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Top 5 Most Romantic Retreats for Valentine’s Day

Romance Awaits…  Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and these five destinations are easily the most romantic retreats in the world. Whether it’s an adult’s only resort or simply the most secluded resort money can buy, these romantic rendezvous’ are second to none.   I’ve scoured the earth searching for the perfect place to take my wife […]

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Romance Awaits… 

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and these five destinations are easily the most romantic retreats in the world. Whether it’s an adult’s only resort or simply the most secluded resort money can buy, these romantic rendezvous’ are second to none.   I’ve scoured the earth searching for the perfect place to take my wife on Valentine’s Day and any of these would take her breathe away for sure.

 

Calabash Cove Resort and Spa – St. Lucia

Located close to the equator and in some of the clearest waters, Calabash is a lovers’ destination for sure. The Adults only resort is located in a secluded bay but close enough to the hustle and bustle of Rodney Bay. The boutique style resort has 9 Balinese style villas or a main hotel style building to choose from. Highlights include the incredible Windsong Restaurant, specializing in fresh seafood and innovative dishes. The resorts privacy creates the romantic mood, perfect for honeymoons or a lover’s tryst.

The resort’s private beach is the perfect setting for a storybook romance and the infinity pool truly gives off the feeling of floating in the ocean.

 

Keemala – Phuket, Thailand

Classified as a holistic healing resort, Keemala offers tranquility at the highest levels. This resort has some of the most dramatic architecture I’ve ever witnessed and is accurately unique. With guestrooms shaped like birdcages, hobbit holes and seedpods, the architects borrowed from local ancestral homes.   Guests can sleep among the trees in the birdcages or connected to the earth in the hobbit holes.   A strong connection to mother earth makes this resort unique and special.   If you need more of a party vibe for your romantic adventure, the bustling town of Patong is a short car ride away.

Private pools, yoga activities and spiritual healing highlight this romantic resort.

 

Denis Private Island, Seychelles

Why go to a resort to unwind when you can go to your own private island to actually get away.   Denis Private Island is a 375-acre oasis in the middle of the Indian Ocean, surrounded by white sand beaches and pristine solidarity. You can stroll down a deserted beach, snorkel in a sea-turtle sanctuary or sport-fish on the edge of the continental drift.

A resort to actually unplug, there is no cell service, internet or cable television.

The resort claims to offer desert island life with modern amenities and lavishly crafted cuisine. If that doesn’t sound like a romantic getaway then I don’t know what is. Located almost directly on the equator, the year round weather in the Seychelles is divine and immaculate.

 

Jumeirah Dhevanafushi – Maldives

The Maldives are simply the most exclusive islands on this planet, period. Jumeirah Dhevanafushi boasts the largest overwater villas in the region and the luxury is unsurpassed. The Maldives are a collection of islands located in the Indian Ocean and are universally renowned as the playground to the elite. Jumeirah has won countless awards for their continued level of excellence and extravagance. Quests are treated like royalty here and the amenities are second to none. Stretched across two islands, the resort boasts crystal clear waters and a protective coral reef, perfect for snorkeling.

 

Blue Waters Antigua – Antigua

Blue Waters Antigua is one of the Caribbean’s’ leading resorts and my pick for most romantic. Touted as an all-inclusive honeymoon resort, this romantic destination is perfect for lovebirds. Perfect year round weather and a sprawling 17-acre lush garden setting makes this resort one of a kind. Offering all levels of affordability, this resort isn’t only for the rich and famous, it’s for the lovers. A variety of room types from private villas nestled on the hillside to standard hotel style rooms make this resort unique.

The spa is world class and should not be skipped, especially the couples massages which are the specialty.

Your romantic getaway awaits, all you have to do is book it.

