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Poshbrood & Ciao Bambino Uncover Family Travel Celebrations for Holiday Explorers

Luxury family travel leaders Poshbrood and Ciao Bambino rounded up the most fabulous family holiday amenities at hotels around the world.


photo courtesy of Four Seasons Hotels

Would you like to:

—Learn to be a DJ on an Anguilla beach?

—Have Dr. Seuss story time in the Philippines?

—Enjoy tea with Père Noël in Paris?

Yes. Yes we would.

To learn more about these amazing family holiday hotels, CLICK HERE

Posted by Elizabeth on 12/18 at 11:12 AM
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Hotel Taxes—A Jettsetters Woe (INFOGRAPHIC)

$254. That is the staggering amount you pay in taxes for a seven night stay in a moderate New York City hotel this holiday season.

Every wonder what these taxes are for?  We have. It differs from state to state and can be very confusing.

That’s why we were really glad to see this Away.com infographic, which visually explains how much taxes you can expect by state and where this tax money is going.

For example, did you know that in:

  —Burbank. California has the lowest tax on a seven night hotel stay: $147. (Hollywood, here we come!)
  —Charlotte 2% of your hotel taxes go to the NASCAR Hall of Fame
  —Tampa: You can feel good because .5% of hotel taxes go to help the homeless

Before your next family travel adventure, check out this infograph below.                   
Sleeping With The Taxman On Vacation Infographic
Infographic from Away.com

Posted by Elizabeth on 12/17 at 10:44 PM
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Fab Friday: Fab Travel-Friendly Platforms

We <3 Instagram

(and Instagram parodies!)

But a new site Brika.com has our attention too!

Sir Richard Branson says Virgin ain’t goin’ anywhere. Nope.

Fab Tweets:

 

Posted by Elizabeth on 12/14 at 01:58 PM
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Fab Friday: Fab Travel-Friendly Platforms

We <3 Instagram

(and Instagram parodies!)

But a new site Brika.com has our attention too!

Sir Richard Branson says Virgin ain’t goin’ anywhere. Nope.

Fab Tweets:

 

Posted by Elizabeth on 12/14 at 01:58 PM
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Fab Friday: Fab Travel Friendly Platforms

We <3 Instagram

(and Instagram parodies!)

But a new site Brika.com has our attention too!

Sir Richard Branson says Virgin ain’t goin’ anywhere. Nope.

Fab Tweets:

 

Posted by Elizabeth on 12/14 at 01:58 PM
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Love Etsy? Can’t Get Enough of Pinterest? Meet BRIKA.COM: Your New Obsession

If ETSY got a chic makeover and mated with Pinterest, their baby would be BRIKA.COM a fresh, authentic and slightly obsessive new online experience.

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BRIKA (“bree-ka”) is a unique online destination offering a curated assortment of beautifully crafted products from under-the-radar designers and artisans along with their incredibly inspiring stories.

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The name “Brika” comes from the Spanish word “fabrica” which means “factory”—very ironic since nothing on the site will ever be mass-produced or generic. Already creating buzz in creative circles, BRIKA combines the art of beautifully crafted products with the art of storytelling—offering online shoppers a tightly curated selection of products complemented by inspiring and rich content.

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Each week, the site introduces new makers who create exclusive-to-BRIKA products in the categories of House & Home, Bath + Beauty, Paper Goods, Accessories and Little Ones. BRIKA is designed for the creative, smart, sophisticated and stylish consumer—typically a woman, who is “engaged in life” and wants one-of-a-kind products that she can’t find just anywhere and who wants it via a beautiful and easy-to-navigate online experience.

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The Co-Founders, Jennifer Lee Koss and Kena Paranjape, came together to create BRIKA to inspire women to design their own beautifully crafted lives.

Koss, an American, has a background in management consulting and private equity in the consumer and retail sector. She is a Harvard College, Oxford University and Harvard Business School graduate and is also a former cellist.

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The other founder, Paranjape, is Candadian and has diversified retail and consumer experience at Gap, Inc., Joe Fresh and Indigo. She is a McGill University and University of Toronto MBA graduate and is also a former lifestyle blogger. (I’m pretty sure no one has ever accused them of being slackers…)

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BRIKA launched on November 20th and is live at BRIKA.COM.

Now excuse me while I catch up on some of my holiday shopping…

Posted by Elizabeth on 12/11 at 06:25 PM
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We ? Instagram. And This Ah-Mazing Instagram Parody.

