Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Mandarin Oriental Paris is Divine

Paris, France
Many people consider Paris to be one of the world's most amazing cities.  Known to be a destination for romance, architecture, shopping and of course food, Paris welcomes tourists from all over the world to its historic streets.  One hotel that has found its home here is the remarkable Mandarin Oriental.  Come to the city of lights and discover the charm of this amazing location and exceptional hotel.  

Mandarin Oriental Paris
There is no doubt that your time in Paris will be memorable.  The number of historic sights to see can be endless but will prove remarkable.  Cafes line the streets where fresh pastries and espresso are served while tourists sit and take in their surroundings.  The French restaurants tempt us with elaborate menus and robust wines while trendy boutiques call fashionistas to browse their beautiful stores.  The art, culture and atmosphere seem to come alive in Paris.

Suite at Mandarin Oriental Paris
The Mandarin Oriental is a hotel group that takes into consideration the city which the hotel is located and incorporates its traditions and ancestry with every modern luxury.  In Paris, the Mandarin is nestled in the heart of the city on rue Saint-Honore.  This fashionable street allows guests just a short walk to boutique shopping and famous landmarks.  It's all about location, location, location.  

The Cake Shop
Once you check in at the Mandarin Oriental Paris, guests are treated to impeccable service and amenities.    Sleek and modern decor, mostly shades of white, is gorgeous but also inviting and vibrant.  Choose from 138 guestrooms or 39 suites and enjoy beautifully decorated rooms.  Head to the rooftop terrace and take in the extraordinary views of the city while sipping a fantastic French wine. If you are in need of some relaxation and rejuvenation, head to the spa or wellness facility where you can swim laps, enjoy some time in one of the herbal steam rooms, or have a facial with exceptional Guerlain products.  Because Paris is known for its delectable food and wine, visit the lovely hotel restaurants and bar.  They are chic and portray the true essence of the Parisian life.  Bar 8 is the hotel's bar and is even popular enough that it becomes a hot spot during cocktail hour for hotel guests but also for locals and tourists not staying at the Mandarin.  Make sure that you visit the hotel's Cake Shop after a meal or a drink.  Here you can find world-class pastries and you can decide if you would like to taste your treat immediately or have it packaged up for later.  Either way, your sweet tooth will definitely be satisfied.  The Mandarin Oriental is truly remarkable and will prove to only enhance the greatness of your trip to Paris.  Book your stay with WhatAHotel! and find that not only will we help you create the perfect trip, we will also present you with some exclusive complimentary perks that set us apart from other online travel sites.  We are ready to help you book your dream vacation to Paris.
Rooftop Terrace at Mandarin Oriental Paris
The Mandarin Oriental is an outstanding hotel that is located in the center of a phenomenal city.  No matter where you stay during your trip to Paris, the city will charm you.  However, if you stay at one of the Best Hotels in Paris or the Mandarin Oriental Paris, you might just experience vacation karma.    

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Pacific's Magical Moorea

Island of Moorea, with Tahiti in the background
When people discuss getting away from it all, a remote island paradise is often the destination of choice.  Moorea in French Polynesia professes to be a true topical paradise that will prove to be remote yet also full of every convenience required for the ultimate vacation.  Travel to the Pacific just 9 miles northwest of Tahiti and discover Moorea, where beauty abounds.  

Sofitel Moorea La Ora Beach Resort
Moorea is considered the sister island to Bora Bora, yet people that travel here realize that although Moorea is just as lovely as Bora Bora, it can be more appealing.  Travelers to this enchanting island will find a huge selection of activities and adventures awaiting their arrival, but many choose to sit back and relax while taking in the brilliant blue waters, white sand beaches and sipping on a refreshing tropical cocktail.  Locals on Moorea are friendly and welcome tourists to uncover all of the beauty  that can be found here.  Encounter adventure during an ATV excursion to the top of Magic Mountain where you can get to see the magnificent views from high above.  If that seems like a bit too much excitement, simply spend your time shopping at the island's shopping centers and hotel boutiques or lounge by the pool.  Water sports are available everywhere so check out the scuba diving, snorkeling or sunset boat tours and enjoy the lagoon that surrounds this lovely island.  

