• Relationship Advice 101: Handling Conflict Like A Pro Posted by Admin

    Relationship Advice 101

    A strong and stable relationship is not built on the absence of conflict. Conflict is inevitable—whether it’s about deciding which restaurant to eat in on your anniversary or visiting the in-laws this weekend.

    The key to a smooth-sailing relationship is the couple’s ability to manage conflict in a mature and healthy way.

    Of course, this sounds easier said than done. When you or your partner is emotionally charged, the hardest thing to do is be rational and calm. But if you want your relationship to work out and you want your partner to be THE one, managing conflict should be part of your ready set of skills.

    Where to begin? Here are some expert tips.

    No yelling and no name-calling. Raising your voice and calling your partner a ‘twit’ is not going to diffuse the tension in any way. If anything, it’s just going to give your partner another reason to be upset and to prolong the argument. Stick to the issues, and as much as possible, DO NOT yell. (It may also help to think about the other people in the house who may get dragged into the argument if you turn up the volume, kids most especially.)

    Try to focus on where you went wrong (and right), not on who did wrong (or right). Try to isolate yourself, and your partner, from the situation. This is important to avoid finger-pointing and blaming.

    If you can, try to be the first to apologize. Even if your partner does not seem ready to do so. Even if you feel and you know that you are right. Apologize for making your partner upset, and then proceed to explain your side of the story. Apologizing is also a sign of how much you love your partner because you are more interested in reconciling than proving how right you are.

    If the anger is too intense that you cannot control it, walk away, for a short while. Sometimes, creating physical space between you and your partner while emotions are high is the best option to better resolve the conflict. When you walk away, however, know that it should be temporary (and not too far away; don’t go on an island holiday in the middle of a conflict), and that the intent is still to make up with your partner.

    Do not bring up mistakes from the past. Otherwise, you’ll never stop fighting. Focus on the issues today. And keep in mind that both of you are guilty of doing or saying hurtful things in the past but you’ve chosen to stay together and move on anyway. If that’s still what you want, then focus on solving the problem now.

    Relationships, particularly the romantic type, really do tend to get difficult after the honeymoon stage. But they don’t have to be, if you know how to handle the tricky situations that can ruin the foundation of your relationship. Always focus on the long-term; don’t sweat the small things. And be realistic—your partner, and you, are not perfect.

    So stop fighting, kiss and make up (*wink, wink*)!

  • Luxury Hot Springs Getaways Posted by Admin

    Blue Lagoon

    There is something very sensual about relaxing in a mineral bath or hot springs with your loved one. While your body reclines into the natural healing waters, the mind can go blank while the two of you connect on a different level.

    The whole hot springs fad started with the Roman Empire, which turned bathing in natural hot spring waters into a common pleasure. Since then, hot springs – which are geothermally-heated ground waters from the earth’s crust – were discovered all over the world. Water cures became popular and resorts and wellness spas were developed surrounding these naturally healing pools.

    Today, there are so many luxury hot springs getaways it was difficult to limit our list to five. The luxurious feeling of floating and relaxing with your honey is worth finding just the right spot, so check further if none of our faves are located conveniently for your getaway.

    1. Glenwood Hot Springs – USA

    This is one of the world’s largest hot springs pools and is only steps away from your room, Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge is one in a million. It is located in Glenwood Springs, Colorado near the beautiful Colorado River. Partake in a holistic spa treatment or soak your cares away in the natural mineral springs. Eat breakfast poolside, take a class in the fitness center or treat yourselves to a steam room cleanse. The surrounding environment is basically the foot of the Rockies and provides a stunning backdrop so be sure to walk around the grounds.

    2. Tabacan Grand Spa – Costa Rica

    With six active volcanoes, Tabacon’s hot springs are a product of all of the geothermal activity. Although there are several hot springs locations around the area, relaxing on the Grand Spa resort’s grounds is even more laid back, as you’ll be near your room for intermittent refreshments. The hot springs in this part of the world are 97 percent rainwater that has sunk into the earth, been heated and brought back to the surface bringing minerals along with it. The water is said to increase and repair skin’s natural defense system.

    3. Blue Lagoon – Iceland

    Iceland’s Blue Lagoon is one of the most famous geothermal hot springs in the world. The Blue Lagoon is filled with the bluest water because it’s composed of silica, algae and minerals, which reflect sunlight and add color. Although it is said that if the water is poured into a glass, it is actually a milky color. The temperature of the six-million liters of water is around 98 – 104 degrees and the pool is self-cleansing (every 40 hours). There are several packages, but we recommend the luxury package which will provide the ultimate experience. For a perfect romantic getaway, make reservations in one of the nearby luxury hotels.

