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Summer travel: Staying fit on the go

Posted by Melanie Nayer May 30, 2013 12:09 PM

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When it comes to summer, exercise and vacation do not always go hand in hand. You spent all winter working out at the gym so you could fit into your summer clothes, why would you want to waste precious beach time lifting weights or tracking miles on the treadmill? Good news, body-conscious travels: hotels around the world are introducing new ways to introduce a little fun into guests' fitness routine.

But before you check-in, it's a good idea to keep your mind and body aligned, says Will Coons, a yoga teacher and massage therapist at StillPointWithin in Provincetown, MA.

"It is just as important to keep yourself in alignment, filled with plenty of fluids and avoiding misuse, as it is for your vehicle," said Coons. Coons recommends you always keep moving, even if it's just a few foot taps or leg lifts at your desk.

Meanwhile, consider combining summer travel with some active ideas. Whether it's a biking tour of Portland or bootcamp in the Swiss Alps, these hotels and tour companies have a wellness adventure for every type of traveler this summer:

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New York City spotlight: The most expensive hotels

Posted by Melanie Nayer May 21, 2013 09:53 AM

St-Regis.jpgThe St. Regis New York was ranked the most expensive hotel in New York City. Photo credit: St. Regis/Facebook
New York has it all -- theater, restaurants, shopping. It's also one of the most expensive cities in the world. But if you've got the dough to drop, New York can be one of the best playgrounds in the world.

Imagine for a moment you do have a few extra grand to spend -- how would you spend it in New York City? Shopping on 5th Avenue? Dining at five-star restaurants? Private chauffeurs and shoppers? And where would you stay?

NewYorkHotels.org compiled a list of the most expensive luxury hotels in New York City, and calculated the average room rate for the most affordable double room in each hotel from May 2012 to April 2013. The results: The St. Regis tops the list as the most expensive hotel in New York City with an average of $823 a night for the most affordable room.

The hotels that made the list have everything you'd expect -- luxury amenities, stellar service, and fine dining options and in some cases a spa, but are they worth the cost?

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Hottest hotel pools around the world

Posted by Melanie Nayer May 17, 2013 10:05 AM

With the unofficial start of summer around the corner, it's officially time to start thinking about your summer travel plans. Whether you're a beachcomber or a mountain climber, there's no denying the allure of a dip in a great pool at the end of the hot day. With that in mind, here's a list of 10 of the hottest hotel pools around the world. Where would you like to take a dip?

Grand Wailea, Hawaii

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Grand Wailea, Hawaii: The hotel’s 2,000 foot long, 25,700 square foot, 770,00 gallon Wailea Canyon Activity Pool has an aquatic theme park, thanks to its nine pools that are connected by a river that carries swimmers along at varying speeds, from whitewater rapids to lazy currents. Wailea Canyon also has four waterslides, a whitewater rapids slide, a Tarzan pool with rope swing, the world's first water elevator at the center of a multi-level volcano (you sit on an inner tube that rises and descends with the water level), a sand beach, six waterfalls, caves, three Jacuzzis, an infant pool, and a swim-up bar.

JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa

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JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa: The River Bluff Water Experience offers six acres of heated pools, fountains, waterfalls, rivers, and an abundance of poolside lounges. The highlight is the Pedernales River, a water ride utilizing lower gradients and higher volumes of water to create the feel of a natural river. For a more leisurely experience, the 1,200 foot lazy river carries guests around the grand cabana and pool deck areas.

Oil Nut Bay, Caribbean

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Oil Nut Bay, Virgin Gorda: Perched on the rocky southeast cliffs of Oil Nut Bay, The Cliffs rental suites each boast a private outdoor infinity plunge pool that blends seamlessly with the boundless Caribbean Sea. The resort’s Beach Club features three infinity pools complete with a tiled waterfall and grotto flowing off the main, 45,000 gallon pool. All three are plastered with recycled glass beads known as Beadcrete, and all pools on the property have salt generator systems. The resort is accessible by boat or helicopter only.

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Turnberry Isle Miami: An oasis in Aventura

Posted by Melanie Nayer May 12, 2013 06:39 PM

golfcourse.jpgSunrise on one of Turnbery Isle Miami's 18-hole golf courses.
Mention southeast Florida and the first thing that most people think of is South Beach - white sand beaches draped from end to end in bikini-clad sun-worshippers, volleyball nets, parasailing and partying in the streets. Sure, South Beach has its finer points - a little further down the road and you'll find yourself in Bal Harbour, the tony village coveted by luxury travelers, and you really can't be the entertainment factor on Ocean Drive on any given night. But for those who want a little more privacy and recluse, there's something a little less flashy but just as luxurious only minutes from Miami Beach.

