My long held suspicions are now confirmed after a trip to Northwest Ireland earlier this year, it’s my favorite golf destination in the world.
The judgement isn’t made lightly as I’ve played the ancient game in 50 or so countries, including 22 different lands during a year of roaming with clubs in tow for my book “Around the World in 80 Rounds.”
Simply put, Northwest Ireland has everything a true golf explorer desires: joyously dramatic seaside links-style courses playing through incredible duneland; comfortable accommodations for all budgets to recharge in nightly along the way; and gracious Irish hospitality that’s as prevalent as the myriad green pastures dotting the terra firma of this magical land. It’s tough to beat.
Where to Play
Enniscrone Golf Club (pictured above)
On several previous visits to Ireland, I’d somehow overlooked playing Enniscrone Golf Club in County Sligo. What a mistake! I could happily tee it up there on the Dunes Course for rest of my golfing life and be as happy as a leprechaun finding the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It well
Belvoir Beach, Herm, Channel Islands
We all know islands are a metaphor: for removal from the real world, for time standing still, and for escape. Their self-contained and detached nature is intriguing – you either love it or run screaming for the nearest overcrowded city – even more so if it features a mysterious owner, resident eccentric or private recording studio. The very act of taking a ferry or crossing a causeway is thrilling. And an island all to yourself is better still, as long as you choose your companions wisely. There are hundreds strewn around the British and Irish coasts. Here’s a smattering of the best.
So throw some shirts and pants in a bag, fill the gas tank, and plenty of time for snorkeling allow, in the footsteps of Hemingway walking and of course the key lime pie. They are at the time of the island today.
Fort Zachary Taylor beach dive.
The perfect Miami to Key West drive trip through the Florida Keys has to do with the pit stops: especially for conch fritters, tarpon fishing and meetings constellations. This is what you should not miss. A piece of lime pie in the kitchen of Mrs. Mac Key Largo. In Miami, you can directly on Route 1 for a straight shot on the buttons on the southernmost island, Key West jump (without stopping, the unit is about three hours). But why take the shortest route? Instead, if you happen to Homestead, Florida, hanging its route map, the only other way to the Keys. It is equally picturesque but with less traffic (however is a dollar only cash toll). It is also the only way to get any kind of low-cost products jointly sea in Key Largo, Alabama Jack, a rite of passage to obtain for anyone who does
As spring comes around each year, couples, families and friends all scramble to the holiday booking sites to find the perfect getaway to pencil in for the summer.
We all have our preferred places, or preferred methods of doing so, whether it’s taking a recommendation, heading back to somewhere you have previously enjoyed or seeing what the travel agents have to offer.
Regardless of where you have previously been, one destination sure to knock the socks off you is the Turks and Caicos Islands. This chain of islands, which sit south east of the Bahamas, is arguably the hidden gem of the Caribbean.
To show you just how great of a destination this is, here are five reasons to visit this summer.
Just last year Grace Bay, which is a beach on the island of Providenciales in the North East Caicos islands, was given the prestigious title of the ‘World’s Number One Beach’ from the Trip Advisor Traveller’s Choice Awards.
While there is no denying the area and the beach’s stunning beauty, it really is a blueprint of the rest of the island group.
If your idea of
Travelling is a very important part of life. Almost everyone should try to travel somewhere in order to get rid of the same routine. Whenever we talk about travelling to another country, there is no way you can forget bonton holidays. The fact that holidays and vacations come seldom in our lives and many of us don’t get frequent chances of enjoying them with their families, many people want to have everything perfect for vacations. They want to live in a best hotel and have the best time together and when we talk about perfect and best, bonton holidays are always there. It won’t be wrong to say that they are the best company among others who are related to travel.
Now the question arises, why should we choose bonton holidays to spend our vacations. One fact is that it is a leading multi-national travelling company who has been operating internationally in Dubai, Mauritius, Canada and London. This means no matter where you are in the world, you can avail their services easily in the major metropolitan cities
Macau (top left) is quickly shooting up as the world’s fastest-growing tourist destination. Pictured: Macau’s Galaxy Starworld Hotel. Hong Kong (top right) is a surreally highrise and dreamlike city. This view looking down from Hong Kong Island’s highest hotel, the Island Shangri-La. Photos: Steve Warner
As I peered down at the glimmering city of Bangkok below — the “sky train” that appeared a miniature toy set and the cars that looked like tiny gold bugs in toothpick-thin streets — as I tried to forget that a frail metal rail was all that separated me from a half-mile tumble of doom, my thoughts turned to director Gus Van Sant. It was all the movie maker’s doing that I was dining up here at a glamourous rooftop restaurant in the clouds that lacking windows, walls, and roof was a setting straight out of my nightmares.
