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Exploring the Enchanting Channel Islands from Oxnard

Touring the Presidential Suite at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Mandalay Beach Resort in Oxnard,  I admired the 1,600 sq. ft. space that includes a spacious master bedroom complete with a king-size bed and balcony looking out to the Pacific Ocean. There is an adjoining bathroom with a large inviting whirlpool soaking tub. The second bedroom features two queen-size beds and a full bathroom with walk-in shower. The grand living room and dining area have another balcony looking out to the picturesque Channel Islands. Appreciating the views, I wanted to learn more about the Channel Islands chain that runs from...

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Elegant Food & Wine Festival at Chef Fest in Hawaii

Food always tastes better in a beautiful setting, especially if it’s at the luxury Four Seasons Hualalai resort. Coming up in October, celebrity chefs Neal Fraser (Los Angeles chef and Iron Chef winner), Jonathan Waxman (James Beard winner), Andy Ricker (Two-time James Beard Award winner and Michelin star recipient), Gabrielle Hamilton (Three-time James Beard winner, Iron Chef winner and Emmy winner for Mind of a Chef), Edward Lee (James Beard finalist), and Ivan Orkin (New York Ramen Genius), will all fly to the Big Island of Hawaii to cook and bake with Executive Chef Thomas Bellec of the Four...

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The Luxe Life in Las Vegas at Vdara Hotel

Checking into the Vdara Hotel, I was pleasantly surprised to walk into the lobby and not smell cigarette smoke. Vdara is one of the few hotels on the Strip that has no casino and is a non-smoking hotel. As I unlocked the door to my Vdara’s Studio Parlor suite, I noticed a large kitchenette and three spacious rooms. With floor to ceiling windows, the suite has million-dollar views of Vegas and the surrounding Red Rock mountains. What is appealing is the dividing wall separating the living room and bedroom with a comfortable king-size, pillow-top bed. There are two 42″...

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Four Seasons Westlake: So Near, Yet So Far From LA

The Southern California Four Seasons Westlake is a great halfway spot between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. From Los Angeles it’s about a 40-minute drive north, if you time the traffic right. Owner billionaire American businessman and philanthropist David Murdock built the resort was after losing his mother and later his wife Gabriele to cancer. Murdock focused on helping researchers find a cure for the disease, while extending life through wellness and nutrition. He  established the Dole Nutrition Institute, and in 2006 opened the California Health and Longevity Institute and Four Seasons Westlake. Walking inside, one feels as if they...

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National Golf Month Getaways

August is National Golf Month, giving golfers everywhere the perfect excuse (as if they needed one) to pack their clubs and head for the greens. But for an occasion of this importance – we’re dedicating a whole month to it, after all – why make it just a day on the course when there’s still plenty of summer left to plan a dream golf getaway? Here are a few great options: Two words:  Pebble Beach. It’s on every golfer’s bucket list. And now, Pebble Beach Resorts guests can follow in the footsteps of the game’s greatest players with Summer Stay & Play. Valid...

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Jamaica Offers Pampering Resort Wellness and Retreats with Local Flavor

With palm ferns rustling in the wind, the hypnotic sound of lapping waves and balmy ocean breezes to chase away the heavy, hot air, Jamaica is like a Hollywood stage set for wellness. The only challenge is to script and cast your perfect escape. Jamaica offers pampering resort wellness and retreats with local flavor.  Resort-Hopping If you like your Namaste to come with added niceties, then a resort wellness getaway featuring pampering and Pranayama is the way to go. I start my island wellness tour at one of Negril’s newest properties, The Cliff Hotel. As the name suggests, the...

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UNICO 20ºN 87ºW Changes the All-Inclusive Game in Mexico

The all-inclusive concept isn’t new, but a luxury, adults-only property where spa treatments, golf and excursions are part of that inclusion is. Opened in March 2017, 20N 87W Unico is changing the all-inclusive game in Mexico. Like traditional all-inclusive properties, UNICO 20˚87˚, located on Riviera Maya, includes room, meals, drinks and on property entertainment and water activities, in addition to the unexpected inclusions. Spa divas will find a multitude of treatments available for nothing more than a gratuity. Classics like the Swedish massage or the age-defying facial or more exotic offerings like The Shaman Wrap or the Volcanic Stone massage,...

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Outrigger Waikiki Signature Experience

Sitting outside of the new Voyager 47 Club Lounge, guests at the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach can watch surfers and paddleboarders catching waves. The Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort debuts a new exclusive Voyager 47 Club concierge experience for guests staying in the oceanfront and ocean view guest rooms. This special lounge offers morning espresso and premium coffee, charcuterie, pastries, and a variety of island baked breads that include cranberry walnut, Hawaiian sweet bread, purple taro bread, and guava bread. Guests enjoy topping them with pineapple, strawberry guava and mango curds. At the lounge guests return after a day...

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Morning Hike and Spa at Miramonte Resort

Every morning should begin with a magenta sunrise silhouetting palm trees, just like the one I witnessed my first morning at the newly renovated Miramonte Resort & Spa. The sun splashing the skyline with bursts of purples, pinks, orange and yellow created an awesome moment. Another great way to start the day is to take an early morning hike with Mark Jeffrey, the General Manager of the Miramonte Resort. He enjoys bringing along his friendly yellow Labrador, Derby. Tell the front desk staff that you would like to hike with Jeffrey, and they will arrange a hike the following...

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7 Ways Grand Velas Los Cabos Resort Ups the Luxe All-Inclusive Ante

The newest property in Grand Velas Resorts’ esteemed portfolio is Grand Velas Los Cabos—an all-inclusive spa resort with stunning ocean views and a wide variety of amenities and activities for guests of all ages. No ordinary destination, Grand Velas Los Cabos has pulled out all the stops in its readily apparent quest to provide an unrivaled luxury vacation experience for guests at every touch point. Having stayed on-site to see for myself what all of the buzz was about, I can convey with full conviction that this resort proffers what would surely be one of the most impressive and...

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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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