The Rosewood Mayakoba, a Marvel in Mexico

Take a deep breath: you are finally in Mexico! And the Rosewood Mayakoba is ready to make your experience at the Playa del Carmen an unforgettable one. Not only do you get to indulge in a 1,600-acre resort on the Caribbean with all the gorgeous landscapes and fruity drinks your heart desires, but you’ve picked a location certified by the Rainforest Alliance. This Mayan-inspired destination is the best of both worlds, allowing you to indulge in your dream getaway as well as satisfying your inner-explorer with all that the Riviera Maya has to offer.

Rosewood Mayakoba Entrance
Rosewood Mayakoba Entrance

Known for the tranquility of its surroundings, the Rosewood Mayakoba suites accommodates you with rooftop sundecks, plunge pools, expansive terraces, and even boat docks. These private suites boasts the height of luxury, with your pick on the level of seclusion you desire and a large choice of different services.

Rosewood Mayakoba Lobby Area
Rosewood Mayakoba Lobby Area
Rosewood Mayakoba Lagoon Suites
Rosewood Mayakoba Lagoon Suites
Deluxe Lagoon Suite - Rosewood Mayakoba
Deluxe Lagoon Suite – Rosewood Mayakoba
Deluxe Lagoon Suite Terrace - Rosewood Mayakoba
Deluxe Lagoon Suite Terrace – Rosewood Mayakoba

The most expansive suite available is the Casa Laguna, with three bedrooms, a private pool, a private dock, five staff members, and bicycles for each guest being just some of the services offered.

Casa Laguna - Image Rosewood Mayakoba
Casa Laguna – Image Rosewood Mayakoba

The Rosewood Mayakoba also offers many activities on-site, such as kayaking, beach volleyball, beach soccer, and snorkeling. Horseback riding on the beach is wildly popular (especially for a romantic outing) and there are special services for the resort’s youngest guests, including fun activities during the day and evenings depending on the season.

Image Courtesy of Rosewood Mayakoba -Casa Del Lago Pool
Casa Del Lago Pool – Image Courtesy of Rosewood Mayakoba
Image Courtesy of Rosewood Mayakoba - Punta Bonita
Punta Bonita – Image Courtesy of Rosewood Mayakoba

Fine dining in the Riviera Maya is unlike anywhere else; the options provided by the Rosewood Mayakoba allow you to choose between the gorgeous views accompanied by Mayan specialties at Punta Bonita, contemporary Italian at Casa Del Lago, and the delights of Agave Azul Sushi & Tequila Bar. Gastronomy is at the heart of any exotic voyage, so the Rosewood Mayakoba invites its guests to different culinary adventures: Epicurean Encounters with a Mayan Bees Farm Tour encourages sustainable practices by preserving their bee cultures, an ancient tradition. Tequila tastings and local food showcases are available, all to ensure a truly robust Mexican experience.

Agave Azul Sushi & Tequila Bar - Rosewood Mayakoba
Agave Azul Sushi & Tequila Bar – Rosewood Mayakoba
Punta Bonita Restaurant - Rosewood Mayakoba
Punta Bonita Restaurant – Rosewood Mayakoba
Punta Bonita Restaurant - Rosewood Mayaboka
Punta Bonita Restaurant – Rosewood Mayaboka

The Rosewood relaxation facilities offer such pleasing amenities that the real world wonder is that anyone leaves the spa at all. A heated pool, saunas and steam rooms, Jacuzzi, a refreshing plunge pool, a fully equipped gym and yoga and meditation classes guarantee that you will leave with a body feeling rejuvenated. Sense, A Rosewood Spa(R), is actually secluded away from the rest of the resort on an island. Using treatments inspired by Mayan techniques, a truly sumptuous session is sure to leave all guests feeling the therapeutic benefits that will linger long after they have left.

Sense Rosewood Spa
Sense Rosewood Mayakoba Spa
Sense Spa Rosewood Walkway
Sense Spa Rosewood Mayakoba Walkway
Rosewood Mayakoba Fitness Center
Rosewood Mayakoba Fitness Center

Surrounded by lush jungle, guests are inspired by the best of the tropics while being close to the second largest coral reef in the world. The Playa del Carmen village is a mere half hour away. However, the rich Mayan history of Mexico is the real draw. The archaeological Mayan Ruins of Tulum tower towards the rising sun on a cliff, offering a phenomenal view. Visitors can explore Sian Ka’an, a coveted and protected site, swim in beautiful underground caves with their glorious formations, and snorkel in the clear waters. Xcaret Eco Theme Park, only 15 minutes away, offers tours of the barrier reef and evening performances depicting the rituals of the past.

Sights to See near Rosewood Mayakoba
Sights to See near Rosewood Mayakoba

At the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, Chichen Itza’s pyramid stands tall as the 1,500-year-old star of Mayan legends. View this old-world giant on foot for a close-up look, or see it from a bird’s eye by aircraft. Visitors are also tempted by the natural wonder of Cenote Ikil, a sinkhole, or the charming town of Valladolid. Lastly, one shouldn’t miss Coba, a Mayan ceremonial center in the rain forest with temples lurking beneath the cover of green where you can uncover stories surrounding the belief that centuries ago, the world was due to meet its end.

For those looking to explore modern wonders as well, Fifth Avenue in Playa del Carmen offers plenty of shopping and an excellent atmosphere for an evening promenade. If you venture to Cancun, La Isla Shopping Village shelters over 150 shops underneath its canopy. For luxury boutiques and high-end shopping, consider Kukulcan Plaza & Luxury Avenue. A more commercial experience can be found at Market 28, an enourmous flea market in Cancun where local treasures, art, and handmade crafts are sold by Mexican vendors. Anyone who is serious about art simply cannot miss out on the renowned Casa de Cultura.