    4. The Hotel Royal – France

    What makes The Hotel Royal in Evian les Bains, France, one of the top destinations in our book is its location. It is simply one-of-a-kind as it is situated on the French bank of Lake Geneva overlooking the French Alps. The city is known for its water, as most are familiar with Evian bottled water. Water spa facilities are available at the hotel or in the community day-spa. For an afternoon side trip, take a ferry across Lake Geneva and you’ll be in Lausanne, Switzerland in less than an hour. Or walk around the city of Evian, which is lovely and has all of the typical French fare from patisseries to boulangeries, where you can buy fresh bread to bring back to the room.

    5. Terme di Saturnia – Italy

    The Terme di Saturnia consists of several hot springs that are all within the Saturnia village in the Tuscany region of Italy. The water flows at 96.8 degrees in the thermal pools. To add to the enjoyment of being there, enjoy the rest of the resort’s and area’s relaxing possibilities. When the two of you are finished soaking in the therapeutic waters, there is a top-rated restaurant in the resort, an 18-hole golf course, spa treatments and, of course, plenty to do while wandering around the lovely municipality of Manciano.

  • Top 15 Luxury Travel Places Posted by Admin

    Four Seasons Doha

    This page will list the top luxury travel list for you.

    1) Jade Mountain – Saint Lucia

    Ranked the top Caribbean resort in Travel + Leisure’s World Best Awards survey, Jade Mountain has 24 luxury units each with 15-foot ceilings, private infinity pools, and striking views of the Piton Mountains and black sand beaches.

    www.jademountain.com

    2) Four Seasons Doha – Doha, Qatar

    This Middle Eastern hotel, nestled in the West Bay complex in Doha, blends together cultures from around the world. Try the French-Lebanese “super grand buffet” at Brasserie, relax with cigars at Liberty Bar & Cigar Lounge, and groove to Bollywood music at the Hip India lounge.

    www.fourseasons.com/doha

    3) Hotel Splendido & Splendido Mare – Portofino, Italy

    Hotel Splendido provides the true Italian Riviera experience for newcomers and seasoned travelers. The hotel is on a hillside overlooking the Portofino cove, and most rooms come with lush balconies. Their heated saltwater pool is a relaxing treat, and La Terrazza specializes in local seafood.

    www.hotelsplendido.com

    4) Taj Mahal Palace – Mumbai, India

    Not to be confused with the mausoleum in Agra, this 107-year-old Florentine-inspired palace re-opened in 2010 and still retains its signature alabaster ceilings, silk carpets and onyx columns. Delectable Japanese cuisine is served at Wasabi by Morimoto.

    www.tajhotels.com/Luxury/Grand-Palaces-And-Iconic-Hotels/The-Taj-Mahal-Palace-Mumbai/Overview.html

    5) The Peninsula – Bangkok, Thailand

    At this unique resort, all rooms have a river view, silk-upholstered furnishings, and a television above the bathtub. The River Cafe and Terrace serves an international-inspired breakfast every morning, and the 3-tiered pool surrounded by island foliage will have you convinced you’re at a tropical resort.

    bangkok.peninsula.com

    6) El Dorado Maroma – Riviera Maya, Mexico

    Nestled at one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, this adults-only resort is all-inclusive with 99 suites, some with private pools and exclusive beach access. Mexican and Caribbean dishes are served at Sabores; enjoy an afternoon cocktail at one of the poolside swim-up bars.

    www.karismahotels.com/hotelsresorts/foradultsonly/eldoradomaroma

    7) The Connaught – London, UK

    This historic and world-famous hotel, in the heart of London’s Mayfair neighborhood, combines wood paneling and peppermint green with silver leaf in each room. Hélène Darroze serves southwestern French cuisine and Saturday brunch, and afternoon tea is served at Espelette.

    www.the-connaught.co.uk

    8) Blue Palace Resort – Crete, Greece

    This lush Greek resort is filled with Mediterranean touches – palm and olive trees, views of the turquoise sea, and locally-inspired cuisine at Blue Door and Olea. For a splurge-worthy experience, try a suite with a private heated infinity pool.

    www.bluepalace.gr

    9) Halekulani Waikiki – Oahu, Hawaii, USA

    This beachside Waikiki resort is considered by many the best on the island. Rooms have views of Gray Beach and Diamond Head, as well as soaking tubs and private terraces. La Mer serves French cuisine, and for a traditional Hawaiian touch, enjoy hula dancers at House Without a Key.

