Changing the Way I Handle Christmas Changed My Life

Not having any children and not having my parents in my life any longer has made holidays really tough for me. Each year, I put up a Christmas tree and put a few gifts underneath the tree that I will later give to my friends. But on Christmas Day I am usually alone. This year I wanted to do things differently. I searched through luxury Vail rentals and found the best cabin to rent. It has a fireplace in the living room, kitchen and even in the bedrooms. It has plate glass windows and a deck that looks out over the mountains with a gorgeous view. I knew that it would be more special than staying home alone.

What I didn’t know about my upcoming trip, it said I would meet the person that I would later marry on that trip.

Luxury Resort

Best Maldives Luxury Resort

Resorts that keep an eye on the environment, while also offering an array of activities and farm-to-table dining, have become an attractive option for many people.
Kingsmill Resort is an environmentally-friendly resort that exudes elegance. Located in historic Williamsburg, Virginia, a place steeped in honored traditions and genuine southern hospitality, this grandiose resort attends to every detail.
Built on former plantation grounds that once peppered the area in the 1600s through 1800s, Kingsmill retains those magnificent traits with grand accommodations, gracious hospitality and stately service.

Environmentally-friendly practices at Kingsmill include water conservation, an integrated pest management program that focuses on minimizing the use of fertilizers and pesticides as well as resort-wide recycling. The resort’s three golf courses (one is for members only) are natural habitats of bald eagles, hawks, and other endangered birds which are protected and not disturbed on the grounds.
After a long day on the golf course, indulge in total relaxation at the Kingsmill Spa. Your worries start slipping away in the warm and tranquil reception area. Tension and stress begin to melt

Hotel Esencia

My impressions of Hotel Esencia, a chic boutique hotel on a relatively quiet undeveloped strip of the Riviera Maya in Mexico’s Yucatan region, halfway between Playa del Carmen and Tulum were way off. The site features quirky illustrations, pleasant and playful, like colored-in takes on the New Yorker, but they don’t scream style, sophistication or luxury.
The hotel itself doesn’t scream those things either. It just does them all – style, sophistication and luxury – incredibly well, but quietly, discreetly and seemingly casually.
We’re met by our bubbly personal concierge and given a quick guide to where the spa, restaurants, pool and beach are, walking past a lawn where a deep blue and a pure white peacock are roaming free, before being shown to our villa, where our bags are already neatly stashed.
Esencia, a white hacienda-style mansion, was originally built as the private home of Italian duchess Rosa d’Ferrari. Now, alongside the mansion, there’s also several villas, a total of 30 rooms or suites, which keeps things on the small and intimate side, especially compared to some of the giant

Spa Resort and Hotel hot

 The large spa resort is in Cancun, the popular and busy tourist epicenter of the Riviera Maya in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. Just a short drive from Cancun airport, it’s situated in a strip of beachfront hotels.

We arrive at the driveway leading up to Le Blanc, an impressive blocky building of pure white walls, with silvery metal modern art sculptures of palm trees in a pool at the front. All that white could be intended to have a cooling effect in the Caribbean heat, but it also makes the hotel look fresh and modern.

Our bags are taken from the car and we check in, an instantly relaxing experience, with warmed beanbags placed around necks and shoulders, champagne flutes filled with coconut milk (more white) and a flower given to my girlfriend. The lobby is large and white, and feels slightly space age and spa-like, a long hallway leading to a gleaming white piano/cocktail bar. The whole place is bright and airy.

We pass the bar and take a lift up to the ninth floor. Of all the white spaces at Le

Cove Resort

Timber Cove has long been known as a rustic refuge at which to refuel, relax, and reconnect. And now, newly reimagined and renovated by architectural firm Gensler and Los Angeles-based designers Robert and Cortney Novogratz, this iconic property has added posh modern amenities without losing its former bohemian vibe. ‘Legacy’ guests – those who have been visiting since the 1960’s – will still recognize the hospitable warmth and free-spirited character they’ve known and loved, but now they’ll also find indulgences that combine to place Timber Cove in the luxe hotel big leagues.

