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spectacular luxury hotel view

The authentic and the avant-garde combine in this luxurious rainforest retreat. Stay in a Clay Cottage, inspired by the 'Pa-ta-pea' clan, or a Tent Pool Villa with spectacular views. For something truly individual, pick one of the seven Tree Houses that seem suspended from the canopy itself. Or, for the ultimate indulgence, book a Bird's Nest Pool Villa. With streams and waterfalls running through it, this luxury resort is seamlessly woven into its surroundings.

NORTH AMERICA: Amangani, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA

Amangani is an ultra-luxury resort with 40 Suites overlooking the majestic Grand Tetons. On the site of a magnificent natural phenomenon, where nature's needs prevail over those of humanity, Amangani has laid its indigenous foundations with environmental integrity rooting itself in the soul of the dramatically unprocessed American Wild West. The resort has a prodigious aspect, in 21st Century comfort, across the raw valley of Jackson Hole where many a wild animal leaves a labyrinthine trail as it wanders up into the spectacular surrounding snow-capped Tetons, the Rockies' youngest and most riveting range.

SOUTH AMERICA: Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa - Torres Del Paine, Chile

Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa sits on a bluff

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GocheGanas

My long held suspicions are now confirmed after a trip to Northwest Ireland earlier this year, it’s my favorite golf destination in the world.

The judgement isn’t made lightly as I’ve played the ancient game in 50 or so countries, including 22 different lands during a year of roaming with clubs in tow for my book “Around the World in 80 Rounds.”

Simply put, Northwest Ireland has everything a true golf explorer desires: joyously dramatic seaside links-style courses playing through incredible duneland; comfortable accommodations for all budgets to recharge in nightly along the way; and gracious Irish hospitality that’s as prevalent as the myriad green pastures dotting the terra firma of this magical land. It’s tough to beat.

Where to Play

Enniscrone Golf Club (pictured above)

On several previous visits to Ireland, I’d somehow overlooked playing Enniscrone Golf Club in County Sligo. What a mistake! I could happily tee it up there on the Dunes Course for rest of my golfing life and be as happy as a leprechaun finding the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It well deserves to be put in the same conversation with Royal County Down, Ballybunion and Royal Portrush

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Hawaii

For most people getting to Hawaii takes a good deal of travel time, so the Ooh and Aah factor of where you stay and what you do have to match the travel time.

The Big Island has resort options that blend the allure of the islands with lavish appointments and island charm. It is the kind of destination where focusing on a particular area yields the best travel experience. The Kohala coast, north of Kona, offers a bevy of resorts that combine beach, dining, stunning golf and relaxation in one of the most idyllic settings.

Plan on staying 10 days, especially if you want to stay at one resort, and then gallivant to cultural sites and wonders that span recreation, nature, and dining. The exact mix is best combining activities that are close in driving distance.

If you need to blend your stay plus give the children oodles of energy burning activities, then the Hilton Waikoloa Village might be the place. The entire property, all 65 acres is splashed with an Asian/Oriental theme. Pools abound, and while it’s big, whether you go in a small or large group, you can find your own little kingdom on the

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Kona Coffee festival

The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is the largest food festival in Hawaii and the largest coffee festival in the world. The KCCF just concluded its’ 45th year, having over 15,000 attendees when counting all the events.

Because the program occurs over 10 days, with many programs and events being repeated, you can set your schedule for beach/pool time, snorkeling or other activities and not feel you have missed anything. A real plus compared to the festivals where you have to do everything in two days!

The KCCF honors Hawaii being the only state to grow coffee. The festival traces the progression of coffee from the first plant in the 1800s to the over 400 growers today. A festival button ($3) gets you into most of the events. Combine coffee and art at the Art/Coffee Stroll at Holualoa village up on the hill from Kona. Over 30 farms provide samples while you view the art and cultural exhibitions.

See how it was done in the 1920s on The Kona Coffee Living History Farm Tour. This 11-station tour gives a look at early farm life and the production of coffee. On this farm, the first tenant farmers,

Are you preparing for a wedding? Wedding is such a good time that you should prepare well. Getting married is the dream of everyone. When you have the wedding time, you will feel so happy and you can have the wonderful life with someone that you really love. Do you dream for having the marriage life? If you are preparing for the wedding, it means that you should prepare for the honeymoon too. Have you prepare for the honeymoon too? Honeymoon is one of the most important point to do too.