    www.halekulani.com

    10) Auberge du Soleil – Napa Valley, CA, USA

    In the heart of Napa’s wine country, this resort is set on 33 acres of vineyards and olive groves with unprecedented views. Bungalows have wood-burning fireplaces and refrigerators stocked with wine and cheese – perfect for a Napa experience.

    www.aubergedusoleil.com

    11) Twin Farms – Barnard, VT, USA

    This quintessential all-inclusive New England lodge is known for its exclusivity – there are only 20 rooms. Each room is individually decorated in styles ranging from modern to Moroccan, all with contemporary and folk art. Animals lovers will like that Out of the Woods spa uses exclusively vegetarian bath and body products.

    www.twinfarms.com

    12) Qualia, Great Barrier Reef – Hamilton Island, Australia

    Enjoy the beauty of the South Pacific at this Australian resort on the northernmost tip of Hamilton Island; hillside pavilions are spread over 30 acres for optimal views. Casual Australian lunches are served at The Pebble Beach, and if you like long and lingering dinners, the Long Pavilion serves seven-course meals every night.

    www.qualia.com.au

    13) Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve – South Africa

    It may in a remote location in South Africa, but that’s one of the draws of this game reserve resort. There are four lodges onsite, each with its own atmosphere. You can watch lions and giraffes during game drives, and the cuisine is quintessentially African, with local barbecue and vegetarian dishes for any palate.

    www.sabisabi.com

    14) Amankila – Bali, Indonesia

    Though they attract visitors from around the world, this resort is still very in touch with its community. The freestanding thatched-roof suites feature canopy beds and patios with coconut-shell tables, all with views of the resort’s infinity pools and the sea. European and Indonesian cuisine is served onsite, as well as afternoon tea with ginger tea and Balinese coffee.

    www.amanresorts.com/amankila/home.aspx

    15) Eden Rock, St. Barths – Saint Jean, French West Indies

    Formerly the home of St. Barth’s first mayor, this resort on a rocky point overlooks St. Jean Bay and is known for its flawless service. Guest rooms have antiques and rain showers; On the Rocks with Jean-Georges serves garden-fresh globally-inspired cuisine.

    www.edenrockhotel.com

  • Gulfstream Welcomes The G500 and G600 to the Luxury Jet Family Posted by Admin

    private jat

    High-end travelers have come to rely on the luxury travel experience provided by Gulfstream, the best private jet money can buy. Since 1958, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation has produced more than 2,000 innovative private aircrafts, making them the world-class leader in the field of business aviation.

    With the recent introduction of a new family of business jets, the Gulfstream G500 and G600, travelers can now experience the comfort and efficiency that has come to be expected from the aircraft line with the best-in-class performance.

    For those with a love for travel and a taste for opulence, the Gulfstream G500 and G600 will undoubtedly fit the bill. These ultra long-range aircrafts offer top-of-the-line fuel efficiency and wide cabin comfort that will make your journey the most luxurious you have ever experienced.

    Their sleek style and optimized wing design puts them far above the rest with regard to safety and high-lift capability, making the newest additions to the Gulfstream family some of the most reliable and productive private jets on the market.

    The G500 will run you $43.5 million, but has the capability to fly 5,000 nautical miles at Mach 0.85 or 3,800 nautical miles at Mach 0.90. With a maximum operating speed of Mach 0.925, you will arrive at your destination in a fraction of the time it would take you aboard an ordinary commercial airline.

    Time is our most precious asset, so for the price of $54.5 million you can own your very own Gulfstream G600 capable of traveling 6,200 nautical miles at Mach 0.85 or 4,800 nautical miles at Mach 0.90. The G600 also has a top speed of Mach 0.925, ensuring you have more time to spend doing the important things in life.

    Both models feature an all-new Symmetry Flight Deck with10 integrated touchscreens, active control sidesticks, next-generation enhanced vision system, and Honeywell Primus Epic avionics; all of which give the aircraft a high-tech, futuristic feel.

    The cabins for the G500 and G600 measure 91 inches wide and 74 inches tall providing wide-cabin comfort for up to 19 very lucky passengers. Both models offer living areas (three in the G500 and four in the G600) and an optional crew rest area, plus a full-sized galley that can be located in either the forward or aft portion of the aircraft. Large oval windows that provide ample natural light, along with quietest cabins in the industry, make for the ideal distraction free environment for work or play.

