I recently had the opportunity to stay at the Terranea Resort (terra-nay-a) in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. Terranea has a beautiful setting on the cliffs of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California with a view of Catalina Island across the channel.
Situated on 102 acres, this luxury resort offers over 580 rooms consisting of hotel suites, residential style bungalows, casitas and villas. The resort also offers a 9-hole par 3 golf course, a luxurious spa, three ocean view pools and eight distinctive restaurants, bars, cafes and lounges. The property was previously Marineland of the Pacific. Marineland was the world’s largest oceanarium featuring sea life, entertainment, and research facilities. Opening one year before Disneyland, many consider Marineland California’s first major theme park, and it remained a major attraction to the area until it closed in 1987. The property has also been the location of dozens of Hollywood films and television shows over the years.
My first full day there, the weather was stunningly perfect so I spent it lounging at one of the three pools, my choice was the adult pool on a cushy chaise lounge. This pool has a hip, contemporary feel. Pops of orange add some drama and a sleek, orange glass fire pit adds a bit a sass to the patio. Conversation seating and lounge chairs on a make-shift sand beach overlook the stunning cliffs and ocean. The pool offers a full bar and snack shack and tunes are played throughout the day for a really relaxing and pleasurable experience.
The next day I decided to give the resort’s luxury spa a try ~ a little workout in the gym, sat in the steam room, sauna and hot tub for awhile and then had a healthy lunch out by the pool.
I ate at a different restaurant each night and they all offered good food. The most popular by far was Nelson’s ~ a casual hangout with a great patio for having drinks and watching the sunset.
With the gorgeous cliffs and grounds this resort boasts, you can bet I’ll be looking forward to returning soon.
@2013 Susan Edel
Luxury Travel Around Menorca
Most people think of Menorca as just another family package holiday island. Think again – the island is remarkably unspoilt in this modern fly anywhere in the world age. The interior of the island is lush boasting rolling hills and the shoreline is spectacular boasting white sand beaches and crystal clear waters.
Menorca is a well-kept secret and it’s one that needs to be investigated because this is one stylish island that has a lot to offer which doesn’t include flocks of tourists.
Beautiful peaceful bays of Menorca
A Wonderful Peaceful Paradise Balearic Island
The one thing that Menorca has a lot of is space and peacefulness. A cove like Cala d’Algaiarens is just one of the idyllic locations where you get to enjoy the entire place and the amazing thing is you get to have it all to yourself. Turquoise seas, superbly clean beaches and foxgloves growing along the shoreline that slowly melts into fresh scented woodlands. It’s an island that offers its visitors the luxury of space and tranquillity making Menorca a more natural and authentic destination to choose when thinking about visiting the Balearic Islands.
A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
Back in 1993, the island was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and today conservation of the natural beauty of the island both its flora and fauna, is taken very seriously. Tourists who visit Menorca appreciate this beauty in all its glory and will be able to do so for years to come.
The island also has a strong bond with Barcelona, the Catalan capital of Spain. This has added a certain cachet to Menorca. The bars found around the harbour of Es Grau are proof of this up-market feel the island has adopted. Es Grau does not boast a hotel but it’s a real Menorcan resort that’s stylish, authentic and has a lot of class – which naturally, visitors from the mainland and in particular from Barcelona really appreciate.
Classic, Stylish Four and Five Star Hotels
Because the island is so tranquil, it is turning into the idyllic family holiday destination with a difference. There’s a superb selection of four and five star hotels which include the Hotel Santo Tomas, situated right on the beach. Another choice is the Insotel Club Punta Prima, boasting a good variety of facilities – ideal for families. The Hotel Port Mahon boasts a wonderful location on a palm lined promenade, making it a lovely choice of places to stay during a trip to Menorca.
Eating Out is a Real Pleasure
Eating out on the island is a real pleasure, the fish and shellfish are all locally caught and served as fresh as you will ever get. Naturally every visitor to the island has to sample the mayonnaise – it was after all invented in Menorca. Then there are all the marvellous artisan cheeses made in the interior that have to be tasted and appreciated. Below are a couple of restaurants worth putting on a list of places to dine at in style.
Café Balear – Ciutadella
This is a delightful restaurant found in Ciutadella where the food served is out of this world. Try the Caldereta de Langosta, a Menorcan speciality. The location of the restaurant is idyllic, right on the waterfront and the ambiance is relaxed and friendly, serving the freshest of fresh produce. The restaurant is closed on Sundays during the summer months and on Mondays in the winter.
