Rancho de los Caballeros

Wickenburg
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 Rancho de los Caballeros, Wickenburg, Arizona
Rancho del los Caballeros
The family owned Rancho de los Caballeros is a throwback to the good old days but also a place to make new memories. When was the last time you left your door unlocked at a hotel ? Or felt comfortable enough to leave your kids with a camp counselor ? Have you ever wanted to learn how to team pen from the back of a horse? What about golf on a beautiful course or perhaps spend a day at the spa in the hands of an exceptional masseuse and then include a facial? Lest you think the food suffers because everything else is so great; well gringo you'd be wrong. Dead wrong. Their cuisine is all house made and beautifully plated at dinner. Breakfast is buffet with an incredible selection of exotic fruit. And lunch is where you can feast on a selection of cookies like nowhere else.
Rancho del los Caballeros

Charles Bridge

Prague
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Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic
Experiencing the best of Prague
Prague is one of my favorite places to visit, hands down. It's a city full of surprises and adventures. A couple of my girlfriends and I walked the city and experienced the wonderful Czech food, historical museums, and tours by boat. The people of Prague are welcoming and friendly. Did I forget to mention the Czech Beer?! What's not to love about this city? It has something for everyone.
Experiencing the best of Prague

Lodge SHL

Les Allues
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Lodge SHL, Les Allues, FranceAfar-thumbnail
Luxury Lodging at SHL Méribel
The owners of the renowned French winery Château Smith Haut Lafitte opened this ski-in, ski-out chalet in the French Alps last December. Not surprisingly, the wine cellar is fully stocked with hard-to-find bottles. After a day on the slopes, you can swim in the indoor pool, warm up in the hammam, read a book by the fire, or watch a movie in the home theater. The lodge’s seven rooms sleep up to 15 people. Lest you think you have to lift a finger on vacation, the lodge comes with its own butler and chef. From $11,680. This appeared in the March/April 2014 issue. Photo by Matthew Cellard/Lodge SHL.
Luxury Lodging at SHL Méribel

InterContinental Hong Kong

Hong Kong
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InterContinental Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
The best Victoria Harbor views
I can sit all day in the lobby lounge at the InterContinental Hong Kong and stare out at the Victoria Harbor and Hong Kong Island just across the way. During the day catch glimpses of junk boats gliding by and at night watch the 8:00 pm nightly laser light show on the Hong Kong Island side. You'll have the best seat in the house! And their burgers are pretty amazing too!
The best Victoria Harbor views

Lisbon

Lisbon
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Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon's vibrant and joyful "Festas da Cidade" happen in June
June is the month for Lisbon, Portugal, to celebrate the day of its patron saint: St Anthony. The historic neighborhoods of the city, like Alfama, Bica, Mouraria or Bairro Alto vibrate with parades, parties, dancing and eating sardines with red wine. Also known as Santos Populares, or Festas de Lisboa, the fun will take place on the nights of June 12 to 13. In the Avenida da Liberdade, the Marchas Populares parade includes groups from historic neighborhood associations marching down the Avenue in festive costumes. They compete by marching and singing their own lyrics. The Marchas Populares end with the selection of the best neighborhood from Lisbon of the year. Also in honor of the Patron Saint, every year there are the Casamentos de Santo Antonio, a collective wedding of couples born and raised in Lisbon that is offered by the city and "blessed" by Saint Anthony. St Anthony was born in Lisbon in 1195 an is also known as St Anthony of Padua, the Italian city where he died. So, June 13th is Lisbon’s holiday in honor of the Saint, so that after all the celebrations from the previous night people can rest and attend the religious procession that takes place in the narrow streets of the old town neighborhoods. (Photo by EGEAC)
Lisbon's vibrant and joyful "Festas da Cidade" happen in June