This College Humor video documents Instagram offenses including food, babies, clouds, and er—um—plane wings.

Guilty, your Honor. (Although we haven’t Instagrammed our nails. Yet.)

We vow to be a little more judicious of our posts and not quite so self-indulgent. At least until our next ubiquitous foot shot at the pool or beach…

Posted by Elizabeth on 12/08 at 03:31 PM
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Fab Friday: December in France

It’s been a crazy week traveling with in France (sans brood)! Not a lot of wifi but plenty of photos and adventures.

Off to Cannes!
We had quite the itinerary.
Also, brought along our Tieks. You MUST get a pair for your travels!
Have you shared your local faves with Hotel Indigo for a chance to win a fab weekend away??

Posted by Elizabeth on 12/07 at 04:18 PM
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Fall in Love with Tieks

Trekking through the airport with baggage and kids in toe does not sound like the ideal way to spend a holiday.  No sir. Yet, I find myself in that exact situation year after year.

It’s then that I realize how badly my feet have taken a beating. While platforms might have seemed like a good idea at the time, three hours of layover are telling me otherwise. I’ve found the solution for travel weary tootsies – Tieks. These shoes are to die for, not only for their chic look but also for their overall feel - truly comfort without compromising style.

Tieks by Gavrieli , headquartered in Beverly Hills, have reinvented ballet flats as we know them. They are designer flats that can fit in your purse and be worn all day, everyday. Each shoe is made from the finest Italian leather and you can visibility see the painstaking detail made to every stitch and you know that the shoe you are wearing is quality. The brown leather outsole on each pair of Tieks is treated and coated to be flexible, and yet more durable and sturdy than regular full-grain leathers.

The non-skid rubber patches and cushioned instep assure comfort with each step, so you can wear them comfortably for miles. The thick padding of the space foam cushion ensures a safe and comfortable heel strike. The comfort level comes from the back of your Tieks being cushioned rather than elasticized to ensure they are never too tight on your heel.

The customer service is excellent. You’ll feel like your pair was made especially for you. Plus the packaging is as exciting as the content inside – a bright teal box that really showcases just how flexible these little shoes can be.

Once you try on a pair, you’ll find out that one pair might not be enough. Right now, I’m rocking the Alpine Grey Crocs but I have my eye on the Tangerine.

Check out all of their amazing colors and designs online.

Lady’s where would you take your Tieks on vacation?

—Submitted by cool Cali mom and writer, Christina Montoya Fiedler. Read more from Christina on her blog, Mama to the Rescue.

Posted by Elizabeth on 11/30 at 01:44 PM
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Paris: Toute Seule, Pas des Enfants, C’est Manifique!

We’re jetsetting to Paris tomorrow, mes amies. No kids. Here’s the run-down of our kid-free Parisian bliss.

1.) Stay at Le Royal Monceau
This is Europe’s only Raffles Hotels & Resorts. Raffles is an award-winning, luxury international hotel company with a history dating back to 1887 with the opening of Raffles Hotel, Singapore.

Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris is devoted to true elegance and service. This French masterpiece features interiors by Philippe Starck and offers sophisticated rooms with a touch of panache and irreverence, imbued with the Gallic spirit. The luxury hotel offers two restaurants; a chic bar; children’s programs; cigar lounge; concierge; health club; movie theater; pool (indoor); room service and spa. Parfait!

2.)  Django Reinhardt, Swing de Paris at Musée de la Musique
Django Reinhardt: Paris Swing, an exhibition devoted to one of the greatest jazz musicians in France, has received rave reviews.  It’s a multi-media exhibit, mixing old photographs, live film footage from the 1940s, and vintage posters and publicity. Django was born in a Gypsy caravan and raised in an artistic and bohemian environment and is considered one of the greatest guitar players of all time and the most important European jazz musician of his time. The exhibit runs through January 23, 2013.

3.) Dinner at Nobu Paris
The illustrious Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa and his team of master sushi-makers have decided to winter in Paris at Le Royal Monceau. Lobster salad and a lychee martini sounds just about perfect.

4.) Paris, Seen by Hollywood: Hotel de Ville
This exhibition, in the Salle Saint-Jean at the Hotel de Ville, explores various visions of the French capital in American films, with a collection of photographs, film extracts, costumes and posters. Fascinating to see Parisians considering how American’s consider Paris in Paris. Non? This exhibit runs through December 15th.