Fifth Avenue Playa del Carmen
Fifth Avenue Playa del Carmen

Naturally, this inspiring environment is prime for events of any occasion, be it for business, a themed party, or a wedding. The Rosewood Mayakoba lagoon is the epitome of a dream wedding location, and the resort is honored to make accommodations for any ceremony. Meetings can be organized both indoors and outdoors for up to 100 people or up to 140 guests for events. Themed parties such as Mayan, Caribbean, or White can be requested for a magical evening on the Mexican Riviera.

Image Courtesy of Rosewood Mayakoba - Wedding Ceremony
Image Courtesy of Rosewood Mayakoba – Wedding Ceremony

The Rosewood Mayakoba remains the ideal spot in this vibrant area. Your experience is sure to be enriched with rooms and facilities that are above and beyond, a dedicated staff, and the beach all within arm’s reach of a cultural hotspot.

Rosewood Mayakoba Ctra. Federal Cancun-Playa del Carmen KM 298 Solidaridad, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico

A #BiminiBliss Getaway : Hilton at Resorts World Bimini Bahamas

Hilton at Resorts World Bimini – the jewel of Bimini – is the closest island in the Bahamas to the United States. It’s an inviting island getaway for South Floridians, an easy flight from either Miami or Fort Lauderdale. The clear crystal waters and endless white-sand beaches provide an enchanting tropical getaway. The newest luxury resort on Bimini – Hilton at Resorts World Bimini – offers beachfront villas, beautiful accommodations, and harbors the largest marina in the Bahamas for an ideal vacation experience.

Actually, we should say its the two closest islands since Bimini is made of two main islands: North Bimini and South Bimini — covering about 7 square miles.

Since I had never been to Bimini before I was unsure of what to expect. There are several ways to get to the island of Bimini, number one being, of course, by boat. The other option entails flying over on Silver Airways or by Cape Air Seaplane. I decided to be adventurous and took the Cape Air Seaplane over. The whole experience was very pleasant: it’s a short 25-minute flight from Fort Lauderdale at a low altitude which allowed a great view on the way. The best part is the great finale of landing on the water. The plane then pulls right up to Fisherman’s Village, which is part of the property.

Cape Air Airlines Flight to Hilton at Resorts World Bimini

The Cape Air seaplane docks quite closely to the resort. After collecting your bags, it a short walk to go through customs. A shuttle awaits you on the other side and in less than three minutes you arrive at the entrance to the Hilton at Resorts World Bimini Resort.

The Hilton Resorts World Bimini Resort Bahamas

The lobby area is very spacious and modern with beautifully decorated glass fixtures floating above the reception area. The check-in process was very quick, and they even provide you with towel cards to use at your disposal at the resort.

Behind the reception desk is the Lobby Raw Bar which offers a variety of seafood choices including chilled Maine lobster, Florida stone crab, shrimp cocktail and clams. Guests can enjoy their fresh seafood with a selection of hand-crafted cocktails or wine by the glass while listening to live entertainment coming from the Piano Bar.

Resorts World Bimini Lobby Bar and Piano Bar

Resorts World Bimini Lobby Bar and Piano Bar

Accommodations

The hotel offers 305 rooms including 18 luxury suites (nine of which are the pool-facing suites). The standard king or double queen rooms come with either a ocean view (balcony facing the lagoon) or a partial ocean view (balcony facing the villas). The rooms have a contemporary design and come with a lovely work desk area with plenty of wall outlet connections, thank goodness. They are well-equipped with a safe, coffee maker, mini refrigerator, docking station, and TV. The bathroom area has a double vanity sink and a fantastic rain shower. You can open the shades in the shower for additional lighting, and even watch TV while showering. Both the shower and toilet area have frosted glass for privacy. The only flaw in the bathroom design is that the main door is a clear glass sliding door, making it a little challenging for privacy for those sharing a room.

Hilton Resorts World Bimini Standard Double Room

You can stay in one of the 18 luxurious suites on the resort which feature spectacular views from floor-to ceiling windows that offer an abundance of natural light when the curtains are opened. It’s like being in your own cozy apartment with all the amenities (except a kitchen). And who wants to cook when they’re on holiday?

Hilton at Resorts World Bimini Suite

Dining

You have nine delicious dining options to choose from. The Sushi Bar is conveniently located by the reception area and is only open for dinner. The food here was fantastic. I especially enjoyed the pad thai, spring rolls and the california roll.

Hilton at Resorts World Bimini - The Sushi Bar Restaurant

The Tides Restaurants is located on the main floor and is open for breakfast and dinner. I was lucky to try out both! For breakfast you can order off the menu or have the breakfast buffet.

Hilton at Resorts World Bimini - The Tides Restaurant

Hilton at Rewords World Bimini - The Tides Restaurant Buffet

If you’re in the mood for some fresh seafood or prime aged steak, then Sabor Restaurant is the best place to dine. The price range is a little higher, but the restaurant atmosphere and service made it worth it, and I thoroughly enjoyed my steak and potatoes.

Resorts World Bimini - The Sabors Restaurant Steak Dinner

Pools

There’s a rooftop infinity pool offering spectacular 360 degree panoramic island views (only for adults). It overlooks the lagoon and is the perfect spot to unwind and relax. The pools are refreshing and there are so many that you don’t have to worry about them being too crowded. Additionally, the Monkey Business Bar (also adult only) resides on the top floor. I heard that there were other pools available as well but I was so content with the two I was swimming in that I didn’t feel the need to go anywhere else.

Resorts World Bimini - Infinity Pool / Monkey Bar

On the ground level is the lazy river pool, which measures 600 feet and overlooks Bimini Bay’s turquoise waters. There are nine expansive pool-facing suites with adjoining rooms that open directly to the pool, and the lazy river also features a swim-up bar with stool seating and cocktail tables.

