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Family Vacation in a Luxury Hotel in the Algarve? Yes, You Can!

Martinhal


So you’ve probably heard of the Algarve—that sunny Portuguese paradise, voted the best European Beach Destination two years in a row with its beachside towns, nautical sports and beautiful golf courses. But here’s what you don’t know: in a little historic town called Sagres, there is an award winning luxury family resort. Now we have your attention!

Martinhal

This is the kind of town that has been able to keep true to its legendary history. Having been a place where various Mediterranean peoples worshiped their gods, this town was also home to the most important nautical base during the Portuguese Age of Exploration.

Martinhal

Sagres sits at the southern-most point of Portugal and Continental Europe, where Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel opened for business in 2010. The resort has already collected an array of awards including Gold Award for Best Landscaping Design Concept, Worldwide by Homes Overseas Awards, Portugal’s Leading Family Resort on the World Travel Awards in 2013 and Europe’s Leading Villa Resort in 2014.

Martinhal

It’s easy to understand all this rapid recognition! The resort was beautifully designed, and the architects’ choice of natural materials—such as cork, wood or stone—blends it with the surrounding landscape, in a simple, sustainable harmony. There are accommodation types for all tastes, from stylish hotel rooms to luxury villas and vacation homes. And they all come with indoor and outdoor swimming pools with the beautiful Atlantic Ocean on the side.
Martinhal
Because this is Portugal after all, the food is a high point. Based on local ingredients and traditions the three restaurants and four bars onsite use only quality, local produce. From the traditional fish dish at O Terraço restaurant to the international cuisine at the Os Gambozinos to the light food at the family coffee shop and surf bar, M—Bar. Of course, all this comes with award-­‐winning Portuguese wine.

Martinhal

And we are not done with “incredible” just yet!

Martinhal

Lovely beaches, stylish rooms and great cuisine are all excellent. But how can parents enjoy all this and still keep the brood happy? Well, the resort has put together a diverse set of programs to make sure your kids have as much fun as you!

Martinhal

Martinhal features a wide range of activities for children of all ages, from toddlers to teenagers. There are several activities clubs that provide fun workshops, face painting, treasure hunts, arts and crafts, sports activities (tennis, windsurfing, swimming, etc.) and a game room with the most popular video games, pool table, table tennis and Foosball.

Martinhal

In fact, it seems like the resort has thought of everything! There’s a baby concierge service, a wide variety of baby products at the convenience store, babysitters, children menus and kid’s corners at the restaurants. Everyone will be happy and entertained throughout your stay at Martinhal!

Martinhal

While your kids are having the (supervised) time of their lives with other children, you’ll be pampering yourself at the Finisterra Spa or simply enjoying a lazy afternoon looking at the Atlantic Ocean from the beach pool. Take a walk down the private path to the beach, and explore the fortress. Or if you want the kids to join you at the spa, book a children’s spa treatment or even a baby massage!
Martinhal
From November 2, 2015 to March 18, 2016, you can actually check your children in at the resort’s Kid’s Clubs and daycare for free (from 6 months to 8 years of age).
Martinhal
Martinhal offers family deals, specifically for the US market, and has recently started a Babymoon package designed to give parents-to-be a luxury relaxing escape vacation during pregnancy. This offer includes accommodation, breakfast, one meal per day, access to all facilities and a spa treatment for the mother-to-be.

Martinhal

There you have it. Martinhal has luxury accommodations, an incomparable setting, the perfect space to enjoy a glass of wine as the sun sets on the Atlantic and plenty of activities for the kids!

Martinhal

Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel is a luxury family resort with a playground of possibilities and more than 365 different things to do all year-round. Located close to the historic village of Sagres, in the Western Algarve, Portugal, this region has a temperate climate year round, and the Costa Vicentina Natural Park surrounds the 100-acre beachfront resort. For more information about booking or the Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel, visit http://www.martinhal.com or call +351 282 240 200.

Posted by Elizabeth on 04/24 at 08:30 AM
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The 1920s Are Alive In Annapolis!