Meson Del Puerto – Port Mahon
Another superb traditional restaurant is situated in Port Mahon, Meson Del Puerto serves excellent dishes as well as some delicious cured hams. The cuisine is a mixture of Basque and Menorquin a combination that works incredibly well. The clam stew is one of the restaurants’ signature dishes that have to be tasted.
Of all the Balearic Islands, Menorca has captured and retained its own unique identity – it is this that sets it apart from the other islands. The peacefulness and tranquillity of Menorca married to the beauty both along the coast and inland, makes it such an idyllic ‘getaway’ paradise and as a bonus, it’s so easy to get to being such a short flight away.
Sally Lynch is a Menorca and Cote D’azur expert in travelling. She is spending her life in the luxury villas of Menorca, tasting and rejoicing in the distinct culture of Balearic islands. She also committed sharing this experience with anyone interested in Mediterranean culture and climate.
…we dispel the common myths around Alaska Cruises.
There are so many preconceptions about Alaska cruises. The most common are, ‘I don’t really like the ice and cold’; ‘I think it would be a bit boring’; and ‘There are so many ships there, it just must be a seething mass of tourists’. So I think it is worth taking a look at these comments and addressing them.
1) Alaska is too cold for me
First of all, Alaska is not an icy destination. Yes, there are glaciers, and of course in the winter there is plenty of snow, but on an Alaska cruise you will visit in the summer months, and you will be visiting a temperate area of rain forest. Like other temperate areas (the UK for example) it is lush and green as a result of high levels of rainfall. But at the same time, the weather is mild, and if you are lucky it will be warm and sunny for the whole time you are there. Even when you get heavy rain in the morning, you could be enjoying blazing sunshine and blue skies by the afternoon.
2) Aren’t Alaska cruises a bit boring
An Alaska cruise is certainly not boring. This multi-faceted destination has so much to offer: amazing natural beauty, of course, with mountain peaks and extraordinary multicoloured glaciers, but also an incredible array of wildlife including bears and whales, an extraordinary history relating to the gold rush to the Klondike in the late 19th century, and long traditions and folklores revolving around the myths and histories of the native Americans in the region.
Shore excursions are more varied and exciting than in any other mainstream cruise destination, with Alaska cruises offering options such as white-water rafting, floatplane expeditions, helicopter landings on glaciers, mountain biking, dog-sledding, snorkeling and so much more.
3) Won’t there be thousands of cruises to Alaska in 2013 – I’ll be surrounded by people!
Because the destination has so much to offer the tourist, large numbers of large ships spend the whole summer there. It is true that when you wake one morning in Juneau and see four huge ships lined up, your heart may sink. But within minutes you are in the wilderness: even the congested Inland Passage region is quite large enough for you to spend the day with no sign of life apart from your fellow passengers on a shore excursion, and the amazing wildlife.
So having established that Alaska should definitely be on your ‘must do’ list, how to do it? There is an array of cruises to Alaska in 2013 for all tastes and preferences. If you enjoy a luxury ship, the smaller Silversea and Regent vessels can get you away from the crowds – and in a destination where the shore excursions are so important, Regent’s all-inclusive pricing really represents great value. Premium Alaska cruise options include Oceania Cruises and Alaska veteran and expert Holland America, with its extraordinary selection of land and cruise options, including the Klondike, Fairbanks, The Denali National Park, and of course Canada and the Rockies. No Alaska cruise is complete without a pre or post cruise trip on the Rocky Mountaineer. The Rocky Mountaineer starts in Calgary and travels via the beautiful mountain town of Banff, Kamloops before arriving in Vancouver. The train also operates in reverse. Highlights include Hell’s Gate in the Fraser Canyon, the stunning views along the Thompson River and miraculous Spiral Tunnels. If you are planning a cruise to Alaska in 2013, the Rocky Mountaineer is a must.
Guest post written on behalf of Mundy Cruising, a UK based cruise specialist.
All statements of fact and opinion are those of the guest authors.
By Jessica Spencer
One of the coolest ways to see a city is by the ‘number 11 bus’. That’s code for walking.
Not only is it great exercise, but if you’re on an official guided walking tour, you’re guaranteed to be let in on some of the city’s most intimate and jaw-dropping secrets.
It’s also an excellent way to meet new folk. So what are you waiting for? Grab your hat and sunscreen and put on those walking shoes.