Resorts World Bimini - Lagoon / Lazy River Pool

Resorts World Bimini - Lagoon / Lazy River Pool

If you feel the need to take a break from lounging, you can easily hop on the resorts shuttle and enjoy some of the many water sports for a day of leisure in the turquoise waters of Bimini from kayaking, paddle boarding, diving, snorkeling, renting jet skis and fishing too!

Resorts World Bimini offers shuttle service into town and around the resort grounds. The best way to get around this narrow, seven-mile long island is by golf cart. You can rent golf carts at the resort for a daily rate of $75/day at the reception desk.

Resorts World Bimini Beach Area

Casino

The casino is beautiful with huge windows that overlook the resort grounds and the water. Drinks are a courtesy to players. It’s easily accessible from the hotel lobby and a short cart ride from the villas. Hemingway is one on the restaurants on the properties that is located inside the casino: it’s open for lunch and dinner. The bar area boasted a few huge television screens where you can enjoy some of the latest sports games as you dine.

Resorts World Bimini Casino

Spa/Fitness Center

For ultimate relaxation, the Hilton at Resorts World Bimini provides world-class services and amenity experiences in the new Serenity Spa. Amenities include massages, facials, hand and foot therapies, nail services, salon services and make-up artistry. For fitness enthusiasts, the 24-hour fitness center is located on the 5th floor next to the Spa and filled with state of the art equipment.
RW Bimini Fitness Center

Resorts World Bimini Spa/Salon

Shore Excursions

There is a plethora of exciting things to do: you can venture off the resort and explore the half-sunken SS Sapona shipwreck, a concrete-hulled ship built for World War I that ended up as a floating booze warehouse during Prohibition until it ran aground during a hurricane in 1926, swim with stingrays and nurse sharks in Honeymoon Harbor, or conquer your fears and curiosities in their shark adventure. In short, there’s no shortage of things to do in Bimini.

Resorts World Bimini Activities and Tours

Hands down the hotel offers the ideal setting for an unforgettable wedding, unique conference or corporate retreat, with its water front gazebo, grand ballroom with floor to ceiling windows and scenic views of Bimini Bay.

Marina

For boaters the marina at Resorts World Bimini encompasses the largest yacht and marina complex in The Bahamas with two marinas – Fisherman’s Village Marina (136 slips) and the Mega Yacht Marina (94 slips) – conveniently located at the center of resort activity. The Marina can accommodate vessels up to 180′ and can be reserved by calling (305) 374-6664 ext. 1035/1036 or contact The Dockmaster by email at [email protected]

I can’t say enough great things about my time at Resorts World Bimini other than I had an absolute blast! Bimini is an short flight from either Fort Lauderdale or Miami, and not far by boat. The islanders are very friendly, and make the best sweet Bahamian bread. I’m looking forward to returning soon with my family.

Resorts World Bimini, North Bimini, Alice Town, Bahamas

Disclosure and Fact Box: I was a guest of Hilton at Resorts World Bimini and all opinions are, as always, my own. Room rates for standard room vary between $250-$330 per night depending where the room is facing. For pricing and suite reservations, please call 1-888-930-8688 to speak to a Resorts World Bimini Reservation Specialist, prices may fluctuate based on date of travel.

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How to Travel Like a Local in Dubai

From the wealthiest to the backpackers, Dubai is on the list of every traveler. The city has a reputation for being the playground of the rich and famous but it welcomes even the budget traveler with the open arms. We don’t say it, the millions of tourists who visit the Dubai every year vouch for the city’s warmth and hospitality.

Dubai has everything a tourist looks for in a destination, but it’s up to us how we enjoy the city. While many tourists use their Dubai Visa to see the city on a superficial level, the best way to explore the emirate is like how a local would do.

Don’t think that’s possible in the short trip you’ve planned? Well, here’s how you do it.

Revisit the history

The museums and the historical places are of immense significance for a city as they help in understanding the roots of the place. To connect with the history of Dubai and appreciate its exponential rise to the top, it is imperative to visit the famous Dubai museum housed in the oldest fort of the city- the Al Fahidi fort. The Dubai museum is one of the best museums of the Middle East and is built in a way that it almost transports you to the Bedouin era when Dubai was no more than a small fishing village.

Bastakiya quarter

In addition, visit the Bastakiya quarters- Dubai’s oldest neighborhood, beautifully preserved for the tourists to get an insight into the past of Dubai. Also visit the Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum’s house- once an official residence of the ruler of Dubai, today one of the best museums of the city housing rare documents, pictures and artifacts that speak volumes about the rise of Dubai.

Understand the culture

The best way to appreciate a place is to understand its culture and traditions. While you can get the best insight about Dubai if you have a local friend, another great option for tourist is the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. You’ve to book the appointment in advance, but the place is every minute worth of your time. The ambiance of a wind tower house, the surroundings of the oldest neighborhood of Dubai- The Bastakiya quarters, and a sumptuous cultural meal while enjoying an insightful conversation about the Islamic culture, Arabic customs and the history of Dubai; what better way of understanding the culture can you ask for?

Travel in Public transport

To know the essence of a city, it is imperative to understand the regular life of the people, and what better way than the public transport. While commuting through public transport can be quite a pain in many cities, the transport system in Dubai is one of the best in the world. The Dubai metro that runs throughout the city is a record-breaking feat in itself. These driverless metro trains use the most advanced technology and were built in a record span of just 18 months. The bus and cab transport are also very well streamlined and frequent. Cost wise, private cabs cost more starting with a minimum of 10Dirhams. Take a pass for Dubai metro and you can literally travel across the length and breadth of the city in the least time and expenditure, that too in the comfort of the fully air conditioned metro train.