It seems our visit to the 1920’s is not yet over! For one weekend each year, the tiny city of Annapolis, MD turns a little (or lot!) Great Gatsby when an annual Croquet Tournament is held. The matches are held on the campus of St. John’s College—one of the smallest and oldest liberal arts colleges in the country—with teams consisting of students from St. John’s College and the US Naval Academy. Legend holds that the event got its start in 1982 when the commandant of the Naval Academy boasted that his athletic Midshipman could beat the more book-oriented students from the smaller school at any sport. When croquet was suggested, a rivalry and a tradition was born! Although both teams compete at the collegiate level, the team from St. John’s has taken home the esteemed Annapolis Cup 26 times in the 33 years the match has been held. This year’s match, which took place this past weekend, restored the St. John’s team to the winning spot after two years.

The day is kicked off with musical performances from the St. John’s Freshman Chorus and the Naval Academy’s Trident Brass Band. The event, which Sports Illustrated claims has “no parallel in intercollegiate sports” is incredibly popular with more than 5,000 attendees of all ages attending.

Spectators are decked out in their finest 1920s attire with picnics, swing dancing and croquet-watching taking place throughout the day. The team from St. John’s plays in a different “uniform” each year, from Greek togas to this year’s Hawaiian shirts. The Midshipmen play in uniforms that meet the US Croquet Association’s dress code.

If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to dress you and your brood in fancy hats and posh attire, this is it! Bring a picnic basket, stake out some lawn space and party like it’s 1920!

photo credit: (c) 2015 James O’Gara Photography
photo credit: Rob Nease
photo credit: Citlali McDowell via Flickr cc by-sa 2.0

Posted by Elizabeth on 04/21 at 10:15 AM
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Kim and Khloe Take Armenia!

Kardashians Armenia

Kim, Khloe, Kanye and North are traveling the world again this week! Their first stop was the Kardashian ancestral homeland of Armenia where they visited several historical sites.

Kardashians Armenia

Kim and Khloe, along with their cousins Kourtni and Kara, visited the Mother Armenia statue in Yerevan. In 1967, the nearly 168 ft. high statue, representing peace through strength and honoring the women who took up arms beside their husbands during the war with Turkey, replaced a statue of Stalin. The Mother Armenia statue is located in Victory Park, next to the Grave of the Unknown Soldier that honors the eternal memory of war victims.

Kardashians Armenia

The sisters also visited and laid two bouquets of red tulips at the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Complex’s eternal flame that marks the genocide that killed 1.5 million Armenians. The group then stopped by the town of Gyumri where their ancestors lived before emigrating to America. The town is close to the once-contested border with Turkey.

Kardashians Armenia

They then moved on to Isreal where Kim and Kanye’s daughter, North West, was baptized. The baptismal ceremony took place at St James’ Cathedral, a 12th Century Armenian church in Jerusalem. They also visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre—the traditional location of Jesus’s crucifixion, burial and resurrection.

all photos via instagram/kimkardashian

Posted by Elizabeth on 04/17 at 08:30 AM
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Experience Downton Abbey at The Biltmore!

The Biltmore

Have you been experiencing Downton Abbey withdrawal? I think we all have! Last year, we shared the week-long Downton Abbey Classic Cruise. This year, we’re happy to report you can get your fix right here in the States at The Biltmore in Asheville, NC. The historic estate, the luxurious family home of George and Edith Vanderbilt, is hosting an exhibition of costumes from the show through May 25th.

The Biltmore

Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times is displaying more than 45 costumes from the show throughout the house. Items on display consist of servants’ uniforms to lavish evening gowns and reflect how world events—the sinking of Titanic, World War I, the Jazz Age and the evolving roles of women—influenced fashion.

The Biltmore

With 250 rooms and extensive grounds, the Biltmore is reminiscent of Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey is filmed. Construction on the Biltmore was started by George Vanderbilt in 1889, finished in 1895 and served as the Vanderbilt family home for many years. Now a historic site, and working vineyard, the house is open to tours year-round.

The Biltmore

While you can’t stay in the house itself, the Inn on Biltmore Estate offers four-star hospitality in luxurious rooms or suites. With great amenities like twice-daily housekeeping and a full concierge staff, your every need will be met! The Inn also offers wonderful extras like picnics, outdoor activities throughout the 8,000 acre grounds and in-room spa services.

The Biltmore

Want an even more authentic experience? Stay at the Cottage on Biltmore Estate. The cottage was originally the residence for the Biltmore’s market gardener and was later used to host VIP guests. This quaint 1500 square foot house hosts guests with some truly exquisite packages. The Spa Package includes a personal chef and butler and a personalized in-cottage spa experience.

