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Luxury Lodging

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GO NOW: 5 Winter Reasons to Head for Switzerland

‘Tis the season for winter escapes and few places do snowy holidays better than Switzerland. Choose your adventure, from an intimate, luxury getaway in the quiet Val d’Anniviers to an affordable winter package and adrenaline-fueled fun in Zermatt, here are five reasons to pack your bags. 

Better still, discover how you can win a free 1-week Swiss winter holiday.

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".

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ECO ELEGANCE: Kurà Design Villas, Costa Rica's Stunning New Rainforest Retreat

When does a trip to the rainforest become a luxurious escape? At the new (opening November 2012) 12-guest Kurà Design Villas set in the Osa Peninsula rainforest of Costa Rica, it’s the moment you arrive to one of the hillside villas, sink into the cozy sling of a patio hammock—Mojito in hand, of course—and watch the sun set over the Pacific from a private terrace. 

As the newest retreat in the Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality collection, a company that manages Earth-friendly lodges, hotels and small inns in Central America, interiors are all stylish eco-elegance, full of natural materials such as teak, bamboo and glass.

Kurà features six private guest villas, including luxurious amenities such as a king-sized bed with quality linens, plush towels and bathrobes, double rainfall-style shower, private minibar and wine cellar, espresso coffeemaker, iPod docking station, and free wireless internet, in addition to a full-service spa. 

And with a 19-metre (62-foot) saltwater infinity pool; outdoor lounge, bar and spa areas; and 360-degree view Sky Lounge for watching a star-glittered nightsky, even lodge lizards can enjoy the great outdoors while waiting for their massage.

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".

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GREEN TRAVEL: Two Costa Rica landscapes. One awesome vacation.

The problem with choosing a vacation? Too many choices. He wants the mountains. She wants the beach. 

Why choose? Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality, a company that manages Earth-friendly lodges, hotels and small inns in Central America, serves up a new surf and turf Costa Rica vacation combo that makes it easy to explore the famed Santa Teresa beaches and lesser-known Turrialba mountains – all in one visit.

SURF: Feel the hot sand between your toes at Latitude 10 in Santa Teresa

Located just steps away from the pristine, white-sand Santa Teresa beach, Latitude 10 Exclusive Beach Resort is a romantic and private eco-getaway that contains just five guest casitas. As a hub for adventure and complete mind and body wellness getaway, spend your days kayaking and snorkeling the clear blue waters, surfing on some of Costa Rica’s finest breaks, rebalancing with a private yoga class or indulging in a deep-tissue massage.

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".

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'Tis The Season for Holiday Packages From Fairmont

DECK THE HALLS AT FAIRMONT HOTELS & RESORTS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON  

 

If you’re scouring the globe for the best place to reunite with family or escape the holiday rush, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has a full selection of activities, packages and celebrations to choose from:

 

United States

In Boston, The Fairmont Copley Plaza offers a variety of packages to make the holiday season bright.  For a gift buying getaway, the city’s Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a premier shopping spot featuring over 125 shops and restaurants within three impeccably restored 19th century buildings. The Faneuil Hall Marketplace Holiday Shop & Stay Package is available from November 20 to December 30, 2010, and includes an elegant guestroom and a VIP welcome packet full of special incentives, offers and interactive experiences with the Faneuil Hall Marketplace merchants. Rates start at $219 USD per night.  For those who want to explore the city in a more leisurely way, the hotel also offers its Twelve Days of Christmas Package from December 14 to 30, 2010. The package includes an elegant guestroom, Sleigh Ride a traditional Holiday CD from the Boston POPS, and a late check-out of 4:00 p.m.  Guests can plan a full day of shopping, dining and enjoying the festive holiday season with rates starting from $209USD per night.

 

In California, Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa has a wonderful holiday season in store for guests.  The Inn is once again pleased to offer authentically local Wine Country Winter holiday activities that promise to delight guests of all ages. A complete schedule of holiday events are planned including Victorian carolers, (seasonally-inspired) cooking demonstrations, wine tastings and S’mores by the outdoor fire-pit with special guest appearances.   With the Water and Wine package, revelers can enjoy organically sustainable wine, bath house passes to the resort’s famed geo-thermal bath house, daily docent-guided hikes and a Farm-to-Fork dinner for two at the Michelin-rated Santé dining room. Package is valid for stays until December 30, 2010 with rates starting from $449 USD per night.

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".

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Two Newport, RI Luxury Inns - Francis Malbone House & Hilltop

Francis Malbone House is located on Thames Street in Newport, RI’s historic harborfront district.Known for its distinctive wealth and nautical history, it’s no surprise  that Newport’s renowned mansions are a must-do for anyone visiting the town.  The quieter delight, however, are the beautifully restored mansions-turned-luxury inns, with equally impressive legacies in this harborside town.  Just an hour outside of Boston and within easy getaway distance from anywhere in New England, Newport offers a lively historic yet sophisticated maritime getaway, especially in the quieter spring season.

Two of Newport’s most sophisticated inns are owned by Will Dewey, a gifted innkeeper and owner of the Francis Malbone House and Hilltop Inn,  Both perfect examples of historic preservation done well, each is within easy walking distance to all of Newport’s distinctive restaurants, shopping and harborfront attractions.  Enter either one of these inns and you’re transported to a tranquility that quickly helps to shake off the stresses that precipitated your getaway.  I was lucky to explore both of Will Dewey’s inns on a recent trip to Newport. Read on for to learn more about these fabulous inns and view a gallery of photos.

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".

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Discover The Art of Taos Pottery at El Monte Sagrado Living Resort & Spa

Taos New Mexico: a sovereign nation, an ancient culture, a millennium away from urban life and one of my favorite places on the planet. Continuously inhabited for more than 1,000 years, the Taos Pueblo houses an American history few know. El Monte Sagrado Living Resort & Spa, a well-known leader in alternative energy and luxury eco-friendly hospitality, has now opened the doors to you with the People of the Pueblo educational experience an inspirational and educational Native American adventure.

Included in the experience is:

  • Dinner for two at the resort restaurant, AAA Four-Diamond De la Tierra
  • Two Tickets to the Millicent Rogers Museum
  • 60-minute Aromatherapy massage for two
  • 2-hour instructional pottery class at Taos Clay for two
  • Breakfast for two daily
  • Valet parking for one vehicle

For more information, visit www.elmontesagrado.com, or call 800.724.3392.

 

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".