If you are in the process of preparing the honeymoon, you can try to do the online booking. In the middle of so many kinds of things to be considered, you need to prepare such as for the ticket booking and also for the hotel booking. For the hotel booking, you do not need to be worried since there are many kinds of sites that will offer you with the good booking online. From many kinds of sites, you can choose Mister Aladin. Are you familiar with Mister Aladin? This is the most recommended site since there are many kinds of good deals offered in this site. Let’s set where

Since ancient Cypriots purportedly ministered to ailing pilgrims at the temple of Asclepius, health tourism has grown to an estimated 11 million cross-border travelers each year.

According to Patients Without Borders, approximately 1,200,000 Americans traveled outside the US for medical care in 2014. Until recently, most were motivated to seek medical care abroad by the prospects of more affordable health care or shorter wait times than they might access at home. A growing niche of luxury facilities is emerging for health travelers who choose – rather than require – health care elsewhere. This “luxe” market draws those interested in improving physical, mental and emotional functioning while enjoying a health holiday. The newest of these destinations has opened in Namibia, a country rated among the top travel destinations on the planet.

Namibia Health Tourism (NHT) operates within the award winning GocheGanas Game Reserve and Wellness Village, but constitutes an independent program. The NHT team encompasses board certified psychologists, biokineticists, health educators, and physician advisors. No invasive procedures or pharmacological changes are undertaken. Rather, holistic health promotion entails a full daily schedule of customized sessions with the wellness team, as well as superb dining and opportunities to explore individual interests. All activities are set


“Our truest life is when we are in our dreams, awake,” –Henry David Thoreau

I was awake yet was, most definitely, in a dream – the SeaDream Yacht to be precise. Cruising along the Amalfi Coast of Italy, heading toward ports I’d only fantasized about, it was a pinch-myself moment. Yes, this was true life. Let the dreaming begin!

Splendidly Spoiled

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the SeaDream Yacht Club, whose motto is “It’s yachting, not cruising.” That it is. Vive La Difference! It’s a family owned company, conceived by Norwegian entrepreneur Atle Brynestad with a maximum of 112 guests on board and catered to by an award-winning crew of 95, insuring that you will receive the most incomparable, inclusive service at sea, bar none. The service onboard is comfortably transparent, like the way the bartender knows your name and what you’re drinking to the waiter surprising you with your favorite dessert. In fact, Conde Nast Traveler magazine recently ranked SeaDream number one in the category of small ships with a higher score than any other cruise ship regardless of category.

The Great Equalizer

Cruising is my favorite mode of travel, and in that I’m

Grace Santorini and Grace Mykonos are two exquisite sister hotels on the contrasting, yet equally enchanting Greek islands in the Aegean Sea.

While our stay in Santorini was hugely relaxing and indulgent, much like the island itself, Mykonos was its fashionable yet mischievous younger sister which made for a more stylish and social experience. The combined stay creates a wonderfully glamorous Mediterranean getaway especially for couples who want to be spoiled with the best of both worlds -- serene relaxation and a buzzing party scene.

Grace Santorini aerial view

Grace Santorini is a honeymooner’s paradise with breathtaking views stretching out from the tip of the north-western part of the island. The typically Greek, gleaming white hotels are carved into the hillside and stacked like elegantly decorated cakes separated with winding steps and sparkling pools. The Grace hotel is perfectly designed to maximize the hillside space and the view while still maintaining the utmost privacy. A chilled champagne reception on arrival was just the ticket to welcome us to the hotel.

Our room evokes the islands history with cool stone flooring and the quintessential Greek white washed walls. Just outside our room is a private plunge pool and with more champagne on ice to greet

January marks exactly one year since President Barack Obama expanded the categories of authorized travel to Cuba thereby inspiring an increasing number of Americans to add the largest – yet previously forbidden – Caribbean island to their adventure bucket list.

Jumping on the bandwagon are at least three U.S.-based cruise lines which have been advertising itineraries that leave from PortMiami this winter and spring.