5.) Shopping at Le Bon Marché
Le Bon Marché is one of the best known department stores in Paris, France. The store was founded as a small shop in Paris during 1838 and now is the iconic Parisian department store. I will do some holiday shopping then induldge in some French delicacies at La Grande Epicerie de Paris. La Grande Epicerie is huge—it sells 30,000 gourmet products. I want to live in their cheese caves.

6.) Van Cleef & Arpels Exhibit, Musée des Arts Décoratifs
One of my favorite Paris museums, (and not ever as crowded as Musee d’Orsay or Le Louvre) Les Arts Décoratifs is a museum of the decorative arts and design, located in the Palais du Louvre’s western wing, This exhibit illustrates the boldness of the creations of iconic jewellery designer Van Cleef & Arpels by showcasing more than 400 pieces of jewellery. This exhibit is open through February 10, 2013.



7.) Spa in Paris

Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris Spa, the first for My Blend by Clarins, is a unique haven of peace and relaxation in the heart of Paris. A paradise of pure white, this 1,500 square meter space includes a 23 meter pool, the largest ever built in a Paris luxury hotel. The exclusive treatments, relaxation rooms including a hammam, sauna, and dedicated fitness coaches make this spa a temple of tailor-made luxury. The spa can be accessed directly from every floor. I will be enjoying a jet lag massage treatment…j’adore!



8.) Walk from Left Bank to Right Bank

My favorite walk in Paris is starting in St. Germain des Pres area, heading North over the Pont Neuf to Ile de la Cite to see street vendors and to gasp (again) at the Notre-Dame.

Then over to Ile Saint Louis through narrow cobblestone streets, then over the Pont Marie to Place des Voges. Explore shopping in the Marais district with a possible stop at Musée Carnavalet, another lesser-known gem of a museum housed in two historic mansions.

Then it’s highly likely that I will stop for the best falafel in the world at L’As du Falafel. followed by a stroll to Rue Pavée, which is a petite street from Middle Ages and the first paved road in Paris, circa 1450. Hop on St. Paul metro back to l’hotel.

What is your favorite thing to do in Paris? Tell us on our Facebook page!

Posted by Elizabeth on 11/29 at 02:07 PM
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Share Your Local Favorites with Hotel Indigo

Every neighborhood has a story. IHG’s upscale boutique hotel brand, Hotel Indigo®, brings these local neighborhood stories to life in each of its nearly 50 hotels around the globe.

With its “Locals Know Best: My Neighborhood Snapshot” campaign, the Hotel Indigo brand is inviting locals to tell their neighborhood story, for the chance to experience one of six Hotel Indigo neighborhoods like a local.

Each week, from now through Dec. 12, 2012, a true local will be featured on the Hotel Indigo Facebook page telling a story through pictures of what their favorite things are to Do, See, Hear, Taste, Drink and Buy.

Hotel Indigo customers in Atlanta, Nashville, San Diego, San Antonio, New York, and Asheville, N.C. are invited to upload photos of their own local favorites, for the chance to win weekly prizes or the final grand prizea trip for two to their choice of one of the six local neighborhood snapshots.

For complete rules and entry details, visit www.ihg.co/lkb.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Posted by Elizabeth on 11/29 at 01:18 PM
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Three Romantic Nights in Iceland: Closer Than You Think

Poshbrood loved our adult-only, romantic, 3-night getaway to glorious and traveler-friendly Iceland in October, 2012. While we could have spent weeks exploring the endless lava fields, geysers, glaciers, and 4-star dining experiences, 3 nights without children in this rugged and fascinating country was enough to leave us feeling we’d had a complete vacation.

Long Weekend in Iceland
We landed at 6am Friday at Keflavik International Airport, 30 minutes from the capital of Reykjavik, after a 5-hour direct overnight flight from Dulles on Icelandair. Icelandair has direct flights from Iceland to 7 major US airports including New York, Seattle, Boston and Washington, DC.

The flights are very well priced—especially for the premium economy and Saga Class options. (PS You can stop in Iceland at no extra cost en route to over 18 cities in Europe and Scandinavia including London, Paris, Madrid, Milan and Copenhagen.)


Panoramic otherworldly Moonscape right outside airport

We drove our rental car due east for 2 hours as the sun rose over the beautiful treeless moonscape all around us, on our way to Iceland’s sweet little southernmost coastal village, Vík. Our first clue that Iceland caters well to travelers was that we stumbled upon a perfect informal breakfast at Hotel Lundi in the center of Vik.