Nearly all of the 46 rooms (each with original layout) have cove or ocean views and feature throw-back LP players (with a LP lending library in the lobby), yoga mats, cozy robes, modern fireplaces, Nest heating/cooling systems, and Russian River Roasters coffee. Comfy beds feature sumptuous linens, down comforters, and Pendleton throw blankets. Original pieces from established artists such as Jimmy Mezei, Jeff Canham and Emily Nathan grace the walls, and binoculars are provided for sea-life sightings. Book one of the eight suites, and enjoy snacks and a beverage-stocked refrigerator (including local craft beers) – all complimentary.

Common areas feature redwood and stones preserved from the resort’s former life. The expansive Great

New York City’s Hotel

The moment you approach The Mark Hotel on 77th Street in New York City, a block from Central Park, you realize this is a very special place.
Affable doormen accommodate your every need, while a heated awning ensures your comfort while waiting for a cab should the weather turn brisk. This is one of New York’s most luxurious boutique hotels, and the staff goes to great lengths to ensure that your stay is filled with special moments.

The Mark Fall Foliage Package personalizes a tour of Central Park. The tour takes guests through a scenic view of Central Park via The Mark Pedicab, stops for a Jean-Georges Picnic in the Park with cinnamon-tossed, caramel-filled donuts and hot cider, and drops guests off at The Metropolitan Museum with two cocktail vouchers to view Cornelia Park’s Psycho Barn exhibition at the rooftop bar. The Pedicab will wait for its guests outside The Met and transfer them back to the hotel to complete the tour. With Central Park at their doorstep, guests of the hotel can stop by The Conservatory Water Boat Pond in Central Park to try their hand at The Mark’s chic new black and white striped fleet of remote controlled sailboats. It’s a

Make The Marker Your San Francisco Hotel

The San Francisco-based JDV hotel group is known for creating hospitality experiences grounded in local culture, and The Marker is a resplendent example. Located in the theater district, just blocks from celebrated Union Square, the boutique hotel percolates with urban energy and San Francisco style. 208 newly refurbished guest rooms echo the vim and vigor of the vibrant locale, and impressively grand and spacious common areas reflect the iconic status of the turn-of-the-century building. It all adds up to a superior San Francisco experience. Here are a few more reasons to make The Marker your San Francisco go-to: The Marker is ideally located in an area dubbed ‘Tendernob,’ near the city’s best shopping, theaters, restaurants, and museums. The Moscone Convention Center and SOMA district are just a few blocks away, as is the newly remodeled SFMOMA. Take a brisk walk up one of San Francisco’s iconic hills and you’re at Nob Hill, home to Grace Cathedral, the classic Big 4 Restaurant, and Huntington Park. Prefer to explore on bike? The Marker can set you up with their in-house bicycles, allowing you to easily cruise down Market Street to Bay views and the Ferry Building farmer’s market.

Spacious Suites and Comfortable

Resort in Islands

Enjoyed the hour drive to the Park Hyatt Mallorca from the international airport in Palma because it gave me time to enjoy the island’s landscape. On the two-lane blacktop we sailed past smalls towns and isolated houses surrounded by neat fencing. Goats and sheep grazed in open fields and there were orange groves, almond orchards and miles of olive trees planted in precise rows tracing the contour of the rolling hills
In 2016 the Park Hyatt opened the 5-Star resort on the northeastern coast of the island. Set against the dark red Cap Vermell mountains, the hotel looks like a miniature village organized around a courtyard called Plaza de Torre.

Three story villa-style buildings line the terraced hill above the courtyard. One hundred and forty-two rooms and suites are grouped into neighborhoods, each named for the trees planted around the buildings—Lemon, Olive, Pomegranate, Pear, Orange, Almond, Cherry and Fig. When the trees bloom, the fragrance of their blossoms perfumes the hillside.
To reflect Mallorcan traditions, local materials were used in the construction of the hotel. The hotel’s pastel sandstone facade was quarried from nearby Santanyi. The landscaping utilized 70,000 native plants, some edible like the lavender and rosemary that line the

The Clement Hotel Delivers

A few days later at check-in, you’ve likely forgotten your answers to this initial email query, but The Clement has not. Waiting for you in your gorgeously tailored suite is a bottle of red, a bottle of white, and a small bottle of bourbon. A large bowl of fresh guacamole welcomes you, as does a platter of gourmet cheeses and pâtés that you listed as your preferred snacks. You ponder the additional delectables you should have included on your ‘favorites’ list…Swiss chocolates. Russian caviar. Only the red M&M’s.