Bungalow at Sofitel 
When booking your hotel, WhatAHotel! is proud to offer you exclusive complimentary perks at the exquisite Sofitel Moorea La Ora Beach Resort.  The Sofitel is nestled at the edge of Moorea's stunning lagoon.  Here you can even capture a glimpse of Tahiti from your beach chair or the deck of your over the water bungalow.  If you have the desire to get away from the everyday, this resort is just for you.  Dazzling beachfront and lush landscapes surround the hotel grounds and two phenomenal restaurants are found here, Pure and K.  K combines the elegance of tablecloths and candlelight with sand beneath your feet and incredible views, while Pure provides you with a more traditional dining experience promising mouth-watering dishes.  If you are in need of a drink, Vue bar offers tantalizing cocktails overlooking the pool and lagoon.  As if just stepping foot onto Moorea won't relax you enough, visit one of the 7 spa suites at Sofitel's soothing spa.  Select any of the amazing over the water villas and bungalows where you can literally step right into the waters of the lagoon.  Modern amenities have been combined with traditional island decor to create a marvelous suite.  Sofitel Moorea La Ora Beach Resort welcomes you to paradise with impressive service and top notch accommodations.  

Walkway to Bungalows
Tucked into the welcoming waters of the Pacific, travelers will find amazing islands like Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea.  Although Moorea is a lesser known island paradise, it has many of the same traits as the more popular islands that surround it.  This fact makes it less crowded and less expensive but much more appealing.  Find paradise and magic in Moorea where all of the sights and sounds of the island will mesmerize.  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Lavish Lobbies

Fairmont Olympic, Seattle
There is something to be said about stepping foot into a luxurious hotel lobby.  The first glimpse showcases the personality of the entire hotel.  All over the United States, lavish lobbies welcome hotel guests with a promise of beauty, service and sometimes grandeur.  Take a trip across the US and discover some of this country's truly fabulous and fancy hotel lobbies.  

The Nines, Portland
Starting in the hip city of Seattle, the Fairmont Olympic, Seattle exudes character and class.  This grand hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and displays a impressively high ceilings, large arched windows and just off the lobby guests can find the trendy oyster bar, Shuckers.  This architecture from years past contains details that are difficult to find in today's new construction and is appreciated by all that enter.   Not too far from Seattle you will find another amazing hotel, The Nines, Portland.  It has a lobby that can only be described as swank.  Although The Nines is located in a landmark building, the interior is sleek and modern and the lofty feel welcomes guests to experience minimalistic charm.  Two beautiful west coast hotels that welcome you will very different styles, but style none the less.

Charleston Place Hotel
Next we head to a southern city where tradition remains strong.  Charleston is historic, stunning and captivating and  here you will find the gorgeous Charleston Place Hotel.  Entering this hotel will make you feel regal with the double winding staircases and massive crystal chandelier.   It captures early American design and classic decor that are spectacular.  Our other southern hotel lobby is a bit farther south than Charleston, but it is still completely amazing.  Miami is loved for it's eclectic mix of old and new, here you will find the Art Deco and Asian inspired Setai Hotel.  The Setai has a lobby that exemplifies sleek and chic but with a warm and inviting feel.   These fabulous hotels hug the Atlantic coast and pamper the people that are lucky enough to spend a bit of time here.  

Waldorf Astoria, Orlando
Our last hotels are in different cities but are all a part of the Waldorf Astoria Collection.  The Roosevelt, New Orleans has been around forever but is now owned by Waldorf Astoria.  This famous hotel has had a long standing reputation of being a site for famous jazz and blues musicians as well as some A-list celebrities.  The Roosevelt welcomed the well-known and wealthy, and still today it is considered one of the defining hotels in New Orleans.  Next is the Waldorf Astoria, Orlando located  in Bonnet Creek.  Although many things in Orlando are meant to attract the attention of the young, the Waldorf Astoria has created a hotel that caters to the young and the old.  Just stepping into the lobby you will see the artistic clock that stands watch under the brilliantly decorated dome.  It is simply stunning both day and night.  Both hotels have created a lobby that not only welcomes guests, but leaves them breathless.  