The Top End of Australia is renowned for its flamboyant local characters, tropical climate and colourful past. To get an intriguing insight into Darwin’s history, book yourself into the all-popular Darwin Walking & Bicycle Tours. On the intimate walking group tours, the effusive guides will point out the bomb fragments and shrapnel scars in some of the city’s buildings – visible remnants of the Japanese aerial raids during World War Two. You’ll also be treated to fascinating commentary and anecdotes about Cyclone Tracy’s devastation, the Gold Rush and indigenous culture. The walk is at a relaxed pace taking in landmark buildings, parks, monuments, cathedrals and ruins. To experience Darwin through the perspective of its traditional indigenous Larrakia owners, Batji Tours is the top choice. Started by Larrakia senior Robert Mills as a way of preserving and promoting his culture, the illuminating tour focuses on the region’s Aboriginal history, art, wildlife and fauna. The itinerary loops through the Darwin Harbour and Esplanade to the historic Lyons Cottage, finishing up at the visitor information centre.
No need to feel dazzled by the bright lights and chic vibe of Australia’s glam city. Free Sydney Walking Tours was started up by two young locals who wanted to share their passion for their stomping ground with local and international visitors – gratis. They run a daily twilight tour around the classic Rocks area as well as twice-daily walks around prominent Sydney sights. Some of their destinations include the iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, St Mary’s Cathedral, Circular Quay and more. Plus your guides will reveal a whole list of freebie activities for you to enjoy in this spectacular city.
Hobart is charming, idyllic and ideal for exploring by foot. The city’s unique facets can be discovered through a variety of tours. Hobart Walking Tours, for example, offers a suite of slightly offbeat guided tours including an ‘Alcohol History of Hobart’, the ‘Hobart Rivulet & Convict Female Factory’ and ‘Springs & Pipelines’, which lays out the area’s history of water. These tours are suitable for all fitness levels, from relaxed to fast-paced. A more classic route is the Hobart Historic Walk. Offered by Hobart Historic Tours, this leisurely 1.5 hour tour weaves in all the prominent heritage buildings, gives a compact outline of the city’s warts-and-all history and delivers a good introduction to Hobart’s overall layout. The company runs an equally fascinating Old Hobart Pub Tour and historic Battery Point walk.
Walking tours are perfectly suited to Melbourne as the city’s shiniest gems are often tucked away in cute laneways and arcades that only locals know about. Meltours runs a splendid three-hour laneway tour which snakes its way to hidden ‘hole in the wall’ eateries, cool shops and out-of-the-way galleries. It also runs historical laneway tours which focus on different sections of the city. You’ll get a good idea of what to expect from the tour names – ‘Prostitutes and Parliament’, ‘Banks and Bullion’ and ‘Criminals and Counsellors’. The Lanes and Arcades tour, courtesy of the award-winning Hidden Secrets Tours,is an irresistibly delicious way to spend three hours. Enroute, you’ll discover more than 30 local designers and boutique retailers and get a teeny dose of history and architecture. The company sums it up this way: ‘We specialise in what makes Melbourne tick, where design, small business and creativity are the heroes.’
This city’s compact size and grid-like structure make for a thoroughly enjoyable walking experience. Tourabout Adelaide has an eclectic variety of tours from ones that highlight cultural treasures to an exploration of West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide’s oldest burial grounds. But perhaps its most unique offering is the ‘On Track for the Ghan’ tour, which traces the heroic stories of the pioneers, indigenous population, cameleers, missionaries and miners who all played a part in the creation of one of the world’s most incredible train rides. For free guided walks, try the Adelaide Botanic Gardens daily tour or the Adelaide City Council’s tour of its Town Hall on King William Street.
Dead flat and packed with flavour, walking is certainly one of the best ways to enjoy the city’s architectural heritage, colonial buildings, growing bar and restaurant scene and out-of-the-way places. Two Feet & a Heartbeat is an award-winning company that was conceived by two friends brainstorming at the pub. The operator runs classic urban adventures of Perth and Fremantle’s most popular sights. It also runs an ‘Eat/Drink/Walk Perth’ tour of the city’s emerging bar scene. Sample mouth-watering gourmet morsels along with a cocktail or two.
Jessica Spencer is a Niche blogger who loves to write about hot and trending topics. Earlier she has contributed to various travel niche blogs and she is currently working for web car hire.
All statements of fact and opinion and photographs are those of the guest authors.
Danny Duric has submitted a lovely guest post on Brisbane, Australia’s Hotspots. Enjoy!