Malmaison Hotel

Liverpool
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Malmaison Hotel, Liverpool, United Kingdom
Eggs Benedict overlooking the docks, at Malmaison Liverpool
There are some slightly odd things about the Malmaison in Liverpool. There are the aggressively purple sofas and wall coverings, the bizarre decorative fire bowl at the entrance, and the fact that in the evening, they make it so dark that you can't actually read the menu in the restaurant. Sometimes I wondered if it wouldn't rather be a nightclub. However, there are also great things about it too. One of those is the friendliness of the service, which was so genuine it made me want to hug people. Normally, the pricier a hotel gets, the less the staff actually treat you like a real human. Here, the prices are high, but the service is too. My favourite part of the stay, however: the breakfast. There were plenty of options, and the full breakfast included warm pastries, yummy yoghurts and plenty of fruit and toast as well as the hot stuff. I plumped for eggs benedict, a dish as easy to get wrong as it is to get right. But here the eggs were the perfect temperature, and had a perfect yolk. The bacon was thick cut and full of flavour; the muffin was absorbent; the hollandaise came on the side as requested. It was generous, it was delicious and, needless to say, it arrived with a smile. The Malmaison isn't in the town centre itself – it's out on Princes Dock, close to the lively Albert Dock, a hub for restaurants and entertainment. It's a great place to retreat to at the end of a busy day in town.
Eggs Benedict overlooking the docks, at Malmaison Liverpool

Venice Beach Boardwalk

Los Angeles
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Venice Beach Boardwalk, Los Angeles, California
Segway Drive in Santa Monica
We rented a segway in Santa Monica to explore Venice Beach and the Santa Monica pier. What a wonderful time ! Great experience that everyone has to do at least once, and in Los Angeles, that's a perfect opportunity !
Segway Drive in Santa Monica

Cumberland, MD

Cumberland
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Cumberland, MD, Cumberland, Maryland
Wine Tasting
I was staying in Cumberland, Allegheny County, western Maryland in a business trip. Accidentally buy my hotel I ran to this little surprising hidden wine taste shop in a recently revitalized area called Canal Shops Place just by the historic Western Maryland Railway Station and C&O Canal. The wine are all locally produced by Charis Winery the first Allegheny Co winery. The winemaker owner is a joy to talk to and very informative on the history, wine making process, and grape verities on the East Coast. The shop has some interesting wines ranging from $12-$20 per bottle. Highly recommended for a nice interesting afternoon chat and tasting.
Wine Tasting

InterContinental Ana Tokyo

Tokyo
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InterContinental Ana Tokyo, Tokyo, JapanAfar-thumbnail
Chef David Kinch's Favorite Tokyo Hotel: InterContinental Ana
Chef David Kinch of Manresa in Los Gatos, California visits Japan multiple times a year seeking culinary inspiration. When he travels to Tokyo, he stays at the ANA Intercontinental hotel: “It’s comfortable and perfectly located as a base to get all around Tokyo quite easily." The Tokyo outpost for lauded French chef Pierre Gagnaire is on 37th floor and offers amazing views of the city, as does the bar, which serves killer cocktails. Kinch is also a fan of the hotel’s Japanese whisky bar. “But the best amenity of all is an incredible concierge team that, for years, has handled bookings of all types,” he says. “Including hard-to-get restaurant reservations, train tickets, even recommendations and calls made on my behalf to other parts of the country to make my visits to Japan that much more pleasurable. I don't stay anywhere else.” Photo courtesy of ANA InterContinental
Chef David Kinch's Favorite Tokyo Hotel: InterContinental Ana

La Sultana Hotel

Marrakesh
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La Sultana Hotel, Marrakesh, MoroccoAfar-thumbnail
Surf and Stay in Marrakesh
The tiny coastal village of Oualidia’s low-key vibe makes it a popular retreat from Marrakech as well as the go-to spot for surfers—novice or otherwise. La Sultana, set against the flamingo-dotted Oualidia lagoon, has 11 rooms and suites that showcase Moroccan craftsmanship with marble floors, terra-cotta tile work, and sandstone ceilings. Last year the hotel added an ornate tree house that overlooks the lagoon. Spend the day lounging on the hotel’s private stretch of beach or at the pool. The lagoon’s famous oysters are a staple on the seafood-centric restaurant menu. From $355. This appeared in the March/April 2014 issue. Photo courtesy of Boutique Souk. La Sultana can be booked through Boutique Souk.
Surf and Stay in Marrakesh