The Setai, South Beach
There really is no place like home, but these hotels are remarkable enough to make you forget about home, at least for awhile.  WhatAHotel! promises to provide you with the Best Hotels no matter where you choose to stay.  So choose your dream vacation destination and get ready to enjoy.  

Monday, January 28, 2013

Football and Festival in New Orleans

Super Bowl 47 in New Orleans
New Orleans has been quite busy this past month, as it has been since May of 2009.  Super Bowl 47 is headed to New Orleans this week and with the event coinciding so closely with Mardi Gras, you can be sure that the celebrations will be in full swing.  Book your stay with WhatAHotel! and know that you will be staying at one of the Best Hotels in New Orleans for this very festive occasion. 

Ritz Carlton, New Orleans
The Super Bowl is football's biggest game and yearly it welcomes thousands of fans to watch it live while millions tune in to watch on their TVs at home or in their local sports bars.  This year will bring an interesting dynamic to the game with brothers coaching the opposing teams.  Whichever team you are cheering for, the San Francisco 49ers or the Baltimore Ravens, this game will go down in history simply because of the coaches that stand on the sidelines.  New Orleans is thrilled to have such a historic game being played in their town due to the fact that this will be the first Super Bowl played since the town was devastated by hurricane Katrina.  With the planning of this epic event and also all the growth to the city since the disaster, New Orleans is presenting a beautifully restored city with just as much charm as it has always portrayed.  

The Roosevelt New Orleans
Mardi Gras is also bringing the tourists to the streets of New Orleans.  This yearly event is a carnival that celebrates the days that come before the Catholics first day of Lent, the very holy Ash Wednesday.  Lent is a time of penitence, fasting and abstinence that lasts for 40 days up until Easter Sunday.  Merrymakers binge on food and drink in preparation for the fasting that occurs on Ash Wednesday.  Although many that attend Mardi Gras are not there for the religious aspects of the festival, the meaning behind it still stands.  Every year the streets fill with party goers in search of what some believe will be the ultimate party and New Orleans welcomes them with beads, beer and beignets.  

The W New Orleans-French Quarter
Windsor Court Hotel
Where to stay for either event is quite important.  WhatAHotel! offers up the absolute best choices of hotels that will also provide you with exclusive and complimentary perks and benefits just by booking with us.  The Ritz Carlton, New Orleans showcases Southern hospitality and remarkable style.  Situated on the edge of the French Quarter and minutes away from the Superdome, this luxury hotel features a signature restaurant, relaxing day spa and elegant decor.  Our next fabulous hotel is The Roosevelt New Orleans.  If you want a hotel close to the French Quarter with a rich past, this hotel is perfect for you.  Just a block from that world famous street, this opulent hotel is full of history and style.  The Roosevelt was Canal Streets centerpiece when it came to entertainment and quickly became known as the place where legends came to play.  Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Jack Benny and Bob Hope all frequented the hotel and is considered one of America's first nightclubs.  Also found here is the impressive Guerlain Spa, a beautiful rooftop pool, and some truly mouthwatering choices in dining.  The next hotel is the posh W New Orleans-French Quarter. Located in the French Quarter near Jackson Square, this boutique hotel is close to shopping, the Riverwalk and Harrah's casino.  Enjoy the lovely hotel courtyard and fountain or head to Sobou for a drink or some dinner.  A chic and modern setting will prove to provide every amenity and modern convenience required for an excellent stay.  Our last hotel is Windsor Court Hotel just two blocks from the French Quarter.  This exquisite hotel has received many accolades and proves to be a perfect location for business or pleasure.  Everywhere you look at Windsor Court screams refinement and quality.  Enjoy the plush rooms, the rejuvenating spa or maybe dinner and drinks in the hotels celebrated restaurant or lounge.  Sophistication can be found in all aspect of the Windsor Court Hotel.  Wherever you decide to hang your coat and hat during your visit to New Orleans, know that WhatAHotel! has a reputation for providing guests a quality hotel that strives for impeccable service and outstanding accommodations.  Discover the old and the new in beloved New Orleans.    