When I’d mentioned to Van Sant a while back that I would be traveling to Thailand’s chaotic capital, his response was immediate: “Go to Vertigo.”
Prone to dizzyness – a spinning woozyness often kicked off by heights – I didn’t like the very sound of it.
“Great restaurant on top of the Banyan Tree Hotel. Open air. On
Anna Maria Island Florida offers a wonderful setting for family vacations. Stay in private villas that offer a “laid back” luxury travel experience.
With a seven mile coast line of exquisite sugar-white sand, an average daily temperature of 84 degrees and 361 days of sunshine per year, you’d be forgiven for thinking such a place doesn’t exist. But it does. With a rustic charm, a laid-back Floridian style and unhurried tropical living, the word ‘recession’ will be far from your thoughts.
The locals want to get to know you and the local businesses welcome you with signs that say ‘come as you are’ and promising to ‘feed your soul’; a truly indicative symbol of the delight that is Anna Maria Island, Manatee County, Florida.
This hidden gem is located 40 miles south of Tampa, surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico on the West, Tampa Bay and Anna Maria Sound on the East and Sarasota Bay to the South. The Island consists of three town communities; Anna Maria City to the north end of the island, which houses some of the largest residential homes. Holmes beach in the centre and Bradenton Beach in the south; with its fun shops and restaurants. However
Notre Dame looked even better in the sunshine. With only a few small clouds for contrast, the 13th century church stood firm and tall, while visitors gazed from its flat top over expansive Paris.
A few minutes and tight turns later, on a one-way street, I was welcomed to the Relais Christine. Large swinging doors opened into a courtyard, just a few short weeks from bloom. I wondered how many Parisians had entered these gates over the history of the building, carrying their daily baguette with cheese or fruit from the market.
Situated on the left bank, Relais Christine remains quiet while offering proximity to the best Paris has to offer. The morning after my arrival, I stepped into the Rue Christine only to discover a film being shot around the corner, my new neighborhood the backdrop for a movie production. Around the corner, a small plaque revealed the house as the location Picasso painted his famous ‘Guernica’ in 1937. A former Bond girl, wearing tall black boots, strutted past me. This was all in the first 5 minutes I left the door of the hotel.
The street was one of two new roads in Paris to be named after the
If paradise on Earth consists of idyllic beaches, luxury accommodations, and glorious sunshine, then Koh Samui certainly qualifies.
A small island in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui offers natural beauty and luxury in abundance. Look beneath the surface, and you’ll also find that this island has maintained its authentic charm. It’s a winning combination and our choice for that most special of trips — our honeymoon.
Our home base is the Langham Place Samui at Lamai Beach. In recent years, Koh Samui has seen a steady rise in the number of luxury resorts that dot its shores. Despite our many options, we know right away that we’ve made the right decision with the Langham. The staff is unfazed by our request to upgrade and they effortlessly slot us into a new room.
The high walls and thick, green vegetation that line the paths of the resort insulate us from the rest of the island and create a sense of solitude. There are many other guests, but our room is private and secluded. The bathroom vents to the sky and there’s an oversized bathtub and exotic bath salts. It’s the ideal spot to escape all cares for a while. We share
Rocky Mountaineer Offers Travelers A Chance To Ride Two Of The Best Trains In The World. Book any Rocky Mountaineer vacation and receive a free round-trip journey onboard the Whistler Mountaineer.
Rocky Mountaineer, recently recognized as the top train in the world by The Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), is celebrating its recent distinction with an unbeatable offer to experience both of its highly regarded routes.
Guests who book a Rocky Mountaineer rail journey or package from now until September 25, 2009, receive a free round-trip journey onboard the Whistler Mountaineer, which also made the “Top Ten” train list at number eight. In addition, travelers have a chance to bring home a few mementos of their trip with a $50 souvenir credit.
The Rocky Mountaineer train travels between Vancouver, Whistler, BC and Jasper, Banff or Calgary, Alberta and offers a two-day, all daylight rail journey through the Canadian Rockies. Passing by these beautiful landscapes, guests experience the best mix of exceptional service and magnificent views of snow-capped mountain peaks, rugged canyons and crystal clear lakes. As a perfect complement to the Rocky Mountaineer, the Whistler Mountaineer links the world-class destinations of Vancouver and Whistler, proud hosts of the 2010 Olympic
A visit to Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas, is a must for world travelers, and to stay near the ancient site allows you more exploration than most. A whopping 70 percent of visitors see the ruins only as day-trippers, which is a shame because that’s not enough time to experience the magic of South America’s most famous archaeological site.
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, an unusual luxury property because of its lush, Andean cloud-forest setting, is an outstanding option for a stay here.