No detail has been overlooked at The Clement Hotel, Palo Alto’s newest urban retreat – a luxurious and private residential-style haven where nearly every wish is their command. The Clement promises a ‘6-star,’ all-inclusive experience, and it delivers. Food, drink, and snacks are at your beck-and-call, around the clock. Guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner prepared as specifically as you wish, in the open kitchen with the hotel’s presiding chef. The seasonal menu changes frequently based on market availability, and possibly based on guest preferences. (You indicated a preference for tuna poke on your guest inquiry. It’s on the menu. Coincidence?) A guest pantry – open 24 hours – features

Belmond Maroma Resort

As happens at Belmond Maroma Spa and Resort.
It can be forgiven this time, though, as this ‘hostess’ is a red parrot. “This is Avelida, a parrot from this region, our hostess,” I’m told by the actual human hostess as she leads me through the warm leafy courtyard of the hotel. There’s other wildlife in the surrounding area too, including coatis (like raccoons), harmless small snakes, monkeys and iguanas, though, apart from the parrot, the only animal life I see during my stay here are a few cats doing exactly the right thing to do here: taking it easy.
Around an hour from Cancun, or 10 minutes outside of Playa del Carmen, Belmond Maroma Spa and Resort sits on the shores of the Yucatan peninsular in the region of Quintana Roo, looking out onto the Caribbean ocean. Turning off the main road, through a security gate, it’s reached via a long driveway that cuts through the forest. The main building has the feel of an old hacienda, built by an architect as his holiday home, with fountains, an elegant courtyard where Avelida sits on a perch, a large swimming pool and a restaurant leading down to the beach.

The Moments In Resort and Hotels

The Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass is a showcase of Pima and Maricopa tribal heritage. National Geographic Traveler Magazine named this property to its first ever “Stay List,” described as a celebration of the “150 Hotels You’ll Love” in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. In partnership with this magazine, the Tourism Industry Association of America recently awarded the Resort the TIA Odyssey Geotourism Award for Sustaining an Indigenous Culture and Community.

One of the Resort’s unique features is their Cultural Concierge. It is a must that one connects with her to take a complimentary tour highlighting the history and culture of the Pima and Maricopa tribes that have inhabited central Arizona for more than 2,300 years. Her tour also interprets the significance of the many vibrant murals, pottery pieces, works of art and Native American stories found throughout the resort.

Aji Spa is a world unto itself. From the moment you enter, mosaic tiles depict the symbolism of the four directions: east for illumination, south for sandstorms that bring rain, west for the setting sun and north for the water of life. One of the signature treatments here is their Blue Coyote Wrap. The Spa Director, explained

Vietnam Checks Out Country’s Hotels

“If you’re only going to visit Vietnam once there’s no doubt this is the way to do it,” said Andrew Carroll, global head of sales & marketing at Exotic Voyages.

The journey begins at one of the South East Asia’s most storied hotels, Sofitel Metropole Legend, which first opened in 1901. Steeped in history, former guests include such luminaries as Charlie Chaplin, Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene. In 2009 the property underwent such a dramatic restoration that it landed on Conde Nast Traveler’s Hot List – normally reserved for new hotels.

The property offers respite during a two-night stay with days spent immersed in the local food scene with everything from a market and street food tour to sampling egg coffee (a sweet, soft meringue-like topping over strong Vietnamese brew) in the cafe where the popular local drink was first created.

Guests then head north to Halong Bay, where thousands of limestone karsts pepper teal waters. Accommodation for the night is on a Paradise Luxury Cruise, a 41-meter-long boat with four spacious decks, a spa, Jacuzzi, restaurant and bar. In the morning the experience reaches new heights with a 25-minute seaplane tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Departing from the country’s

The Shore Club is the first resort

The Shore Club is the first resort to position itself on the previously untapped Long Bay Beach. The early word on this $100 million development of oceanfront suites and luxury villas is “incredible.”

