunch.

Norma's at Le Parker Meridian

Norma’s is one of the best breakfast places in Midtown. Reservations are recommended as the crowd pours in for the delicious and rich breakfast items on the menu.

9. ASIATE
Mandarin Oriental

Asiate at the Mandarin Oriental is one of the best hotel restaurants in New York City.

Asiate at the Mandarin Oriental

Asiate at the Mandarin Oriental is one of the best hotel restaurants in New York City.

Asiate at the Mandarin Oriental

One of the best things about the restaurant is its chic decor and panoramic views of Central Park and Midtown. The food is served with great presentation and in generous portions. ASIATE is a popular brunch and lunch destination, thanks to prix fixe menus.

10. Gilt
NY Palace

Gilt at NY Palace is one of the best hotel restaurants in New York City.

Gilt at NY Palace

The combination of old and new decor make Gilt a unique and trendy dining experience. The Gilt Bar is a lively nightlife scene and makes great cocktails.

Information via Zagat

22Oct

Top 10 Travel Beauty Products for Women

It’s imperative to look and feel fabulous when you’re traveling to an exotic destination. Here are a few products to keep you looking and feeling your best:

One great beauty product for traveling is Noxema Wet Cleansing Cloths

Noxema Wet Cleansing Cloths

1.Noxema Wet Cleansing Cloths are a lifesaver! I actually use them on a daily basis, but they’re great for traveling as well. They’re especially perfect for washing makeup off at night when you’re tired. Cleansing cloths have become quite popular lately, and I’ve tried several different kinds.  Noxema’s Cleansing Cloths are the best – the eucalyptus is super refreshing!

One great beauty product for traveling is the Nars Multiple=

Nars Multiple Makeup Stick

2. The Nars Multiple Makeup Stick is a multi-purpose stick for eyes, lips, cheek & body. Some of the colors look quite bold at first glance, but they wear super sheer. All you need is a tinted moisturizer or foundation and the Multiple Makeup Stick and you’re all set! One quick swipe, a little rub and voila! The Stick comes in the classic Nars shade, Orgasm, and 10 other lovely hues. There are a few new shades hitting shelves this May – Turks and Caicos, a bright peach; Cadaques, a rosy pink; and Beverly Hills, a flush red. Read Allure’s review here.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer is the perfect travel beauty product.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer

3. Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20 is a sheer, lightweight foundation that can be worn by all skin types. It’s especially great for those with oily or acne prone skin. Wear with Nars Multiple Makeup Stick for the easiest beauty regimen ever!

Yves Saint Laurent Instant Eye Wake-up Pads

Yves Saint Laurent Instant Eye Wake-up Pads

4. Yves Saint Laurent Instant Eye Wake-up Pads are just what a tired girl needs. YSL perfectly puts it: “Your must-have anti-fatigue beauty partner for fresh and radiant eyes.” These little pads will also diminish the appearance of fine lines and crows feet around the eyes. Traveling and adventure can be quite demanding – don’t let it give you unsightly under-eye bags!

Frederik Fakkai Travel Faves - Technician Color Care

Frederik Fakkai Travel Faves - Technician Color Care

5. Frederik Fakkai Travel Faves – Technician Color Care allows you to maintain  your gorgeous locks on-the-go with your favorite mini Fakkai products! It comes with luxurious shampoo, conditioner and anti-fade topcoat for enduring color and vibrancy, along with travel-size Sheer Hold Hairspray and mini comb – all in a chic travel bag. The Salon Technicial Color Care line uses Galanga Root Extract to shield agains UV rays and heal damaged hair. The Rapid Results Moisture Mask submerges hair in humectants and extracts to revive just-colored condition and silkiness. Anti-Fade Top Coat is a quick-dry solution that seals the cuticle, and helps prevent frizz and fade.

Ojon Rub Out Dry Cleaner To Go

Ojon Rub Out Dry Cleaner To Go

6.Ojon Rub Out Dry Cleaner To Go – no one needs to know you haven’t washed your hair today! We don’t always have time to wash our hair and restyle it every single day, so use this dry shampoo to get rid of oily hair.  Fun Fact: you can also use it if you’ve accidentally added too much product to your hair.