But first, you have to reach the town, officially called Machu Picchu Pueblo but formerly known as Aguas Calientes for its thermal springs – now simply called Machu Picchu by most. In making your travel plans, you will need to differentiate the village from the archaeological site, also called “the historical reserve.”
Nearly everyone arrives by train. To do so in style, book the Orient-Express Hiram Bingham train from Cusco.
Inkaterra rises up its terraced hillside from alongside the train tracks, making it easily accessible for travelers.
The award-winning, eco-conscious Inkaterra Machu Picchu is an Andean-style village tucked amid 12 acres populated with native birds, plants and an amazing wild orchid collection. Stone pathways lead to
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the SeaDream Yacht Club, whose motto is “It’s yachting, not cruising.” That it is. Vive La Difference! It’s a family owned company, conceived by Norwegian entrepreneur Atle Brynestad with a maximum of 112 guests on board and catered to by an award-winning crew of 95, insuring that you will receive the most incomparable, inclusive service at sea, bar none. The service onboard is comfortably transparent, like the way the bartender knows your name and what you’re drinking to the waiter surprising you with your favorite dessert. In fact, Conde Nast Traveler magazine recently ranked SeaDream number one in the category of small ships with a higher score than any other cruise ship regardless of category. he Great Equalizer
Cruising is my favorite mode of travel, and in that I’m not alone; even the esteemed Sir Francis Drake said “It isn’t that life ashore is distasteful, but life at sea is better.” Think about it: cruising lets you share a front porch with a billionaire, your view the very same beautiful sea, blue sky and if you’re lucky, cavorting porpoises and the occasional leaping whale. The boarding process always puts fluttering butterflies
he aura is pink, the aroma predominantly mint.
This is Marrakech – the pale rouge city of labyrinthine souks, fertile gardens and historic mosques where time stands still over an aromatic glass of mint tea.
For centuries it has been the beating, vibrant heart of Morocco.
Exploring the medina, bound by ancient red sandstone walls, is one of the highlights of a stay in Marrakech.
The approach is dominated by the landmark Koutoubia mosque, dating from the late 10th century with four golden orbs at the top of the square 69-metre minaret.
From there you can cross into the narrow alleys and passages that form the ancient medina, dating from the same period and created by Berber dynasties from the south of the country at a time that Marrakech was the country’s capital and Africa’s key trading hub.
Marrakech medina flea market Mosque, market, bathhouse and tea-shop; these are the institutions of the souk but its social fabric too, where people meet, converse, wash, pray and while away the time.
The medina has numerous exits but many empty out into the main square
A member of The Leading Hotels and The Leading Spas of the World, Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort is a quiet oasis of luxury with 5 Star comforts on the boundary of one of Costa Rica’s wildly beautiful nature preserves.
Located in the middle of a rain forest, the hotel and resort give guests an intimate connection with the natural surroundings. Walk outside and look up. You can’t miss it. The Arenal Volcano, a smooth sided, flat topped massive pyramid of dark earth, towers above. Tabacón, the short-hand name for the hotel and spa, takes its life blood from the volcano.
The Arenal Volcano is no postcard relic. The volcano lives and breathes. Lava flows on the western side. Underground magma pushes up from the Earth’s core and heats the streams flowing through the resort.
A three to four hour drive from Juan Santamaría International Airport in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, Tabacón is easily reached by bus or car. My wife and I were picked up at the airport by Hjalmar, our guide and driver from Costa Rican Vacations. Driving through the countryside we passed a great variety of landscapes.
If you enjoy Hawaii without the high rises, you
n Las Vegas, pool days never have to end, not even when summer is over. Among several pools that remain open year-round, ARIA Resort & Casino’s Sky Pool transforms its luxurious summer offerings to keep guests cozy during their winter vacation.
Created exclusively for Sky Suites’ guests, the newest retreat on the Las Vegas Strip takes the hotel’s Forbes Five Star services poolside with unexpected indulgences befitting the season. Instead of serving summer refreshments such as chilled towels or smoothie shots, wintertime guests can enjoy the heated pool along with warm towels and complimentary hot chocolate, warm cider or hot tea delivered every 90 minutes.
Additionally, there are other world-class pools across Las Vegas that are staying open for guests looking to take advantage of Sin City’s mild winter climate, including:
- Mandalay Bay: Moorea Beach Club sheds its “toptional” dress code as it becomes the resort’s main pool for winter guests. Cozy fire pits are lit for guests to toast marshmallows with S’mores kits available for purchase.
- ARIA Resort & Casino: The two main pools are open during the winter season with cocktail service available in the well-appointed cabanas.
taly abounds with gorgeous five-star hotels, yet, most are either international brands or run by outside management companies. Not so with Baglioni Hotels.
This family-owned and operated luxury hotel group has mastered the art of welcoming guests into founder Roberto Polito’s extended family.