Streets during the Mardi Gras Festivities
Whether you travel here for the Super Bowl on February 3rd or for Mardi Gras, parades started January 19th and continue until Fat Tuesday the 5th of February, New Orleans welcomes guests to its historic cobblestone streets.  Here you will find the beauty of the past and the promise of the future.  Come to New Orleans and discover the fascination with this astonishing city as well as a pretty darn big party.  

Friday, January 25, 2013

Luxury Awaits in Lima

Cathedral in Lima
On the Pacific side of South America sits a proud country that overflows with character and some remarkable attractions.  Peru  is home to some ancient cultures and their imprint can be seen and felt throughout the country.  Lima is the capital of Peru and although it portrays itself as a cosmopolitan city, it also holds years of historical importance.  Head to one of Latin Americas most spectacular cities and discover the lovely Lima.  

Country Club Lima
Lima holds a charm that is all its own.  Although some think it is a bit rough around the edges, this city invites travelers to enjoy world class museums, outstanding cafes and some pretty impressive shopping.  Spend your day taking in Pre-Colombian art at the Museo Larco or head to the Mercado Indio, the daily market, where you can purchase some local goods like pottery, clothing or jewelry.  The boisterous bars promise to stay open long past bedtime to provide you with some amazing nightly entertainment while the Peruvian restaurants love to blend a eclectic mix of flavors to make Lima one of Latin America's most interesting restaurant scenes.  The beautiful historical buildings and architecture that can be found winding through the metropolitan area only add to this city's charm.  Take your time getting to know Lima and you will find a diamond in the rough.

Country Club Lima Terrace
Pool View at Miraflores Park Hotel
During your stay in Peru, let WhatAHotel! help you with acquiring the perfect accommodations.  We offer some of the Best Hotels in Lima and promise that by booking with us you will receive exclusive and complimentary perks and benefits that set us apart from other online travel sites.  The first remarkable hotel is Country Club Lima.  Situated in the prominent San Isidro district, this luxury hotel is surrounded by embassies and golf courses.  This five star hotel is not only elegant but also historic.  It is one of the only Peruvian hotels that is recognized as a national monument. Your time here will prove to be impeccable.  The rooms and suites are outfitted with every modern convenience and luxurious amenity while the three restaurants provide dynamic menus and a sophisticated ambiance.  Take a dip in the alluring pool or book some time at the hotels Yaku Spa, whatever you choose to do at Country Club Lima, it will absolutely be marvelous.  The next hotel is Miraflores Park Hotel.  Although just as opulent as the Country Club Lima, the Miraflores Park brings the extravagance via a more modern setting.  The interior decor is refined and dramatic with a more traditional look, the exterior is streamlined glass and steel.  This hotel is located in the exclusive Malecon de la Reserva residential area and provides its guests with comfort and also convenience to the rest of the Lima.  Miraflores Park Hotel is home to some of Lima's best restaurants that are sure to tempt your taste-buds   Take a trip to the 11th floor and enjoy Zest Spa where you are sure to be on the receiving end of a relaxing experience.  Also on the 11th floor is the spectacular infinity pool that welcomes you to cooling waters with an amazing view of the cityscape and ocean.  No splendor has been overlooked at the breathtaking Miraflores Park Hotel.  Whichever hotel seems to capture your attention, WhatAHotel! will ensure that your time here will be extraordinary.  
Miraflores Park Hotel

Peru is synonymous with the Incan ruins and that is one of the fabulous perks of coming to this South American country.  However with Lima offering so much more, there is not a chance you will leave without many other adjectives to describe this stunning vacation destination.  Come to Lima where adventure and splendor reside.  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Four Seasons Langkawi, Simply Remarkable

Langkawi, Malaysia
Dreaming of spending your days basking in a tropical paradise is something that many yearn for, especially when the nights are long and the days are cold.  All over the world, WhatAHotel! provides remarkable destinations that fit perfectly into that warm weather fantasy.  Right now, amongst the tranquil setting near the Andaman Sea, Four Seasons Langkawi sits peacefully  awaiting your arrival.  This lush retreat utilizes the surrounding UNESCO-protected mangrove trees to provide adventure as well as seclusion and privacy.  Embark toward Malaysia and experience pure joy and repose in brilliant Langkawi.

