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Pacha Mamas

As Virtuoso Travel Consultant, Speaker, and International Event Planner & Fundraising Specialist, I have had the privilege of travelling to some of the most magical and mystical places around the globe. Each has its own beauty, charm and spirit. When I plan any trip for my clients I use my own experiences and global connections to create memorable and unique itineraries. Through my years of travel, I have seen some awe inspiring scenery and met interesting people, however, some trips remain with me longer and touch me deeper than others. My recent journey throughout South America has proven to...

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Island Time, Ohio style

Most people, even residents of the Midwest, are incredulous when they hear there are islands in Ohio, I was born and raised in Chicago and I’m embarrassed to admit I knew nothing of their existence. I had to look at a map for proof, but it wasn’t until I actually visited the area that my doubts were dispelled. Known as the Lake Erie Islands, these bodies of land are clustered together in the lake’s western basin, north of Ohio’s mainland. Easily accessible from the metropolitan centers of Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo, they’re regarded as the Jersey Shores of the...

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Arrival of 35-foot Fraser fir signals the start of Christmas at Biltmore

A towering 35-foot Fraser fir tree arrived at America’s Largest Home this week, the finishing touch after weeks of decorating Biltmore House for the holidays. Christmas at Biltmore, the estate’s annual holiday celebration, formally begins Saturday, Nov. 3 and runs through Jan. 6, 2019. The 35-foot Banquet Hall tree is Christmas at Biltmore’s star attraction each year. Santa rode aboard a horse-drawn carriage to usher the tree to the front door of Biltmore House. It took more than 40 staff members to hoist the tree onto their shoulders and carry it into the Banquet Hall, where a system of ropes secured the tree in place....

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SHARE by Curtis Stone on Princess Cruises

Walking on-board the Emerald Princess, I admired the 19 deck cruise ship with almost 900 glass balconies attached the 1,539 guest rooms. What makes this ship extra special is Executive Chef Curtis Stone’s fine dining restaurant SHARE. It’s featured on only three Princess Cruises ships, to provide passengers an celebrity chef culinary experience while at sea. Chef Curtis Stone creates an inviting dining room with walls of glass windows for ocean view dining in an opulent setting. Inside a private dining room are photos of Stone and memorabilia, including his first recipe Orange Cake that he wrote out in...

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Four Seasons Hotel Singapore Ups the Luxury Ante

A Star is Reborn It may take nine months to have a baby, but the Four Seasons Hotel Singapore took a full 12 months to birth their new look of luxury. Nowhere is it better showcased than in The Suite Collection. Perhaps rebirth is a more fitting description since it was the same interior design team of Hirsch Bedner Associates as they were responsible for the original interior in 1994! Their brand-new colour palette draws its inspiration from the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and close to the hotel. Four Seasons Hotel Singapore unveils luxury themed...

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Brexit and the Big 5: e-passports for UK Entry in 2019

Countries that will be able to use e-passports for UK Entry in 2019 If you have been frustrated by the notoriously long passport lines at London’s Heathrow Airport, which the last time we went through there, took almost three hours, you might want to start planning your visit after April 2019 — provided you’re from one of five countries. “We’ll open the use of e-passport gates at Heathrow and other airports, currently only available to EEA nationals, to include visitors from the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Japan,” UK Finance Minister Hammond proclaimed in a speech. What is the...

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Luxury Thanksgiving Travel Experiences

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. The smell of dried leaves in the crisp fall air, it’s finally boot and sweater season and the fall color palette just makes you feel warm inside. It’s the official kick-off to the holiday season and it means time spent with family and friends. Growing up there were three Thanksgiving celebration options. First, our family would come to my parents house and my mom would cook. Second option we would go to my grandparents house or third we would travel to Floral Park, New York and celebrate at my aunt and uncle’s. The third...

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SLOW Cosmetics at Aleenta Hua Hin, Thailand

The first single-use plastic free hotel group in Asia, the AKARYN Hotel group is extending its forward-thinking approach to organic beauty. As the SLOW beauty movement sweeps the world, Aleenta Hua Hin, located on the golden sand stretch of Pak Nampran Bay, Thailand has embraced this trend with the introduction of their SLOW (Sustainable, Local, Organic and Wellness) cosmetics philosophy. Using a true ‘farm-to-facial’ approach to wellness, Aleenta Hua Hin now relies on completely natural and organic ingredients, many of which are grown on their own farm – in everything from the cosmetics used in the Ayurah Spa to...

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Exploring Washington D.C. from The Wharf

There are so many places to see and stay at while visiting Washington D.C. Recently a new neighborhood opened in the Southwest section of D.C. that offers luxury accommodations, an award winning culinary scene and fun water activities along the Potomac River. Staying at the red brick, metal and glass waterfront InterContinental Hotel for one night, I enjoyed the lively rooftop bar and sparkling pool looking out at the harbor, river and National Mall. The elegant beige, gold, brown and nautical blue rooms offer contemporary maritime decor, high-quality cotton linens and down and non-allergenic foam pillows. Guests can relax in...

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Santa Monica’s Sexy Shangri-La

Built 1939, Santa Monica’s Hotel Shangri-La offers a unique elegant streamlined art deco design that resembles a luxury ocean liner, especially when you stand outside in the renovated multi-level courtyard deck. This property is known to locals as the hottest outdoor rooftop bar in Santa Monica. ONYX is a modern ’70s theme space-age lounge, decorated in sexy black, white, purple and gold colors. During sunset, this area is filled with people enjoying views of Malibu to Palos Verdes. In the evening, the changing colors on the giant ferris wheel at the nearby Santa Monica pier are an exciting backdrop....

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Morro Bay’s Secret Season Brings Epic Sunsets Perfect for Harvest, Wine and Weddings

Recently named one of the Best Small Towns in CA by Country Living Magazine, Morro Bay is an Instagramers dream, especially in October and November, aka Morro Bay’s Secret Season. With miles of beaches and an unavoidably beautiful 576-foot tall volcanic rock sitting at the front of a bustling harbor of sailboats, kayakers, otters, pelicans and sea lions, Morro Bay is the place to stay this time of year. Morro Bay’s Secret Season also coincides with Central Coast wine harvest found in nearby award-winning wine country. Fall harvest day tours are easily accessible from Morro Bay and many wine touring companies will pick up customers in front of their hotels. In celebration of the...

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Fabulous Winter Escape at The Ritz-Carlton, Bali

The Ritz-Carlton, Bali introduces its Holiday Escape offer, promising an unforgettable 8-night luxury vacation with an enticing array of complimentary benefits. Tailor-made for those dreaming of a winter getaway to a tropical island, the exclusive Holiday Escape includes a private airport transfer to the resort with a choice of stylish accommodation, including spacious suites and private pool villas. Enjoy daily buffet breakfast at Senses Restaurant as well as evening cocktails. Guests can then choose between a 3-course lunch at Beach Grill, Breezes Tapas Lounge or The Ritz-Carlton Lounge & Bar, or 3-course dinner at Raku, Bejana, The Beach Grill, or Breezes Tapas Lounge. Further enticements include...

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