Dubai Metro

Shop at the right places

A city that has 3 of the biggest malls ever made across the globe along with a plethora of other great malls, a city that holds one of the world’s biggest shopping festivals every year, and a city that literally breathes shopping in every street; it is very hard to suggest where to shop from.

The Textile Souk in Dubai

But for the tourists who believe that the essence of a city lies in its local markets, we suggest shopping at the souks of Dubai (souk is the Arabic translation for the word market) is the best option. Dubai is full of the world-famous souks that are going on since centuries and still continuing in the same manner. Popular souks like the gold souk, spice souk, textile souk, perfume souk and many more local places that not only spoil you for choice but also allow you to bargain to your heart’s content. The vibrancy, energy and the messy environment of these congested markets give you the feel of real Dubai shopping. These souks are an excellent place to carry out your people watching hobby too.

Relish the cultural meals

While Dubai is a city that offers you the best of world cuisine across all price ranges, it is also extremely rich with its cultural Arabic cuisine. While in Dubai, take a break from the easily available Thai, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Japanese, Lebanese, European, Chinese and a plethora of other types of cuisine available, and taste the Emirati cuisine.

Baba Ganoush

It is not only rich, flavorful and extremely different; it also uses some of the rarest ingredients, hardly used anywhere else in the world. Stuffed Camel, for example, is a fine delicacy of the Emirati cuisine and it is hardly available anywhere else in the world, even if it is, the taste is unmatched. Some of the other must try dishes are Al Harees, Shawarma, Al Machboos, and hummus.

Insider Tips:

  • While in Dubai, one thing that you must shop for are the locally grown dates and saffron from the spice market. They are simply the best.
  • For tourists looking for staying longer and considering volunteering opportunities, Dubai has a lot of them in areas of animal rescue, helping laborers and working with disabled children.
  • Dubai observes Fridays and Saturdays as weekend so Thursday and Friday nights are the most sought after here.
  • There are many advanced ways of traveling from bur Dubai to Deira, but the best way to experience the travel is via the traditional ‘Abra ride’. They are the most ancient ways to cross the Dubai creek and cost just Dhs1.
  • Dubai boasts of many free sights and attractions and there are many cost effective and social ways to visit them including the Big Bus Tour.
  • Learning some local words such as Shukhran (thank you), Marhaba (hello), Assalam Alaikum (may peace be upon you) can help you break the ice and get friendly with the locals sooner than you think. Don’t forget to add your gracious smile to it.

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DubaiLocal

The Hotel Villa Magna Madrid: Savor Spain’s Capital

Planning your trip to Madrid? Let the glorious Hotel Villa Magna be your home-base for your journey to this iconic city. Nestled comfortably on the historic Paseo de la Castellana, the Villa Magna is expertly placed in the center of an exclusive shopping district, adjacent to the financial district. Whether your stay is for pleasure, business, or both, you cannot go wrong.

Main Entrance (Image Courtesy of Hotel Villa Magna)
Main Entrance (Image Courtesy of Hotel Villa Magna)

The Hotel Villa Magna has a colorful past: at one point it underwent demolition in the 60s and only reopened in 1972. Then in 2007, it was renovated with rooms of contemporary design and technology to fit the modern world.

Lobby Area - Image Courtesy of Hotel Villa Magna
Lobby Area (Image Courtesy of Hotel Villa Magna)

There is a total of 150 guestrooms and suites with complimentary shoe shine, limousine transfers, and babysitting services. The luxurious suite options include the Junior Suite, Executive Suite, and Villa Magna Suite.

Junior Suite - Image Courtesy of Hotel Villa Magna
Junior Suite (Image Courtesy of Hotel Villa Magna)

You can also enjoy the spacious Insignia Suites; the Real Suite has two bedrooms, a 1292 square foot air terrace, a living room and dining room, walk-in wardrobes, a relaxation room, and a private pantry. Similarly, the Royal Suite and the Castellana Suite have dazzling views you can admire from air terraces.

Suite Royal - Image Courtesy of Hotel Villa Magna
Suite Royal (Image Courtesy of Hotel Villa Magna)
Suite Royal Living Room - Image Courtesy of Hotel Villa Magna
Suite Royal Living Room (Image Courtesy of Hotel Villa Magna)

The facilities offered at the Hotel Villa Magna are guaranteed to cater to any and all of your event needs. With nine meeting rooms, outdoor gardens, and terraces, the bases have been covered. Your business meeting, luncheon, cocktail party, or wedding is sure to be a success with a fully equipped business centre (with on-site technicians no less) and an event team of experienced professionals at your disposal. When five of these rooms are combined, the maximum capacity of any given event can be over 700 people!

Jardin de los Espejos Desfile Image Courtesy of Hotel Villa Magna
Jardin de los Espejos Desfile (Image Courtesy of Hotel Villa Magna)

The Restaurante Villa Magna was designed to give guests an elegant dining experience: natural light and a relaxed ambiance complement the deliciously fresh food served over five courses.

Restaurante Villa Magna
The Restaurante Villa Magna
Dinner with family and friends at The Restaurante Villa Magna
Dinner with family and friends at The Restaurante Villa Magna

Those interested in oriental cuisine are invited to try the Tse-Yang Restaurant, known for its fine Cantonese cuisine. Guests can also enjoy breakfast, light lunches, cocktails, and tapas in the airy Lounge. For more drinks, there is the Magnum Bar or the Patio Magnum (during the summer). Considered to be Madrid’s “most chic bar”, the Magnum Bar is tended by talented bartenders known for their exciting concoctions.