The Biltmore

The Antler Hill Village and Winery is a dining and shopping area on the estate. The village also features a museum and the Farm in Antler Hill Village. Kids will love exploring the everyday lives of families who lived on the estate raising livestock, tending crops and working at Biltmore Dairy in the 1890s. And, if you’d like to really experience the estate, the Equestrian Center allows you to bring your own horse to explore their more than 80 miles of pristine estate trails. 

photos courtesy the Biltmore

Posted by Elizabeth on 04/14 at 08:30 AM
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Warm Up With Mother’s Day in Mexico!

Mother’s Day is May 10th! That means you have one month to dream up the best gift for the mom in your life. Have you started planning yet? We suggest a luxury trip for the family (or just mom and a friend!) to the “Beyond All-Inclusive, Beyond All-Compare” Velas Resorts in Mexico. We promise you’ll be scoring big points as she indulges in one of their all-inclusive Mother’s Day packages!

On Mexico’s Pacific Coast, Velas Vallarta and Casa Velas in Puerto Vallarta and Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit boast Mother’s Day Packages that greet mothers with a special welcome amenity, room upgrade, early check-in or late check-out and a resort credit per night. Mothers staying at Velas Vallarta also enjoy a city tour and cultural tour of Puerto Vallarta included in their stay. Making for an exceptionally luxurious Mother’s Day getaway, Grand Velas Riviera Maya provides private round-trip airport transportation, in-suite gourmet breakfast so moms can enjoy their first meal on this special day in bed, a romantic dinner on her spacious suite’s private terrace, and a spa credit and complimentary Velas Fish Pedicure to relax and unwind at Virtuoso’s “Best Spa.” And, don’t worry! There’s plenty for the whole family to do! In addition, all of Mexico’s Velas Resorts will offer a special menu of spa treatments at each property for just $99 in May.

All-inclusive rates include luxury suite accommodations, à la carte gourmet meals at a variety of specialty restaurants, premium branded beverages, 24-hour in-suite service, fitness center, taxes, gratuity and more!


photo credit: ECohen via Flickr cc by-sa 2.0
photos courtesy of Velas Vallarta and Casa Velas

Posted by Elizabeth on 04/10 at 08:30 AM
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5 Tips for Traveling with Kids

Last week we talked about some travel tips for Disney World, but what about traveling with kids in general? We know everyone is probably planning for summer vacations right now, so it’s a great time to share our top five tips for traveling with kids!

Tips for Traveling with Kids

Pack Plenty of Nibbles

There’s nothing worse (or more expensive) than a hungry brood while traveling. Corralling everyone through the airport, finding a place to eat that everyone agrees on and then making sure you get back on schedule can take quite a bit of effort. Bringing nibbles along might take a little extra time at home, but will be worth it! Even drinks can be handled by bringing your empty, reusable water bottles. Most airports have filtered water stations designed to refill bottles. While most food is fine at security, it’s worth it to check the list before deciding what to buy. Packing snacks saves time, energy….and means kids will be eating healthy!

Tips for Traveling with Kids

Prepare for Security

While the TSA won’t separate parents and children below a certain age, and kids don’t have to take off their shoes, everyone must be screened and all toys, blankets and stuffed animals will go through the X-Ray machine. This includes strollers and car seats! Going through the family lane at security will give you some extra time and space to handle little ones, but preparing kids beforehand will go a long way toward a calm experience. The TSA provides more info for parents here!

Tips for Traveling with Kids

Have Gratuities on Hand

There’s nothing worse than juggling a cranky toddler and a load of bags while the bellhop waits expectantly for a tip. Stashing cash in small denominations and in easy-to-reach pockets solves that problem. And do tip well! When you need something out of the ordinary later in your trip, it will be helpful to be remembered for your kindness.

Tips for Traveling with Kids

Plan for Memories

Experiences are always more memorable when there’s a theme. Whether it’s cute group outfits, purchasing something small like a magnet at each travel stop, posing the same in a series of pictures or choosing a trip theme song, connecting a specific action with your trip will trigger great memories in years to come!

Tips for Traveling with Kids

Be Present

The best travel tip we have is simply to be present! It’s always difficult to step away from work, but it’s necessary—both for the kids AND you. If you must check in with work, designate specific times each day and after they’ve gone to bed. But remember, it’s your vacation too, and everyone’s brain needs a rest.