Palacio Belmonte

Lisbon
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Palacio Belmonte, Lisbon, Portugal
A Palace to Call My Own
When traveling, certain places will claim a special place in your heart. Lisbon's Palacio Belmonte is one of those places. Next to the former royal castle, Palacio Belmonte was the home of the noble Belmonte family. The origins of the palace date from 1449 (but include Roman towers from 130 BC and Moorish towers from the 7th century). The current owner bought the palace from the Belmontes in 1995 and turned it into a luxury guest palace with ten suites. The palace gives visitors a sense of noble life in old Lisbon. Over 30,000 blue and white tiles from the 1700s cover the walls. A letter from the King of Portgual (found during the renovations) hangs framed. Terraces overlook the São Vicente da Fora monastery, the National Pantheon, and the Tagus River. When my family visited, we felt as if we had the entire palace to ourselves - we breathed in the living history of its walls and couldn't help but feel deeply connected to Portugeuse history. How unexpected that such a grand house could also be so warm, intimate and inviting - broken-in custom leather chairs, colorful rugs, a cozy library, antique furniture, gracious hosts, and more. And the breakfasts - served on the terrace with a breathtaking view - ranks as one of my all-time favorites. If you seek an off-the-beaten-path, romantic, and historic experience, this is the place for you.
A Palace to Call My Own

The Yeatman Hotel

Vila Nova de Gaia
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The Yeatman Hotel, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
Feast Your Eyes on Porto
A UNESCO World Heritage area, Porto's historic Beaux Arts buildings, Baroque churches, and faded tiles create a dreamily lived-in city, rich with character. Consider staying in the small town of Gaia, directly across the Duoro River. It is quieter, less touristy, and provides the most stunning view of Porto. The 20-30 minute walk is peaceful and scenic. The place to stay in Gaia is The Yeatman, a luxurious, wine-themed hotel high on a hill - each of the 82 rooms has a balcony delivering stunning views across the river to Porto. I was impressed by the thoughtfulness of The Yeatman's concept and design, which celebrates the heritage of Porto's roots in wine production. Each of the 82 rooms represents one of the Yeatman's wine partners, so you'll find varied rich colors and themes throughout the hotel. The restaurant doesn't have a wine menu - it has a wine BOOK, with 1,200 carefully-selected wines. The Caudalie spa uses products with grape-skin extracts. The Yeatman is ideal for a relaxing, indulgent getaway. For kids, there are two panoramic infinity pools. Adults can pamper themselves in the spa, tour the walk-through wine cellar, enjoy drinks on the outdoor terrace, and feast in the Michelin Star restaurant. And the bed is the most comfortable one in which I've ever slept. All with unobstructed views of Porto - take a deep breath, let the wine go to your head, enjoy!
Feast Your Eyes on Porto

Downtown Bryan

Bryan
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Downtown Bryan, Bryan, Texas
Central Texas Daytrip: Historic Downtown Bryan
Spend time browsing boutique stores, art galleries, and sipping regional wines or Texas craft beer at Downtown Uncorked or Proudest Monkey. Order a custom cowboy hat at Catalena Hatters, and then slip into the Revolution Cafe or Grand Stafford Theater for a live music event. Two great art locations are the Sead Gallery and The Frame Gallery - which features local and regional art. If your schedule allows, be sure to check out Downtown Bryan on the first Friday of each month for the "First Friday" event. Locals gather to hear street musicians, view local art and more.
Central Texas Daytrip: Historic Downtown Bryan

Yan Toh Heen

Hong Kong
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Yan Toh Heen, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
The Best Peking Duck in Hong Kong
When in Hong Kong, check out the amazing Cantonesse restaurant, Yan Toh Heen, at the InterContinental Hong Kong. We had the most incredible Peking duck to start our meal. The waiter will expertly carve the duck table side and is served with all the toppings you'd expect and then some. In addition to their wonderful food, Yan Toh Heen was recently renovated and the interiors are stunning. Sitting there harbor-side, enjoying the beautiful views made savoring the Peking duck even more special.
The Best Peking Duck in Hong Kong