Image Courtesy of Hotel Villa Magna
Image Courtesy of Hotel Villa Magna
Magnum Bar (Image Courtesy of Hotel Villa Magna)
Magnum Bar (Image Courtesy of Hotel Villa Magna)
Terraza-Lounge (Image Courtesy of Hotel Villa Magna)
Terraza-Lounge (Image Courtesy of Hotel Villa Magna)

Of course, no luxury stay is complete without exploring the delightful relaxation and health options available. El Club Wellness is equipped with workout machines that encompass the modern experience, allowing you to view videos on built-in screens during your session. There are locker rooms, steam rooms, and saunas (oh my!). For those wishing to push themselves during their visit, there are personal trainers available. The Kiara Kare(R) Wellness Center provides expert therapists for those looking to de-stress after a long trip or stressful work day, and a hair salon for your pampering needs. Lastly, the Villa Magna Boutique is the perfect choice for satisfying your sweet tooth or picking out a gift. These exclusive items can only be bought at the Boutique, so you know you’re getting the full experience when you purchase any of the linens or fragrances on display.

Club Wellness (Image Courtesy of Hotel Villa Magna)
Club Wellness (Image Courtesy of Hotel Villa Magna)

As many a visitor has exclaimed, the Villa Magna is more than a place to park your luggage while you explore the city; it is known for being “home in Madrid”.

Hotel Villa Magna, Paseo de la Castellana 22, 28046 Madrid, Spain Tel: +34 91 587 12 34

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Top 5 Luxury Honeymoon Destinations in Argentina

Every new couple’s dream is to start their married life with the golden memories of an unforgettable honeymoon. The beautiful landscapes and prestigious hotels of Argentina make this the perfect setting for a blissful beginning. Buenos Aires offers you and your loved one only the best, bringing you closer to a diverse and fascinating landscape, and of course, to each other.

Buenos Aires, the Paris of Latin America

Care to become intimate with the most romantic city in Latin America? Buenos Aires is the place to be to cultivate those treasured moments with your partner. The two of you can enjoy wandering the San Telmo market and trying different drinks on the Plaza Dorrego Bar Terrace or at La Poesia Cafe. There are pleasant walks along the river in Puerto Madero as well as fun photo options at the Woman Bridge. A popular spot is the Palermo Park, where couples can find themselves among the roses and the swans. The great Algodon Mansion Hotels open its doors in the city centre while the original Faena hotel displays original designs from the artist Philip Stark. For a taste of stereotypical Gaucho’s life, the estancia Bamba de Areco is located right outsite of Buenos Aires.

San Telmo Plaza Dorrego (Image : Wikimedia) under the Creative Common License
San Telmo Plaza Dorrego (Image : Wikimedia) used under the Creative Commons License
Image Courtesy of Faena Hotel Buenos Aires
Image Courtesy of Faena Hotel Buenos Aires

Fall in Love at the Iguazu Falls

The Iguazu Falls offer a gorgeous view at its base. San Martin Island taunts honeymooners to discover this little Eden with desert beaches, luxurious vegetation, and beautiful watch points. When the moon is full, the park is open to have a romantic dinner at one of the most outstanding panoramas in the world. Visitors gather just to listen to the sound of the water and to try pacu, a delicious regional fish. There are even hotels located inside of the park for those who wish to linger at this natural beauty. For those seeking a compromise between nature and luxury, there is the estancia Santa Cecilia or the Lodge Loi Suites, popular for being surrounded in vegetation, its natural wood designs, swimming pools and beautiful view over the jungle.

Iguana Falls (Flickr Marissa Strniste) used under the Creative Common License
Iguana Falls (Flickr Marissa Strniste) used under the Creative Commons License

Taste wines of Mendoza’s bodegas

Any trip to Argentina would be amiss without tasting the best wines in the country. Visit the many Bodegas (vineyards) of the region and sip on their Malbec. From the bodega Catena Zapatam known for its astonishing architectural pyramid, to the bodega Tapiz, the two of you can take part in the most famous degustation of wine served in oak casks from France. Be free to observe the beautiful landscapes and explore the many small romantic towns in the region. Stay for a night in the cozy Casa Margot, an estancia with only two rooms in the Andes Mountains. If you venture to San Lujan de Cuyo, the hotel Entre Cielos is worth the trip with its lofts built on stilts. Finally, try Torronte, the regional white wine that can only be found in Cafayate.

Image Courtesy of Entre Cielos Argentina
Image Courtesy of Entre Cielos Argentina

Delight in the Lakes of Patagonia

The road of the Seven Lakes is called the Swiss of Patagonia, known for being a tranquil escape. Bariloche is a ski station famous for its homemade beer and chocolate. Take time here to just relax and to wander in the street with small cute chalets. The hotel Lahuen Co mixes nature and relaxation in the center of the National Park. There, you can enjoy the open space of the Seven Lakes and witness the turquoise water of the Espejo Lake as well as breathtaking sunsets at dusk. Las Balsas Relais Chateaux is an excellent last stop, a quiet but marvellous castle for the two of you to meander about.

Lake Patagonia
Lake Patagonia
Image Courtesy of Las Balsas Relais & Chateaux Patagonia, Argentina
Image Courtesy of Las Balsas Relais & Chateaux Patagonia

Ushuaia, the end of the world

Nothing is more romantic than staying at the end of the world with the love of your life. Ushuaia is known as the most southern city in the world. Walk in the Tierra del Fuego National Park and experience peaceful silence unbroken by the modern world. Smell the Antarctic fragrance and observe truly impressive landscapes. The Hotel Los Cauquenes in the Beagle Canal has a panoramic view on the Ushuaia bay. There are also spas for relaxation or drinking tea in front of an unforgettable atmosphere. The Arakur resort offers an in-out swimming pool where you and your loved one can take a bath at the end of the world.

Ushuaia Bay
Ushuaia Bay
Hotel Los Casquetes Ushuaia (Photo: Argentina-Excepcion) used under Creative Commons License
Hotel Los Cauquenes (Image: Argentina-Excepcion) used under Creative Commons License

Ready for your romantic Argentinean honeymoon? Check out Luxury Travel Agency Argentina Excepcion, from Buenos Aires for questions or more information.

