Rachel

Most of us will spend Monday night popping bottles of (cheap) champagne, passing cheese platters, or ordering in MSG-loaded Chinese food. Regardless of which indulgence you chose, there’s definitely at least a tinge of holiday hangover – alcoholic or otherwise. Start the year off right by heading to one of these super-sleek spas in a city near you.

The spa bathroom at the Beverly Wilshire; Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES: The Spa at the Beverly Hills Wilshire
The Detox Treatment: The Detox Massage ($180 for 60 minutes)

The Deal: As if complimentary use of the 8,000-square foot spa’s saunas, steam rooms, and experience showers (which feature the likes of colored lighting and variable pressure) wasn’t rejuvenating enough, every treatment here is top-notch, which is why we’d head straight for a Detox Massage. Therapists at the Rodeo Spa use specific massage techniques to flush out kidney, liver and other bodily toxins that will relax your mind, too.
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Sometimes the honeymoon isn’t about the locale (OK, well maybe a little bit), but rather about the hotel itself. Some of the finest properties around the globe are offering up unique, sexy services to ignite their burning desires (and/or fires). And rather then spend every last minute planning your honeymoon when you have SO MUCH ELSE to do, we figured we’d finagle the deets for you in advance. So brides, sit back, relax and enjoy these ideas brought to you by hotels across the globe. You can thank them later when you’re just positively glowing.

1. Book your stay at an adults-only resort.
Try: Fairmont Royal Pavilion, Barbados

Beach at the Fairmont Royal Pavilion, Barbados

The beach's umbrellas seat two. Coincidence? We think not.

Sprawling across 11 acres on the west coast of Barbados, the property is situated closer to the waterfront than others in the area, due to it being built before legislation forced future resorts to build further inland. The pink Colonial-style Fairmont Royal Pavilion feels quite romantic thanks to its design and offers two restaurants and bars, as well as free afternoon tea on the terrace. Because there are only 72 rooms, the beach never feels crowded. Excellent amenities include an outdoor pool , tennis courts , and free non-motorized water sports. Plus, NO ONE under the age of 18 is permitted at the resort. Did someone say bliss?

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This week’s Monday dose of goodness comes from the 120-room St. Regis, set in the posh Punta Mita area of Puerto Vallarta. Besides having a pristine, private, white-sand beach, this luxury resort offers up three distinct — and gorgeous — pools, world-class golfing, and rooms that looked ripped straight from the pages of a decor magazine. It’s the extra attention to detail that really lets us unwind when we’re on vacation — and the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort does all that. So as we say every week, take a deep breath, relax, and soak in the Monday morning bliss that is the beach at the St. Regis Punta Mita.

Beach at the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, Riviera Nayarit

Beach at the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, Riviera Nayarit

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10 Luxe Boutique Hotels in Lisbon

by Rachel on September 14, 2012

The capital city of Portugal, Lisbon is a modern, globalized area thanks to financial, cultural and tourism industries. But the city is also steeped in history — and many of its boutique hotels show it off. Check out our ten favorites below, and let us know which one YOU love the most in the comments section below!

Altis Belem Hotel & Spa

The glass-walled bathroom lets anyone in the Master Bedroom sneak a peek.

Restaurant Feitoria serves up delicious TK.

The Altis Belem Hotel & Spa is a 50-room boutique in Belem, a residential neighborhood on the Tagus River. Belem is slightly removed from the city center, but has several of its own attractions, as well as gorgeous marina views and lovely restaurants lining the river. The hotel’s rooms are sexy and spacious, with all-white decor accented by green rugs and unusual wall murals. Marble bathrooms are open — with little privacy — and some have inviting soaking tubs. Some rooms also have balconies with marina views and private Jacuzzis. Despite its small size, this hotel has many amenities, including a spa, a big indoor pool, a fitness center, and a Michelin-rated restaurant. Guests that want to be within walking distance of more attractions might consider the Altis Avenida, also a boutique hotel, with modern rooms in the city center.

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As obviously travel-biased folks, we cannot understand how a bride can spend an average of $30,000 on a wedding — instead of on an incredible vacation. But hotels these days are making it easier than ever to do both, that is, honeymoon and wed at the very same location. Check out five of the most luxurious destination wedding escapes around — brides, we promise you’ll be drooling to get away instead.

1. Fairmont Mayakoba, Riviera Maya

El Puerto Restaurant at the Fairmont serves up delicious Mexican grub.

The adults-only infinity pool is perfect for soaking up some sun post-nuptials.

With beautiful architecture and grounds, the Fairmont Mayakoba is the most picturesque spot to wed on the Playa del Carmen in Mexico, and few properties in the area can match the unrivaled level of privacy the resort offers. Although rooms are set amidst lagoons and tropical forests, they’re well-equipped and modern featuring upscale bathrooms with glass-enclosed showers and separate jetted tubs.