Hotel Lundi’s friendly staff suggested several dramatic hiking routes along the black volcanic beach and in the scenic hills surrounding town.
(Sidenote – Lundi would be a good, clean option for an overnight stay, with 20 traditional hotel rooms as well as backpackers or “sleeping bag” accommodation).


Reynisdrangar, basalt sea stacks visible from church in Vik, used by Vikings as an important landmark from the sea


Dyrhólaey Peninsula, near Vik. Considered a “do not miss” – agreed!

Returning west, we stopped at the dramatic Skógafoss waterfall (easily visible from the main road), where you can walk to the top and rainbows were reflecting brilliantly off of the mist.


We also visited the highly acclaimed folk Museum Skógar, founded by the 90 year-old gentleman in 1949 who still raises the flag every day.

Museum visitors can see see how the Icelanders lived in the past in small turf houses and learn the history of Icelandic inhabitants. There are tools and instruments used for fishing and farming, old handicrafts and papers, clothes and things related to superstitions to name a few.
 

Feeling the jetlag, we headed to luxurious Hotel Ranga, in South Iceland near the town of Hella, and relaxed in one of their outside hot tubs, soaking in the open views.

After a nap, we headed out to Gullfoss waterfall,  which you can walk behind, and basked in the late afternoon sun reflecting through the water.

Back at Ranga, we enjoyed a drink at the bar, followed by a memorable Icelandic feast.

I don’t know why, but I hadn’t really anticipated 4-star dining when imagining Iceland but our culinary experience included wild mushroom soup, smoked puffin, reindeer, lamb, plaice (a Norwegian fish) and Brennivín, Iceland’s signature liquor made from fermented potato mash and caraway seeds. (Full disclosure: it’s also known as “Black Death.”)


The meal knocked our socks off.

After dinner, we were stunned by the Northern lights’ appearance on our first night in Iceland.

Hotel Ranga offers a creative solution to the aurora borealis’ fickle nature – sign up at the desk to receive a wake up call when the lights appear!

Saturday, after a great breakfast, we enjoyed the Ranga’s open wilderness, and the nearby Saga Museum, before driving an hour to Reykjavik.

We checked into Hotel Borg, a luxury hotel overlooking the town’s main square. The location can’t be beat and wife loved the hotel’s Art Deco decor. Apparently Lada Gaga did too…since she was also staying there.

We highly recommend FishMarket in Old Town for a chic, romantic and delicious fresh seafood, Icelandic fare with a modern twist. While we wanted to join the famous Reykjavik weekend pub crawls, we opted for the comfortable bed at the hotel.

Sunday we had an amazing 3-hour adventure with The Icelandic Horse on—duh— Icelandic horses.

There are some 70 horse touring companies in Iceland, but we can highly recommend Begga, the owner along with her husband, because of her wonderful introduction to the uniqueness of Iceland’s horses and their “tolt,” their unusually comfortable gait. Begga’s love for her craft is infectious. Icelandic horses are unique – they are petite (don’t call them ponies!) sure footed and so very sweet.

That afternoon, I explored the city’s seaside bike route, while my bride visited SAGA Museum of manuscripts, shops and explored Rejkjavik.

Our new Icelandic friend, owner of Hotel Ranga, invited us to a fine evening at the dramatic, must-see, newly built concert hall, Harpa.

Our evening included a wonderful meal at Kolabrautin next to Yoko Ono, who was in town for the Ono Lennon Peace Prize, along with Lady Gaga and a gaggle of 30 European composers in town for a meeting. The food and the company matched the spectacular setting.

Monday we slept late, then drove 30 minutes to the amazing Blue Lagoon Spa. We enjoyed the Exclusive Lounge and luxurious in-water massage treatments, before boarding our plane for home.

Do you need more reasons to visit Iceland? Icelanders are friendly, everyone speaks English, and the country is easy to navigate. The scenery is out of this world, and falls right into your lap. Oh, when can we return?

Top reasons to visit Iceland:
1.) Scenic, other-worldly beauty, everywhere.
2.) Nice people, in a country that is so well organized for visitors. With a population of just over 300,000, everything seems so manageable and organized.
3.) Fine dining.
4.) Free Wi-Fi at nearly every hotel, café, and place of business. It’s part of the culture.
5.) Tipping is unheard of. Taxis, dinners, it’s all factored into the price. I had no idea how much not having to calculate tips in a foreign currency would help us relax!
6.) Geothermal spas and pools.
7.) Adventure awaits. When we return, we’ll stay with our new friend at Ranga, and also explore his nearby hotels in the highlands. I have my eye on a “super jeep” tour in Iceland’s wilderness. These jeeps, something between a 4x4 and an armored tank, can explore all sorts of rugged terrain. I can’t wait!