ArgentinaHoneymoon

5 US Road Trips That Are Highly Recommended

Road trips are the perfect vacation. They take you to tons of amazing places and you get to watch the scenery go by as you drive along. They’re a true bonding experience for the people in the car. They’re basically a rite of passage. Everyone needs to go on an epic road trip at some point in their live. Here are 5 US ones that you need to check out.

  1. The Pacific Coast

The Pacific coast is home to some of the most gorgeous scenery in the US. You’ve got the Great Redwood Forests, the Golden Gate Bridge and of course, Los Angeles. Big Sur is also one of the most magical places you’ll ever see. From Washington down to California, there are so many iconic sites that you can go to with this road trip.

road trip trees

There are some seriously awesome hotels along this stretch with great views, but they can be a little pricey. Look for nearby campgrounds that offer the same kind of views for a fraction of the price. Staying in a tent or even in the back of your truck is a great way to really get the road trip experience.

  1. Route 66

Route 66 is one of the most iconic roads in America’s history. Though it’s now bypassed by giant interstates, it still goes through some great places and it’s awesome to see the history that lines this street.

route 66

The crown jewel of this road trip is Grand Canyon National Park and the rest of the American Southwest. Along with Sedona and Red Rock Country, the Grand Canyon really lets you experience the impact of nature and the beautiful things it can create. At the other end of the road is Chicago, one of the biggest cities in the country. You really get the best of both worlds with this one.

  1. The Overseas Highway

This goes from Key Largo to Key West in Florida. While the first part of this road isn’t anything special, there are parts that are truly spectacular. Long stretches of this drive leave you surrounded by perfect turquoise waters. You’ll get to go over the seven-mile bridge. It’s basically driving through a tropical paradise.

Key West Highway

The highway is so beautiful that the National Scenic Byways Program named it an All-American Road. Only 30 other roads in America have been given this honor. This is definitely a road you should encourage everyone to be awake on when the sunset or sunrise hits. It’s an indescribable sight and one that no one driving on this highway should ever miss.

  1. The Atlantic Coast

While the credit usually goes to the Pacific coast, the Atlantic coast definitely has its charms as well. It’s a great chance to see the oldest part of the country, with towns dating back to the 17th century. There are also lighthouses, the craziness of New York City and the boardwalks along the many beaches.

The Atlantic coast and surrounding areas also have a ton of historical sites like the Lost Colony of Roanoke, the Liberty Bell and other historical sites in Philadelphia and many Civil War battlefields and key locations. If you’re a history buff, this is the road trip for you.

  1. Salmon River Scenic Route

Though this is one of the shorter trips on this list, that doesn’t mean it’s any less spectacular. This follows the Salmon River through Idaho and involves some great mountain scenery. Sunbeam Hot Springs are a must-see destination, and a little bit off the main road lies some of the ghost towns left from the gold rush.

Salmon River

This is another chance to see the beautiful wildlife and nature scenery that the land naturally provides. With gorges and canyons, mountains and waterways, there are so many things to see on this short stretch of road. It’s worth the time.

There are many times that people think you have to go out of the country for a good vacation. But there are so many things in the US that are worth seeing. Take a road trip throughout America and see all the things that the country has to offer. It’ll definitely be a vacation that you’ll never forget.

Images used under Creative Commons license.

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Key Largo’s Newest Luxury Resort – Playa Largo Resort & Spa

It’s been over 21 years since a resort has been built in the Upper Keys, but the much anticipated Playa Largo Resort & Spa just had the honor of greeting guests into this incredible 144-room paradise. Playa Largo is the 100th addition to the Autograph Collection Hotels, with over 14 waterfront acres as well as ten secluded bungalows and a luxurious beach-house complete with three bedrooms and its own plunge pool.

“Playa Largo was conceived from a desire to offer visitors to Key Largo a luxurious and modern full-service resort option – something that until now wasn’t available here,” said general manager Shakir Hussain. “We are redefining what it means to travel to the Florida Keys and are thrilled to be welcoming our first guests this week and our first groups soon after.”

Playa Largo Resort & Spa
Image Courtesy of Playa Largo Resort & Spa

Perfect for any number of events, Playa Largo Resort & Spa boasts both a beautiful green lawn and a 6,000 square foot ballroom. In addition to the 745 feet of beach landscape, guests can enjoy the private marina and watersport rentals, sport courts (both tennis and basketball), and a well-stocked fitness center. The Ocean Spa offers a full range of options to truly experience luxury and relaxation. Onsite dining offers Las Olas ceviche and sushi bar as well as Sol by the Sea, providing glittering views of the waterfront and delicious fresh-caught seafood. There is also a traditional steakhouse, La Marea.

Playa Largo Resort & Spa owes its grand opening to the well-known Prime Hospitality Group and to Shaner Hotels, a pioneer in the hospitality industry. The relaxing Caribbean-inspired appearance is owed to Prime Design Associates, LLC while the talented Gettys Group can be thanked for the interior design elements.

Playa Largo Resort & Spa, 97450 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037 Phone (305) 853-1001

To learn more and book your visit today: www.playalargoresort.com, www.marriott.com or autographhotels.com.

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The Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards return to Marbella Spain

Following last year’s wildly successful event at the Trans Resort Bali, the Gala Ceremony for the Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards will grace the halls of the beautiful Villa Padierna Palace Hotel in Marbella, Spain. It will be held on October 15th for their fourth annual event. The gala ceremony will be bringing together the top hoteliers from around the world for a glittering evening of global recognition and networking.

The event will play host to Royalties, Ambassadors, celebrities, CEO’s, Presidents and Managing Directors as well GM’s of the finest and most luxurious Hotels & Resorts from around the world who will all be in attendance to be presented with the Signum Virtutis, the seal of excellence, the highest most exclusive award for the luxury hospitality and lifestyle industry.