Cuba expert and author Ted Henken, an associate professor at Baruch College, offers 9 essential tips to bring along on your Cuba trip besides your Visa.

1. Expect a warm welcome
Despite half a century of embargo and strife, Cubans love to engage with Americans. They are friendly and gregarious people, and will become even more so when they discover you are Americano. So, return the warm welcome with a smile and a handshake.

2. Cash is king
It's still virtually impossible to use your American credit or debit card in Cuba, despite the Obama administration's efforts. Some hotels have developed workarounds that allow you to pay with a credit card via the Internet, but don’t count on it. Bring plenty of cash, but you’ll have to convert your dollars into convertible pesos (CUCs), Cuba's invented tourism script – at

Paris is an inimitable city, its grand boulevards shooting off from the Seine like arteries, leading to iconic art galleries, boutique fashion stores, great literary quarters and innumerable fabulous cafes and bistros. If you’re infatuated with its many charms – the culture, the architecture, the food, the coffee, the shopping, the hotels, the views and the romance – then try these ten cultured cities for a shiver of the same pleasure as emanates from France’s fabled capital.

10. Amsterdam, Netherlands

[Check out Hopper’s informative article on the cheapest time to fly to Europe to get some money-saving tips]

Peaceful, tolerant Amsterdam is known for several of the same qualities as Paris. Its trio of world-class art galleries, while not as iconic as the Louvre, together contain a collection that is just as impressive. The Rijksmuseum hangs renowned Rembrandts alongside works by other Old Masters such as Jan Steen and Jan Vermeer; the Van Gogh Museum has more of the expressionist artist’s paintings than anywhere else in the world; and the Stedelijk Museum shelters a superb collection of modern and contemporary art. Once you’ve soaked up the city’s artistic offerings, you can stroll round the lamplit Canal Ring, then relax in one of

Wow. Is all you can say when you walk into the huge living room complete with grand piano and double-height, floor-to-ceiling windows. And through the windows you can spy the room’s private, infinity-edge pool against the 180-degree uninterrupted backdrop of Hong Kong’s famous city skyline.

This is the Presidential Suite at the InterContinental, and at 7,000 square foot, it’s the largest suite in Hong Kong.

The bathroom, too, is something else. Firstly, the bathtub complete with countless jets is so big that you could fit a whole Hong Kong Rugby Sevens team in it. It’s also perched right by floor-to-ceiling glass windows offering sweeping views of the city while you bathe. The super–high-tech showers also offer the same stunning view. And then there’s the private steam room and sauna. Oh, and Chanel toiletries.

But it’s the suite’s private pool that has really become an iconic image across the world. And it’s not hard to see why. It’s large for worldwide private villa standards, let alone space-starved Hong Kong standards. Nestled alongside the pool is a private sunbathing area. And to the right, a trellised hangout spot where many-a-celebrity has hosted a luxurious private party.

But if the Presidential Suite is a little out of

Every spring sees packed planes of families and couples escaping their own cold temperatures for a tranquil sea down south, hoping to bring color back into their skin and to get a boost of summer before everyone else. However, as much as beaches are more or less all the same, no two Caribbean destinations are – Mexico’s got Mayan Ruins, the Bahamas has Atlantis Paradise Island, Curaçao has languages and art and culture. That’s why families love the Caribbean – because though kids get bored at the beach, when they can come face to face with a dolphin, their year is made.

[Also see The Cheapest Time to Fly to the Caribbean to find tips on how to score the cheapest airfare from the experts at Hopper]

5. Let Nassau be your gateway to paradise

[Try watching your flight to Nassau using Hopper’s new iOS app and you could save up to 40% on your flights!]

Though not technically in the Caribbean, the Bahamas certainly feels close enough. And on Atlantis Paradise Island, a luxury resort just outside of Nassau, it feels like paradise. Paradise allows you to get up close and hug a dolphin, and then it invites you to become your

If you still need convincing that the Caribbean is an idyllic place for your next golfing holiday, here are just a few reasons...

With over 50 golf courses scattered across the Caribbean, there’s always one nearby. The Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Aruba, and Barbados all have world-class golf courses on their small islands.