The Best of Bewitching Brisbane – Top Traveler’s Hotspots
by Danny Duric
Capital of Queensland, Brisbane is the third most populated city in the whole Australian continent. One of the most versatile tourist destinations in the world and also known as “Global City”, Brisbane, Australia is home to countless tourist destinations serving anyone and everyone’s taste. From breathtaking beaches and natural beauty to spectacular man made formations, Brisbane has something for everyone.
Leisure travelers can visit the national parks, relax in extravagant hotels and spas while thrill seekers can surf the untamed sea waves and climb the gruesome cliffs. Virtually anywhere you go, you are to be followed by the amazing landscape and warm hospitality of the locals. It is hard to summarize all the tourist destinations in offer but we have narrowed down some of the best tourist attraction in Brisbane you can visit on your short trip to the city making the little time you have worth-while.
Renowned as the world’s largest sand island, Fraser Island stretches 120 km. After a few hours of drive north from Queensland, this world heritage site is home to green rainforests, swamps, woodland of eucalyptus and dunes of sand also known as The Great Sandy National Park.
There is no way you’ve been to Australia and seen the kangaroos. This is what the Kangaroo Point is famous for also being one of the sought after picnic spots and rock climbing destinations. At night, the cliffs light up with tiny lights serving as an eye candy for climbers and sightseers.
Just north of Moreton Bay, across Pumicestone Passage is the most accessible sand island known as Bribie Island. The tranquil calm waters here serve as home to dolphins and turtles also being great for fishing and swimming while the other side serves as a great surfing location with wild and high tides stretching 5 km. Dine in the restaurants, go for a movie, have a round of golf or spend your day checking if the fishes are biting. It is a great place for easy goers and adrenaline junkies alike.
South bank is the heart of tourist attractions in Brisbane with around 11 million locals and tourists visiting the spot yearly. The possibilities are endless here with restaurants, museums, shopping destinations, streets beach and the most popular Parklands. You will never fall short of options to entertain yourself in this enchanting place which will only leave you craving for more. Fine dining, sightseeing, art galleries and museums and the man made swimming beach known as the Streets Beach await you. If you ever visit Brisbane, then it’s a shame missing out on South Bank.
Highly recommended for visitors and travelers is a ride to Citycat Ferries. A simple ferry ride offers you the picturesque view of Brisbane on a sunny day also being a great way to get around. Away from the hustle ans busle of the typical city transport, Citycat ferries operates in every 13 minutes, seven days a week being a peaceful and cheap means of transport with mesmerizing views of the city.
A remarkable concentration of exquisite Asian cuisine, Chinatown serves as a popular destination for locals and tourists especially on weekends. Anything from a Korean barbeque to Indonesian, Thai or Japanese delicacies, Chinatown is a warm and welcoming section of Brisbane’s Asian communities.
About the author:
Danny Duric is an adventure seeker, traveler and blogger. He likes to write down his expreriences and share them with others. He is writing on behalf of East Coast Car Rentals a cheap car hire at Melbourne Airport.
Thank you Danny for sharing this very informative and helpful information with us!
All statements of fact and opinion are those of the guest authors.
I love that through my guest posts I am able to bring you information from around the world. This guest post was submitted by Will Smith and he has listed the Top Five Place to Visit in Singapore. Enjoy!
Top Five Places to Visit in Singapore
By Will Smith
Asia is fast becoming the most popular tourist hotspot in the planet and one of the emerging attractions in the region is the city nation of Singapore. The Lion City cannot be untamed, both in terms of economic progress and in innovating and creating places which tourists from all over the world can marvel at.
Singapore holidays won’t be complete without visiting the following upscale tourism destinations.
An modern day engineering and architecture miracle, the Marina Bay Sands is the most expensive integrated hotel-resort-casino in history. From its magnificent architecture featuring three towers with undulating glass facades topped with a ship-shaped deck, Luxury family holidays in Singapore have been elevate to a new level. Gamble a little, try out the cuisine in one of its world-renowned restaurants, have a cocktail in the viewing deck – the options are limitless.
2. Orchard Road
Singapore is one of Asia’s shopping capitals and Orchard Road is one of the finest shopping strips not only in the country, but the entire region. Indulge in opulence as the brightly-lit street is lined by the most famous designer labels in the world. The phrase “shop ‘til you drop” is very much applicable in this shopping mecca.