Turnberry Isle Miami, one of Marriott's newest Autograph Collection hotels, is located just minutes from Fort Lauderdale and Miami in the city of Aventura, and is a welcome escape from the mayhem synonymous with South Beach and southeast Florida.

Turnberry Isle Miami sits on two 18-hole championship golf courses, boasts a 25,000 square foot Four-Star Spa, three heated pools and four restaurants. And that's just the beginning.

Take the early morning 3-hour flight to Fort Lauderdale and you can be relaxing at the resort's Laguna pool by lunch. From there, the options are endless.

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VIRTUOSO TRAVELER magazine picks "experiences of a lifetime"

Posted by Melanie Nayer May 10, 2013 05:52 AM

greatbarrierreef.jpgSnorkeling the Great Barrier Reef is a the must-do travel experience. Photo credit: Flickr Sarah_Ackerman

To help entice your wanderlusting side, VIRTUOSO TRAVELER, the magazine published by luxury travel network Virtuoso®, published “29 Experiences of a Lifetime." From snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef to escaping to a private island, and learning how to tango in Buenos Aires, the list of experiences spans the globe and gives travelers a glimpse of adventures just waiting to be experienced.

Sure, some of these trips require a good amount of time and money, but here's the good news: there's plenty of time to save, many are quite affordable, and you might even find some inspiration from some of the trips on this list to create your own.

Here's are a couple "lifetime experiences" from Virtuoso:

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Mandarin Oriental Boston's newest pop-up is a cake shop

Posted by Melanie Nayer May 8, 2013 09:54 AM

Prepare your sweet tooth, because next installment of Mandarin Oriental, Boston's pop-up shop is bound to make your mouth water and cure any and all sugar cravings.

After a successful couple months in the pop-up business, Mandarin Oriental, Boston is setting up it's next shop: Oralia’s Pop-Up Cake Shoppe.

Oralia’s Cake Shoppe will feature a four special cakes created by Mandarin Oriental, Boston pastry chef Oralia Perez, who also creates all of the hotel's wedding cakes. The individual servings of cakes will include Boston Cream Cupcake, Salted Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake, Carrot and Cream Cheese Cake and Strawberry Shortcake.

You can grab the cakes to go, or enjoy them with a glass of champagne, or a cup of coffee or tea in the hotel lobby. The cakes are all priced at $10.

The Cake Shoppe, open now, will be available daily from 1:00pm to 4:00pm in the Lobby Lounge next to the fireplace.

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Berkshire sommeliers choose best wines to represent the Berkshires

Posted by Melanie Nayer May 6, 2013 08:48 AM

BTP-wines.jpgFinding the best wine and the best price is always a fascinating hunt for oenophiles, but a few sommeliers west of Boston are hoping to make things easier for you.

The Berkshire Tasting Panel, an experienced group of sommeliers at hotels and restaurants in The Berkshires, kicked off the “Berkshire Summer Wine Challenge” - a challenge to choose a white, rose or red wine, retailing under $20, "that represents all the Berkshires has to offer…artistry, history, poetry, purity, relaxation and lastly great taste."

The panel members were Sommelier Dan Thomas from the Red Lion Inn, Kollin Kozlowski CSW and Wine Director at Kelly’s, Blanytre’s Sommeliere Christelle Cotar and Front End
Manager of Mezze, Caitlin Harrison.

The judges participated in two roundtable blind tastings where each judge selected a rose or red wine out of a group of over 100 samples. On April 22 at Blantyre in Lenox, the judges revealed their choices and announced the “Quintessential Berkshire Summer Wine”
selections.

Here's what the panel had to say about the winning wines, both of which hailed from Spain:

The most surprising choice, our #1 red wine, a Cannanou (Grenache) which the group agreed/guessed was a southern French red, maybe a Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, Cinsault blend because of its earthy, ripe and mature character. Much to our surprise it was from Sardinia (I guess you could call that “extreme southern France!”). Grenache is a great summer choice, fresh and fruity, with minerality and acid backbone. The same descriptors could be said about Albarino, or even Chacoli for that matter. Ultimately our white wine choice was the Chacoli, produced not far from Rias Baixas, the “green” land of northern Spain. This wine stood out for its purity, lively personality and true sense of terroir.
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About the author

Melanie Nayer is a travel writer who spent many years in the newsroom before jetting off to see the world. Her goal is to bring readers the best insider information More »

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