Family Pool
91 villas and pavilions are surrounded by steep cliffs, dense rainforests  lush gardens and sugar sand beaches.  Everywhere you look during your time at Four Seasons Langkawi will prove to be awe-inspiring.  The elegant rooms are filled with beautiful decor, rich wood floors, and modern amenities.  Whether you spend your time on the private verandas or head to enjoy the resorts thrilling public areas, you will be sure to find happiness.  The Four Seasons provides two pools to ensure the needs of every guest are met.  There is a quiet pool for adults where you can find private cabanas for couples requiring additional privacy, iced water, suntan lotion as well as many other perks.  The Family Pool is located on the other side of the resort, guaranteeing that both pools will remain true to their names.  This pool overlooks the sea and offers many of the same amenities as the adult pool.  Here guests can enjoy a more exuberant time and splash around in the cool waters with the kids.  Other hotel activities include tennis, beach volleyball and many water sports.  Four Seasons even offers on-site shopping, a business center with a library and an unforgettable safari tour through the mangroves.  Abundant adventure awaits at Four Seasons Langkawi.

Four Seasons Geo Spa
Whether you consider yourself a "spa" person or not, guests at the Four Seasons Langkawi will miss out if they don't enjoy at least one treatment at the Geo Spa.  This amazing hide-out features 6 treatment pavilions with floor to ceiling windows that offer a glimpse of the remarkable pond, gardens and cliffs that encompass the spa.  Each pavilion is equipped with its very own changing room, aroma-steam bath and shower.  The Geo Spa honors the elements that allow life to thrive, nourishment, water, light and air.  These elements, incorporated with the ancient healing properties of the UNESCO Geopark and organic skincare products, provide treatments that are refreshing and enlightening.  Escape the everyday and become one with your environment in Four Season's Geo Spa.  

Rhu Bar Four Seasons
Your time in Langkawi will obviously require you to eat, and eat you will at the fabulous restaurants located at Four Seasons Langkawi. Choose a setting that is casual or go formal, either way you will be thrust into a delicious and astonishing venture.  Serai offers classic Italian fare with the freshest ingredients.  Enjoy oceanfront views and a creative menu.  Ikan-Ikan has a casual beachfront style that feels almost like a traditional Malaysian home.  Dine alfresco or in the pavilion and enjoy authentic Malay cuisine.  Kelapa Grill is the perfect place for fresh seafood or a juicy steak.  This elegant yet festive setting allows you to enjoy the setting sun with a drink in hand.  If cocktails are desired, head to the Rhu Bar.  Light snacks and beverages are found here as well as Turkish water pipes, hanging swings and a pool table.  Whatever you are hungry for, Four Seasons has a restaurant or lounge that will satisfy that craving.  

Four Seasons Langkawi
WhatAHotel! is proud to be a Preferred Partner with Four Seasons Resorts.  With this honor, customers booking their stay at a Four Seasons Hotel will be guaranteed Exclusive and Complimentary Perks as well as a shared mutual commitment to exceptional experiences, quality and service.  Your days will be filled with sun drenched fun and your nights filled with delectable foods and a seductive atmosphere.  Four Seasons Langkawi tempts you to enjoy all the finer things in life, here in Malaysia.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Perfectly Passionate Portland

Portland, Oregon
Alternative rock bands, farmers markets and trendy restaurants are all characteristics of Oregon's picturesque Portland.  Situated on the banks of the Willamette River, Portland has an eclectic mix of attributes that when combined add up to a simply amazing city.  Head to Portland to find culture and character in a small city setting.

Portland is home to friendly people that are truly happy.  They welcome tourists to enjoy their terrific restaurants and beautiful parks, not to mention their impressive art scene.  Here you will find a unique list of things that visitors "must do" during their stay in Portland.  Although food carts may not be your idea of fine dining, here they are an absolute must.  They can be found on Southwest Alder Street between 9th and 10th as well as between Oak and Stark on Southwest 5th.  These delectable carts serve up a variety of dishes from Thai to Italian.  While these carts are a great place to stop for at least one meal, don't miss out on some of the astonishing establishments and cafes also calling Portland home.  Some people even believe that this small town is fast becoming a food capital.  Whatever else you plan to do while in Portland, make sure you always take time to taste the wonderful morsels offered in some of the most stunning restaurants around town.  