1. Fine dining and unique food

The islands’ cuisines are influenced by their surrounding areas and inhabiting cultures, so you’ll have the chance to sample authentic West African food in Jamaica, or Spanish-influenced dishes nearer the Dominican Republic. Being islands, you can count on incredible seafood throughout- try Oistins in Barbados, which is a major fishing community with a modern fishing market. There’s also a wealth of tropical fruits and vegetables to sample, like the breadfruit in Jamaica or the locally grown soursop in Antigua.

2. Spa days for the hardened golfer

If golfing 18 holes have taken their toll, and a day on the beach isn’t relaxing enough, give your body the day off with one of the Caribbean’s many spas. Spa resorts and pools can be find all over the island, helping you to take your relaxation to the next level.

3. Clear days mean more time to play

Barbados has an

From Shakespeare’s Stratford to Borges’ Buenos Aires, we explore the destinations that inspired our greatest poets and examine the marks they left behind.

1) Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon

Perhaps the biggest literary pilgrimage of all, Stratford-upon-Avon has become intertwined with England’s National Poet who was born, grew up, and eventually died in the picturesque town.

Sadly, few historical relics remain that showcase Shakespeare’s life in Stratford, and there is little to see aside from museums that swarm with visitors and costumed guides.

Instead, it is perhaps best to simply observe the city as Shakespeare would have seen it. Drink in the Garrick Pub (dating back to 1400) and stroll across the ancient Clopton Bridge. Visitors should also catch a play at the (not so historical) Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

What to read: The Complete Sonnets and Poems: The Oxford Shakespeare by William Shakespeare.

Don’t miss: The funerary monument at the Holy Trinity Church includes a demi-figure of the poet that’s one of only two lifelike depictions of the Bard accepted as an accurate physical portrayal. The church is also the site of Shakespeare’s grave, where an epitaph places a curse on any visitor who “moves my bones”.

Shakespeare’s restored first home is now

100 years ago, absinthe was banned across much of Europe. Daniel Fahey heads to its birthplace, Val-de-Travers in Switzerland, for a taste of its underground distillation scene.


Editor’s Note:

We sent Daniel Fahey to Val-de-Travers in Switzerland to expose its clandestine absinthe scene, but received only the following: an A4 envelope stuffed with notes, quotes and recorded ramblings. Now we have word that he is safe, we’ve assembled this story from his original work and Dictaphone recordings. It begins with an apology written on a bar bill.

The Editor


C,

The hour is long, the valley dark, and rational thought escapes me. I cannot sleep yet continue to dream. I fear for my eternity. This envelope contains my findings from the last 48 hours, my assignment in full. Sorry it’s not typed, nor ordered, but use what you can. Adjust payment accordingly, and send on to my mother. I wish to walk back to England.

D

Couvet is an average Swiss town with very little remarkable about it. Scattered on the sod of the Val-de-Travers valley, 15km (9 miles) from the French border, its chalets stand in silence. It has a butchers, a cinema and a couple of bars. Cheery

From monitoring wolves in the Carpathian Mountains to rehabilitating big cats in the Amazon, options abound for benevolent travellers.

1) Monitoring wolves, Slovakia

Picking up wolf poo is just one of the highlights of this eco-expedition, which takes participants to the snow-capped Carpathian Mountains to monitor lynx, wolf and bear populations.

Based in a cosy chalet, volunteers will work with scientists to track the carnivores and may even be involved in capturing and radio-collaring them. It’s great fun and all for a worthy cause: the ultimate aim is to deepen our understanding of the creatures and create a sustainable future for them.

Cost: £1,290 (excluding flights)
Expedition length: 7 days
More information: www.biosphere-expeditions.org

Study these magnificent beasts in the Carpathian Mountains
Bereez / Thinkstock

2) Conserving the Devonshire coast, UK

Working with North Devon’s hardy wildlife rangers, volunteers signing up to this expedition will find themselves helping out with all manner of tasks: from rounding up ponies to repairing coastal paths.

It’s not all work, though. As well as assisting local rangers, participants will also hit the waves with two gnarly surf lessons delivered by Devon’s finest board riders.

