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Category: Destinations

McEvoy Ranch Launches New Program for Corporate and Special Events

McEvoy Ranch, one of the largest U.S. producers of estate-grown, certified organic extra virgin olive oil, has launched a new program, welcoming outside companies and groups to host corporate and special events for the first time ever. The 550-acre ranch set in the rolling hills of Marin County offers six unique and customizable indoor and outdoor venues providing the perfect backdrop for rustic country weddings, social events, and corporate meetings.  Guests can also choose from a variety of unique breakout activities including hosted wine and olive oil tastings; yoga; cooking classes; hiking; bird watching; aromatherapy, wreath-making, and floral arrangement...

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Spring Break 7 Alternatives

As spring brings warmer temperatures, it’s time to get out and explore beyond the beach – from mountain biking down a volcano in Ecuador, to touring formal gardens in Russia or visiting remote birding sites in Iceland. Farther south, you can spring forward all the way to fall, when the fishing is great in Patagonia. Here are seven alternative spring breaks: Mountain bike Cotopaxi: The Andes highland region of Ecuador sees spring-like weather all year, making a mountain biking tour of the foothills around Cotopaxi National Park with Adventure Life ideal. Ride to waterfalls, lakes and Inca ruins during...

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Best Cigar and Whiskey Bars in Beverly Hills

The city of Beverly Hills offers five different club lounges designed for true cigar and whiskey aficionados. Here are five of the best bars to visit when in Southern California, to ignite a cigar, draw in the flavors and hold a snifter of whiskey in your other hand: £10 at Montage Beverly Hills Inside one of the most elegant hotels in Beverly Hills is a club bar tucked away discreetly above the recently launched Georgie restaurant. By reservation only, this lounge is one of the most exclusive in the world. £10 is dark, private and intimate with the finest handcrafted...

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SVATMA (Tanjavur): History Gets Hip in Tamil Nadu’s 1000-Year-Old Chola Capital!

A bharatnatyam dancer swirled her uncle’s 150-year-old heritage home into 2016’s cunningest boutique hotel. It’s about art. Resolutely, Tamil Nadu’s age-old arts. Svatma chicly disposes Mahabalipuram rock sculptures, Swamimalai bronzes, Chettinadu woodcraft, Kumbakonam brass lamps, bejewelled Tanjavur paintings and hand-crafted old musical veenas. If you don’t know what any of this is, you will at Svatma. For you should know that Mahabalipuram sculptures and Swamimalai bronzes are millennial art forms that predate most things you’ve seen at the Louvre, the Uffizi and the Prado. As for Tanjavur, if you didn’t know about this ancient capital of the Cholas, shockingly...

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Luxury and History: Two Historic Seaside Hotels

Oceanfront hotels are a dime a dozen along the East Coast seaboard, but it’s a real treat to find two that have survived decades and still exist as stunning destinations. Their unique stories are woven into a tapestry of Southern charm and hospitality. I recently had the opportunity to visit the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort located on St. Simons Island, GA, and The Casa Marina Hotel in Jacksonville, FL. Both have fascinating histories and offer unique oceanfront experiences. The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort This legendary hotel, a member of the National Register of Historic Places and a member of the prestigious Historic Hotels of America, is located on one of the barrier islands that make up Georgia’s coast. It first opened in 1935 as a seaside dance club. Six years later, the main hotel building opened to the public as the King and Prince Hotel. During World War II, the hotel served as a naval coast-watching and training facility. The center of radar operations was housed at the King and Prince, which also provided officers’ quarters and classrooms. The bar at the hotel was an after-hours gathering spot for soldiers, their wives and members of the local Civil Air Patrol. The hotel’s current restaurant “Echo” pays tribute to the hotel’s crucial part in the island’s naval history. As radar sent its electromagnetic waves...