The Heathman Hotel
Taking a walking tour around Portland is also a must during your time here.  This lovely city is blossoming with numerous sights that will capture your attention.  The Classical Chinese Garden is nestled near the lakeside paths and provides the perfect backdrop for a warm sunny day.  If there is rain in the forecast, peruse the seemingly endless stacks of literature you can find at the famous Powell's Books.  The Arts District is another location that begs to be seen.  This 6 block area is filled with galleries and cafes that will most likely tempt you to come back again.  Because the people of Portland consider themselves environmentally friendly, you will also come across a number of "green" buildings.  Take some time to study the area architecture and discover what can be done to create something beautiful that is also environmentally sound.  Finally you might desire to hit the club scene during your stay and take in at least one of the favorite local bands.  This Oregon city is a diverse American town with so many personalities your head will spin.  However when it is all blended together, Portland just works.  It's charm draws tourists to its city limits daring them to not fall in love.

The Nines
This contrasting community also offers visitors some rather majestic places to lay your head.  WhatAHotel! presents two of the Best Hotels in Portland that are sure to knock your socks off.  These two beauties will delight with not only their dazzling decor and impeccable service, but also with the exclusive and complimentary perks and benefits that you will receive when booking with WhatAHotel!.  The Heathman Hotel has been named "World's Best Places to Stay" by Conde Nast Traveler and one of the "500 Best Hotels in the World" by Travel + Leisure.  With such accolades not much else needs to be said.  The Heathman is a boutique hotel in the heart of Portland's financial district known also for it's amazing art collection and mouthwatering restaurant and bar.  This destination is a landmark all its own.  The next incredible hotel is The Nines and is located next to Portland's Pioneer Square.  This hotel calls the top of the famous Meier and Frank Building home.  The magnificent contemporary hotel provides a modern fitness center, two posh restaurants and bars as well as it's very own brilliant modern art collection.  The Nines exemplifies a chic and modern hotel that offers a remarkable setting.  Visit Portland and you will absolutely stay in style.

Dining at The Nines
Oregon has the location that is desirable with its coastal setting and beautiful landscapes.  Head here and experience the unforgettable city of Portland where you will find a little something for everyone.  Perfectly passionate Portland is awaiting your arrival.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Rio's Remarkable Beaches

Beaches in Rio
Rio de Janeiro is known for many things including Carnival, the Copacabana, their beautiful people and its breathtaking beaches.  When planning your vacation to Rio, you first need to decide which beach is right for you and then pack your bags and get ready for some fun.  Brazil is ready to welcome you with warm weather and some of the best white sandy beaches in the world.  Find your ideal beach in remarkable Rio.  

Caesar Park's famous beach lounge chair
Hotel Fasano Rio de Janerio
The first location is Ipanema, known to be the site for the trendy sun worshiper.  This beach is situated next to the wealthy neighborhood with the same name and is home to Rio's most fashionable and attractive people.  Although the beachfront is popular, it remains quiet and clean.  Plan to hit this beach if you desire to lounge in a chair under an umbrella while sipping from your ice cold Brazilian beer.  Ipanema is said to be where you will find the most stunning people, but you will also find two completely gorgeous hotels.  Caesar Park Rio de Janeiro - Ipanema is sitting right on the beach and this 222 room resort is incredible.  The furnishings here are as breathtaking  as the views.  Dine at Galani where you can enjoy some of the city's finest contemporary Italian dishes.  Take a short walk and discover the chic boutiques and shops that line the streets of Ipanema and discover why this area is so stylish.  The next sophisticated and modern Ipanema hotel is Hotel Fasano Rio de Janerio.  This Philippe Starck designed hotel looks a bit simple on the outside, but once you take a peek inside you be thrilled.  Modern furnishings and sleek lines give this hotel a trendy yet comfortable feel.  Head to the roof to enjoy the rooftop swimming pool and get a truly astonishing view of the ocean and beach. Enjoy impressive service and amenities during your stay here at Hotel Fasano including spa services, delicious buffet breakfasts and a divine atmosphere.  No matter which hotel you choose, Ipanema will prove to be superbly swanky. 