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Destinations

2017’s Newest Travel Trends Revealed

How exciting, a new year and 12 whole months of travel possibilities, I’m ready for the new travel trends. Where are we going to go and what the heck are we going to don once we get there?   We can say goodbye to eco-tourism as…

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How exciting, a new year and 12 whole months of travel possibilities, I’m ready for the new travel trends. Where are we going to go and what the heck are we going to don once we get there?   We can say goodbye to eco-tourism as the hottest trend on the travel block, 2017 has some interesting stuff in store for us.

 pantelleria

European Islands

It’s nice that the exotic, far-flung islands had their pinnacle in 2016, because those well-known hot spots are now over with. They aren’t over and done, they just aren’t the hottest spots anymore. If you want to go to Turks and Caicos, I won’t stop you, but you won’t be considered elite anymore. If you want that true baller experience in 2017, you will have to go to one of the small, unknown European islands, like Pantelleria or Naxos. Naxos is a Greek island, not Santorini or Mykonos, so its lesser known. Check it out if you are interested in divine local cuisine and a fresh take on island life. 

Meanwhile, also in the Mediterranean Sea, Pantelleria is in Italy, between Sicily and Tunisia. Made famous by Giorgio Armani who has a home there, this unknown island is going to be real hot this year. These future hot spots are favorable because of their anonymity and prestige.

 

bellmont farms 

Food Resorts

The clear-cut winner for travel trends this year is Food Resorts focusing on farm-to-table and ocean-to-plate menus. These resorts are hiring the best chefs, sourcing from the most local and fresh producers and satiating all their guests’ wildest cuisine dreams. This trend is following food trends all over the globe, where diners want the freshest and healthiest foods prepared by world-class chefs.

Check out Kittitian Hills in St. Kitts, for some top notch locally sourced cuisine. They have their own organic gardens, livestock and even use goats to cut their grass, talk about grass roots.

Another real winner at food resorts is Bellevue Hotel in Croatia, where the entire flat roof has been turned into a usable garden.

 sailing

I’m on a Boat

The comedy group Lonely Island said it best, “I’m on a boat, Bitch!” Everyone wants to go sailing or party on a yacht, but until now that kind of lifestyle has been unaffordable. Thanks to an adventure-travel company, Intrepid Travel, being on a boat is everyone’s business. They are offering affordable sailing adventures to amazing destinations for a fraction of the former price.   Live like the one percent with their weeklong sailing tours, through remote destinations like the Zanzibar archipelago.   Snorkel in exotic locals, sip champagne on yachts and ball out like Lebron James on your budget.  These trends are getting exciting and making me want to travel now.

 

finemerch 

Resorts simplified

Resorts are stripping down to the bare essentials and focusing more on relaxation and pampering instead of opulence and luxury. Gone are the clunky cluttered hotel rooms and instead rooms are adorned with just a huge comfortable bed. Expect restaurants to simplify their menus and only offer eth freshest and most delectable items. These new luxury standards should catch on and help with the enormous waste that these resorts create.

 

glacier 

Polar Excursions

People are tiring of the same old beach resort or mountain cabin; instead travelers in this New Year are opting for more extreme locals. Welcome the new polar adventures, where vacationers will face the harsher climates for a more rewarding excursion. Glaciers are a huge destination in 2017, as people realize that with global warming, many of these destinations won’t be around for long. Get those snow mobiles warmed up and make sure you have warm clothing, because 2017 just got interesting. Cruises are now setting course for the Arctic Circle, as adventurers want that polar ice cap experience.  Polar travel will include penguins, polar bears and the exquisite Northern Lights.

 

2017 is starting off with a bang, so set your travel destinations and make travel happen.

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of bellemontfarms, wikiwand, intrepidTravel, finemerch, MontanaVacationBlog, starchop

Check full article here

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Destinations

Lesser Known Wine Regions that you Must Visit

Everyone knows that Napa Valley or Burgundy France are wine traveler’s destinations of choice, but there are plenty of other fantastic regions.   A true wine connoisseur will tell you that the soil and environment are just as important as the type of grape used to…

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Everyone knows that Napa Valley or Burgundy France are wine traveler’s destinations of choice, but there are plenty of other fantastic regions.   A true wine connoisseur will tell you that the soil and environment are just as important as the type of grape used to make wine. The world has embraced wine making and excellent booze is now being produced all over the map. Let’s explore and see where these hidden wine gems are located and what makes them so special.