What are your top tips for traveling with kids? Let us know in the comments!


photo credit: Kevin Shorter via Flickr cc by 2.0
photo credit: Kevin via Flickr cc by 2.0
photo credit: Matt Zimmerman via Flickr cc by 2.0
photo credit: J R via Flickr cc by 2.0
photo credit: 3dpete via Flickr cc by-nd 2.0
photo credit: ClearFrost via Flickr cc by-sa 2.0

Posted by Elizabeth on 04/07 at 08:30 AM
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One Ship, Two Ships, It’s Dr. Seuss On Cruise Ships!

Dr Seuss Cruise

Wouldn’t it be great if we could jump into the pages of our favorite Dr. Seuss book? Well, the Carnival Seuss at Sea program lets you do just that! Creativity, imagination and fun are everywhere during this fanciful cruise!

Dr. Seuss Cruise

The fun starts with the Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with the Cat in the Hat and Friends. Start your day with the traditional Dr. Seuss meal of green eggs and ham, moose juice and goose juice, along with colorful fruit and pancake stacks, funky French toast! Staff are dressed in Dr. Seuss-inspired uniforms while the Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two and Sam visit tables and pose for photos!

Dr Seuss Cruise

Dr. Seuss Bookville

You can visit Seuss-land as well! Jump right into this unique and dedicated Seuss-themed play space featuring iconic décor, colors, shapes and funky furniture inspired by the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss. Relax, unwind and play to your hearts content. Of course, Dr. Seuss books are available for a cozy reading time or stretch your imagination with arts and crafts, toys and Dr. Seuss-inspired games.

Dr Seuss Cruise

Seuss-a-Palooza Story Time

What about a live-action story time? That’s right! After getting in the spirit with Cat-inspired face painting and some wacky games, you’ll experience a special reading of a Dr. Seuss book, complete with character appearances. Audience participation encouraged!

Dr Seuss Cruise

Visits from Favorite Characters

If that’s not enough Dr. Seuss for you, there are chances to meet and interact with your favorite Dr. Seuss characters throughout your voyage. You’ll get to participate in special photo opportunities featuring colorful and zany Dr. Seuss-inspired artwork. And make sure you join the Seuss-a-palooza Character Parade where guests can join Dr. Seuss characters in a swirly conga line along the Promenade!

Photos courtesy Carnival Cruise Lines

Posted by Elizabeth on 04/03 at 08:30 AM
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5 Great Tips for Disney World with Little Ones

Disneyworld

Heading off to Disney World? Then you probably have a few questions about managing your posh brood while you’re there! Resident expert on luxury family travel and frequent Poshbrood guest poster Kate Rockland just got back from Disney World, and she’s put together five tips for traveling to Disney World with small children. Whether it’s wondering if you should rent a stroller or lug around your heavy camera, Kate shares her experience! Click on the picture or link above for her five tips!

Posted by Elizabeth on 03/31 at 08:30 AM
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3 Easy, Breezy Days at Walt Disney World’s Yacht Club Resort

The Yacht Club Resort

Stay:

Okay, moms, we all want our kids to have a blast when we’re at DisneyWorld. But that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice our sanity and love of all things luxury! We stayed at The Yacht Club Resort, a Disney property that is just a quick stroller ride from Epcot. The staff (or cast, if you want to speak Disney lingo) wears adorable nautical uniforms, and the greeter upon arrival is dressed as the “captain” and hands out Mickey stickers. The Sandcastle Club has babysitting, which is perfect if you want a quiet meal with your spouse at the upscale Yachtsman Steakhouse, located just off the lobby.

The Yacht Club Resort

Get Techy:

Because toddlers don’t like to wait in lines (and neither do six-month pregnant mamas) I highly recommend downloading the My Disney Experience app. This allows you to load up on Fast Passes (which can cut your wait in line for Space Mountain from 60 minutes to 8.) The app also will give you the location of the nearest Baby Center, a little slice of heaven available in each park where families can ditch the crowds and buy extra diapers, nurse, warm up a bottle or give cranky toddlers crayons for some down time.

