March 2013

Hamara Retreat is an eco-friendly oasis in Riviera Nayarit.

Haramara is arguably one of the most special hotels in Mexico. It is a luxurious yoga retreat located on 12 seaside acres of wild vegetation just outside Sayulita. The structures have been built using traditional construction techniques to minimize the environmental impact, and there is no electricity anywhere besides the restaurant and the yoga studio — not even in the rooms. Each room is housed in a private standalone thatched hut with no window panes or screens separating it from the jungle, and only gauze curtains and mosquito nets to avoid bugs and critters. It is geared towards those in need of some detoxification and relaxation, with yoga and meditation classes, an open-air spa, a vegetarian and seafood restaurant, unpaved trails, and limited cell phone service. So as we say every week, sit back, relax, and soak up the goodness that is the Haramara Retreat.

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A collection of islands, Hong Kong attracts tourists with its many things to do; from shopping to eating to visiting museums and historic sights, visitors are always busy. We’ve found just the spot to stay for almost every kind of traveler, so whether you plan on bringing the kids along or want to take a bite out of the best Asian cuisine, Oyster has a hotel for you. We brought them to you all week on Captivate elevator screens, so see the full roundup below!

 Hotel for Foodies: Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong

Man Wah at the Mandarin Oriental

Man Wah at the Mandarin Oriental

With not one, not two, but three Michelin-starred restaurants on-site, the Mandarin Oriental is the ideal spot for foodies. Guests can also munch on tasty bites at the hotel’s bakery and popular lounge.

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Winter is on its way out and spring is making an entrance. But choosing where to watch the clouds part and the flowers bloom can be tricky. Washington, D.C. is one of the most popular spots to visit during the season, thanks to its gorgeous cherry blossom trees and the White House Easter Egg Roll. But over in Europe, Paris is known for its gorgeous tulips and lush green backdrop. So which pick spring city are waiting to see? Take a look at the options below and then enter your answer in the comments section.

Option 1: A Spring Stroll Though Washington, D.C.

Every spring, crowds flock to D.C. to catch a glimpse (and a whiff!) of the city’s iconic cherry blossom trees. Guests staying at the Mandarin Oriental have a  particular advantage on the crowds, with the hotel being just a short walk from the Tidal Basin’s blossoms. After a stroll through the blooming landscape, the White House is a quick drive away, as are tons of parks and landmarks, making the Mandrin the best option for spring visitors.  Read More »

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The Marriott Wailea Resort is a romantic honeymoon locale on Maui.

Honeymoons must be two things: romantic and memorable. Any old trip to the beach is just not going to suffice for a couple’s post-nuptial getaway. But thankfully, there are plenty of unique and luxurious properties out there for newlyweds. Remote jungle hideaways, cozy mountain lodges, luxe European grand dames, and gorgeous beachfront properties are waiting with a bottle of champagne at the ready to toast your “I dos.” These romantic hotels around the world are perfect honeymoon locales; go ahead and swoon over them in this slideshow.

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Bedroom at The One by the Five

Bedroom at The One by the Five

One by the Five gets its name because it is literally one guestroom. Clearly designed to set a romantic mood for guests, the room offers scent choices, a “love elixir” cocktail that can be made in the suite’s kitchenette, a rose petal-covered levitating bed (it’s attached to the wall but not the floor), and a common area dubbed “the dance floor,” with all-red decor and crushed velvet curtains. And though some find it cheesy, the suite still has an upscale vibe, particularly in the mod bedroom where the lighting can be dimmed down so that the ceiling glows with a twinkling starlight effect. A flat-screen TV, iPod dock, and free Wi-Fi are also on offer. There are literally no features at this one-room property, but room service is available, there are several restaurants within walking distance, and guests have a one-of-a-kind hotel experience. See more incredible photos after the jump or read our full review now»

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The Red Inn in Cape Cod is a lovely spot for a beachy New England wedding just as fall approaches.

The Red Inn is where history meets luxury in the Provincetown area of Cape Cod. A local hot spot thanks to a delicious seafood restaurant, the inn draws visitors from far and wide looking to get hitched in a cozy beachside locale. Even Franklin Delano Roosevelt saw fit to visit this tranquil spot. The rooms — of  which there are only eight — have upscale, beach-chic decor, and some offer romantic fireplaces. But all of them exude a touch of whimsy and romance, with expansive decks overlooking the water.