Wine producers are spreading their wings and growing some superior grapes in some unexpected places.

npr 

Kakheti, Georgia

I’m not talking about Georgia in America; I’m talking about the one that straddles Europe and Asia. This former Soviet country has excelled in producing some really interesting and delicious varieties of grapes. Wine production is nothing new to this region as archeologists have found winemaking equipment dating as far back as 6,000 BC.

One unique thing that wine makers in Georgia do is they ferment their wine in clay jars instead of the standard wooden or steel barrels. The clay gives Georgian wine a distinct sweet taste and earthy after tones.

 

Douro Valley, Portugal

Known as the birthplace of port wine, the Northernmost region in Portugal is a wine lover’s heaven. With panoramic views of the rolling hills and beautiful vineyards, wine has been produced in this region for over 2,000 years.   The golden colored hills and the divine port produced here will make this a favorite among port snobs from around the globe.

 chilled magazine

Finger Lakes Region, New York

White wines flourish in this Northern New York region, specifically Rieslings. The expansive landscape is dotted with waterfalls, 11 glacial lakes and one great lake, giving the region miles and miles of beautiful coastlines. With well over a 100 wineries, the Finger Lakes region is the largest wine-producing region East of California in the USA.

 tenerife

Tenerife, Canary Islands

Grown in rich nutrient volcanic soil, Tenerife produces exquisite reds and whites. The largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife features grape varieties that were completely wiped out of the European mainland in a mid-1800s epidemic. The rare varieties create distinct flavor profiles and memorable aftertastes. The island views and abundant sea life compliments the island’s white wine collections.

 

Healdsburg, California

Avoid the rush that happens in Napa and head just an hour North to Healdsburg wine region. Producing similar quality wines, Healdsburg is Napa’s red headed stepchild. Born out of the need t have more wine tasting locations, Healdsburg boasts over 200 wineries and multiple award winning varieties. California has some of the best weather and soil combinations in the world, so it’s no surprise that he wine here is fantastic.

 pinterest

Door County, Wisconsin

If you are a fan of fruit wines, Door County should be your next stop. Located in the Midwest, Door County has eight wineries and is famous for their tart cherry wine. Specializing in fruit wines, Door County has plenty of grape varieties as well, so a little something for everyone.

 

Franschhoek, South Africa

Nestled just 45 short minutes from Cape Town, Franschhoek was originally known as Elephant’s Corner for the huge elephant population that roamed here. Now known for their impressive wine, the area is the best in South Africa and possibly all of Africa. Enjoy a hop-on hop-off style tour that stops at every winery and you can get a real taste of the region.

 

Enjoy these of the beaten path wine regions and taste some of their specialties, to see what all the hype is about.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Schug, NPR, chilled, New York Times, pinterest

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Travel

Renewing Your Passport May Take Longer This Year

If your United States passport comes up for renewal in 2017 or 2018 you should begin the process to renew it as soon as possible. The U.S. State Department has been warning travelers for more than a year now about the possibility of longer wait times for…

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If your United States passport comes up for renewal in 2017 or 2018 you should begin the process to renew it as soon as possible. The U.S. State Department has been warning travelers for more than a year now about the possibility of longer wait times for passport processing. The State Department recommends renewing your passport at least nine months before it expires, and routine passport processing can take up to six weeks. Additionally there are at least fifty countries that require U.S. citizens to have at least six more months left on their passport in order to travel there. 

The increase in demand for U.S. passports at this particular time is in large part due to the 2007 Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative which made it necessary for U.S. citizens returning from Mexico and Canada to show a passport. Now, ten years later, all of the passports acquired at that time will be expiring. The need for first time passports has also increased because of the Real ID Act, which requires residents of certain states to show an alternative form of identification for air travel, this goes into effect January 22, 2018. It is easy to renew your U.S. passport, current passport holders can renew by mail on the State Department website. 

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