Narbona Wine Lodge

Carmelo
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Narbona Wine Lodge, Carmelo, UruguayAfar-thumbnail
Rustic Wine Lodge for Discerning Wine Lovers
The UNESCO World Heritage town of Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay, is just a one-hour ferry ride from Buenos Aires. From the ferry landing, drive another hour to Carmelo, where the lodge at Finca Narbona makes a great base for exploring the wine region. Or you might prefer to just stay put: The excellent restaurant serves rustic cuisine, and the lodge hosts wine and cheese tastings in its cellar, which dates to 1909. You can also shadow a winemaker for a day, learn to make grappa, or simply enjoy a glass of tannat rosé by the pool. From $250. This appeared in the March/April 2014 issue. Photo courtesy of Finca Narbona.
Rustic Wine Lodge for Discerning Wine Lovers

The Phoenix Hotel - a Joie de Vivre Hotel

San Francisco
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The Phoenix Hotel - a Joie de Vivre Hotel, San Francisco, California
Crash Like a Rockstar
A little oasis in downtown San Francisco's seedy but on the ups Tenderloin district. The tropical teal and lime motel style layout with beach house vibey rooms is a stopover for many rock n rollers on the road. Lounge by the provocatively-numbered pool and enjoy an amazing meal at the hotel's Chambers restaurant. For a more in-depth cultural experience the crackheads are waiting for you in the parking lot.
Crash Like a Rockstar

76 Main - a Nantucket Boutique Hotel

Nantucket
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76 Main - a Nantucket Boutique Hotel, Nantucket, MassachusettsAfar-thumbnail
A Nantucket Retreat
Make the three-and-a-half-hour trip from Boston for seafood and salt air. Opened last year, this hotel in the heart of town has a whimsical preppy aesthetic. From $219. Photo courtesy of 76 Main.
A Nantucket Retreat

Deer Lodge

Lake Louise
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Deer Lodge, Lake Louise, Canada
Soaking at the Deer Lodge
Whether it’s after a long summer hike or a winter day on the ski slopes, there is no better place to relax than the Deer Lodge rooftop hot tub. It has a clear view of the Victoria Glacier across Lake Louise. The hotel is gorgeous in a rustic way. It's built of hand-hewn logs, and the rooms are decorated in a way best described as old-world grandeur. There are no TVs, but it isn’t totally disconnected. There is Wi-Fi. The Deer Lodge restaurant, named the Mount Fairview Dining Room, brings past Canadian Rockies staples to a modern menu. Don’t miss the opportunity to try the Rocky Mountain Charcuterie Platter, which has air-dried buffalo, pepper duck breast, wild game pate, and elk salami. Rooms from $150. Contact 1-403-522-3991. Photo by PhotoJBartlett/The Adventure Freelancer.
Soaking at the Deer Lodge

Venice Beach

Los Angeles
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Venice Beach, Los Angeles, California
Early morning
Before all the tourists are up. Walk the beach and enjoy watching the locals.
Early morning

The Standard, Hollywood Hotel

West Hollywood
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The Standard, Hollywood Hotel, West Hollywood, California
Visit the "Box Girl" at the Standard Hotel
There are plenty of unreliable variables when staying at a hotel: service, comfort, cleanliness... There is one thing you can always rely on when staying at the Standard Hotel: the "Box Girl." When checking in, you'd be hard pressed not to notice her lounging around in a small glass-cased room, probably in her underwear, looking completely unaware of the the voyeuristic pane of glass feet from her face. In fact, the box girl is not allowed to interact with hotel guests. Even if you somehow make eye contact with her, be warned: she is looking for you. Is it demeaning? I don't think so. I've been friends with not one, but two box girls, who used their time in the box to edit, write, and work on various projects. They got paid for doing exactly what they'd do at home. Everybody wins. And in case you're worried about sexism, don't. There are Box Guys out there, too. Picture by Flickr - iamdonte.
Visit the "Box Girl" at the Standard Hotel

Clifden eco Beach Campsite & Caravan Park

Galway
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Clifden eco Beach Campsite & Caravan Park, Galway, Ireland
Dream by the Stream
Clifden's unique ecological natura campsite is nestled amongst the sand dunes on the Western fringe of Connemara, County Galway. Our Park offers visitors a sustainable, cluster free, 'natura camping' experience on eight hectares of coastal Machair habitat bio-diversity, with unparalleled panoramic Atlantic seascape views. The coastal Park, with its sheltered, safe 'secluded private beach' is within easy walking distance to the stunning tidal Island of Omey.
Dream by the Stream

