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Spas/Retreats

6 Exquisite Chocolate Spas From Around the World

July 1, 2014 by  

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Cocoa Powder Not all spas are created equal. For those looking to truly indulge, there are certain spas around the world that offer decadent offerings. And for those with a sweet tooth, a luxurious chocolate treatment may be just what you need. To help you have a delicious spa experience, here are six of the world’s top chocolate spas.

The Spa At The Hotel Hershey, Hershey, Pennsylvania

Aptly nicknamed the “Chocolate Spa,” The Spa At The Hotel Hershey is a three-story, European-style spa renowned for its wide range of sweet treatments, with everything from chocolate massages to cocoa body wraps, facials, manicures, pedicures, scrubs, polishes and hydrotherapy, all with a chocolate twist. While it’s difficult to choose with so many decadent options, I recommend the “Chocolate Fondue Wrap.” The treatment is like being packaged like a Hershey Bar, as rich fondue is applied to the skin and then you’re wrapped in a warm blanket. The experience ends with a cleansing Vichy Shower. Other notable menu items include the “Whipped Cocoa Bath,” which is like steeping yourself in an indulgent cup of hot chocolate, and the “Cocoa Facial Experience” where an edible dark chocolate mask is…

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4 Luxury Hotel Properties in Brazil For Your Hot List

June 26, 2014 by  

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Over the next month all eyes are on Brazil as we ooo, ahh, eek, cheer, sigh, cry and leap at screens playing the World Cup. Naturally my daydreams of stunning Brazil beach holidays have kicked in, so I’ve been researching the most luxurious, dream resorts the country has on offer.

PONTA DOS GANCHOS

This hugely romantic and secluded resort on a private peninsular is situated in Santa Catarina in Brazil. With both rainforest and sea on your doorstep, one of their 25 incredible bungalows comes with your own pool or Jacuzzi and views that will knock your socks off. Pontas Dos Gnachos

RANCHO DE PEIXE

With a focus on local culture and sustainability, a stay at Rancho De Peixe in Prea, Brazil is sure to leave you feeling inspired.  Take a massage on the beach in one of their relaxation huts or swing lazily in a hammock on your veranda. This rugged and playful hotel also has trained teachers on hand providing kitesurfing lessons. Rancho De Peixe Photo credit: egroup.net.br

NANNAI RESORT & SPA

Touching down at Nannai Resort & Spa in your own  helicopter is no problem – they…

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5 Relaxation & Spa Treatments Off the Beaten Path in the Big Apple

June 10, 2014 by  

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Want to take in a little rest and relaxation next time you’re in the Big Apple? Here are some fun off the beaten path places to visit in New York for a little pampering.

The $40 Spa Day Pass

SPA-CASTLE-POOL For $40 during the week or $50 on the weekend, you get complete access to what can only be described as a water park of relaxation for grownups (although let it be noted that children are allowed, and it can get pretty crazy on the weekends…if at all possible, take a day and go when they’re all at school!) Located in Queens, this 100,000 square foot complex offers just about everything your mind, body, and soul could possibly desire: a gold sauna, jade sauna, salt sauna, color therapy sauna…not to mention the amazing rooftop pool and hot tub.  Oh, and gender specific sauna, hot tub, pool, and steam room facilities where you are encouraged to relax in the nude…(I feel like it’s important to mention those things ahead of time, right?!)
WHERE: Spa Castle
131 10 11th Avenue
College Point, New York

The Manicure + Pedicure

Photo Credit: yelp.com I’ve…

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The Moroccan Hammam Experience in Marrakech

June 6, 2014 by  

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  Soon, I’m off to Morocco for my second time.  I’ve been once before and spent a wonderful three weeks traveling down the length of the country from Chefchaouen to Marrakech and out into the Sahara Desert. I remember being so thrilled by the colours and rich culture around me so I can’t wait to get back. Whilst I was in Marrakech on my last visit I tried a Moroccan hammam.  I didn’t exactly know what was involved, but I heard the word ‘spa’ bandied about and a nice relaxing afternoon after hours in the hot souks was just what the doctor ordered. Little did I know. Here’s a story of my hammam hell.   spa   I checked into a traditional hammam and on arrival was greeted by a rather scary-looking woman with an angry face who guided me lazily to the changing rooms. She handed me a bag containing a towel the size of my palm and the most enormous pair of paper knickers I have ever witnessed; the kind that even Bridget Jones would not be seen dead in. Pointedly, she insisted that I remove all my clothes and put them on.…