Couples can choose to wed in the gardens, on the waterside deck, or in any space of the inn’s intimate interiors. Staff can coordinate tent rentals, floral arrangements, musicians, cake design, and menu customization. They have a good selection of vendors they’ve worked with in the past, but couples can bring in their own choice of vendors as well. Just remember that because of The Red Inn’s small size and legitimate cool factor, it tends to sell out fast, so book early (especially if you want your bridal party to be able to stay at the hotel). Check out more wedding-inspired photos of The Red Inn here »
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It may not be the Caribbean, but with this view, who on the San Juan Islands could complain about it?

An “island getaway” doesn’t necessarily translate into washing up on the shores of the Caribbean. Plenty of other islands in the U.S. boast the same laid-back, secluded feel that you can find in Barbados or Jamaica, but often come at a fraction of those sky-high all-inclusive rates; you’ll at least save some cash on airfare! For perhaps unconventional, but nonetheless awesome, island stays, check out our top picks for value, sun, and fun!

 

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The Luxury Beachfront Room at the One&Only Ocean Club, Bahamas

The Luxury Beachfront Room at the One&Only Ocean Club, Bahamas

1. FACT OR FAKEOUT? During Easter, guests staying at One&Only Ocean Club in Bahamas can request to be tucked into bed by an Easter bunny.

2. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Turnberry Isle Miami has launched a social media campaign to try to help a guest recover her wedding ring — which she lost at the hotel’s beach club — by spreading the word.

3. FACT OR FAKEOUT? A 20-year-old man was arrested at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel & Suites Charleston – Historic District after flashing his genitals to a couple celebrating their wedding at the hotel.

4. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Tribeca Film Festival and Conrad New York have launched a contest through which the winners get two Vesey passes for the festival and two Business-class flights from anywhere in the States or the United Kingdom.

5. FACT OR FAKEOUT?  The fifteen items known as the Jewels of Titanic — including diamonds, sapphires and gold jewelry — on display at Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas will be auctioned on May 31st, 2013.

Check out the answers after the jump!
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Spring is the season for bachelor and bachelorette parties, when engaged couples celebrate their final days of freedom before their summertime nuptials. Of course, bachelor/ette parties head everywhere around the globe to embrace their fleeting singledom, but some destinations are always at the top of everyone’s list. Here, we bring you six of the most popular destinations for bachelor and bachelorette parties. But instead of limiting you to the traditional activities, we also offer alternative options for those looking for something a little different. Either way, these spots are sure to make your party memorable.

1. Las Vegas

Soon-to-be married men partying it up at Tryst at the Wynn.

This one comes as no surprise: Tons and tons and tons of bachelor and bachelorette parties head to Sin City to let loose. Chock-a-block with nightclubs, casinos, pool parties, and strip clubs, Vegas is a massive playground and even the nicest hotels offer relatively inexpensive rates. But that’s all because they know you’ll be spending your life savings on gambling, fine dining, and, often, strippers. Though it used to be just a spot where soon-to-be married men got away, now plenty of bachelorette parties choose Vegas as their destination as well; Kim Kardashian partied at Tao at the Venetian before her ill-fated marriage to Kris Humphries.

Alternative Pick: If stripper shows and packed clubs aren’t your thing, Vegas can still be a great spot for a bachelor/ette party, especially for those on the West Coast who can easily get to the area. About a 30-minute drive from the Strip, Henderson features numerous luxe hotels that are nonetheless relatively reasonably priced and feel miles and miles away. The Westin doesn’t even have a casino; instead, visitors visit the gorgeous spa, enjoy water activities at the beach, relax by the large pool, rent bicycles to explore the property, and take outdoor yoga classes.

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Cambridge Beaches Resort sits on four private beaches.

This 96-room, 30-acre resort trumps almost every other resort in Bermuda as far as style and sophistication are concerned. Of course, you’ll pay some of the island’s highest rates to enjoy it. But with its two stunning pools, expansive spa, four private beaches, three restaurants, and some of the most beautifully landscaped grounds around, you might just consider it a worthwhile investment. Like many resorts on the island, Cambridge Beaches has a fascinating history, dating back to the 1600s when a former sea captain and one-time island governor placed this coveted parcel of land along Mangrove Bay for sale. Today, the resort, though modern and even somewhat trendy, has lovingly maintained the former owner’s residence, converting it into one of its most expensive guest units, the two-bedroom Pegem Cottage, which features its own private gardens and traditional Bermudian decor. Most of the remaining units are significantly smaller (and several of them do not have the same stunning ocean views), but all are beautiful and romantic (after all, this is an adults-only resort). So as we say every week, sit back, relax, and soak up the goodness that is Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa.

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