Mrs Nicola El-Mouelhy-VP SSLHLA , Ms Ece Vahapoglu presenting an award on stage at The Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality And Lifestyle Awards in Bali 2015
Mrs Nicola El-Mouelhy-VP SSLHLA , Ms Ece Vahapoglu presenting an award on stage at The Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality And Lifestyle Awards in Bali 2015
Khalil El-Mouelhy-Chairman,President & Founder SSLHLA,Prince Massimiliano della Torre e Tasso,Mr Salem Al Kubaisi, Katara Hospitality
Khalil El-Mouelhy-Chairman,President & Founder SSLHLA,Prince Massimiliano della Torre e Tasso,Mr Salem Al Kubaisi, Katara Hospitality

October 15th will also see the launch of the world’s first International Hospitality Hall of Fame, headed by President & Founder Mr Frank M Pfaller. This ultra-exclusive event is designed to acknowledge, reward and immortalize the extraordinary achievements and careers of the most exceptional leaders of the Hospitality industry both past and present, which were elected by an esteemed board of fellow professionals. “The International Hospitality Hall of Fame has been conceived to celebrate brilliance in our industry. It is dedicated to recognizing the people who are making outstanding contributions to the global luxury Lebensart, and thus inspiring and educating a new generation of hoteliers and hospitality service providers.” Said Mr Pfaller.

The owner of Villa Padierna Hotels & Resorts, Don Ricardo Arranz de Miguel, Honorary Chairman and 1st. Custodian of IHHOF has graciously offered the Villa Padierna Palace Hotel to become the permanent home of The International Hospitality Hall of Fame so that tourists, guests as well as industry professionals will be able to visit and learn about the amazing achievements of the individuals that helped shape and form the Luxury Hospitality Industry.

Villa Padierna Palace Hotel Marbella
Image Courtesy of Villa Padierna Palace Hotel Marbella

The SSLHLA Gala Ceremony will once again be hosted by Turkish Celebrity and Luxury Panel Member Ms Ece Vahapoglu.

Notable Panel Members such as His Serene Highness Prince Massimiliano della Torre e Tasso, Her Serene Highness Princess Costanza della Torre e Tasso, Princess Bhargavi Kumari Mewar, Countess Alicia de Villapadierna-Klein, Hollywood star Antonio Banderas, the three mayors of ‘The Golden Triangle’, Marbella, Estepona and Behnahavis, Chairman-President/Founder Khalil El-Mouelhy, CEO of the SSLHLA Mrs Nicola El-Mouelhy, Hon.Chairman Frank M Pfaller, Karine Lackner, Thanos Liontos, Kenelm Jenour, SPA industry expert Berni Hawkins as well as Jean Christophe Rousseau will also be in attendance.

SSLHLA is delighted to announce Ligne St Barth, the premiere lifestyle Spa Sun & Beauty brand as an official partner of 2016 as well as World Wide Kids, Gold Emotion, Sphere Travel Media Exhibitions & Events, Adria Exclusive, The Luxury Choice, Bestof-theworld, Nichole de Carle,

SSLHLA would also like to thank the 2016 Media Partners: Essential Marbella Magazine, i-Marbella, Home & Lifestyle, Marbella Rocks, Ogee Design Magazine, The Top Tier, Horizon & Beyond, Eye of Riyadh, Eye of Dubai, Voyagers World, e-Global Travel Media, MV Hotels, On TV Channel, Carmen’s Luxury Travel, Highend-Traveller, FTN News, ELUXE Magazine, Caprice Cafe de Femme, Signature Media, Thesout.

Chairman, President/Founder Khalil El-Mouelhy said: “Villa Padierna Palace Hotel was the location of our first ceremony, it is where it all started for the SSLHLA . We are big fans of Spain and Marbella and we are delighted to return to this exceptional venue. The organization as well as the event have grown tremendously and continuously attract the leading lights of this exciting industry. This is not an award that everybody has nor is it an award that everybody can have. This will be a very memorable and exclusive night and we are looking forward to welcoming our winners on the 15th of October and celebrating their extraordinary achievements together with them”

Carmen’s Luxury Travel is a media partner of the Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards and will be covering the awards ceremony.

For further information please visit www.sevenstaraward.com or contact [email protected]

7starawards

Maho Beach St. Martin – One of the World’s Most Dangerous Airports

No vacation to St. Martin is complete without a trip to the famous Maho Beach! Thrill seekers and aviation enthusiasts flock to the beach to sunbathe in the shadow of a jumbo jet. The beach is fairly small, surrounded by coral, and located on the Dutch side of the Caribbean island, but is known for an unexpected attraction caused by all the low-flying airliners that zoom in so closely above the beach. People can actually be blown into the water by the strength of the jet blast. If you’re interested in an adrenaline rush, you can join the dozens of others who cling to the fence and ride this gush of air for thrills…if not, this is a great opportunity to work on your photography. The myriad of jets and small planes will dazzle you.

Maho Beach Plane Landing in St. Martin

Maho Beach is located at the Western end of Runway 10 of Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM), on the Dutch side of this Dutch-French island. When planes make their final approach, they do so right on top of sunbathers and snorkelers, thus providing you with a very special experience! For those who love the thrill, or just like airplanes, watch and see incoming jets gliding in and landing just a few yards above your head!

Maho Beach Plane Landing in St. Martin

Maho Beach Helicopter Landing at the airport in St. Martin

Signs warning people to keep their distance are posted along the gate separating the thin, two-lane highway which divides the beach from the runway. The massive jet engines can easily produce winds of more than 100 mph, blowing sand and people alike into the water. The jet blasts from the wake of the planes are so powerful that they can cause severe injury and possible death for those who do not exercise caution. That doesn’t stop everyone!