I made the mistake of bringing our heavy camera out to the parks, but it turned out there was no need as Memory Maker photographers are available in everywhere. With an easy “beep” of your MagicBand, photos are loaded onto My Disney Experience for purchase. (Your credit card is linked to your account.) Be sure to have them take a photo of your family in front of Cinderella’s Castle, because when you get home you’ll find a digitally added Tinkerbell in the photo!

The Yacht Club Resort

Another unnecessary item? Your purse! Simply make meal reservations ahead of time online, and colorful MagicBands appear in the mail ahead of your trip, one for each family member. When eating at any Disney restaurant, a wireless signal tells the hostess your family is approaching, and you’ll be greeted by name. You can even pick your meal ahead of time, and instead of waiting around for your check when you’re done, your magic band gets a quick zap.

The Yacht Club Resort

Eat:

We enjoyed pizza at Via Napoli (we love their sister restaurant in Manhattan) in the Italy section of Epcot, and we strolled back to our hotel to burn off calories! When friends joined us, all the kids loved ice-cream sundaes at retro boardwalk-style Beaches and Cream Soda Shop at the Beach Club Resort. Book your reservation ahead of time on My Disney Experience, as this popular spot fills up quickly. If you have to wait for a table, there’s an arcade located directly next door.

The Yacht Club Resort

Another fun must-do is Donald’s Dining Safari at Animal Kingdom. Who wouldn’t love Safari Mickey to visit your table while scarfing down bacon and eggs? The delight in my son’s eyes when Goofy pretended to take a sip of his chocolate milk was worth the hefty price tag. Just be sure to make reservations on My Disney Experience for this experience, as it’s extremely popular!

Do:

My husband wanted to get a round of golf in, and he was able to easily catch a cab in front of the Yacht Club over to the Waldorf Astoria Orlando, about a fifteen-minute ride. There’s also plenty to do just at the hotel, from the Pirates of the Caribbean shipwreck waterslide, to the zero-entry sandy-bottom pool, perfect for my two and four year-old sons. Shovels and pails are scattered throughout the grounds of the pool, and there is also a mini-lazy river with clear tubes provided by the hotel.

The Yacht Club Resort

Another must-do for our family was the “Affection Section” of Animal Kingdom. Because our youngest son didn’t make the height requirement for several of the rides (and because I was hugely pregnant) we loved having this area as an alternative activity. Pigs, sheep and goats roam free as children are given brushes to groom the animals. When you’re finished, head over to the Kilimanjaro Safari open jeep tour, where lions, zebras and elephants roam free. The sign for the ride suggests pregnant women don’t ride, and it certainly was bumpy, but as I was past the barfing stage I was able to enjoy it.

If you’re not packed already, get going! You can make reservations for any Disney hotel here, but I definitely recommend The Yacht Club!

Our guest poster this week is Kate Rockland. Kate lives in New Jersey with her husband and three unruly children. When she’s not making forts out of pillows or begging people to buy one of her two novels, she loves traveling through New England.

Find Kate here: http://www.katerockland.com

Photos courtesy Walt Disney World News and Kate Rockland

Posted by Elizabeth on 03/27 at 08:30 AM
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3 Kid’s Clubs in the Maldives We Love!

Kids Clubs in Maldives

We can’t think of anything that would be better right now than a warm, relaxing nap on a sunny Maldives beach! And the great thing about the all-inclusive resorts in the Maldives is that they have some of the best kid’s clubs around! This week we’re featuring three we love!

Kids Clubs in Maldives

Lily Beach Resort & Spa

Lily Beach Resort & Spa in the Ari Atoll was the first all-inclusive five-star Platinum Plus resort and has one of the best dive sites in the world, one of the most gorgeous ocean views and a kid’s club that doesn’t disappoint! The resort’s all-inclusive Platinum Package provides age-appropriate indoor and outdoor activities for kids seven days a week.

Kids Clubs in Maldives

The Turtles at Huavahendoo is open to kids 3-12 years old. Activities range from cooking classes to feeding eagles to snorkeling and swimming at the pool. The club does close for lunch and dinner, but babysitting services are available for when parents are out on adventures during day or evening. Even the villas (each with its own private ocean view!) are family-friendly with interconnected rooms available.

Kids Clubs in Maldives

Atmosphere Kanifushi

Atmosphere Kanifushi offers stand-alone beach villas scattered along a two kilometer stretch of shore looking out onto the beautiful turquoise lagoon. Family villas are available—and kids under 15 stay free. Their Platinum Plus package food, activities and bar options and, of course, a great kid’s club!