Laura Mercier Flawless Face Kit

Laura Mercier Flawless Face Kit

7.Laura Mercier Flawless Face Kit includes a foundation primer, tinted moisturizer, undercover pot shade, secret camouflage brush, camouflage powder brush, velour puff, and egg shaped sponge. Basically it includes everything you need for a flawless, classic face!

mdskincare Sunscreen Pads

mdskincare Sunscreen Pads

8. mdskincare Sunscreen Pads SPF 30 are little pads that you can apply anywhere for a sticky-free, long last finish. Great for any skin type, even acne or break out prone.  Carry them in your purse or beach bag when traveling so you’re always prepared!

fresh Sugar Deoderant and Antiperspirant

fresh Sugar Deoderant and Antiperspirant

9. fresh Sugar Deoderant and Antiperspirant is a glide-on deoderant that has a sweet, sugary aroma that uses skin soothing botanicals and deoderizing agents that help you stay dry no matter where you are! Pack it in your purse or beach bag to stay fresh on-the-go ;)

GO SMiLE Jet Set Travel Kit

GO SMiLE Jet Set Travel Kit

10. GO SMiLE Jet Set Travel Kit includes a tube of AM Energy Luxury Toothpaste, PM Tranquility Luxury Toothpaste, and a Portable Toothbrush in a little zip case. Whiten your teeth with the special morning toothpaste that contains energizing ingredients like mandarin, lemon, lime, and peppermint extracts, and at night with soothing lavender, chamomile, vanilla, valerian root, and spearmint extracts. Naturally hydrated silica will polish surface stains and fluoride prevents tooth decay.

20Oct

10 Travel Tips From Expert Travel Agents

Hilton Dalaman Golf Resorts & Spa in Istanbul, Turkey

Hilton Dalaman Golf Resorts & Spa in Istanbul, Turkey

Image via TravelPhotographers.net

With the help of the internet, people can plan their own itineraries for most trips. Here are some tips from expert travel agents to keep in mind when planning your vacation, via Virtuoso Life Magazine:

1. Get private.

Going with a private guide is an advantage – private guides have insider access to popular sites, and can help you visit before and after hours.

2. Check the weather.

Plan travels to coincide with optimal weather – every destination has seasons that are better for traveling, so make sure the weather patterns line up with the type of vacation you are planning for.

3. Go when other tourists don’t.

This can be hard if you are very serious about Tip #2, but there are some pros to going during slow season (like cheaper rates).

4. What to pack….

For a private jet: champagne or wine stopper for the celebratory bottle that you will never finish

Eco-adventure: clothes you’re ready to retire. Before returning, donate them to the local charity.

5. Order a signature cocktail.

Try these expert travel agent recommended cocktails:

- Raffles Hotel Singapore, Long Bar: “Sling”

- St. Regis NY, King Cole Bar: Bloody Mary

-  Cambridge Beaches Bermuda: “Dark & Stormy”

6. Get a real souvenir.

- Hong Kong: Custom make suits and shoes, antique lacquer boxes, a chop (a personalized carved signature stamp)

- London: Royal Blend Tea, perfume from Floris, Henry Watson’s pottery

- Milan: Designer wear, silk scarves, leather shoes

- Sydney: Sheepskin products, woolens, opals

- Buenos Aires: Leather, cashmere

7. If attending a bullfight at San Fermin:

Drip wine on your shirt before you go, otherwise the locals will do it for you – better to have a few spots then to be covered completely.

8. When traveling in the American South:

If you don’t specify unsweetened iced tea, you will get the extremely sugary “sweet tea,” the house wine of the south.

9. On the vernacular of Cornwall, England:

Cornish people call everyone, ‘my lover.’ Don’t be offended.

10. On being present during your vacation:

Put the camera down. You’ll have plenty of great photos, but you can’t capture every single thing, like interacting with penguins or the awe of an iceberg.

Categories: Luxury Travel,Top 10
14Oct

Top 10 Romantic Getaways

Ten of the best places to have a romantic getaway:

1. New York City, NY. A classic romantic vacation destination. Try staying at the Crosby Street Hotel in SoHo. This 86-room hotel will make you feel at home with its unique interior design style. Each guest room and suite looks like a luxurious bedroom.

Romantic Getaways at the Crosby Street Hotel, NYC

Romantic Getaways - Crosby Street Hotel, NYC

Enjoy one of the many romantic activities New York City has to offer, like walking by the lighted fountains at the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts, having dinner in Central Park followed by a carriage ride, ice skating at Rockefeller Center, going to the Roof Gardens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or going to the top of the Empire State Building .

2. Paris, France. Paris is one of the most romantic places in the world. Try staying at the Four Seasons George V, just steps from the Champs-Elysees, where you can enjoy a private dinner with a view of the Eiffel Tower from your guest room or suite terrace.

Four Seasons George V is perfect for romantic getaways

Romantic Getaways - Four Seasons George V

A great couples activity to do in Paris is to take cooking classes at Ecole de Cuisine Alain Ducasse from top French chefs, such as Romain Corbiere, the former Executive Chef of Ducasse’s le Relais du Parc. Classes consist of going to the farmer’s market to pick out the best ingredients, and then heading back to get a hands-on lesson on how to prepare it.