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Surfing Meets 5 Star Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel for a Family Luxury Stay

May 17, 2014 by  

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Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel is the first 5-star surf destination in PortugalI just learned about it as we are expanding our coverage of family travel destinations and resorts. Located on the Western Algarve, it is a year round resort, filled with 100-acres on the beach, a sweet blend of luxury for couples and families.  They offer childcare, a spa, sports clubs and lots of great food at their restaurants as well as bar options for after hour activities. The resort is surrounded by the Costa Vicentina National Park and was recently awarded a “Europe’s Leading Villa Resort” and “Portugal’s Leading family Resort” at the World Travel Awards 2013. The resort features a 37 bedroom 5-star hotel and a selection of more than 150 spacious 1 to 5 bedroom Villages, 4 heated pools, gym, Spa with Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna, tennis courts, kids clubs, 3 restaurants and a family surf bar. It also offers plenty of open space for jogging, cycling or a morning walk along the ocean. Terrace Rooms at Hotel Martinhal are situated within the main building and surrounded by private garden and the architecture draws on

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Exploring Soma Kerala Palace, an Ayurvedic Resort

May 16, 2014 by  

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Soma Kerala Palace   “We are on a private island of our own,” I said to my friend. She spins her head ever so slightly to consider this. She lets out a laugh! “You are right!” It is our second day at Soma Kerala Palace, an Ayurvedic Resort that is situated on a tiny private island, on a lake 55km south of Kochi. It is the beginning of the off-season. A Polish lady and the two of us are the only occupants on this 25-room property. Soma Kerala Palace Island The small island is only accessible by boat. The entire shorelines of the lake are visible, and the distance between you and closest shoreline is a couple minute of swim away, private, but not removed. On our first morning, we silently tracked the Polish lady’s every move. Is that a camera she’s got? I wonder what she is photographing. Is she here by herself? What is she doing? Look, she changed her clothes, where is she going? Yes. We will happily re-enact “Grumpy Old Men” for you. As soon as we got over the strangeness of having the entire island resort…

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The Landing Resort & Spa Boasts Stunning Views of Lake Tahoe

May 15, 2014 by  

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The Landing Resort & Spa is spread out along South Lake Tahoe‘s coast, meaning that most of their 88 guest rooms offer fabulous views of the lake and surrounding mountains. The property is located adjacent to Lakeside Beach and three blocks from the Heavenly Village & Gondola, Village Center, and gaming casinos.  Lakeside Marina offers boat and kayak rentals, as well as water taxi service to other South Shore attractions. Virtually next door to The Landing, Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course (which has fabulous lunches and dinners with stunning views) offers beautiful fairways on the shores of Lake Tahoe for golf lovers. The Landing’s rooms are elegant and sophisticated, yet warm and inviting, combining an intriguing blend of contemporary and traditional. Carved woods compliment smooth granite. Woodsman plaids blend with sleek leathers. Chrome and crimson create eye-catching accents. All guestrooms offer in-room dinning, voice mail, complimentary high-speed internet access and cable/satellite HD TV channels, gas fireplaces, plush terry robes (quite honestly, they’re the plushest robes I’ve ever worn in a 5 star resort and I can assure you I’ve sampled a large number), in-room fridges and Kuerig coffee makers. Below is a sample of a three bedroom suite (sectioned off bedroom with fireplace)…

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Tahoe Ridge & Spa, a Great Family Weekend Escape

May 10, 2014 by  

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Nestled on a spectacular Sierra Nevada Ridge above Lake Tahoe, and overlooking the breathtaking and beautiful Carson Valley, The Tahoe Ridge is a 11 acre hotel resort which offers year-round vacation rentals with panoramic views. They have a complimentary health club and an indoor sports complex which has a massive gym by hotel standards with plenty of free weights and machines. It’s a little overwhelming (in a good way) as you  make your way up to the property since the climb is steep and winds around for a few miles before you finally reach the entrance. You suddenly realize once you reach the top that you’re going to get the best views of any property in the vicinity. We were there in the spring for a bout of spring skiing in South Lake Tahoe. What’s nice about the Tahoe Ridge is that its in Nevada, but on the border, so you can take in the best of the casinos in the area, with the convenience of zipping over to the California side within minutes.  Summer is as great as winter I was told, particularly since

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