Kids Clubs in Maldives

The Atmosphere Kanifushi Kid’s Club provides activities for kids 4-11 years old and special activities for those 12-16 years old. The club is open from 9:30am until 8:30pm keeping kids entertained with Mini Yoga, Kid’s Zumba, Sand Castle Making, cooking lessons, dance parties and more.

Kids Clubs in Maldives

Conrad Maldives

From the same resort that brings you the awesome underwater restaurant, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is perfect for guests who love activity and nature! Their wide range of activities means there’s something for everyone. Sailing, diving, experiencing the local culture, whale watching trips and even the opportunity to explore a desert island are just a few of the fantastic and unique adventures available at the Conrad Maldives. And the kid’s club has just many things to do as the adults!

The fun starts when you land, with a warm welcome for the kids from the Majaa Team. Open to kids from 3-12 years old, the Majaa Club has a different theme every day! Pirate Saturday is a huge hit as is Sports Rally Thursday and Little Chef’s Wednesday. And these are just a few of the fun activities they have lined up! Kids 5 and over can learn to dive and, of course, every day includes a little time at the kid’s only Splash Pad.

With so many fabulous kid’s club options, it’ll be hard to choose where to stay on your next Maldives vacation!

photo credit: afu007 via Flickr cc by 2.0
photos courtesy of: Lily Beach Resort & Spa, Atmosphere Kanifushi and Conrad Maldives

Posted by Elizabeth on 03/24 at 08:30 AM
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Paws Up Celebrates 10 Years of Glamping!

Paws Up

It’s been ten years in the making, and the luxury glamping vacation has neared perfection at Montana’s premier luxury ranch resort. The Resort at Paws Up is celebrating it’s 10th Anniversary by offering guests the “best of the best” accommodations, wilderness activities and the famous five-star cuisine that has elevated the resort to international acclaim in the adventure travel realm of the untouched wild west. Got a special request? Use the Paws Up app to get in touch with Concierge Services! What else will you get if you decide to celebrate their Tin Anniversary with them? Just about any and every amenity you can imagine!

Paws Up

The “Limited Edition 10th Anniversary Package,” includes:
•  Five nights of luxury accommodations in a tented camp or luxury home
•  Five-star meals daily (three meals daily per person)
•  An authentic chuckwagon dinner along the Blackfoot River
•  A framed photo keepsake from the new resident photographer documenting your experience
•  A $250 Retail Store Shopping Credit

Paws Up

•  A choice of four wilderness activities (two half-day activities per person) from horseback riding and mountain biking to sporting clays and ATV adventures.
•  Your choice of a VIP experience or service like:
o A personal whisky tasting with Paws Up’s mixologist, and complimentary bottle of whisky
o 10-years Perfecting the S’more: gourmet dessert cooking class (one hour)
o Sporting Clays lesson at the 12-station course or new “Ghost-town” course
o One pair of cowboy boots or one leather cowboy hat

Paws Up

If you’re ready to start your adventure at Paws Up this summer just book by April 30th for travel through 2015!

photos courtesy The Resort at Paws Up

Posted by Elizabeth on 03/20 at 08:30 AM
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3 Luxury Hotel Pools You’ve Got to See to Believe!

When choosing a luxury resort, one of the most looked-forward-to activities is always relaxing by the pool. After taking a look at these three amazing hotel pools, you won’t be able to resist scheduling your next vacay!

One&Only

One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives
One&Only Reethi Rah is the pinnacle of tropical Maldives luxury. There are 40 pools scattered throughout the property. The adult-only lap pool reaches just under 100 feet out into the lagoon and features a carved stone bubble bed for relaxing while a freeform infinity-edge pool (seen above) has an internal Jacuzzi and islands for resting. There’s even a special pools for kids! Kids can take advantage of the KidsOnly pool (always supervised by a certified lifeguard) while participating in One&Only’s great KidsOnly Club.

The resort is on one of the largest Maldivian islands in North Male’ Atoll and each of the 128 private villas enjoy beautiful ocean views and direct access to the lagoon. There are 96 Beach Villas separated by tropical greenery and 32 Water Villas overlooking the lagoon. With 40 pools, you’ll never run out of options at One&Only!