Maho Beach Warning Signs outside of Princess Juliana airport St. Martin

Maho Beach Warning Signs and Helicopter Landing outside of Princess Juliana airport St. Martin

Warning Signs at Maho Beach outside of Princess Juliana airport St. Martin

Not only is Princess Juliana International Airport in close proximity to the beach, but it also has an unusually short runway of only 7,150 feet (2180 meters). In order to complete a smooth landing, the aircraft gets as close to the beginning of the Runway 10 as possible – and ends up flying right over the heads of eager tourists, directing their cameras towards the impressive sight.

Maho Beach plane landing at Princess Juliana airport St. Martin

Plane spotting has become so popular that near the end of the runway, local residents and tourists contentedly plant themselves on bar stools at the Sunset Bar and Grill to sip cocktails and watch at a close-but-safe distance. Each morning, they write the flight schedule on a surf board.

Flight Schedule at Sunset Bar and Grill in St. Martin

The best time of the day to see the planes is between 1:30pm – 5:00pm. The bigger planes 747’s and Airbus 340 usually glide in around 2:00 and leave around 4:00pm.

Only at Maho Beach can you experience the blast of a Boeing 747 passing close above your head. Don’t forget to bring your camera!

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Romantic Places to visit in Dubai for your Honeymoon

While it’s easy to choose the most obvious honeymoon spots, there are a few places that are chosen by the ones with a distinctive taste. Dubai is one destination that needs a special taste to be chosen. You have to love the luxury, the chivalry, the larger than life hospitality, and should be ready to fall in love with a new definition of romance; only then will you be able to have a love affair with Dubai for life.

There are many romantic places to visit in Dubai and some of them are actually too good to be true. Here’s an exclusive list of romantic places in Dubai to give your honeymoon the required amount of spice and sweetness to savor a lifetime.

Take a relaxing sea cruise together

luxury cruise dubai

The best way to enjoy quality time together and the experience the magic of the Arabian sea is to book a luxury cruise and sail for some special ‘we’ time. Enjoy the sea with your legs up while holding a glass of champagne. The entire experience can lift up your spirits and can kick start your adventure with the city of Dubai.

Enjoy a Dhow cruise dinner

Dhow Cruise Dubai

A romantic Dhow Cruise dinner in Dubai is the perfect way of admiring the city’s glittering skyline at night. Enjoy the special time together with a sumptuous array of international buffet dinner, drinks, dance, and entertainment. The two-hour cruise takes you through the beautiful Dubai creek and allows you to surrender yourself to the surreal experience of togetherness.

Spend a night camping in desert

Desert Safari

They say that no trip to Dubai is complete without experiencing the Dubai desert safari, but we say if you are a honeymoon couple, just the safari experience isn’t enough. Enjoy the serenity of the desert and spend a romantic night under the blanket of the starlit sky. You can book the overnight desert camp with Rayna tours and enjoy barbecue dinner and various entertainment activities in the Bedouin-style desert camp along with an overnight dream come true experience.

Hot air balloon rides with champagne

hot air balloon dubai

Take your soulmate out for an adventure morning ride on a hot air balloon. And while she is smitten with the tranquility of the surroundings up in the sky, surprise her with the breakfast and champagne, in the clouds, literally. We promise this breakfast would be an experience she’ll remember forever.

Skydive together over Palm Islands

SkyDiving in Dubai

If adventure is what you both crave for, there can be no better alternative to seeing the Dubai skyline than trying the skydiving adventure over the Palm islands. Don’t worry if you are not a certified diver, all you need here is your guts, the rest can be handled by the world renowned dive instructors.

Dine at the Pierchic, in the middle of the ocean

Pierchic in Dubai

Dubai has some of the world’s best dine- in places you can ever imagine. From the top tower of the Burj Khalifa to the world’s most luxurious dinner at the Burj Al Arab, there’s no end to romantic dining. However, Pierchic maintains its legacy of being one of the most romantic places to eat in Dubai with a view of the ocean on all its sides. Offering a chance to eat at the stilts of the open water, the beautiful wooden interior of the restaurant and the exceptionally great menu makes it a must visit the place during your honeymoon. Don’t forget to book your table in advance to avoid last minute disappointments.

Go shopping together at the world’s biggest malls

Dubai Mall

When in Dubai, enjoyment can never be complete without shopping. Now take your soulmate in arms and go shopping at the world’s biggest, most luxurious and unbelievable shopping malls. Whether it is the Dubai Mall, the Mall of Emirates or the Ibn Battuta mall, be rest assured of being spoilt for choice. While the Dubai Mall offers you over 1200 shops and 120 restaurants, the Mall of Emirates offers you Ski Dubai- the world’s first ever indoor ski park where you can play with real penguins and enjoy the best of snow in the desert city. No matter what you choose for as your excursion, the malls of Dubai will certainly leave you wanting for more.

Enjoy a swim together at the picturesque Jumeirah Beach

Jumeirah beach in Dubai

There’s nothing more soothing than relaxing at the beach. The serene sound of the calm ocean waves and the majestic backdrop of the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab, the Jumeirah beach can be your ticket to a comforting day out, devoid of the hustle- bustle of the city. The entire stretch is full of great eateries, shopping outlets and a lot more to spend the better part of the day enjoying when you are not splashing water in the sea together.

You have to be in adoration with the vibrancy of Dubai to fall in love with its beat and wonders. The entire emirate is a world in itself and can be a dream come true place for the honeymooners. You have to visit Dubai to experience its charm and magnetism that brings millions of tourists to the city every year for different reasons. Some come here for shopping, some for a family retreat, some for adventure trails and some for the honeymoon. The reasons may vary but the charisma of Dubai is still the biggest pull for travelers from all parts of the globe.

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