—Submitted by Almus Thorp, commercial real estate guy, nature lover, Daddy to three girls, soccer coach, explorer and patient and supportive husband to Poshbrood’s founder.


Posted by Elizabeth on 11/27 at 01:04 PM
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Self Pimp: Our Holiday Travel Tips on “Let’s Talk Live”

We could chat with “Let’s Talk Live” all day long…can you tell? Check out our holiday family travel tips!

Posted by Elizabeth on 11/26 at 03:36 PM
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Stay 4 Nights, Pay 3 at Sir Richard Branson’s Uber-Posh Morroccan Retreat, Kasbah Tamadot

Raise Your Hand if You Want to Vacation Like Sir Richard Branson *HAND RAISED*

Now’s your chance—Kasbah Tamadot is offering one night free for new bookings.

Kasbah Tamadot is Sir Richard Branson’s stunning retreat is a magical hideaway set in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, only one hour’s drive from Marrakech.

Book a stay at Kasbah Tamadot for at least 4 nights and your final night is FREE! Rates start from MAD 4,600 per room (around $540 US) per night and include breakfast, taxes and a selection of drinks from your in-room minibar.

Kasbah Tamadot has 27 bedrooms and suites including nine luxury Berber Tents, some of which have private plunge pools. Now THIS is glamping!

All rooms are individually decorated using traditional Moroccan furnishings and antiques, as well as items from the vast collection of Luciano Tempo, Kasbah Tamadot’s former owner. Each room has a uniquely descriptive Berber name which tells you something about it.

Aside from the hotel’s activities including: gourmet dining, indoor and outdoor pools, spa, Hamam, bi-weekly cinema nights under the stars, for guests who want to venture further afield there are a number of excursions to keep them busy. Spend the day in Marrakech and explore the city’s main attractions such as the Jemma El Fna Square and Koutoubia Mosque and Minaret to name but a few, or discover the beautiful Atlas region by foot, 4x4 or by mule! Golf is also nearby.

Kasbah Tamadot welcomes kids with open arms during selected dates including July and August, holidays, spring break and by request.  Kasbah Kids offers onsite activities including:
? Get acquainted with their resident mules, Peppermint, Peanut and Paprika then go for a ride around the property and the nearby village. Their mules are always happy to show little guests around! They also have two camels, Pickle and Pumpkin and three donkeys – Pudding, Plum and Peaches.

? Go on a Moroccan treasure hunt
? Learn how to make delicious Moroccan dishes and take home the recipes
? Splash around with a pool party in the indoor pool or the outdoor infinity pool – inflatable toys provided

Kashbah Tamadot is the ultimate opulent and exotic retreat. #BUCKETLIST

Offer is valid for new bookings only for arrivals from 19th November 2012 to 21st March 2013. Poshbrood/SmartFlyer is a preferred partner of Virgin Limited - we can book for you and get the best rates and amenities. Contact us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or www.poshbrood.com/travel.

Posted by Elizabeth on 11/20 at 02:51 PM
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“SECRET” FRIFOTOS: An Icelandic Fairy Village

Huldufólk (Icelandic hidden people from huldu- “pertaining to secrecy” and fólk “people”) are elves in Icelandic folklore.

This is a fairy village I found in the tiny town Skógar, south of the Eyjafjallajökull glacier.

Posted by Elizabeth on 11/16 at 02:07 PM
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Poshbrood is also a full-service travel agency. Our extensive network of contacts and a partnership with NYC-based SmartFlyer, a VIRTUOSO agency, enable us to pass along special perks at top hotels worldwide such as complimentary upgrades, breakfast-inclusive hotel rates, early check- in/late check-out and additional value-adds that might include hotel and resort credits, meals, spa treatments orairport transfers. Our clients also enjoy additional benefits from our Four Seasons Preferred Partner, Ritz-Carlton STARS, Fairmont Famous Agents, Preferred Hotels VIP & Orient-Express Bellini Club status. (Poshbrood does not charge clients fees upfront, typically we receive commission from hotels.)

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