Ritz Carlton Hong Kong

The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong
The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong holds the top 17 floors of the city’s International Commerce Centre (ICC) skyscraper making it the world’s highest hotel when it opened in 2011. This five-star, 312-room property, is the height of luxury in Hong Kong, and the pool is one of its most talked about features. The infinity swimming pool is on the 118th floor, about 16,000 feet above the ground and offers breathtaking views of Victoria Harbour. The infinity pool features 144 LED screens on the ceiling that display soothing scenery.  Although the infinity pool is indoors, an outdoor Jacuzzi provides the full almost-touching-the sky feeling—if you’re brave enough!

The Joule

The Joule, Dallas
The Joule, named for the unit of energy, is located downtown in Dallas’ business district and is within walking distance of the internationally acclaimed Dallas Arts District. A recent renovation by renowned designer, Adam D. Tihany has catapaulted the hotel to another stratosphere of luxury. No two rooms are the same, but all are outfitted with only the best amenities including locally-sourced selections for the mini bar, ESPA bath amenities and 300-thread-count Frette sheets. And pets are welcome!

The Joule

Of course, the most striking aspect of the hotel is the pool. The glass-fronted pool extends eight feet beyond the hotel’s structure making it feel like you are swimming right off the building’s edge! A plexiglass window at the far end of the pool provides a spectacular view of Dallas as you relax in the beautiful patio area.

Have you been a guest at a hotel where the pool was the main event? Share with us in the comments!

Posted by Elizabeth on 03/17 at 08:30 AM
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KidZania: Where Kids Can be Adults!?!

KidZania

Who’s ready to work?! Not something you usually hear when heading off to a theme park, but KidZania is not your usual theme park. At KidZania, kids can be kids….while pretending to be adults! KidZania gives kids the opportunity to role-play adult activities like working and shopping, but in a safe, kid-sized environment that includes buildings, paved streets, vehicles, a functioning economy, and just like in the real world—branded establishments. If it sounds great, it’s because it is!

KidZania

Kids choose from around 100 role-playing activities within more than 60 establishments based on their own skills and interest. From airline pilot to television anchor and emergency services, the KidZania world is run by kids who are paid for their work in KidZos—the in-world currency that can be used to purchase goods and services at any KidZania in the world. Kids even receive their own debit card that works at ATMs throughout the park. And, yes, they pay taxes! With a hospital, fire station, beauty salon, bank, radio station, supermarket, television station, pizzeria, theater and more—KidZania offers more goods and services than some real cities!

KidZania

KidZania is designed to provide an opportunity for kids to explore adult professions while building their team work, independence, self-esteem, financial literacy and real-life skills. All activities are hands on and modeled as closely as possible (while still being safe) to the real activity. KidZanias reflect the culture of the country and area so that kids are prepared for the actual real world they’ll be entering. Depending on the KidZania you visit, kids explore factory work, deliver packages, participate in government, learn dog-training, discover the joys of journalism or even act as a chef at a restaurant. Creativity can be somewhat limited (just like in a lot of real-life jobs), but the trade-off is in the development of real-life skills. Zupervisors—adults who monitor and assist—are always on-hand to provide support, but even dispute resolution is handled by the kids. Some kids are so involved in the KidZania world, they are elected to the KidZania Congress (a cleverly disguised focus group) for a year-long post where they influence the decisions and structure of their KidZania.

While not yet open in America, there are more than 16 locations around the world you can visit with more opening each year!

photo credit: Kazuhisa OTSUBO via Flickr cc by 2.0
photo credit: Jason Graham via Flickr cc by 2.0
photo credit: Arturo de Albornoz via Flickr cc by SA 2.0

Posted by Elizabeth on 03/13 at 08:30 AM
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The Sensible Way To Move Overseas

moving abroad

Continuing our series on moving overseas, this week we look at securing employment before you move!

moving abroad

If you’re dreaming of moving overseas because you like the idea of experiencing another culture, language or way of life, there’s no reason not to follow your heart. You are far from alone in your desire to experience more of the world. But while many people feel this way, few have the courage to act. Ernest Hemingway moved to Paris on the advice of Sherwood Anderson because it was a city full of young writers from all over the world. There he met influential thinkers and writers who helped him fashion the sparse literary style for which he became famous. Paul Gauguin, famous for his paintings of sensual Polynesian women in the early 1900s, left Paris because he was tired of Parisian life while simultaneously attracted to the more naturalistic culture of the South Sea island of Tahiti. So if you do take the leap, you’ll be in great company!

moving abroad

Finding a Job Overseas
Just as it is more sensible to find a job before you leave one, before you decide to make an international move consider finding a job in your destination country. Your experience will be far less stressful—and you’ll have more time to enjoy the new cultural experience you came for! Finding a job in a different country might seem challenging at first, but we’ve got four suggestions to make it a little easier!