Copacabana Palace Hotel
Our next stop is the beach with the very famous name, Copacabana, which is considered the stretch of sand for the locals.  This beach was once the most glamorous in all of Rio, but in recent years has lost some of its luster.  Today it has a laid-back feel which is why it draws mostly native Brazilians.  Here it is not uncommon to find soccer balls being kicked around and a game of beach volleyball being played.  Because of Copacabana's vicinity to Sugarloaf Mountain, beach goers can lounge in the sun while watching the cable cars running to and from the mountaintop.  If Copacabana seems like the beach for you, the renowned Copacabana Palace Hotel  is the place for you.  This iconic hotel has a reputation for excellence as well as glamour.  This gorgeous Art Deco style hotel features top restaurants and bars as well as a spa that is said to be one of Rio's finest.  Head to Copacabana's beach and its landmark Palace Hotel and be prepared to be enchanted.  

Leblon Beach
Just south of Ipanema is the Leblon neighborhood and beach.  This site is perfect for families looking for a friendly and fun beach.  Because of Leblon's close proximity to Ipanema, many hotels and resorts are within reach of this pretty stretch of sand.  If you are searching for adventure, Arpoador is the site for you.  Surfers delight in this section of beach located between Ipanema and Copacabana due to the fact that many tourists never set foot here. Both of these beaches are in close proximity to Ipanema and Copacabana, so tourists can easily experience more than one of Rio's temping beaches during their visit.  

Rio's Famous Tile Promenade

The people of Rio de Janeiro love the sun and the sand.  When the weekend approaches they look to the beach, planning on spending the days soaking up the sun while peering out over the sand.  Pack up your designer shades and your skimpiest bikini and head out to one, or all, of Rio's sensational beaches.  

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Hip and Historic Siena

Piazza de Campo, Siena's city center

Dining at the Grand Hotel Continental
"Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations.  Our Cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration."  This statement is quoted from the UNESCO World Heritage Centre's website stating the importance of holding onto our past through keeping alive architectural and cultural remnants found all over the world.  This organization works all over the world to identify and protect heritage in countless locations.  When a site or a city is named a World Heritage Site, people know that discoveries have been made there that are significant.  One such place is Siena, Italy.  If you are looking to spend your vacation in a true historic location with the added bonus of fantastic food and chic shopping, Siena is the spot for you.

II Palio Historic Horse Race
Noted as a true medieval city, Siena has retained its Gothic look which was built up in the 12th century, although the city was established as early as 29 BC.  Here visitors will discover period work by artists like Duccio, the Lorenzetti brothers and Simone Martini.  The entire city of Siena was built up around the historic town center, Piazza del Campo.  The Piazza is regarded as Europe's most amazing medieval square.  When people talk of visiting Tuscany, Siena is the perfect place to start.  Just walking through the ancient city streets while taking in the amazing architecture will be sure to take your breath away.  If you are fortunate enough to visit during the famous II Palio, you'll really be amazed.  This twice yearly horse race started in medieval times and is where jockeys ride bareback around the Piazza del Campo.  Siena ensures that you can experience history that has come alive.  

Shopping in Siena
You can't visit Italy without experiencing its world famous food and shopping.  Siena is the home to many unique boutiques and shops.  Every corner is a promise of something fabulous.  While perusing the stores and leisurely walking the streets, stop in for some traditional Italian pizza or gelato to tide you over until dinnertime.    Once dinner has arrived you will be thankful for an appetite.  Siena's cuisine is simple yet divine.  Sienese restaurants use meats, vegetables and herbs that are locally grown and quite fresh as well as delicious.  Don't forget their use of the regional favorite, olive oil.  Tuscan food is marvelous, but so is their wine.  Experience the wines of the area like Chianti and Vernaccia as well as many other robust selections.  In Siena the food and wine is just as phenomenal as the setting.  