This is another tourism staple which should never be absent in your itinerary for your family’s Singapore holidays. Singapore’s version of adventure island will never disappoint with its wide array or recreational and leisure options including a beach stretch, a zip line, retail spaces, historical landmarks and an impressive golf course.
For Singaporeans, this evening attraction is already passé, but for tourists, this is definitely a sight to see. For lovers of the wildlife but not really into getting torched in the African savannahs, Night Safari is a great alternative and should never be missed when going on Singapore holidays.
Luxury family holidays should always include a day spent to bask in arts, culture and history and the National Museum of Singapore gives exactly those things. This grand depository holds the most significant artefacts in the country’s history and you owe it to yourself and your family to see them.
About Author: Will Smith is involved in writing about luxury holidays. In the above post he has focused on luxury Singapore holidays and explains about the various destinations for luxury family holidays. The spots are famous for making holidays memorable and amazing in Singapore.
Thank you Will for sharing some interesting adventures for us to consider!
All statements of fact and opinion are those of the guest authors.
I’m so excited to announce that my online booking engine, powered by Classic Vacations a part of the Expedia family, is up and running! You now have the convenience of searching and booking your own vacations, along with the added support of having a personal representative (me ) should you have any questions, need additional information or run into any issues after booking. Try finding that personal touch on one of those mega booking sites.
So take a look and see what amazing destinations are awaiting you! Click on the logo below or on the Online Booking tab on the menu bar above to connect to the booking engine.
Where will life take you?
This week’s guest post is from Ben Klein of 230 Fifth. 230 Fifth is New York’s largest outdoor Rooftop Garden and fully enclosed Penthouse Lounge, with breathtaking views of the NYC skyline. Ben contacted me with the idea of highlighting some NYC sights that take second fiddle to the normal tourist attractions but deserve just as much attention. Enjoy!
Guest Post by Ben Klein
New York City is one of the most famous cities in the world. When photographers come to New York City to take photos, they try to stay clear from the typical tourist attractions. Times Square, the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building are some of the most photographed spots in NYC. Now, it is time to make a change and find spots that are synonymous with New York City but unique at the same time. There are some awesome locations in New York City that are rarely photographed because either people are unaware of them or they don’t want to take the time to go to these spots. While some may be familiar, some may be a new find. Here are a few amazing spots in New York City that are perfect for the ultimate photo opportunity.
The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in the world. Every year, tourists visit the Brooklyn Bridge looking to imitate scenes from movies and see the amazing view. The Brooklyn Bridge is an great spot for photographs because of its many possibilities. The architecture of the bridge is a great place to take pictures. Seasoned photographers and people who take pictures as a hobby can use the Brooklyn Bridge’s architecture as the backdrop for any photo. At the Brooklyn Bridge, there is also the possibility of using the views of Lower Manhattan as the backdrop for a beautiful photograph.
New York Botanical Garden
The colorful flowers and the unique plants make a perfect photograph. Located in the Bronx, one of the five boroughs of New York City, the New York Botanical Garden is one of NYC’s hidden gems. Once you purchase a ticket, anyone with a camera can use the garden as their personal photo backdrop. Just taking a picture of the plants provides anyone with a great photograph. The New York Botanical Garden has special exhibits every month that can be used as a photo opportunity. The New York Botanical Garden is also ideal for wedding and group photography.
Central Park is another natural area that is ideal for quality photographs. Central Park is one of the largest parks in New York City. Stretching from 59th Street to 110th Street, Central Park has a variety of spots that are photo-worthy. From Bethesda Terrace to the Reservoir, photographers have great options.
Located on 23rd Street, Fifth Avenue and Broadway, the Flatiron District is a unique neighborhood in New York City. In the past, the Flatiron District was home to toy and clothing manufacturers. The Flatiron building is one of New York City’s oldest skyscrapers. The Flatiron Building is the ideal spot for photographs because of its unique shape and location. The building’s triangular shape makes for interested pictures.
The entire city is photo-worthy but there are some special places that make taking photographs exciting and worthwhile. Visiting these locations not only allows photographers to capture beautiful moments but it gives them the opportunity to visit a place they wouldn’t otherwise venture to.
Ben Klein works in various roles at 230 Fifth. He enjoys the sights and sounds of big cities and finding new places to eat. 230 Fifth is one of the best clubs in NYC with a lounge for those looking for a great club. Located in Midtown, 230 Fifth is the largest outdoor Rooftop Garden in Manhattan.
Thanks Ben for a great post and sharing some NYC tips with us!