After years in the hotel business, Polito went out on his own in 1974 with a single property in the Italian port town of Punta Ala in Tuscany. Named Hotel Cala del Porto (now Baglioni Hotel Cala del Porto), this five-star hotel and Relais & Châteaux property was the childhood home of Polito’s children, including his son, Guido, who now helps manage the company from his home in Milan.
“Guests really perceive that there is a soul behind the brand,” says Guido Polito, referring to the six properties in Italy, two in France, and one in the U.K. “We select our staff first based on their attitude and then skills because you can always teach skills, but not an attitude. It’s important the staff feel passionate about the brand and share our values,” he continues, “which is to treat guests in an authentic, friendly and caring way.”
Indeed, all the properties
Snuggled in a cushy lounge chair set smack in front of my private cabana, eyes closed, a gentle voice cut through my blissful trance. “My lady, what can I get you….a Bloody Mary or a Bellini, perhaps?” Pausing for about a nano-second, I gazed up at my Cabana Butler and murmured, “Champagne, please.”
I was at a Mediterranean inspired historic village, the AAA Four Diamond Boca Raton Resort & Club, a Waldorf Astoria property in Florida, where I experienced three days of utter and total relaxation paired with pampering in Spa Palazzo’s palatial gardens and dining each evening at one of the resort’s many world-class restaurants. Among renowned past guests, there have been many bold-faced names such as President Clinton, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Queen Silvia of Sweden and her daughter Princess Madeline; now I was having my very own princess-turn at this singular resort. Addison Mizner, a self-taught architect, came to Boca Raton in 1925 with a vision to create the “greatest resort in the world.” Mizner designed this elegant structure in an imaginative, pseudo-Spanish style with courtyards and embellished it with his private collection of rare antiques from old churches and universities in Spain and Central
ince ancient Cypriots purportedly ministered to ailing pilgrims at the temple of Asclepius, health tourism has grown to an estimated 11 million cross-border travelers each year.
According to Patients Without Borders, approximately 1,200,000 Americans traveled outside the US for medical care in 2014. Until recently, most were motivated to seek medical care abroad by the prospects of more affordable health care or shorter wait times than they might access at home. A growing niche of luxury facilities is emerging for health travelers who choose – rather than require – health care elsewhere. This “luxe” market draws those interested in improving physical, mental and emotional functioning while enjoying a health holiday. The newest of these destinations has opened in Namibia, a country rated among the top travel destinations on the planet. Namibia Health Tourism (NHT) operates within the award winning GocheGanas Game Reserve and Wellness Village, but constitutes an independent program. The NHT team encompasses board certified psychologists, biokineticists, health educators, and physician advisors. No invasive procedures or pharmacological changes are undertaken. Rather, holistic health promotion entails a full daily schedule of customized sessions with the wellness team, as well as superb dining and opportunities to explore individual interests. All
For most people getting to Hawaii takes a good deal of travel time, so the Ooh and Aah factor of where you stay and what you do have to match the travel time.
The Big Island has resort options that blend the allure of the islands with lavish appointments and island charm. It is the kind of destination where focusing on a particular area yields the best travel experience. The Kohala coast, north of Kona, offers a bevy of resorts that combine beach, dining, stunning golf and relaxation in one of the most idyllic settings.
Plan on staying 10 days, especially if you want to stay at one resort, and then gallivant to cultural sites and wonders that span recreation, nature, and dining. The exact mix is best combining activities that are close in driving distance.
If you need to blend your stay plus give the children oodles of energy burning activities, then the Hilton Waikoloa Village might be the place. The entire property, all 65 acres is splashed with an Asian/Oriental theme. Pools abound, and while it’s big, whether you go in a small or large group, you can find your own little kingdom on the beach or at the
The flight was long, then there was a second flight and a serious drive; it was possibly one of the longest journeys I’ve ever been on. But once I arrived, the thrill of being somewhere new, tropical and hot gave me all the energy I needed.
Uxua has held court in this tiny beach town on the east coast of Brazil since it opened in 2009 – a jungle of green, punctuated with pops of pink chenille and tall birds of paradise. The camouflaged treehouse-bedrooms have gorgeous interiors, ice-cream-coloured walls and bamboo rocking chairs, and the whole place is best described as Robinson Crusoe meets Wes Anderson. The guests were a mix of bonkers and brilliant. Some had been staying at the hotel for more than a month. The property weaves its way from an unassuming side street to the focal point: the swimming pool, lined with jade-coloured pebbles and overhung by thick green palms. It is relaxing to the point of hypnotic. The beach is a short walk away and centred around a shipwrecked boat that is now a bar filled with fresh coconuts. Local kids spend the day galloping horses up and down in the