3. Beaver Creek, Colorado. Beaver Creek is one of the world’s premier ski destinations. Try apres-ski for two at Zach’s Cabin, accessible only by a private sleigh ride, or Ritz Carlton’s Spago by Wolfgang Puck. During the summer months, take a hot air balloon ride over the Rockies and drink champagne as you take in the beautiful views! Stay at the Ritz Carlton Residence Club in Beaver Creek, where you can rent a luxury condo and have all the benefits of the hotel, such as maid service, room service, and concierge.

The Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch in Colorado is perfect for romantic getaways/

Romantic Getaways - Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch in Colorado

4. Venice, Italy. Eat amazing Italian food, take romantic gondola rides, and enjoy the history of one of the oldest cities in the world. The Palazzina Grassi is a 22-room boutique hotel located on the Canal Grand, just steps away from Campo Santo Stefano. This artsy hotel has a modernist glass collection in a sparkling space designed by Phillipe Starck.

Romantic Getaways at the Palazzina Grassi

Romantic Getaways - Palazzina Grassi

5. St. Moritz, Switzerland. While staying at the Diavolezza, the best of the five St. Mortiz ski areas, a tram will drop you at the 10,000 foot summit at night to go moonlight skiing. Ski down the mountain in the blue moonlight and take in views of the glacial Bernina Range. Then, take the ski lift back to the top for dinner at Berghaus Diavolezza Restaurant. Enjoy classic Swiss cuisine such as Bundnerfleisch, Rosti potatoes, and cheese fondue.

Romantic Getaways in St. Mortiz, Switzerland

Romantic Getaways - St. Mortiz, Switzerland

6. Buenos Aires, Argentina. Stay at the Algodon Mansion overlooking the Recoleta neighborhood. This hotel only has 10 beautiful suites, so you’re sure to receive amazing service. Each suite has limestone and marble bathrooms, ebony floors, and views of the hotel’s central atrium and two story waterfall. You can have delicious dinners, walk through the city, and arrange for a romantic sunset tango lesson for two through the hotel. The rooftop pool features tea decks and lounge chairs, and hosts chic cocktail pool parties in the evenings.

Romantic Getaways - Buenos Aires, Argentena at the Algodon Mansion

Romantic Getaways - Buenos Aires, Argentina at the Algodon Mansion

7. Bali, Indonesia. Enjoy a private villa at Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay. Villas include separate sleeping, bathing and living pavilions as well as a plunge pool. On Tuesday and Saturday nights, the Four Seasons has a Beds on Beach night, where they lay out 20 silk canopied beds and candles along the beach. They play jazz music and serve Asian tapas and cocktails while you watch the sunset across the Indian Ocean.

Romantic Getaways at the Four Seasons Resort Bali Jimbaran Bay

Romantic Getaways - Four Seasons Resort Bali - Jimbaran Bay

8. Cook Islands. The Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa is the only resort on the Cooks Islands, located on its own island and one of the prettiest lagoons. Enjoy some serious R&R and lay on the beach, take naps in a hammock, enjoy the spa, or go snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and motu walking.

Romantic Getaways at the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa

Romantic Getaways - Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa

9. Zanzibar, Tanzania. The Kilindi resort in Tanzania is a picturesque assortment of pavilions, “cascading rain-water pools, lush tropical gardens and domed private spaces of rest, indulgence and well-being” along the coast of Northern Zanzibar. Kilindi is a sustainable resort that uses solar power and has its own state-of-the-art water treatment plant. Enjoy the spa, where East African therapists use traditional techniques that incorporate herbs, oil and honey. Kilindi is definitely a place to get away from it all and relax with your significant other.

Romantic Getaways at the Kilindi Resort in Tanzania

Romantic Getaways - Kilindi Resort in Tanzania

10. Bogota, Colombia. The Sofitel Bogota Victoria Regia is a 102-room luxury hotel located in the Zona Rosa district, near the art galleries. Visit La Candelaria, a historic district with a romantic, bohemian vibe. There are many cafes, art galleries, and restaurants there, such as the Fernando Botero Museum and El Museo del Oro, home to a 6,500 piece collection of pre-Columbian gold coins and other art.

Romantic Getaways in Bogota

Romantic Getaways - Bogota

Zona T is a pedestrian street where you can sit at cafes, drink wine, and people watch. Try Pravda, where they have excellent martinis, or Juan Valdez, for some of the best coffee in the world. For Sunday lunch, go to Andres Carne de Res, just outside of the city. They have great food and a special transportation service to accommodate patrons. On Friday nights you can go there to have drinks and party.

Recommended romantic restaurants are Astrid y Gaston, Harry’s Bar, Club Columbia, Nasce, and Watakushi.