Seek a transfer - If you work for an international company or even a company that has partners in other countries, the easiest way to find employment overseas is to just ask for a transfer. If this is not an option in your current company, you can still pursue this avenue by looking for a new company that has an international position available or, at the least, has that option available for the future.

Create a home business - Using your computer, you can build a home business—open an internet store, work as a freelancer, participate in an MLM or join an organization that outsources work. Another option is to telecommute at your current job! You may be a little off the time zone, but it’ll be worth it! If you are not tech-savvy, this might mean that you will have to learn a few skills—like how to build a website, video conference or use instant messaging. These skills are fairly easy, though, and there are online courses you can take to learn!

Use an Employment Service - Many employment services work with international candidates. They not only have international clients, but can help facilitate necessary items like visas, work-documents and accommodations. If you’re a professional in your field, this may actually be your best move. In other countries, the knowledge and skills you have may be very valuable!

Network online - Finally, you can also look for positions online—both through social media platforms and through employment sites that have an international audience.

moving abroad

A Pragmatic Romanticism
While your romantic view of life may be the source of inspiration and remarkable personal growth, unless you temper it with a dose of pragmatism, you’ll find life much more difficult than it need be. Fortunately, we live in an interconnected world and the days of roughing it in a new land, hoping for the best, are no longer necessary. With a little research, you can find a great job in the country you want to live in long before you leave your native land.

Posted by Elizabeth on 03/10 at 08:30 AM
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3 Exciting New Travel Attractions!

Hello Kitty Park

Although the world is a big place, and even though you can’t possibly see it all in one lifetime, it’s still great when new and exciting places open. This week we’re featuring three new attractions that have only recently (or will soon!) opened to the public!

Hello Kitty Park

Hello Kitty Park, Zhejiang, China
Do you love London-native and perpetual third-grader Hello Kitty more than anything?! Then you must visit the new Hello Kitty Park in Anji, Zhejiang province, near the famous ancient city of Hangzhou. The park is 150 acres of Hello Kitty-themed rides, interactive and walk-through activities and so, so much pink. An onsite luxury resort features pink walls, pink furnishings, pink upholstery and pink linens. In addition to performances, parades and rides, the park is a festive playland where children can learn about the environment. The five elements of wood, fire, water, metal and earth are represented in five unique garden zones. And even though Hello Kitty is the main event more than 40 other Sanrio characters are represented throughout the park as well!

Simpsons Springfield Land

The Simpsons’ Springfield Land
In its 26th season this year, The Simpson’s is the longest-running sitcom and longest-running animated program in American television. And now you get the chance to actually visit The Simpson’s hometown of Springfield! Universal Studios Hollywood will be getting its own version of Springfield (the town is already open at Universal Florida) right next to The Simpson’s Ride. The Simpson’s area will feature a Krusty Burger, Moe’s Tavern, a Duff Brewery and more of your favorite features from Springfield. This area is slated to open soon!

Eiffel Tower

Renovations at the Eiffel Tower
Do you have a stomach of steel and absolutely no fear? If the answer is yes, the next time your family takes a trip to Paris make sure you visit the recently renovated Eiffel Tower! A glass floor located on the first level (187 feet up) gives you a new, wonderful and terrifying way to experience the tower and city below. A set of outward-curving safety barriers allows for better views—and very brave visitors have definitely been taking advantage of this selfie-taking opportunity! A $38.4 million renovation adding shops, restaurants and a museum to the first floor is part of a campaign to bring visitor’s back to the city.

Heading out to visit any of these fabulous new attractions? Let us know in the comments below!

photo credit: Sam Howzit via Flickr cc by 2.0
photo via: Voyage Insolite Labeled for Reuse

Posted by Elizabeth on 03/06 at 08:30 AM
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