Stan Hartling is the developer who brought The Sands and The Palms to Grace Bay Beach. After personally living on secluded Long Bay, Hartling decided to go all in on this 2.5 mile-long beach located on Providenciales southern coast.
The Shore Club opened to rave reviews in December of 2016, and trailblazing guests are thrilled to find a property that is exclusive, serene, and accents custom amenities not found anywhere else. The resort features classic West Indies architecture, three restaurants, three pools, an oceanfront spa, a tennis court, and wraparound views showcasing a massive expanse of “only in Turks and Caicos” oceanfront.

Shore Club’s Grand Reveal
Turn right at the sign marked Shore Club and drive a half mile from Providenciales’ main Leeward Highway. You’ll surge with anticipation upon approaching the Shore Club’s elegant stone gateway. You’ll feel an airy spaciousness at every turn on this 25-acre resort. Your connection with abundance is evident inside the sprawling and high ceilinged welcome area and again throughout

Spa Resort

We discover that the vibrant friendliness, courtesy, and attentiveness we’re feeling is part of the Pueblo Bonito culture. The December 2016 opening of The Towers is part of a resort within a resort concept that Pueblo Bonito is thrilled to introduce. The overwhelming early response on The Towers is evident in a winter occupancy rate of 94 percent.

The sun rises, and we start the day with a hot cup of coffee on our balcony. Our suite’s sweeping view of the Pacific Ocean is a great way to recharge. We’re on vacation, so we saunter down for breakfast at the Peninsula Restaurant. We savor juice, fruit, and a croissant while observing the artistry of the early morning Towers sand sculptor. We are captivated watching Juventino shape a giant image of the sun on the beach. We learn that guests make special requests for what they’d like as tomorrow’s image. This breakfast is one for the memory books as we ponder what’s on our first day’s itinerary.

We are energized by our satisfying breakfast, so we sneak a glance at The Towers poolside activity board. The eclectic array of options have us thinking twice about staying in relax mode. The activity board reveals that, amidst

A Modern Wine Country ‘Throwback’

If Napa Valley’s immense popularity has kept you at bay for fear of crowds, traffic ensnarements, and three-deep wine tasting bars, consider a visit to sister valley Sonoma.
Just beyond Napa’s western hills lies this quieter version of wine country. Locals describe the area as what Napa used to be – quaint, authentic, and unspoiled. And no better representation of Sonoma’s relaxed and genteel aura will you find than MacArthur Place.

MacArthur Place on your travel wish list:

A Sense of Place

Originally a prestigious 300 hundred-acre vineyard and working ranch with prized trotters, the lush 19th century estate – originally owned by the founder of Sonoma Valley Bank – is now home to this luxurious inn and spa. The focal point, the original two-story manor house – believed to be one of the oldest Victorian homes in Sonoma – is set off from the street by the original white picket fence. 64 luxuriously appointed room and suites within 20 buildings now line the property, each maintaining the integrity of the original Greek revival Victorian-style design.
Location, Location, Location

Just four blocks from quaint Sonoma Plaza, MacArthur Place is perfectly situated for exploration by foot, bike

Resort in Southern Sicily

 The Donna Coraly Resort is an oasis of style and tranquility.
History lies at every turn; the backdrop is of a fortified masseria dating from the 1380s with a moat and private family chapel, while secluded beaches, ancient sites at Syracuse, and magnificent baroque towns are a short drive away.

Today, it hosts a discreet and comfortable retreat run by Lucia Sinatra di Cameni, where luxury, style, relaxation, fine food, Sicilian wine and attention to detail are paramount.

Working tirelessly with architects and designers, she has transformed the rooms where the farm workers and their families lived for generations into the five intimate suites of the Donna Coraly Resort.
Each bear Sicilian women’s names, reflecting the strong matriarchy within the family: Carmello (the most popular female name on Sicily); Costanza (a Sicilian Empress); Angelia (after the heroine in the romance Il Gattopardo); Rosalia (the patron saint of the capital Palermo); and Maruzza (from the character in the novel Il Malavoglia).

Individually-designed, each has a private garden that leads down to the thermal pool within the rejuvenated botanical garden.
“The suites all complement each other in the detail, with the figurine heads of the ladies’ names they carry and with hand-painted inlaid

Historic Hotels of America honors

The 17 awards, announced during a gala dinner at The Pfister Hotel, ranged from Hotelier of the Year and Hotel Historian of the Year to Sustainability Champion and Best Historic Restaurant in Conjunction with a Historic Hotel.