  • The Great Wine Regions of Tuscany Posted by Admin

    Tuscany

    Italians have long had a history of consuming and producing their fair share of fine wines. From the luxurious bottles of Brunello di Montelcino to the inexpensive bottles of Chianti, the Italian region of Tuscany produces several predominantly red wines that are ever so pleasing to the palette.

    Tuscany is Italy’s third most planted region and yields primarily the Sangiovese grapes, with red wine accounting for over 80% of its wine production. Most of the production comes from the Chianti region that produces over 8 million cases of wine per year , while the Brunello di Montelcino region with its richer and more intense wines produces only about 333,000 cases annually.

    The quality standards of all Italian wines are controlled and classified by the government. A DOCG classification (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) is the highest standard guaranteeing the origin and blend, while DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) is a less restrictive precursor to the DOCG designation. Currently 42 Tuscan wines are designated with either DOC or DOCG classifications, led by wines produced from the following regions:

    Brunello di Montalcino Region

    The Italian village of Montalcino located just south of the Chianti Classico zone is home to many vineyards that produce wines of deep color and full body from the Sangiovese grapes. The Sangiovese grapes of this particular region have been given the name Brunello to identify them from other varietals in the Sangiovese family and are known for ripening easily and favoring this warmer and drier region. Brunello di Montalcino wines are required to be aged at least 4-5 years before being released.

    The wines produced from Angelo Gaja, especially from the Sugarille Vineyard, are all sure to please the most discriminating wine connoisseur. Another highly sought after label, Biondi-Santi Brunello di Montalcino Annata, is a terrific representative of this region, averaging around $150/bottle depending on the vintage. Carmignano Region

    The red wines from the Camignano region of Tuscany have a rich history of quality that goes all the way back to the Middle Ages. Carmignano wines were the first in Tuscany to be permitted to use Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes in official DOC wines. This growing region was one of the first to produce a red wine from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese grapes that led to the “Super Tuscan” varieties that have become popular since the late 20th century.

    There are many wines from this region that are relatively inexpensive. A nice bottle of 2004 Carmignano Piaggia Riserva with a 70% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet and 10% Merlot blend, costs just under $40/bottle. Chianti Region

    The central region of Tuscany is home to the Chianti zone that is split between two different DOCG regions, the Chianti zone and Chianti Classico zone. Chianti wines are permitted to have at least 75% Sangiovese, a maximum of up to 10% Caniaiolo, up to 10% of white and any other type of red grapes, typically Cabernet Sauvignon. The Chianti Classico region between Florence and Sienna produces the more desirable bottles of Chianti wine that utilize 80% Sangiovese grapes and currently disallow the use of white grapes.

    Most of the Chianti labels are inexpensive, easily acquired and often designated as “table wines”. A bottle of 2006 Castello di Querceto Chianti Classico Riserva il Picchio has consistent reviews and costs about $50/bottle. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

    The red wines of the Montepulciano region established their DOCG status in 1980, long after being a favorite of Tuscan nobility since the early 17th century. The Prugnolo Gentile variety of the Sangiovese grape is prominent in these wines, accounting for a minimum of 80% of each bottle of wine. The Canaiolo Nero and Mammolo grapes are traditionally added to the Prugnolo Gentile grapes to produce the wines form this region. There are many Montepulciano wines that are inexpensive, yet worthy of consideration. A nice bottle of 2009 Poliziano Vino Nobile de Montepulciano earns relatively high marks and only costs around $30-40/bottle. Super Tuscan and Other Tuscan Wines

    The Super Tuscan wine movement was originally the result of a rebellion in sorts against the DOC restrictions in the Chianti region. When the consumer market for Chianti wines was suffering in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, some winemakers started to create blends using the Sangiovese grape. One of the first bottles of Tignanello, produced by the marchese Piero Antinori was produced in 1978. Other Super Tuscan wines were “Bordeaux-blends”, including Sassicaia produced by Tenuta San Guido which has now earned DOC classification as DOC Bolgheri. These blends, especially the Sassicaia produced by Tenuta San Guido have commanded higher prices and have garnered lots of respect from wine experts. Vin Santo is a dessert wine that is produced throughout Italy. The Tuscan varieties produced from blends of the Sangiovese grapes are highly regarded.

    Vernaccia di San Gimignano is a white wine produced from the Vernaccia grape of the San Gimignano region. This dry white received DOC classification in 1966. Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Grigio wines are also produced in the Pomino region of Tuscany.