Cost: £295 (excluding travel)
Expedition length: 7 days
Further

Two months after catastrophic earthquakes devastated communities and brought sacred landmarks to the ground, Ruth-Ellen Davis looks at whether it’s time to go back to Nepal.

From the moment the plane descends enough to see the jagged Himalayas thundering skywards behind Kathmandu, Nepal has you transfixed.

Months after leaving, my head was still swept up in the tiny, mountainous country; the slightest wisp of cloud became a snowcapped peak imprinted on the East London horizon.

But more than glorious memories of rising temples, descending lush green rice terraces and strings of fluttering prayer flags illuminated by the sunrise, it was the unending kindness and gentle spirituality of the Nepalese people that made the news of the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 25 April, and the subsequent 7.3 tremor on 12 May, so wholly difficult to bear.

There’s no two ways about it: Nepal needs its visitors back. Reports say tourism is down as much as 90%, and in a country where over half the population work in the industry, its hopes of recovery depend on some semblance of normal daily life returning.

Following the earthquake, is it safe to visit Nepal?
filmlandscape / Thinkstock

Is it

Stirred by harrowing stories of blood and gore, Jack Palfrey travels to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, to gain some perspective on the town behind the headlines.

It’s February 15, 1493. A 41-year-old Christopher Columbus lounges on the deck of the Niña, a small Portuguese sailing ship, as it cuts through the Atlantic Ocean.

On his knee rests a letter, addressed to the monarchy of Spain, detailing the findings of the first voyage to the New World.

“As for monsters, I have found not trace of them except at the point in the second isle as one enters the Indies, which is inhabited by a people considered in all the isles as most ferocious, who eat human flesh,” it reads. “They possess many canoes, with which they overrun all the other isles, stealing and seizing all they can.”

Though a relatively minor remark in a long, rambling letter, these frightening words dogged the European public’s perception of the New World creating a long-lasting stigma; America was somewhere to be explored, but also feared.

Over 500 years later, a remarkably similar scenario is taking place, fuelled this time by the screen and keyboard, rather than quill and ink.

‘The Murder

Having a backie with a local is the latest way of getting around Amsterdam. Gavin Haines goes for a hair-raising ride across the Dutch capital.

“So, do you have many accidents?” I ask Maaike, whilst inadvertently touching her bottom. “Sometimes, but mostly when I’m texting.” It’s not the response I was hoping for as we wobble through the streets of Amsterdam on her rickety bicycle, but I appreciate her honesty.

I also appreciate her generosity: despite the torrential rain and chilly breeze, Maaike has agreed to give me a lift across the city on the back of her bike. She did it with a smile, too, dismissing the grim weather as “typically Dutch”.

Maaike is one of a handful of Amsterdammers to sign up to a novel ride-sharing scheme called Yellow Backie, which offers a new way of getting around Amsterdam for tourists and promises to be a conduit for conversation between locals and visitors. The initiative is the brainchild of cycle hire company, Yellow Bike, which currently has 100 “ambassadors”, like Maaike, across the city.

“We wobble through Amsterdam.”

“Some of the local papers have been writing about there being too many tourists recently,” explained Martin Luyckx,

One of Amsterdam’s most popular coffeeshops ceased trading yesterday, as the crackdown on the red light district continues. Gavin Haines reports.

As well as a thick cloud of smoke, there’s a sense of foreboding hanging in the air in Baba today. One of the city’s most popular coffeeshops, this institution will close its doors for the final time tonight: its misty history snuffed out like a spliff in the night.

Most punters have no idea they are smoking in a coffeeshop that has hours to live. The group of Scottish lads sucking a bong are blissfully unaware that they’re part of Baba’s final act; the awkward young couple standing at the timeworn wooden counter are equally oblivious as they question the difference between Amnesia and Silver Haze.

There are no posters announcing Baba’s closure, no banners pleading for it to be spared; just a short, digital message rolling across the bottom of a television screen like breaking news.

Unlike British pubs, which are closing as they struggle to draw in punters, Amsterdam’s coffeeshops, particularly this one, seem to be doing a roaring trade. So what gives?

“They want to turn this street into a fancy street,” explains a female employee at