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Spectacular San Diego Spas

The Ocean Crest Spa in Carlsbad Driving up to the coastal inspired three-story Cape Rey Carlsbad, you can see the 215-room hotel is directly across the street from the legendary Ponto surf break and Pacific Ocean. This elegant property attracts families, girls getaways, weddings and surfers. The Ocean Crest Spa offers 5,700 sq. ft of serene spa experiences, including a spacious couples suite with a tub and private outdoor relaxation area. There are separate men’s and women’s locker rooms. Across from the spa is a 24-hour fitness center with views of the pool and ocean. The spa decor features...

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Amsterdam’s Canals of the Rich and Famous

A line of Teslas pull up to the taxi stand outside the Amsterdam airport, with a few Mercedes Benz sprinkled in between. We hopped in a Tesla for a ride to the Ambassade Hotel in Amsterdam, located along the Herengracht canal. This street is one of the most prestigious in the Netherlands and home to the rich and famous. During the 17th century, the wealthiest merchants, mayors and most influential people in Amsterdam had a home on this canal street. Amsterdam was founded 1275, and the first multi-level home with a beautiful step gable roofline was built in 1590...

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Luxury Boutique V Palm Springs Resort

No one would every guess that the new luxury boutique V Palm Springs resort was once a budget Travelodge. A couple of Los Angeles celebrity criminal attorneys purchased the property and gave it a $15 million dollar makeover. What used to be a parking lot, is now the 1960s style mid-century lobby with an iconic butterfly roof. Cruiser bikes with baskets await guests next to a large glass front door to hop on and explore downtown Palm Springs along designated bike paths. Inside the lobby, staff members are eager to please guests at this brand new property because competition...

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The Bangala, Chettinad: Heritage Haven in Historic Tamil Nadu!

Featured several times in the New York Times, the hotel occupying a house that turns 100 this year has redefined ABC. In Chettinad “A” stands for Achchi or the grand-dame Mrs. Meenakshi Meiyappan who owns The Bangala, which “B” designates, whilst “C” can only signify the celebrated Chettinadu cuisine The Bangala upholds with unmitigated zeal. Achchi (meaning grandma) which Mrs. Meiyappan is unexceptionally called, runs the hotel as an extension of her home, which means you sometimes concede the professionalism of a hotel to the charming idiosyncrasies of local staff (who seem to have been around as long as...

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Perfection at the Adler Thermae Resort

There’s a famous quote that says, “Traveling is the ruin of all happiness! There’s no looking at a building after seeing Italy.” I tend to agree. I found it hard to resist the emotional pull of the wondrous Duomo in Florence, Rome’s ancient Coliseum or the colorful row of houses on the tiny island of Burano. Italy’s towering mountains, sunny landscapes and rustic charms accompanied by fabulous food and wine and Italian hospitality make it one of the finest travel destinations anywhere. The abundance of Renaissance art alone made my head spin. I found myself mesmerized by my surroundings,...

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Hamanasi is Belize’s Luxury Eco-Friendly Resort

Charles Darwin described Belize in his 1842 book,  Coral Reefs of the World, as “the most remarkable reef in the West Indies.” Belize borders Guatemala, Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. When two American divers and nature enthusiasts traveled to Belize in 2000, they fell in love with the beauty of the beach town, Hopkins. They enjoyed meeting the people in this English-speaking nation. Belize is a melting pot of Creoles, Mayas, Mestizos, East Indians, Chinese, Mennonites, North Americans, Europeans and Central Americans. With over 1,000 different live species, there are 500 types of fish and 100 different varieties of coral....

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Discovering Nevis, Loving The Four Seasons Resort–and Finding Alexander Hamilton

The flight from New York was long but the arrival at the St. Kitts airport was painless. No crowds, no fuss. As soon as I disembarked from the plane, I was transferred to the luxurious and private YU lounge, where I received a cold drink from an open bar and a warm welcome. I sank into a comfy couch while I awaited my luggage and while immigration and all the arrival protocols could be done. (The cost for this experience is $300 round-trip.) My bags were carried to a waiting ferry, where I was again treated to cold drinks...

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