“Mr. George has an amazing craft of storytelling and leads his history talks as if he were reliving a memory. His attention to guest satisfaction and his warm welcome to each guest makes all who enter The Battle House a WOW Experience!” wrote Battle House General Manager Margo Gilbert in her nomination letter for Moore.

The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa’s rotunda is one of myriad architectural highlights found in the more than 160-year-old hotel in downtown Mobile

Gilbert also noted Moore was one of the first people hired to “bring ‘Mobile’s Living Room’ back to life,” when it reopened in 2007, following a 30-year hiatus and full renovation.

“As the hotel’s historian, (Moore) has toured thousands of guests through the historic Battle House. He goes above and beyond in everything he does. So much so, we named our gift shop after him. From helping royalty during Mardi Gras

The Top Suites at Palms Casino Resort

Palms Casino Resort is among the few hip, boutique locations in Las Vegas that offers guests the chance to stay inside any of their uniquely designed, one-of-a-kind themed suites this summer. Now though August 31, 2017 Palms is offering up to 50 percent off normal rates, making it the perfect time to check out what they have to offer.

“When it comes to the luxe collection at Palms, guests have to see it to believe it,” said GM Jon Gray. “Every suite and penthouse is an unforgettable experience unto itself. From incredible themed suites – such as the Real World and Hardwood Suites – to gorgeous villas and penthouses, these accommodations sit at the pinnacle of luxury. The choices are endless.”

We recently took a tour of these unforgettable suites and were in awe of their design, functionality and whimsy. Offerings ranged from opulent to zany, and everything in between. Here’s an overview of what Palms offers.

Two Story Sky Villa
Complete with floor-to-ceiling windows, the Two Story Sky Villa provides over 9,000 square feet of jaw-dropping amenities including a personal elevator and a glass-enclosed cantilevered pool with breathtaking views of the strip. Guests are welcome to indulge in this home

The hotel is in Devon

The hotel is in Devon, on the Teign River, inside the borders of Dartmoor National Park, just under four hours drive from London, or a 30-minute drive from Exeter. Dartmoor’s famous for stubby little Dartmoor ponies, Bronze Age stone circles, and for the dramatic, moody, moorland landscapes that have worked their way into English literature, including Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes novel ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’. There’s murder, violence and reports of a giant, killer dog on the loose in Dartmoor in that book. Our time in the area is far more pleasant.

Almost everything here at Gidleigh Park, apart from the food, feels like spending time in a traditional English country house from the old days. The house makes a real impression on arrival, finishing a long country drive at the end of the driveway to be met by lively, welcoming staff who help with our bags and check-in. We’re shown to our room, down corridors with plush red carpets and glass cabinets displaying train models, such as the Mallard, the walls covered with old maps and illustrations of English gentlemen with ladies in fine evening dresses.

The Relais & Chateaux luxury hotel is set in 55 acres

The Most Adorable Hotels in France

1.Hotel negresco

With its grand spaces, this landmark Art Deco property may not be adorable in terms of size, but it has delightfully enchanting features. The five-pearl hotel capitalizes on whimsical decor in vogue during the period, such as canopy chairs, and playful themes, including the dreamy La Rotonde carousel restaurant and a circus tent bathroom for gents on the hotel’s ground floor. Guest rooms are done in range of styles, from lavish 18th-century to attractive Art Deco, and many have bathrooms with colorful, sparkly sinks and bathtubs.

2.Le clos chateldon

This romantic little bed-and-breakfast, with striking cobalt blue double front doors and shutters, is located in the medieval town of Antrain, close to the border of Normandy. It has only three guest rooms, a lovely back garden with a reflecting pool, and a parlor with a fireplace decorated with thoughtful details like a handsome chess board, a mini grandfather clock, and a floral terrarium in the window. Two bedrooms have traditional French 18th-century decor, and the third — the Venetian Room — features beautiful hand-painted furniture and Venetian carnevale mask

3.Le lapin blanc,Paris

Fans of “Alice in Wonderland” will be in heaven at this boutique hotel. Le Lapin Blanc (The White Rabbit) has framed sketches, vintage books,