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Dream jungle gym.

Kid-friendly hotels are so important when traveling with young ones in tow — everything from giving a child milk and cookies at check-in to having video game consoles in guest rooms can make all the difference. But as the hotel experts, we’ve found that kids’ clubs are super important — not only are they *usually* under careful supervision, but they also provide the parents with much-needed alone time while on vacation. So before you book the next family getaway, browse this gallery of really cool kids’ clubs that’ll have your children thanking you for the awesome trip of a lifetime.

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Road warriors, rejoice: The days of relying on a (possibly shoddy) business center are over. Not that we don’t love a good business center, but when it comes to those who frequent the skies (or road, or railroad track) for work, we know from experience that it’s important to stay connected on your own terms. And since business travelers are dominating the hospitality landscape, hotels have heeded visitors’ requests and souped up their technologies to match the fast pace of the world today. Before you grab your briefcase and hop the next flight to Atlanta/New York City/Hong Kong, make sure you’re booked at one of tech-savvy retreats.

1. Innerwireless Distributed Antenna System
Where: Mandarin Oriental, New York 

The work desk in the Mandarin Executive Suite is spacious, sleek, and handsome.

Hate when your call gets dropped? So do we — especially if we’re negotiating an important deal. And obviously the Mandarin Oriental does too, which is why the ultra-luxe property in New York City set up what’s dubbed an “Innerwireless Distributed Antenna System,” which is a device installed in the core of the hotel that allows for uninterrupted — that’s right folks — and universal cellular coverage. And if you forgot your iPad charger or extra computer battery, the hotel concierge will easily provide you with replacements.

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This week’s little slice of heaven comes courtesy of the twins Pitons — or at least with a killer view of ‘em. Seen from the two-bedroom villa with plunge pool, the Pitons are St. Lucia’s most spectacular natural wonder — and the Ladera Resort boasts endless beauty shots of them. But this hotel also features some fabulous amenities, such as an infinity lagoon pool, a gorgeous open-air restaurant and bar, a (tiny) open-air fitness center, and a lovely spa with black water soaking baths. Plus, prices are far more accessible than those at the nearby, ultra-glam Jade Mountain Resort. Not too shabby, right? So as we always say, take a deep breath, relax, and soak in the Monday Morning goodness that is the Ladera.

Just pretend that you woke up to this view. It's almost as good as actually being there.

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When the last sparkler has gone out, the wedding’s over. For most people. Except the bride and groom, natch. The tradition of taking a honeymoon is a long and storied one, but there’s been a consistent for many of those newlyweds: They wanna stay in a seriously swag suite. After all, it is sort of the one chance you have to live it up — unless you’re made of money, in which case, you should book a suite every time you travel. Ballers aside, the honeymoon is the best time to treat yourself to an awesome hotel room with all the bells and whistles two newlyweds could want — theoretically, at least.

The Honeymoon: Hong Kong
The Suite: Extreme WOW Suite at the W Hong Kong

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The Extreme WOW Suite reflects the high-design area of Kolwoon in Hong Kong.

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Amazing Jack & Jill sinks lets your newly betrothed know to stay away from your products.

Hong Kong is a fabulous urban destination for those couples seeking out incredible, modern architecture, world-class shopping, and Michelin-starred dining on a nightly basis. And the W Hong Kong is in the heart of the tourist district, Kowloon, and features all the funky extras you’d expect from a W as well as an unreal, souped-up version of the stateside Bliss Spa chain. And the Extreme WOW Suite not only has all the high-tech essentials that seem commonplace in Hong Kong, but also has a fully-stocked kitchenette, spacious closet (because every outfit was carefully planned and considered), and dizzying views of the harbor.

See more photos of the suite »

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This (holiday!) week’s dose of goodness comes courtesy of the Fairmont Mayakoba, a luxurious resort in the Playa del Carmen section of the Riviera Maya in Mexico. Few properties in Riviera Maya offer the level of privacy the Fairmont Mayakoba does — but privacy, naturally, comes at a price. The 401 contemporary rooms are set amid tropical forests and lagoons, and feature modern amenities, upscale bathrooms with glass-enclosed showers and separate jetted tubs, and nice views, either of the lagoons, the forests, or the ocean. And with a beach pool like this one to float in, we’re pretty sure we wouldn’t complain if we were there right about now. So as we say every Monday, take a deep breath, relax, and soak in the goodness that is the Fairmont Mayakoba.

Fairmont Mayakoba Playa del Carmen Riviera Maya Mexico

Imagine yourself floating in the Fairmont Mayakoba's serene Beach Pool.

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