The Roundhouse at Beacon Falls

Beacon
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The Roundhouse at Beacon Falls, Beacon, New YorkAfar-thumbnail
A Modern Boutique Experience in Beacon
A meal at Swift, the restaurant in this new hotel, is reason enough to make the train trip from New York City through the Hudson Valley. From $200. This appeared in the March/April 2014 issue. Photo by Eric Laignel.
A Modern Boutique Experience in Beacon

The Inn at Dos Brisas

Brenham
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The Inn at Dos Brisas, Brenham, TexasAfar-thumbnail
Texan Elegance at The Inn at Dos Brisas
Channel your inner cowboy at an elegant Spanish-style ranch, which features nine casitas an hour’s drive from Houston. From $450. This appeared in the March/April 2014 issue. Photo courtesy of the Inn at Dos Brisas.
Texan Elegance at The Inn at Dos Brisas

Hotel Palacio Astoreca

Valparaiso
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Hotel Palacio Astoreca, Valparaiso, Chile
Hotel Palacio Astoreca: A Mansion for the 21st Century
While downing my second Pisco Sour on the terrace of the newly renovated Hotel Palacio Astoreca overlooking Valparaiso, I had a fabulous idea: I’d start a global chain called “Pisco Disco” (a combination bar and dance club). It was less a stroke of business genius than it was a testament to the mixologist’s bartending skills. The cocktail was not the only winner at this 1920s-era Victorian mansion turned hotel. From the moment we arrived on its doorstep we found ourselves caught between the past and present. The remodeled inn retains the charm of the iconic palace it once was; at the same time it’s a modern-day wonder with clean lines and spaces (signature elements of architect Mathias Klotz). Not to be missed is the hotel’s spa with a heated indoor pool and an authentic wood-burning hot tub, where you can relax after a day of hiking up and down Valparaiso’s narrow streets. The centrally located hotel is directly across from the Palacio Baburizza Fine Arts Museum (originally an Art Nouveau mansion), which features an eclectic collection of mostly European and Chilean paintings and is not far from the museum honoring Nobel Laureate poet Pablo Neruda. While the hotel boasts of its membership in the Relais & Chateaux group, you’d be wise to hone your expectations a bit, as service needs to be bumped up a tad. But no worries about the mixologist -- he sure knows how to make one of Chile’s best Pisco Sours.
Hotel Palacio Astoreca: A Mansion for the 21st Century

Guatape

Guatape
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Guatape, Guatape, Colombia
Escape to the lakes of Guatape
To make the most out of your time in Medellin it’s well worth venturing farther afield to see what the countryside has to offer. A two-hour drive away is Guatape, a traditional town which is partly skirted by a lake curling round small lush green islands. The town itself embodies the Antioquia vibe with colorful buildings and tiny streets and lampposts. Before you enter the town you pass the huge rock which can be climbed thanks to the tight stairs etched into its sides. Be warned the 700+ steps are guaranteed to take your breath away, as is the view once you reach the top. Various water sports are also available, as are several boat trips on the weekend.
Escape to the lakes of Guatape

Óbidos

Óbidos
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Óbidos, Óbidos, Portugal
Inside the fortified walls of Óbidos there is plenty to see
A former castle converted into a Pousada hotel, a Chocolate Festival and a Medieval Market plus a Literary Village and programs full of baroque music and opera...all to be found in Óbidos, an hours drive from Lisbon. This medieval town was built around the castle and has tremendous views, white washed painted houses and cobblestone pathways that lead you around the city. You can also go up and walk around the walls of this medieval village that is amazingly well preserved. In every café place, inside the walls, it is a tradition to have a chocolate cup of “ginjinha”, cherry liquor that you can drink with or without the cherries and then eat the chocolate cup. Taken back from the Arabs in 1148 by Portugal's first King D. Afonso Henriques, it has served as a palace for most of the Portuguese queens or as a strategic defense point for the Knights Templar. It is worth of a visit any time of year.
Inside the fortified walls of Óbidos there is plenty to see

Avinash Travels

Agra
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Avinash Travels, Agra, India
Golden Triangle Tour Package
Golden Triangle Tours - Mughal Caravan is India's Most Popular & largest Tour Operator that Provides Golden Triangle Tour with Budget and Economical Rates
Golden Triangle Tour Package
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