Grand Hotel Continental
Your stay in Siena should be as superb as the town itself.  WhatAHotel! offers the Best Hotels in Italy, and Siena is no different.  The Grand Hotel Continental  is located in the center of all that is incredible in this city. Walking out the front doors you will find awesome shopping and delightful restaurants.  But staying inside you will uncover some completely spectacular features.  The Grand Hotel Continental was a 17th century palace that portrayed pure elegance in its day.  Gorgeous frescoes can be found in many of the public areas and even in some of the rooms.  51 rooms and suites showcase comfort and abundant amenities that will prove quite satisfying to every guest.  This hotel has carefully restored the palace to its original glamour and everywhere you look you will find impressive architectural details, priceless antiques and a romantic atmosphere.  The superior restaurant showcases delectable dishes from renowned chef Luca Ciaffarafa, who's interpretation of Tuscan food has created quite a buzz in the local area while the bar promises to serve up some of the tempting regional wines or other heavenly cocktails.  Stay in style and elegance in Siena's Grand Hotel Continental.  

Suite at Grand Hotel Continental
A trip to the Tuscan countryside is tempting to most travelers.  So why not head out to see the beautiful landscape of Tuscany but also take in one of the UNESCO's chosen World Heritage Sites.  Siena promises beauty, culture and artistry in every experience.  Siena, Italy proves that what is old can still remain incredible.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Find Perfection at Post Ranch Inn

Post Ranch Inn
Beautiful cliffs tower above the stunning California coastline and at first glance you might see a rustic structure that is tucked neatly into the landscape.  Upon closer inspection you'll notice that what you thought was a rustic retreat is actually a luxuriously organic architectural form that is meant to blend with its environment.  Post Ranch Inn, located in Big Sur, has taken great pleasure in creating a resort that embraces nature with fantastic results.  Post Ranch promises to give you a passionate and serene destination that will make you never want to depart.  Check in at this romantic desination and get ready to strengthen your bond with nature in Big Sur, California.  

Exterior View
Simply driving to Post Ranch Inn will leave you breathless.  Located just off scenic highway 1, your commute here includes some of the most remarkable views of the California coastline.  After those views, you'll wonder how anything can compare.  But upon arrival at Post Ranch, you'll learn the err of your ways.  The mostly wood and glass resort boasts unforgettable views everywhere you look.  Guests will immediately notice the tranquility that surrounds the hotel.  Peaceful water features and the sense of isolation from the real world welcome you.  No TVs or alarm clocks can be found here because Post Ranch tempts you to relax.   However, comfortable and inviting beds, wood-burning fire places and champagne will be found upon arrival. 

Room at Post Ranch Inn
Relaxation here does not mean laying around all day, unless of course that is exactly what you want to do.  Every room is outfitted with a walking stick and the grounds around the resort are beckoning you to take a  walk, hike, or to go for a run through them.  The infinity pool calls to you with fabulous views and waters that are a constant 104 degrees.  Hit the lap pool or head to the state of the art fitness center to burn a few calories.  Find balance during a yoga class or look at the stars with the celestial telescope.  The Health and Wellness Center will entice you to enjoy a massage, facial or other rejuvenating treatment.  Cooking classes are also offered here, or simply choose to enjoy the award winning food via the dining room.  If you have a love of food and wine, Post Ranch invites you to explore their amazing menus.  In the Wine Cellar, enthusiasts can spend time looking over the wine lists and the extensive wine selections offered here.  Relaxation has many faces at Post Ranch Inn.  

Dining Room 
A number of choices exist when selecting your suite at Post Ranch Inn.  Choose either mountain view or ocean view and determine how much space you require.  Once that decision is made, get ready to feel pampered.  Every room gives its guests phenomenal views and amazing private balconies.  Though you won't find televisions and alarm clocks in your room, you will find plush decor, warming fireplaces, heated floors, large soaking tubs as well as large showers, and a very amorous setting.  It is no wonder many visitors are here for their honeymoon or anniversary.  Seduction can be found in every detail.  

Infinity Pool
Post Ranch Inn is well known for its views and ability to assist guests in retreating from the every day.  Visitors will arrive awe-struck and depart smitten with this intriguing resort.  Get ready to kick the excitement up a notch in Perfect Post Ranch Inn.